Sandy Hook Flash Game Causes Outrage

A flash video game has been made re-enacting the Sandy Hook shootings, ostensibly to raise awareness of how little has been done since the tragedy.

The Sandy Hook tragedy is still resonating strongly in the hearts and thoughts of the victims of the terrible shooting.  Many people deal with such tragedy in different ways, with one of the most common being various forms of activism.  

Working to change or improve the systems that lead to such horrible events is an inexact art, and sometimes it has its pitfalls.  A recent video game, made in flash, making players effectively re-enact the Sandy Hook shooting goes a bit beyond pitfall.

The game was originally uploaded to before being taken down.  It was made, according to its creator, to raise awareness and spark discussion about gun laws in America.  The author points out how effectively nothing has changed since Sandy Hook and how fundamentally wrong it is that so many should have died for, ultimately, nothing.

On the one hand, I can definitely sympathize with the message.  It is a valid point and one which does need to be made in a way people will hear it.  This is almost certainly not the way to make it.  Ignoring arguments of taste, the form this message takes is guarantees outrage from a great many people, including those from Newtown still recovering from the tragedy.

It does not matter how good your message is if you deliver it in a way where it will be drowned out by cries of outrage.

Featured Columnist

Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.

Platforms PC Tags violence in games
Published Nov. 22nd 2013
  • Max Jay
    Featured Columnist
    It's completely classless. I had to cover Sandy Hook the day it happened and it was literally the worst day of my life. This person thinks that he can scream louder than everyone else and get something done, but what he's really doing it distracting people from the actual issues that plague us on a daily basis.

    Arguing about gun control is a stalemate waiting to happen and this dude just wants his 15 minutes. The thing the public need to be concerned about is the state of mental healthcare and how that relates to our ability to purchase/obtain firearms.
  • Big Chief 1
    Featured Correspondent
    That's absolutely horrible. It's tragic to see what the world has come to.
  • Wokendreamer
    Featured Columnist
    I like to hope the creator truly was trying to spark discussion about the issue, but the fact they didn't seem to realize this was the wrong way to do it is sad in its own right.

    As with any such horrible event, everything attached to Sandy Hook seems to be tragic by extension.
  • Big Chief 1
    Featured Correspondent
    That's true. I actually had no idea that this flash game even existed until I read this article. I'm happy that it got taken down. They did interpret their beliefs in the wrong way.
  • Destrolyn.Bechgeddig
    Featured Columnist
    I too sincerely hope that it was a very knowing game, and the developer was inspired by the shared outrage of many in Americans have that gun-laws have not at all changed since Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Aurora. I hope, despite the furore, it has got people to continue to talk about gun laws. Whether that this discussion should be at the expense of the hurt and loss felt by others is a moot point.

    But it's mad that the public don't mind games like Battlefield, Call of Duty, Killzone, and Graft Theft Auto, where you go around violently killing people, sometimes senselessly, and revel in the gore and destruction. So why does relating violent actions to an actual event make any difference? Could such outrage be seen as a double standard for the gaming community?

    Yes, Sandy Hook concerned very young children which, best to my knowledge, no mainstream video game has depicted yet (and if it had, we'd have no doubt heard about it by now). But violence is violence and the unnecessary loss of life, young or old, is still tragic, no? Would the game have received as much outrage if the developer had based it on the Aurora shootings instead?

    The picture painted to us about the USA overseas is a that of a country that has states that allow guns into government buildings but not tampons, and have trade restrictions on Kinder Eggs and what books are available in school libraries but not AK47s. Maybe causing shock and outrage is the only way to bring about action? Ultimately, could this not be seen as a legitimate catalyst for a change that is overall good?

    NB these are all RHETORICAL questions, and NOT my point of view. Difficult to know how I actually feel about it myself, because all these tragedies are deeply shocking. There's a mixture of shock that someone has the audacity to have created something like this, but I somewhat share the supposed intentions that the developer wanted to keep the discussion alive, raise awareness, and bring about positive change.

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