Should An “Active Shooter” Game Exist?

There’s an upcoming game that’s stirring a lot of controversy lately (one supposedly hitting Steam storefront next week). Active shooter would be a simulation on all the horrific mass shootings that have been and continue to occur across the United States.

One side gets to be the Swat team, saving civilians and taking out or arresting the mass shooter while the other side gets to be the shooter themselves, set on killing as many cops & innocent lives as they can.

Naturally, a game like this would cause immediate backlash upon reveal, but this somehow went as far as to being featured on news stations. This is not the first time a mindlessly violent game has crossed national media attention. In fact, we’ve had a history of politicians using video games as a scapegoat culprit to real world violence.

Time and time again, national news media has antagonized gaming and attempted to link them with violent behaviors, failing consistently. Now, we’ve got a game about simulating actual mass shootings, which from the perspective of victims in these shootings, I can totally get behind why you’d want this game to get taken down.

I especially can sympathize with everyone like myself whose tired of gaming (or men) being blamed for the loss on innocent lives instead of folks acting on the real issues in our society. You can tell by this report that these broadcast stations are trying to dramatize this game by including unrelated game footage, talking about “kids getting into these games” and referring to Steam as an “indie site”.

What upsets me is that when you look at the full trailer, it’s a buggy, visually hideous shooter with recycled assets, early PS2 effects and stock rock n’ roll music. There are brilliant indies on Steam, Celeste being one that would rather help a child cope with anxiety and depression. None of these great indie games I’ve been playing over the years has received the level of attention that this potential turd is getting.

I had to think on the developers of this game’s defense that maybe they’re trying to wake people up into realizing how important gun regulations are. This lasted for until I browsed the developer’s catalogue, only to see memes and games based off stupid challenges. Each of these games contain pre-bought game assets tossed in without any cohesive meaning.

shootermain

Tyde Pod Challenge was the other game our news reporter was citing as a potential hazard for kids. When you look at the footage, it’s a collect-a-thon where you retrieve Tyde Pods in a cruddy-looking racetrack, getting into your police vehicle where the car will then drive itself with no one in the driver’s seat. There are other games in studio ACID’s library like “White Power: Pure Voltage” & “Dance, Dab & Twerk”, indicating these are folks looking for attention than creative developers.

It’s these fake game developers who tarnish any type of publicity for hardworking individuals who don’t have the advertising money to get themselves noticed. You hear reports of talented indie game developers gaining more attraction on every other platform besides Steam.

I know I’ve worked on an indie game myself, but I’ve come across several great indies over the past couple of years doing this that no one seems to have heard about, most of which is due to suffering the fate of launching their project in a wasteland, where they’ll get buried because Steam is flooded with these games, covering over their work.

No, I don’t think this game is capable of simulating real-life mass shootings and I hope we don’t ever get to that point. The fact it’s marketing itself on a real tragedy is sick. All of ACID’s products need to be taken off Steam since this studio has no interest in an artistic merit, just flooding Steam with troll products, literally releasing a game every two month.

Myself could rant all day about these fake game developers, but the existence of an “active shooter” game has me asking, would an “active shooter” being portrayed in entertainment media, especially in gaming, help provoke gun regulation for our country? Let’s say, we replace the troll with something along the line of Childish Gambino, where the message is masterfully blended in.

Instead of diving straight into serious subjects, you see a man playfully dancing to the music before pulling out a gun and killing an innocent life point-blank, with nothing prior indicating the turn of events. Right after, you see the gun being carried off with comfort while the dead body is dragged out of sight, with singer Donald Glover saying, “This Is America”.

If there was some way a movie or game can implement a similar approach, advertised to adults, and not being sold as a product, maybe we could push the importance of gun control through entertainment. I’d like to welcome a civil discussion on how we can help shape a better future. What would you suggest as a public inference to our issues at hand.

While the game “Active Shooter” needs to go, maybe the idea of waking us up to reality doesn’t. I’m curious to know what you think.

Till next time folks.

 

 

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