A controversial video game that allows users to reenact the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has the Australian techie who created it under fire.
Ryan Jake Lambourn of Sydney, Australia, created “The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary” to remind the public about the “importance of gun control,” as he said on his twitter feed.
However, the first-person shooter game, which allows players to take on the role of Adam Lanza, the deranged gunman who murdered 26 people, including 20 first-graders, is not being well received by the gun-control community, individuals personally affected by the tragedy, or anyone really.
“It’s absolutely disgusting that somebody thinks this is funny,” Donna Soto, whose daughter died while shielding students from gunfire told the Huffington Post. “We’re all suffering. All the families are suffering. We’re coming up on December. My daughter’s birthday just passed. It just adds insult to the suffering that we’re dealing with.”
Apparently, while acting as Adam Lanza, the player is prompted to kill his mother, Nancy Lanza, by shooting her four times as he did in real life, then the player is instructed to grab an AR-15 and the keys to Nancy’s car, according to The National Review.
The player then arrives at the school and is given 11 minutes to murder teachers, students and staffers as they flee from the classrooms, play dead or slink to the ground.
After the 11-minute time limit elapses, the player can end the game by committing suicide. When one is finished playing a result screen appears. The player can then learn how many of the 58 potential victims they murdered. It also reveals whether or not the victims hid, played dead or were wounded.
There is a “gun control mode” too. While playing with the “gun control mode” on, the user must carry out the attack with a katana blade instead of an AR-15.
When the credits of the game roll, the following message is revealed: “Here we are nearly a year after the Sandy Hook shootings in which 26 people were killed and absolutely nothing positive has come out of it.” One is then urged to contact his/her lawmakers and representatives to push them into supporting tougher gun laws.
Still, even with the pro-gun control message, advocates for tougher gun laws are finding it deeply offensive.
“Please tell us how playing a game that recreates how Vicki died would be beneficial? Please tell us,” tweeted Donna Soto, via her twitter handle Team Vicki Soto.
Lambourn responded by saying “you’d learn more by playing it” and iterating the line that it’s about the importance of gun control.
Though, despite his intentions, it’s pretty clear that the game is an all around failure — something Lambourn obliquely acknowledged — and it has since been taken down.
“The liberals don’t like me because I’ve disrespected the dead. The conservatives don’t like me because of the gun-control message. The conspiracy theorists don’t like me because it risks informing people of what happened. And the trolls don’t like me because it wasn’t edgy enough,” he said via Twitter.