At the end of December, Void Interactive, creator of the next tactics game Ready or Not, suddenly lost his editing partner. While not directly confirmed at the time, speculation online strongly suggested that the first-person shooter revamp was due to a recent official exchange with fans, where a worker reiterated with loath that the world would “better believe” that the game “was going” to include a previously advertised school shooting level. And now, days after the fury erupted over this story, the studio has released a more measured statement about their overall approach and philosophy behind the game.
In early access, the popular game on Steam Ready or Not Puts you in the shoes of an elite SWAT team that is sent to broadcast high stakes situations, like when someone is held hostage. Presumably, a level where a school shooter terrorizes a classroom would fall under gaming. Mechanically and even conceptually, this is a pretty common idea in video games, with military tactics games forming a genre in its own right. Games can make you play both sides of conflicts like these. Typically, however, video games depict or involve situations involving adults and not children. You can, for example, play a video game in which you are tasked with robbing a bank, which then requires you to execute a careful plan of taking hostages.
Arguably the problem is not the subject per se, it is a concern that this particular studio will be able to handle such a delicate subject with the grace that it requires given how hard some developers are working on the game. have seemed flippant recently. Media for Ready or Not did not inspire confidence for some either. A trailer for the game shows it all: men bravely bending down to save children, classroom desks lightning, and a broken neon sign that reads ANAL.
And so, some people don’t quite believe that Void Interactive will treat the proposed topic with sufficient delicacy, which might explain why the developers make a long statement on christmas eve.
The clifftop notes version is that the team recognizes that the idea of a school shooting level will elicit strong responses, but they do their best to tackle the topic well.
“Void Interactive is clearly committed to delivering impactful, high-quality content that other mainstream software developers may avoid due to cultural conventions and norms,” the memo said.
He goes on to say that while they appreciate the comments, the audience won’t influence what they do. The studio will, however, honor “the work of dedicated police officers across the globe and has no intention of glorifying cowardly criminal acts.”
We are committed to promoting a level of authenticity and realism in our video game, Ready or Not, which involves a difficult subject. We understand that requires a certain responsibility – to our fans and our community, yes, but also to those who have been touched by the traumatic events to which law enforcement responds too often. Rest assured, our goal is to manage all Ready or Notis content with the level of weight and respect it deserves. We recently had to remind some team members of the care required in discussing this material now and on an ongoing basis.
The memo goes on to say that school is an important aspect of many of our daily lives, which is why the game developer wants to try to honor those “who have been touched by these real world tragedies with a portrayal that does not. not trivialize their experiences.
According to the official Steam game page, Void Interactive consulted with police around the world to design the game. In some of the largest school districts in the United States, there has been a concentrated effort since the Black Lives Matter protests took place to suppress police presence in some schools. In a study of 25 school shootings, crises of this nature were not resolved by an officer, but rather by the staff disarming the assailant or by shooters deciding on their own to stop.