A video game has been posted online where the player is set as the Dawson shooter.
By Elise Favis
‘Get ready to play Dawson College Massacre!’ reads the leading description of a controversial video game based on the 2006 Dawson shooting where the player is set in the character Kimveer Gill, the aim is to enter the school fully armed, shoot as many students as possible, and avoid interference from police.
The game first appeared on a website that acts as an online community last Wednesday, where creators can share their work freely, and receive reviews from one another. Although the site states they do not own any of the games users post.The game has now appeared on several more sites, and national media has been notified.
“I never made the game with the intention of hurting people’s feelings,” commented the game creator online. “Rather [I want players] to live the experience through the deranged killer’s eyes, and try to see it from his point of view.”
It has sparked outrage amongst students, leaving many appalled by what they perceive as a light-hearted mockery of a tragic event.
Soon after the game was posted, the Dawson Student Union (DSU) was notified by Samantha Hackel-Butt, a student during the time of the shooting.
“The few things I really remember from that day still haunt me,” she said. “After the event, I had panic attacks whenever I was in the atrium or Conrod’s.”
It has been four years since the Dawson Shooting, which left 19 injured and Anastasia De Sousa dead.
“It’s not right to create entertainment like this out of such a tragedy,” Hackel-Butt added. “It takes a community to stand strong against acts like school shootings and violence.”
The game appeared during an extremely sensitive time for the college, close to the anniversary of the Dawson Shooting. A day after the game was posted, a report detailing the post-psychological effects of the shooting was presented.
The DSU has insisted the game be shut down. “We’re hoping that the website takes the matter seriously,” said Mathieu Perron, DSU Executive Director.
Under Anastacia’s Law, Bill 9, the police were able to take the case. No criminal offences will be issued because the video game itself is not illegal.
“When we heard about it, we called Dawson College as soon as possible,” said Michaël Lessard, DSU Treasurer. “The next morning, we went to the Westmount Police Station, and made a report. It was then transferred, in person, to their [technology unit]. People should be aware that there are still people around like this.”
Pierre-Luc Scourge Lapointe, a mechanical engineering technology student, who witnessed the shooting, resents the game, “It’s horrible to think that someone took the time to make something so light-hearted about something so tragic.”
Lapointe hopes the game is taken down, “It is not only offensive, but shows a total lack of respect and human decency. I also wouldn’t mind a written apology from the individual.”
The DSU have contacted the website by phone and email.