Who exactly thought this was a good idea?
In the yet-to-be-released School Shooter: North American Tour 2012, players can reenact school shooting tragedies at Columbine, Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, among other locations. The goal? “Become the best school shooter, ever,” according to the developer’s website.
(More on TIME.com: See a brief history of video-game violence)
To make the game even more realistic, players can choose to arm themselves with the same weapons used by real-life killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in 1999, or Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007. At the end of each level, the player has the option to commit suicide before being captured by law enforcement officials. The developers promise, “[It will be] the most realistic student slaughtering modification (game) ever made.”
The game, developed by Checkerboarded Studios, is a modification to an already popular first-person shooter game called Half-Life 2. While many first-person shooter games, including Half-Life 2, have come under fire for being too violent, a noticeable difference is that in those games players shoot (often armed) “bad guys” and not defenseless students and teachers.
The game has unsurprisingly garnered public outrage, including a bill in the works in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives that aims to prevent its release. But if previous encounters with overly violent video games have been any measure of what will happen in this case, it’s likely little will be done to stop this atrociously realistic and violent game from being released.
(More on TIME.com: See pictures of evidence of the Columbine shooting)