A computer game company is planning to launch a game which allows users to play as a school shooter.
Valve, an entertainment software and technology company, are scheduled to launch the game, called Active Shooter, on June 6.
Users can choose to play as the shooter or as a member of the SWAT team.
Writing on the company's page on video game marketplace Steam, the information about the game reads:
The planned launch of the game has been met with anger and criticism by many including parents of victim's of February's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Fred Guttenberg's 14-year-old daughter Jaime was among those killed in the shooting on Valentine's Day. He took to Twitter to express his outrage.
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.— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 27, 2018
This company should face the wrath of everyone who cares about school and public safety and it should start immediately. Do not buy this game for your kids or any other game made by this company.https://t.co/LbkXy0upwc— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 27, 2018
Gabe Newell is the CEO of Valve, designer and publisher of this atrocious game. his phone number is 425-889-9642 .. pleas share this info all over social media so he receives a ridiculous amount of complaints and let’s get this thing pulled from shelves before it even hits them! https://t.co/JxIMjmsm9n— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 28, 2018
Florida Senator Bill Nelson also condemned the game on social media.
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
A petition on Change.org asking Valve not to release the video game has received almost 76,000 signatures.
Valve have not commented on the backlash. However, in an update posted to the Steam page, the studio behind the game, Acid said: "Since this games storefront has been live, I have been stormed with accusations and heavy critics from people across the globe.
"While I see everyone's points of view and where are they coming from - I wanted to clarify a few things:
First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft of a mass shooting."
However, the statement also says that Acid have contacted Valve and "after receiving such high amount of critics and hate, I will more likely remove the shooters role in this game by the release".
You can read the full statement here.