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'Horrendous school shooting video game pulled after parents express outrage
Parents and lawmakers nationwide have expressed anger over a new video game that puts players into an active school shooter scenario. - photo by Herb Scribner
The online video game store Steam ditched a new video game that put players into an active school shooter scenario.

Steam's owner, Valve, said the game's publisher and developer had a bad history with the company, which led to its cancellation.

Doug Lombardi, a spokesperson for Valve, told USA Today that it removed Revived Games and the game's publisher ACID from Steam.

"This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as "(bc)Interactive" and "Elusive Team," Lombardi said in an email. "Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title."

The cancellation came after parents and lawmakers nationwide expressed anger over the game, called Active Shooter, which would have allowed players to participate as either a member of a SWAT team tasked with disarming a school shooter or in the role as the active shooter themselves, according to USA Today.

The game included a box on the screen that shows how many police officers and civilians have been killed. One video of the game showed the shooter killing civilians.

The Active Shooter game was scheduled for release on June 6.

A Washington Post video depicts scenes from the game and recounts the criticism it's receiving. (Warning: Disturbing content.)

Developer Revived Games also planned to release a civilian survival mode, where gamers could become a civilian character trying to survive a shooting, according to Variety.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter died in Februarys shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, expressed outrage in a tweet about the game.

"I have seen and heard many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. This game may be one of the worst," he said.

Meanwhile, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow also died in the shooting, told The Miami Herald the game wasn't necessary.

"The last thing we need is a simulated training on school shootings," Pollack said. "Video game designers should think of the influence they hold. This really crosses the line."

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson similarly tweeted his displeasure for the game.

"This is inexcusable," he wrote. "Any company that develops a game like this in wake of such a horrific tragedy should be ashamed of itself."

Similarly, Infer Trust, an anti-gun violence organization, told BBC News that the game is in very bad taste.

There have been 22 school shootings in the U.S. since the beginning of this year, a spokesperson from Infer Trust told BBC News. It is horrendous. Why would anybody think its a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children? Were appalled that the game is being marketed.

The games Steam page (a network where people can post their video games for $100 a pop, as long as they dont include hate speech, pornography or adult content) has a disclaimer for the game, though, which reads:

Please do not take any of this seriously. This is only meant to be the simulation and nothing else. If you feel like hurting someone or people around you, please seek help from local psychiatrists or dial 911 (or applicable). Thank you.

Revived Games said in a Steam post that the Active Shooter game doesnt promote violence, though, nor does it condone mass shootings, according to The New York Times.

While I can see peoples anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone, the game developer said.