While it’s nice to see people getting riled up about products that influence behavior, rather than guns, in the aftermath of school tragedies, it’s disheartening to learn that some major media reports are downplaying that angle.
A video game that was slated to hit the market June 6 is attracting criticism, primarily because the game is designed to let players control the gunman or a member of law enforcement called upon to stop the attack. Parents condemn “Active Shooter,” created by Revived Games, not just because it encourages children to assume the role of the aggressor, but also because of the timing of its release, just months after the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and weeks after a mass killing at a campus in Santa Fe, Texas.
In light of the outrage, the online gaming platform Steam, which was due to release it, pulled the game from its calendar of new releases. Steam cited problems with the developer as the reason for shelving the game.
Brochures about the game said it would allow players to choose between controlling the SWAT officer or the bad guy, whose mission was to “hunt and destroy.”
Parents of schoolchildren in Parkland were among those who advocated against the game’s release. “The last thing we need is a simulated training on school shootings,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed in the Florida school shooting.
The New YorkDaily News, not satisfied with blaming entertainment as a root cause of mass shootings, went out of its way to shift the blame back on guns. Rather than being satisfied with a rewrite of The Miami Herald’s story, Daily News reporters made sure to call Andrew Patrick, the media director for The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, so they could make a final jab at the gun industry. “We're not going to blame the access of video games for gun violence," Patrick told the New York reporter. “We blame the access of guns.”
And people wonder why Americans have lost faith in the credibility of mainstream media outlets, especially those in liberal strongholds.