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El Paisano

Online Groups Make Stand on School Shooting & Shooters

Cesar Gonzalez, Reporter

 

        Steam, or steampowered.com, is an online gaming site where individuals connect through one access portal. Once there, players can create and play various online games whether it be on a PC, Mac, mobile device, or television. It is also a place to meet new people, join game groups, gain friends, and compete in the gaming world. Like any other huge online site, it features a downloadable app which allows one on the go gameplay. With over hundreds of games available for streaming, it really is gamer-heaven. So, what has been really catching the attention of different players throughout this community? Message boards and forums are the parts of the site which help different players better interact  across the globe. There, topics can be formed and discussed so it makes for searching a particular subject easy and accessible.

        With the overall recent events of school shootings with “school-shooters,” the Steam message board users are very awake and aware of what has been going on in spite of their busy online lives. Like any other argument that forms, opinions are made as well and sides are taken. The topic of being the skill set needed to be a school-shooter is brought  into the light by players taking a stance on the matter. Different groups are formed, like one neo-Nazi “Atomwaffen Division,” which was flagged to the attention of online players and even Vice’s tech offshoot, Motherboard.

        In an online world where one’s voice can prompt for creating these kinds of hate-groups attracts a certain type of audience. One user, by the name of “School Shooter 66” have claimed, “Plan to shoot up Forest Lake state school,” the user said, “I plan to bring an M16, 3 mags, suicide pills and an axe.” This particular user belonged to a Steam group called “School Shooting Squad” located in Australia. One group has even go as far as to be called “Future School Shooter Material,” and has amassed over 106 members and pride themselves on becoming future school-shooters. The group represents itself as promoted, “a group dedicated to the bright young minds who are tortured by bullies,” going on to encourage prospective members to  join if they “want to be a future school shooter.” Others create Steam groups dedicated to past school shooters like Elliot Rodger who killed six people at the Santa Barbara University school campus.

Another Steam group called themselves “School Shoot Gang” and had a picture icon of the Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold.  Other groups are fully dedicated to killers like Elliot Rodger, George Zimmerman, and even Charles Manson. One user that belonged to a Steam group that called the California-shooter, Elliot Rodger, an American hero stated, “I am like Elliot Rodger. Don’t you worry guys, I will prove it!” A Steam user back in December 7, 2017, named William Edward Atchinson made his racist and murder-hungry comments public on Steam’s forums before he took to action and killed two students and himself in New Mexico.

When using the search engine on the Steam website, terms like “Nazi” brings about 7,893 results, and 4,520 results for “N-word.” While some gamers argue that video games aren’t to blame for such violent acts, others oppose that they are a prime cause for school shootings. Valve (valvesoftware.com), the company that owns and runs Steam, is based in Bellevue, Washington,and has not made any actions or comments regarding the matter. The main concern here seems to be a precautionary one, but through it all freedom of speech and assembly rights are protected under laws. However, to what extent are Steam users willing to violate the Rules and Regulations to make a point? Details about Rules and Regulations can be found at https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=4045-USHJ-3810. Hopefully soon Valve can put an end to such behaviors online, and perhaps prevent more school shootings like the one in Parkland, FA.

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Online Groups Make Stand on School Shooting & Shooters