Sick: Game Developer Creating School Shooting Simulator
Just when you thought the culture could not sink any deeper than it already has, somebody goes and does something that is absolutely reprehensible.
In the United States, society is having a problem of mass shootings at schools and the people and their leaders are debating what to do about the issue.
Whether you think the solution is “common-sense” gun confiscation laws or that the solution is simply enforcing the laws already on the books, we can all agree that school shootings are nothing less than evil.
That’s why there was such a backlash when a game developer was wanting to publish a game that allowed the player to take on the role of a mass shooter. According to the BBC, The player could gun down students and police officers alike, and the game would keep a tally of how many victims the player had killed.
The game would have also allowed the player, if they changed modes, to take on the role of a police officer trying to take down the school shooter.
The game developer issued a statement, following a public outcry, that said the game was not to be taken seriously,
“This is only meant to be the simulation and nothing else.”
While it’s all well and good to say that a school shooting simulator should not be taken seriously, the problem is that there are impressionable individuals, in David Hogg’s generation, who might be influenced by such a game to carry out a school shooting in real life.
After all, there is speculation that the Columbine shooters had been heavily influenced by the violent first-person-shooter called Doom. In that game, the player is killing demons as they travel from a space station on Mars, through a portal, and into the depths of Hell.
In the school shooting simulator, “Active Shooter,” the player would actually be seeing themselves gunning down students in a school. The “monsters” of the game are innocent children. Couple that with a student who is being bullied in real life by their fellow classmates, who has access to a firearm, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.
After the public backlash against “Active Shooter,” Valve, the parent company of the gaming store called Steam, announced that the simulator would not be allowed to be published on the site.
Steam is a platform in which amateur and professional game developers can sell their work to the general public.
As a secondary reaction to the controversy, Valve also issued a statement in which it announced a change in policy as to what games would be acceptable or banned on the gaming platform.
The company has adopted an “anything goes” approach with the exception of games that are illegal or games that are considered to be “trolling.”
“Valve shouldn’t be the ones deciding this. If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy. If you’re a developer, we shouldn’t be choosing what content you’re allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make.”
Social media has been divided on the results with some praising the new policy as a 1st Amendment victory while others are commenting that Valve has a responsibility, as the publisher, to censor the content that others might find offensive.
What do you think about the decision to ban “Active Shooter?” Was Valve right to do so or should the Free Market have been allowed to make the decision for them?