Recently, there was a massive outcry over a video game titled Active Shooter, with the premise that there is an active shooter ready to shoot up a school being made available on Steam. The players would be able to play either as the member of an elite S.W.A.T team or the shooter himself. The game drew flak from not just survivors of the horrible tragedies portrayed in the game, but also from various media outlets and senators. As a result of the backlash, Valve, the company that owns and runs Steam has taken it down.
The game’s page on Steam described the game as a “dynamic S.W.A.T. simulator” in which you play as the shooter, or a S.W.A.T. team member trying to neutralize them. The game even lets you play as a civilian, whose role, presumably, would be to survive the nightmare. The trailer depicts a player running down school halls and through classrooms, indiscriminately murdering teachers until a S.W.A.T. team shows up. The glorification of a type of tragedy that continues to strike a very raw nerve had created a major uproar, forcing Valve to take action. The game was promptly removed and Valve released a statement that said “We have removed the developer Revived Games and 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”. 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. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve. The broader conversation about Steam’s content policies is one that we’ll be addressing soon.”
The developer, in response, said on the game’s Steam page that “originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned on having SWAT only based game-play. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. While I can see people's anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone. As I mentioned on steam discussion forums, there are games like Hatred, Postal, Carmageddon and etc., which are even worst compared to "Active Shooter" and literally focuses on mass shootings/killings of people.”
As of now, the game has been taken down, but Valve recognizes the bigger problem, which is that a game of this kind, according to many angry Steam users, should have never even been allowed to make it to the platform in the first place.
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