A much-criticized video game that would let players shoot up a school has been pulled from a digital storefront just days before its release.
Active Shooter was developed by Revived Games and published by Acid, both of which Valve said are a person named Ata Berdiyev. In fact, the dev had been previously banned from the platform in Autumn 2017, while operating under a different name.
There's no doubt the developer was attempting to capitalize and profit from the horrific events that continue to plague schools in the United States, most recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.
Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was among the 17 people killed in the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was one of those who urged Steam's owner Valve to pull the game ahead of its planned release on June 6.
Valve Corporation is a video game development company.
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Many screenshots seemed to be taken from the perspective of the shooter, and showed SWAT team officers and students being gunned down in recognisable high school locations like gyms and canteens.
Indeed, notorious 2015 game Hatred is still for sale on Steam, in which the player graphically murders as many random civilians as possible.
"With any game question what is this adding to my child's life, how is this benefiting them in some way, and I struggle to identify any way that this active shooter game could be beneficial to a child", Gilliam said.
Valve has a reputation for its loose moderation of comments and games on the Steam platform, which was first launched in 2003. And even more surprising to some, data points to school shooters as being less interested in violent video games than most of their adolescent male peers.
Valve will be holding broader conversations soon about Steam's content policies, Lombardi said.
In the 90s, it was common for lawmakers to attempt to lay the blame for such shootings at the hands of video games, claiming that the people that carried them out had been socialised by their violent content.