A video game re-enacting the tragic Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that occurred last year has popped up online, less than three weeks before the one-year anniversary.
The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary lets players take control of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter who entered Sandy Hook Elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012 and killed 26 teachers, students, and school personnel before taking his own life.
The game, which was posted two days ago on media-sharing site Gogempro has since spread to other sites, despite pleas from some of the victim’s families to remove it.
While some sites have started to take down the content, others have left it up, available for anyone with a computer and access to the Internet to play.
The twisted game has different levels, including trying to kill as many children as possible before turning the gun on yourself.
Some of those closest to the Sandy Hook tragedy are “disgusted” with the game. “(It’s) absolutely disgusting someone thinks this is funny,” Donna Soto told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers.
Soto is the mother of Victoria Soto, the 27-year-old teacher who was killed protecting her students in the school.
“We’re all suffering. All the families are suffering. We’re coming up on December,” Soto added. “My daughter’s birthday just passed. It just adds insult to the suffering that we’re dealing with. It’s just incomprehensible that someone would think this kind of thing is wanted,”
Some within Reddit’s gaming community agreed with Soto that the game was in “poor taste.”
“Yea playing a game that’s trying to improve gun control makes me feel much worse than hearing 20 kids died in a school shooting that could of been stopped,” Weet-bix kid wrote. “If the Authors game feels that bad, how much infinitely worse do you think the real thing feels to people.”
Reaction on Reddit was mixed with most agreed it was sickening, haunting, and utterly disturbing, the morals behind the game soon became the main topic of conversation for one reason.
On game creator Ryan Jake Lambourn’s “About” page, he not only has his full name and contact information listed, but also has links to anti-gun laws and American congress representatives, who are in favour of gun control. It’s an act that has made many Redditors see the game as an interactive piece of satire instead of a run-of-the-mill flash shooter.
It’s also something that Lambourn talks about in his recorded audio file.
“I’m not someone who keeps up with the news, but I am overcome with all of this news about how commonplace school shootings have become. I grew up in Texas where guns and ammunition are available in (laughs) unmanned sections of Wal-Mart,” he said.
“Here we are, nearly a year after the Sandy Hook shootings, in which 26 people were killed, 20 of which were first graders, and absolutely nothing positive has come out of it.”
Lambourn goes on to plead with people to reach out to their local representatives and continue talking about the issue of gun control in America.
The re-enactment isn’t the first of its kind. Back in 2007, Lambourn also created the heavily controversial game, Vtech Rampage, a Flash shooter based on the Virginia Tech massacre. Like in Lambourn’s newest game, players control Seung-Hoi Chung, the gunman behind the massacre.
Lambourn received criticism from most people who played the game, but also began to notice a fan base around the project, who he said asked him to make another game like Vtech Rampage.
“In the years since, I have been routinely asked by fans of Vtech to make more games of just about every mass shooting that’s gotten media coverage,” Lambourn said in an audio message left on the game’s website.