Active Shooter game stirs controversy
It seems a storm is brewing in regard to the action title Active Shooter. The controversial game is currently listed on the Steam storefront with a release date of June 6. The description for the first-person shooter appears innocuous enough:
Active Shooter is essentially a dynamic SWAT simulator in which dynamic roles are offered to players.
There are plenty of “play as a cop” type games available; however, issue has been taken with the ambiguous term “dynamic roles.” The game gives the player the choice of being a “bad guy,” which essentially means shooting at police officers and civilians. Although that particular choice in itself is nothing new when it comes to video games, the main point of contention arises over the option of acting as an active shooter in a school setting. Unsurprisingly, Active Shooter has faced considerable backlash due to its content.
A spokesperson for the game developer and publisher has posted a comment on Active Shooter’s Steam page to defend the title:
First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft [sic] of a mass shooting.
A disclaimer has also been added to help defend the inclusion of the first-person shooter on Steam:
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.
Many games have been released over the years that courted controversy in a similar manner to Active Shooter. Postal 2 was banned in several countries, whilst the Grand Theft Auto series is no stranger to facing criticism for the themes it contains. GTA V has made over US$6 billion in revenue, so it’s very unlikely Rockstar Games will stop incorporating controversial gameplay options in its products in the near future.
Active Shooter, developed by Revived Games and published by ACID, has also been accused of being an asset-flipped game with minimal alterations to the original source software. The game is set to join a long list of controversial titles, which includes well-known names such as Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare and Mass Effect.