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Parkland parents helped shut down this 'active shooter' video game.

A video game simulating a school shooting has been shut down before its launch — largely due to Parkland parents denouncing it.

Following in the footsteps of both Roseanne Barr's TV show and problematic scenes from the movie "Show Dogs," a video game called "Active Shooter" has been nixed due to public outcry. The game simulates a school shooting and allows players to play either the school shooter or a SWAT team member.

Screenshots of gameplay released by the creator paint a horrific scene: If you're playing the shooter, you use your semi-automatic rifle to gun down students, teachers, law enforcement, and anyone else you feel like murdering in a school building. A digital counter keeps track of how many civilians and cops you've killed.


Screenshot via Revived Games/Acid Publishing.

The game was published by the game studio Acid Publishing of Moscow and was slated for release on June 6 through Valve Corp.'s online gaming store Steam.

Parents of victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting raised their voices loud and clear to denounce the game.

Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was one of 17 people killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, wrote about the game on Twitter: "I have seen and heard many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. This game may be one of the worst."

Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was also murdered in the Parkland shooting, wrote in a statement on Facebook, "It's disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country. Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a 'game.'"

A Change.org petition was created to put pressure on Valve not to release it. More than 208,000 people have signed it, as of this writing.

The people spoke — and it worked. Valve will not be putting the game on their site.

The beauty of the age of social media is that people can speak up and accountability can be set into motion. Thanks to the Parkland parents and others drawing negative attention to the game, Valve decided not to put it on their site. They also released a statement explaining who was behind creating it.

“This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall," Valve's statement said:

"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."

Washington Post writer Alex Horton made an interesting observation about the game's trailer, which has since been removed from Steam's site: All of the "civilians" shown are women.

If a video game created by a Russian "troll" where you can play a school shooter and gun down women isn't a symbol for America 2018, I don't know what is.

We the people have power. Let's keep using it.

Having free speech and living in a free market system means that our voices and our actions can help determine the kinds of products that succeed and those that don't. When something that people find vile, cruel, or dangerous rears its head, we can use the collective power of our voices and purchasing power to pressure companies to shut it down.

Let's keep speaking up. It's working.

Education

12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Things new parents think they need but don't.

There's nothing like preparing for a new baby. The excitement and anticipation take hold and before you know what's happening, your baby registry is five pages long full of things you've probably never heard of. I've been there before, and now, four kids later, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there are tons of things you actually don't need. It's easy to get carried away when everything is so tiny and cute, especially 'cause marketing around baby stuff is bananas. The following offers some alternative items to the ones you'll likely only use a limited number of times before practicality takes over.

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Joy

Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.

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Internet

Man breaks down how living in an all-inclusive resort is cheaper than his average apartment

"I just might find myself on a beach somewhere sucking down cocktails and WHAT OF IT."

Representative Image from Canva

Are resorts the new retirement homes?

Don’t know if you heard, but the cost of living is pretty high these days. Prices for groceries, restaurants, gas, and other necessary items just to, you know, live in the world, reaching an all time high is already making what used to be a decent wage barely enough to get by.

And let’s not forget the biggest financial whammy of all: rent prices. According to Zillow, the average rent price in the US was $1,958 ( recorded in January 2024). That a whopping 29.4% price jump since pre-pandemic times. And of course, that not even taking larger, more expensive cities into account.


It’s enough to make you wonder: “Is it actually cheaper to just live in an all-inclusive resort at this point?”
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Family

People kept telling me to watch 'Bluey.' I still was not prepared.

Some adults say it's healing their inner child, but there's something in the popular Australian kids' show for everyone.

"Bluey" is popular with all ages, despite being aimed at kids.

I have a confession to make. I'm 48 years old, my youngest child is in high school and I can't stop watching "Bluey."

For the uninitiated, "Bluey" is a kids' cartoon from Australia aimed at 5 to 7-year-olds. It's been nearly a decade since my household has seen that demographic, so when people kept telling me I should watch "Bluey," my reaction was basically, "Yeah, I've already done my kiddie show time, thankyouverymuch."

Then my almost-15-year-old started watching it just to see what the fuss was about. And as I started tuning in, I saw why people love it so much. I figured it was going to be a wholesome show with some good lessons for kids, and it is.

But it's also laugh-out-loud hilarious.

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Identity

Video shows 80 years of subtle sexism in 2 minutes

Subtle, persistent sexism over a lifetime is like water torture.

via HuffPo

Condescending sexism is persistently cliché.

Subtle, condescending sexist remarks such as "When are you going to have children?" and "You'd be so pretty, if you tried" are heard by women on a daily basis. Like water torture, what's subtle and persistent can become debilitating over a lifetime.

Making things more difficult is the contradicting nature of many sexist clichés that women are subjected to starting in childhood, such as "Is that all you're going to eat?" and "You eat a lot for a girl." Then there are the big-time, nuclear bomb sexist remarks such as "Don't be a slut" and "What were you wearing that night?" that are still shockingly common as well.

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