Russian developer defends controversial ‘Active Shooter’ video game

The developer for a video game that stimulates a school shooting has found new ways to sell his game after an online gaming platform removed it, following huge backlash from the parents of children killed in school shootings.  

“Active Shooter” was removed from the platform Steam after anti-gun activists and the parents of students killed during school shootings criticized the game for allowing players to simulate school shootings by playing the role of the shooter.  

Ryan Petty, the father of Alaina Petty who was killed in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, slammed the game, calling it “despicable,” and said it was “unacceptable” that Steam allowed games like this to be shared.

Anton Makarevskiy, the game’s developer, defended it through his entity, Acid Software, citing free expression rights.

The 21-year-old developer based in Moscow has defended “Active Shooter” in the past, saying that it is a “SWAT stimulator,” and that players have the option to be SWAT or the shooter.

Following the game’s takedown, Acid set up two new websites to host it, but they were taken down Tuesday night. The following day, a company representative announced that they were back up using Russian servers.

Ata Berdyev, of Seattle, who is helping Makarevskiy promote the game, told The Associated Press in emails Tuesday that the new sites generated about 300 free downloads of a demo, 14 sales of the initial game version and four pre-orders of the new version in less than a day.

Berdyev said Makarevskiy “does not keep up with U.S. news” and the release of the game was “just a bad timing.”

“Active Shooter” gives players “game stats” where they can see how many civilians and police officers they kill.

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