Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Parkland Parents Condemn Video Game That Lets You Play As School Shooter

A video game that simulates a school shooting is being condemned by parents of children who died during the mass shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“Active Shooter” is marketed as a SWAT team simulator, where players take the role of an armed officer responding to a school shooting, the Guardian reported. However, the game also allows users to play as the shooter or as a civilian attempting to escape the scene.

Screenshots released by the developer, seemingly taken from the perspective of the shooter, show SWAT team officers and students being gunned down in various locations including a gymnasium, hallways and cafeteria.

The game has received strong backlash, including from the parents of Parkland victims. Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in Stoneman Douglas, urged people to boycott the game.

“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,” he wrote on Twitter. This game may be one of the worst.”

The game is set for release on Steam, the largest digital store for PC games with more than 125 million users.

In response to the criticism, the game’s publisher, Acid, released a “clarification” on the game’s Steam page, claiming that Active Shooter “does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft [sic] of a mass shooting.” On the Steam store page, however, customers are encouraged to “Pick your role, gear up and fight or destroy!”

Contact Alyssa Fisher at [email protected] or on Twitter, @alyssalfisher


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.