In an online video game, players follow shooter Adam Lanza’s footsteps the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary school mass shooting. Called “The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School,” the widely condemned simulation takes players through the shootings of 26 children and adults before it shows their “score”:
— Susan Paradise (@_SusanParadise_) November 19, 2013
Game creator Ryan Jake Lambourn claims it has a “gun safety” message, but activists against gun violence are baffled and disgusted by the game. The family of Victoria Soto, a murdered Newtown teacher, took their outrage to Twitter, telling Lambourn, “Please tell us how playing a game that recreates how Vicki died would be beneficial?” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told the Hartford Courant he hopes the “very disturbed person who could think of something like this sees the cruelty of what he’s done and stops it.”
Post-Newtown, the National Rifle Association faulted video games and media, not guns, in its wide cast for blame. But the NRA is not above using controversial shooting games when it can profit from them. One month after the tragedy, the NRA released a game with coffin-shaped targets to promote gun ownership.