Has the World’s Media Overreacted to “Active Shooter”?
To say, “Active Shooter” has caused a bit of a controversy, would be an understatement and not just within the Video Game community. Throughout the world’s media, this game has been accused of being in poor taste and profiting off the shock value, of the very real threat of mass school shootings throughout the United State of America.
Petitions have been signed to get Valve, the operators of the video game distribution store; Steam to act (which they did). The debate of gun control has been brought back into question and violence in video games is once again on the table for discussion for regulation.
However, one debate which has been brought up is the expression of free speech and games as a form of art. Video games have the ability to bring out all kinds of emotions but “Active Shooter” has caused so much anger before it has even been released.
A similar game that caused controversy; “Hatred” also focused on the topic of mass shootings, yet even after being removed from Steam, was brought back and is still freely available today on the platform. The Grand Theft Auto series allows you to kill everyone on the street of your own free will. Manhunt (although censored in some regions) glorifies the brutal kills of those lives you take in the game. Yet, “Active Shooter” has not receive the same understanding as those games did. Is the subject of having High Schoolers in the cross fire going too far? Or should this game be seen as a simple expression of free speech?
I managed to get in contact with Ata Berdyev, who is a friend of Anton Makarevskiy, the developer of “Active Shooter”. Ata Berdyev is also acting as the game’s PR Rep / Campaign Manager. Mr Berdyev has kindly agreed to answer some questions on behalf of Anton Makarevskiy which I hope will give an insight to how the news has affected the people behind it and how they feel about the outcry.
All responses have been left unfiltered. The only changes made are to fix grammar errors and has been formatted for publication.
Thank you for agreeing to speak me regarding “Active Shooter”. Has the removal of the game slowed down development of any sorts?
I mean, just a little bit, yes. Anton had to take a day break from everything due to Valve kicking him out from the platform. I mean, its not just “Active Shooter” has been pulled off of Steam, but all of this past titles. The amount of time he spent on everything just felt like it went to nothing. Aside from that, Anton and I had to figure out the way to continue what he did, thus decided to create discussion board (http://activeshootergame.com ). So, it did slow down a bit since we had to figure out a few things.
Do you agree with Valve’s decision? And has valve been in contact with you to discuss ways to move forward?
Not really. Valve accused Anton for being me? I mean, what. lol. There’s PCMAG article you should read, which will give you more info on what I mean.
The PCMag article Ata Berdyev is refering to, includes a section on why Valve made the decsion, which reads;
Valve, which owns Steam, placed the blame on Ata Berdyev, who the company called a “troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.” Berdyev, who translated for Makarevskiy during an interview with PCMag, owned up to previous bad behavior (“I did push a line a lot”), but said he was not directly involved in the development of Active Shooter, beyond offering “tips” to Makarevskiy. Valve only fingered Berdyev as its developer because Berdyev let Makarevskiy use his US bank accounts to receive payment on Steam game sales since US economic sanctions made transfers between the US and Russia difficult.
So it is possible Valve has confussed Ata with the real developer Makarevskiy and has unfairly blamed him for something that he wasn’t apart of.
Why did you think a game like this deserves to be out in the public?
Why not? It’s a video game, nothing else. Don’t be hypocrite. There are a lot of video games with violence. This just happen to be around “school shootings”, nothing else.
Why did you make this game in the first place? Who is this game for?
Anton originally wanted to make a video game where you played as SWAT, hunting for “Active Shooter”. Later on, he added active shooters role for game play. Read pcmag article, once again!
Should this game be seen as an expression of free speech or a work of art?
Both. I’m sure Anton mentioned that in pcmag and sputnik inteviews.
In his interview with Sputniknews.com, Anton Makarevskiy says;
Most media outlets immediately started attacking Active Shooter, often practically copy pasting each other’s articles. There were never any children characters in the game, but few bothered to determine this fact. I didn’t care about criticism, but I was concerned about the truth that kept eluding people,
Has the public outcry affected the development of this game in any way?
Not really. Heh. It’s a game. Whoever complains about this game needs to chill the fuck out.
Do you feel the public has acted irrationally?
Yes and no. Everyone has their own opinion, so Anton appreciates that. So do I.
How do you feel about some critics comments that this game saying it’s just a simple asset flip game created just for the soul purpose to a on shock value alone?
If only people knew what “asset flips” were. People needs to stfu and get into indie devs shoes. One just cannot simply create everything from scratch and wish for the best. That’s not how it fucking works. Motherfuckers be talking shit about indie devs “asset flipping” when they use some 3d models off of the intenet. Ugh, no comment.
When and where will this game be released?
Late June. There’s IndieGoGo campaign I help Anton run. Check this out to learn more: http://activeshootergame.com/voirtopic.php?t=12
Why is it important this game is realesed after all the outcry?
Anton tweet’ed about it somewhere on his Twitter (@acid_wtf). Look it up yourself and you will understand why!#
Ata appears to be speaking about this tweet;
— ACID (@ACID_WTF) May 31, 2018
Anything else you want to add or say to everyone reading?
Sure. People should focus on real issues rather than the web or virtual world, such as games.
Caiminds may do follow up coverage of “Active Shooter” in the future, but in the meantime let’s pass a question on to you. How do you feel about this game? Should it be released or is the subject too sensitive to touch? Let us know in the comments!