Par­ents con­demn video game sim­u­lat­ing school shoot­ings

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

An up­com­ing com­puter video game that would al­low play­ers to re-cre­ate school shoot­ings by stalk­ing school hall­ways and rack­ing up kills has been con­demned as in­sen­si­tive and in­ap­pro­pri­ate by the par­ents of stu­dents who were shot to death in the school mas­sacre at Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High in Park­land, Florida.

The game – Ac­tive Shooter – is sched­uled for a June 6 re­lease via the dig­i­tal video-game mar­ket­place Steam. It is branded as a ‘‘SWAT sim­u­la­tor’’ that lets play­ers choose be­tween be­ing an ac­tive shooter ter­ror­is­ing a school or the SWAT team re­spond­ing to the shoot­ing.

A de­scrip­tion of the game, which will not be sold on a con­sole sys­tem, comes with a dis­claimer: ‘‘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 is to be re­leased about four months af­ter a gun­man killed 17 stu­dents and staff mem­bers at Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas and less than a month af­ter 10 more were killed in a school shoot­ing in Texas.

Critic Ryan Petty, the fa­ther of a Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High stu­dent killed dur­ing a shoot­ing at her school in Fe­bru­ary, called on Mon­day for the game’s re­lease to be can­celed. His daugh­ter Alaina was 14.

‘‘It’s dis­gust­ing that Valve Corp is try­ing to profit from the glam­ouri­sa­tion of tragedies af­fect­ing our schools across the coun­try,’’ Petty said.

– Mi­ami Her­ald

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