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Online Game Simulating Sandy Hook Shootings Provokes Outrage

Developer says his intention was to spur people to action to change gun laws.

The developer of "The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary," an online game that recreates the mass shooting, is under fire. Credit: Screen capture from developer's website, googumproduce.com
The developer of "The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary," an online game that recreates the mass shooting, is under fire. Credit: Screen capture from developer's website, googumproduce.com

The developer of an online simulation game titled “The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School” that lets players recreate Adam Lanza’s massacre is drawing condemnation from legislators and victims’ families, as well as the Twittersphere.

Ryan Jake Lambourn, a 27-year-old who lives in Sydney, Australia, but grew up in Houston, created the game, he said on his website, after fielding requests from followers of his 2007 game “V-Tech Rampage” based on the Virginia Tech shootings.

“I grew up in Houston, Texas, where I remember guns and ammunition being available in unmanned sections of Wal-Mart and it being commonplace to hear gunshots in the distance as I tried to go to sleep, which is a stark contrast to Sydney, Australia, where I moved to in 2001,” Lambourn said in an audio message in the game's credits section. “Australia had sweeping gun control put into place after the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre in which 35 people died, and the result of that sweeping regulation is that guns are no longer a noticeable part of Australian culture. Guns are practically non-existent here.”

Lambourn goes on in the message to say that despite the mass shootings in America, very little has changed. He urges critics to “shake off your apathy” and write to your governor or federal legislators to help foment change.

“Back in America … all these massacres don’t seem to have had any similar effect on regulation. Instead, gun control and enforcement have steadily loosened,” he said in his message. “And here we are, nearly a year after the Sandy Hook shootings … and absolutely nothing positive has come out of it.

“If you’re a middle of the road person who believes firearms should at least have the same amount of safety regulations as a car, then it’s really on you, because your absolute apathy is why the news is unbearable to watch. So I want you to go and click that usa.gov link and find your state governor and find your representatives in the Senate and Congress, and shoot them an email or a phone call and tell them your opinions on gun control. That’s the least you can do.”

That explanation, though, isn’t good enough for those who still remember the horror of the Sandy Hook shootings on Dec. 14, 2012, including the family of slain teacher Vicki Soto.

Please tell us how playing a game that recreates how Vicki died would be beneficial? Please tell us,” @TeamVickiSoto Tweeted Tuesday after news of the game got out Monday.

“You wanted attention, you got it. You have ours now and please know that you have caused pain,” @TeamVickiSoto Tweeted Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy also weighed in.

"To make a game about the murder of 20 children and their six teachers is absolutely sickening," Murphy told the Hartford Courant. "I hope the very disturbed person who could think of something like this sees the cruelty of what he's done and stops it."

The game is still available to play on several websites.

Out Door John November 21, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Welcome to the world of free speech! With all of this technology available today we now know first hand how many sick people are living on earth! These people should be put away!
Eric Barnett November 22, 2013 at 01:30 PM
I played through this game (once I could find it). It's a clunky Flash based 2D game. After the first go through you can enable "Gun Control Mode" where you have to get the gun out of a locked safe. You can't, so you must go on your rampage with a sword instead of an AR-15. Try as you might, you cannot kill as many people. While this game may be in bad taste, it is NOT a celebration of the Sandy Hook massacre. It is, in fact, a wry social commentary on gun control in the USA (or lack thereof).
Nadja Adolf December 13, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Australia has more violent crime now than it did before banning firearms. It seems that the criminals don't obey the firearms laws, and see disarmed victims as the perfect opportunity for rape, looting and murder. Look it up.

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