A gaming website last week canceled the release of a video game that allows players to pose as school shooters wielding semiautomatic rifles after it drew condemnation from parents of students killed in the Parkland, Fla., shooting, along with politicians, education groups, and the public.
“Active Shooter,” which was set to be released on the Steam gaming platform this month, allowed users to pose as a SWAT team member responding to a shooting, as a “civilian” trying to escape, or as the actual shooter. The game is not the first to allow users to role-play a mass shooting, but its planned release so close to two large school attacks—in Parkland and Santa Fe, Texas—brought swift condemnation.
Nearly 150,000 people had signed onto a Change.org petition by the night of May 29, calling on Valve, the company that owns Steam, to cancel plans to release the game. The company subsequently told media outlets it would remove the game and its third-party creator from its platform.
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2018 edition of Education Week as Online Company Abandons Plans to Launch School Shooter Game