Just over a week after “Dawson College Massacre!” video game was posted to the Newgrounds gaming site, and three days after the Concordian broke the story of the game’s existence, the creator Virtuaman pulled his controversial game from that site.
Media reports last Friday first announced that the game had been pulled from the website.
The video game was first posted Sept. 8, five days short of the fourth anniversary of the shooting. Gamers could play Kimveer Gill as they re-enacted his shooting rampage, which left 18-year-old Anastasia De Sousa dead and 19 others injured. Gill killed himself after a exchange of fire with police inside the college.
Virtuaman, who was identified as a 23-year-old Ontario man, wrote in an email to the Concordian that he made the game for many reasons – “none of which included shocking an entire city, or hurting a family,” making money or becoming famous. Instead, he had crafted the game to “try and draw attention to an issue in my generation, the issue of school shooters.”
Virtuaman, as it turns out, did not select Dawson for any specific reason. He had studied other shooters, and says his decision to run with Gill’s story “was chosen almost from the luck of the draw.”
Similar game recreations of real school shootings have been posted in the past, most notably the “Super Columbine Massace RPG” game by filmmaker Danny Ledonne in 2005, in the process of which he tried to understand the psyche of the Columbine shooters.
Virtuaman mistakenly expected his Dawson game, like others he had posted online in the last 10 years, would draw little attention.
The decision to take the game down was sparked by hearing the impact the game had had on De Sousa’s family: “My reaction to the mother of Anastasia being so upset over my game she couldn’t leave her house is… I removed the game from the Internet forever,” Virtuaman said.
“In the end, however, the game did shock people, and hurt them, so I am working hard to remove all traces of it from the Internet in hopes the family can sleep with peace of mind.”