Flash game V-Tech Rampage is continuing to draw widespread ire and condemnation, both for its tasteless content as well as the complete indifference to the uproar surrounding the game shown by its creator.
Senator Helen Coonan, Australian Minister of Communications, has said that she will be instigating an “official investigation” of the game. She also added that she believed the game’s creator, Ryan Lambourn, should seek some form of therapy or counseling, saying, “The individual responsible for the game is using a terrible tragedy to draw attention to himself and his work. It is in very poor taste and the person concerned may want to consider getting some professional help.”
Lambourn, an Australian who lived in the United States until he was 14, responded to the furor surrounding his game by asking for money to take it down. Backlash against the game forced his hosting service to take his personal site down completely, but the game is still available on Newgrounds. “My site is down because they got too many angry emails and they won’t put it back up with Vtech still on it. At least newgrounds still believes in freedom of speech, thanks,” Lambourn said.
Meanwhile, New York State Senator Andrew Lanza is calling on retailers, manufacturers and web hosts to boycott the game, apparently unaware that as a flash game produced by an individual, retailers, manufacturers and the game industry as a whole have absolutely nothing to do with it. “There are certain things in life you don’t make light of and should not be turning into a game,” he said. “It’s not a game, it’s a tremendous loss of life.”
In the game, players take on the role of Seung-Hui Cho, who went on a killing spree at Virginia Tech on April 16, murdering 32 people before killing himself. While most observers believe V-Tech Rampage was initially created as a cheap publicity stunt, Lambourn has so far vigorously defended the game and his refusal to take it offline. “Yeah, it’s staying up – freedom of speech, man,” he said in the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia. “Someone is offended by something all the time – it doesn’t matter what it is.”