The developer of a new controversial video game that allows users to simulate a school shooting has released a statement, Tuesday.
This, after the gaming company faced backlash and was accused of displaying a lack of sensitivity in the wake of recent mass school shootings.
The game, “Active Shooter”, which was originally designed to be played as a SWAT team member during a school shooting, was updated to include the option of posing as a shooter targeting civilians inside of a school building, according to Revived Games, the developer.
In a new statement posted on a website, Revived Games said:
“Active Shooter” won’t only be revolving on active shooter scenarios.’ ‘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.”
The game’s description details two options, giving players the opportunity to “be the good guy or the bad guy.
The developer said in a post, “Depending on the role, your objective might be to protect and extract or hunt and destroy.”
Users will have the option to choose three locations for the game; they include a zombie survival mode, a work office, and a school environment.
The developer also posted a video preview of the game showing graphic images of fictional police officials and sim-like civilians being targeted with a simulated automatic weapon.
A number of people have criticized the game ahead of its June 6 release date via the Steam digital platform.
A change.org petition, which was posted online three days ago, has already received nearly 25,000 signatures.
The petition’s creator, Stephanie Robinett said in a report the upcoming game is “turning deadly school shootings into entertainment.”
So far this year, there have been nearly two dozen shootings where someone was killed or hurt, according to CNN.
Last week, a student opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School, leaving one child and teacher injured.
The week prior, a 17-year-old student fired a gun multiple times in Santa Fe, Texas where ten people were killed and ten were wounded.
In a response to critics Thursday, one of the developers defended the game.
“This game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft of a mass shooting,” the developer wrote online.
The statement also claims that other video games like “Hatred,” “Postal” and “Carmageddon” are more harmful than “Active Shooter.”