Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) praised Valve Software for blocking the release of the “Active Shooter” video game on its Steam online gaming platform. The game, produced by an independent developer, allows players to simulate a school shooting with digital counters tracking the number of victims.
“Valve Software did the right thing by preventing the release of the ‘Active Shooter’ game, which would train children in the digital world how to commit horrific acts of violence in real schools that target real students, teachers, and law enforcement officers,” said Pennacchio. “There’s a genuine concern that children have a hard time differentiating between ultra-realistic first person shooter games and the real world. We shouldn’t condition our kids to carry out the next Parkland or Sandy Hook.”
Pennacchio encouraged the gaming industry to review other games that have already been published through their platforms.
“We know there are other games similar to ‘Active Shooter’ which allow players to simulate attacks that remain available for download,” said Pennacchio. “Steam and other gaming platforms should review their content libraries to determine if those games merit continued publication through their services.”
He also encouraged parents to talk to their children about the games they play, and to review if the games they have downloaded are age appropriate.
“The controversy over ‘Active Shooter’ is a reminder that parents must engage their children and continually review the games they’ve downloaded on gaming systems, computers, and other devices,” Pennacchio added. “Many will likely be shocked to learn what games their children have downloaded and play without their knowledge.”