TAMPA (FOX 13) - A video game that allows users to simulate school shootings is being ripped by parents, child health advocates, and elected officials. The game is scheduled to be released next week and is called "Active Shooter."
A snapshot from the game circulating on social media and news sites shows the game will track how many civilians or cops are killed, and how much ammo you have left.
"My first thought is really, just as a person, is that I am horrified," said Wendy Rice, a child psychologist. "I think parents need to let their kids know that this is too close for comfort, and I don't think parents should let their kids purchase this particular game."
Others are too, including parents of Parkland victims.
The website offering the game is called Valve Corporation, which runs Steam. It lists Revived Games as the developer.
Ryan Petty, whose daughter, Alaina, was killed in the Parkland shooting Feb. 14th said: "It's disgusting that valve corporation is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies."
The developer says the game allows users to "protect and extract, or hunt and destroy." But it asks users not to take it seriously, and to call a psychiatrist or 911 if they feel like hurting someone.
A second post said they were considering removing the ability for a user to be the shooter.
Sen. Bill Nelson tweeted Monday the game is "inexcusable."
"How did this become a game?" asked Rice. "How is shooting police officers a game when the job of the officers in this particular game is to protect innocent children and teachers?"
Rice says her discussions with patients show the correlation between video games and violence is inconclusive.
But this game risks glorifying horrible impulses.
"If your kids think this is a fun game to play, there are bigger conversations to have than just about a video game," said Rice.
Efforts to reach the developer and the company hosting the game were not immediately successful.
The developer said on the game page that it is attempting to discuss the game with the host company.
This is inexcusable. Any company that develops a game like this in wake of such a horrific tragedy should be ashamed of itself. https://t.co/jjp6LxNWhC— Senator Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) May 28, 2018