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.

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

The Emperor of the Seas.

Imagine retiring early and spending the rest of your life on a cruise ship visiting exotic locations, meeting interesting people and eating delectable food. It sounds fantastic, but surely it’s a billionaire’s fantasy, right?

Not according to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. They’re living their best life hopping from ship to ship for around $44 a night each. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. Angelyn took her first cruise in 1992 and it changed her goals in life forever.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn told 7 News. But a few years back, Angelyn crunched the numbers and realized they could start much sooner than expected.

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less

Prior to baby formula, breastfeeding was the norm, but that doesn't mean it always worked.

As if the past handful of years weren't challenging enough, the U.S. is currently dealing with a baby formula crisis.

Due to a perfect storm of supply chain issues, product recalls, labor shortages and inflation, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with formula demand and retailers are rationing supplies. As a result, families that rely on formula are scrambling to ensure that their babies get the food they need.

Naturally, people are weighing in on the crisis, with some throwing out simplistic advice like, "Why don't you just do what people did before baby formula was invented and just breastfeed?"

That might seem logical, unless you understand how breastfeeding works and know a bit about infant mortality throughout human history.

Keep Reading Show less

Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas teaches you how to pee.

A pelvic floor doctor from Boston, Massachusetts, has caused a stir by explaining that something we all thought was good for our health can cause real problems. In a video that has more than 5.8 million views on TikTok, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas says we shouldn’t go pee “just in case.”

How could this be? The moment we all learned to control our bladders we were also taught to pee before going on a car trip, sitting down to watch a movie or playing sports.

The doctor posted the video as a response to TikTok user Sidneyraz, who made a video urging people to go to the bathroom whenever they get the chance. Sidneyraz is known for posting videos about things he didn’t learn until his 30s. "If you think to yourself, 'I don't have to go,' go." SidneyRaz says in the video. It sounds like common sense but evidently, he was totally wrong, just like the rest of humanity.

Keep Reading Show less