Valve has removed the controversial game “Active Shooter” and the developer responsible for it from its digital storefront Steam, Variety reported.
The video game simulates a school shooting and allows players to participate either in the role of perpetrator or as law enforcement and has been met with outrage – given that there have been 22 school shootings in the U.S. since the beginning of this year.
The game, which was slated to be released on June 6 on Steam, a digital distribution platform developed by Valve, Fox News reported. Players are given "game stats" so players can keep track of how many civilians and police officers they kill.
The game’s release would have come less than a month after the most recent mass school shooting in which 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis allegedly killed 10 people and wounded another 10 at Santa Fe High School near Houston, Texas.
"Pick your role, gear up and fight or destroy," the makers said on the Steam website. "Be the good guy or the bad guy. The choice is yours. Only in Active Shooter, you will be able to pick the role of an elite S.W.A.T member or the actual shooter. Lead your team, extract civilians and neutralize the shooter."
In an email to Variety, a Valve spokesman said the person who made the game has a history of abusive behavior and it’s removed both developer Revived Games and publisher Acid from its digital storefront.
A spokeswoman for Infer Trust, a London public health and safety issues awareness nonprofit, said the game was in "very bad taste," the BBC News noted.
"It is horrendous,’ Infer Trust said. “Why would anybody think it's a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children? We're appalled that the game is being marketed."
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick charged last week that violent video games, along with other issues like abortion, have led to a culture where young people devalue life, ABC News reported.
"We have devalued life, whether it's through abortion, whether it's the breakup of families, through violent movies and particularly violent video games, which now outsell movies and music," Patrick told ABC's "This Week." "Psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you that students are desensitized to violence, have lost empathy for their victims by watching hours and hours of violent video games."
Many shared their disapproval of the game on social media.
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