Thursday, May 31, 2018

'Active Shooter' the Full Story - Oh and 'Fallout 76'

Barely 24 hours ago Bethesda dropped a teaser trailer for a new Fallout game, Fallout 76.

While I could spend today's post speculating about what it means, like everyone else, I'm not. Loyal gamers are aware of Bethesda's tactics. They're going to tease this constantly and provide little to no updates until the game is out on the shelves. Or they'll feel like dropping more hints at a random moment when people least expect it. But we won't get full info out of Bethesda until the last possible second. There's no point in speculating because Bethesda will be Bethesda. When they feel the need to tell us about the game, they will. Not going to get my hopes up or yours.

Instead we're going to cover the history of Active Shooter; a game that put the player in the position of being a violent school shooter. It looks like a badly modded Counter-Strike map, full of weapons and a innocent/cop kill counter. It was set to release on Steam June 6th. But it has been pulled from the store. The game was quick to pick up attention in the news, a few weeks after the Sante Fe High School shooting in Texas. It played on the fears of people across the U.S., as we continue to see a rise in school shootings and the nation becomes more complacent in the violence. I've been watching this story unfold from the corner. I've had feeling from the beginning that this was someone playing a sick joke and trying to troll Steam and it's users.

It turns out I was right.

The game was developed by a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev. He was removed from Steam last fall for violating Steam's policies and having a history of trolling, customer abuse, user review manipulation, and publishing copyrighted material. He's published games under names like Revived Games, ACID, Interactive, and Elusive Team. TLDR: Active Shooter was destined to be pulled because of Berdiyev's past. The heightened press coverage and backlash from survivors put more focus on the game. The vast majority of us would agree that this game did not need to exist. Most of us would have never played it, and would have filed a complaint with Steam knowing it would be removed. The content of Active Shooter does not represent the breathed of content available in video games.

Unlike Super Columbine RPG, which was created as a means to address gun violence and engage players in the debate, Active Shooter is not. It's clear from video clips that this game was meant to be trash (no tongue in cheek here). It's a standard first person shooter in a horrible setting with the goal of killing civilians. For all of the Call of Duty, Metal of Honor, and Counter Strike games on the market, they don't focus on harming innocents. In many cases missions require you to save them. Active Shooter was created to piss people off.

Valve released a statement to Deadline about the game, and that the company would look at their content policies. Some news outlets have pointed out that Steam didn't remove the game because of the content. The focus on Valve's statement is that Berdiyev is a known harasser whom has broken Steam's rules multiple times before. While the game's "plot" is abhorrent, removing it based on content could have an unfortunate snowball effect that would blanket ban most first person shooters. Valve has to tread lightly to ensure all games are on an even playing field with the rules.

For now, Active Shooter is offline and the person known as Berdiyev is banned once more. We will see how long that lasts until he sneaks back on to cause more havoc.

Edit 6/1/18: The video from YouTube is no longer allowing for shares/embeds. Unsure why. Removed video coding until it's resolved.

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