Critics Furious Over Online Game Re-Enacting Sandy Hook Massacre
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An uproar of criticism has erupted following the release of a new online video game that allows players to re-enact the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Entitled “The Slaying Of Sandy Hook Elementary,” the game retraces the steps of gunman Adam Lanza, according to CBS Connecticut. It instructs players to “Shoot Mother” and “Get AR15 and clips,” before sending the silhouetted gunman into the school to open fire on teachers and first-graders, the Hartford Courant reported.
The game then switches to the school, where glass breaks as Lanza shoots his way into the school. Gamers are then given 10 minutes for Lanza to go into classrooms to shoot students and teachers. After the time is up, Lanza kills himself in the video game as a police arrive notice pops up on the screen, CBS Connecticut reported.
The game was made for free play available on four sites, but had been dropped from at least two of the sites – Newgrounds.com and POG.com – as of Wednesday night.
The creator of the game has been identified by the Hartford Courant and other publications as Ryan Jake Lambourn, who has defended the game as a statement in favor of stricter gun control laws, the Courant reported.
The game’s credits display a message showing that Lambourn – currently of Sydney, Australia – grew up with a strong gun culture in Houston, Texas, the newspaper reported. He pointed out in the credits that Australia enacted sweeping changes to gun laws after a massacre in 2001, and guns are “no longer a noticeable part of Australian culture,” the paper reported.
Under his Twitter account @googumproduce, Lambourn has also retweeted some of the sharp criticism he has received for the game.
“It’s wackos like @googumproduce that are the real menace to society. Really? A game to re-enact Sandy Hook? The human race is ashamed of you,” tweeted “Dstroyr.”
“@googumproduce, You’re no more promoting gun rights; you’re practicing terrorism. You’re no better than al Qaida,” tweeted Timothy Stuckey.
Lambourn also defended himself against people of multiple political persuasions in a sentence split between four tweets.
“(T)he liberals dont 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 wrote.
Lambourn also tweeted a screen grab of what appeared to be e-mail from National Rifle Association Assistant General Counsel Michael Blaz, demanding that he remove a link to the NRA site on the information page of his “vile ‘game’ about the tragic events in Newtown, CT.” Lambourn responded to the request by saying “I regret to inform the NRA, it’s impossible to undo what’s been done,” along with a profane remark.
The game has come under heavy criticism from victims’ families and politicians, CBS Connecticut reported.
Donna Soto, the other of teacher Vicki Soto, told Hearst Connecticut newspapers that it was “absolutely disgusting that somebody thinks this is funny.”
U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) told the Courant the game was “absolutely sickening” and called its creator “very disturbed.”
On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, Lanza, who had killed his mother at their Newtown home, went to Sandy Hook Elementary and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing the 20 children and the six adults. He killed himself as police arrived at the school.
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