‘Sniper 3D Assassin’ Video Game Urges Gamers To Kill Journalists
A twisted video game showcased on Apple and Android devices urged gamers to take down reporters for the headlines before the level was taken down by developers.
“Sniper 3D Assassin”, available on iPad and smartphones, had a mission dubbed “Breaking News” in which a journalist was targeted alongside murderers and ruthless thieves, according to the Washington Post.
“A reporter has bribed a cop and is going to retrieve a cop’s briefcase,” the game told players armed with virtual sniper rifles. “The briefcase is full of sensitive documents. Make it famous in a different way.
Once the journalist was killed, a text was displayed stating: “THIS IS A COVER STORY”.
Players embarked on the ominous mission after previously killing a gunman who slaughtered innocent people in a pizza place and someone who stole a backpack, according to the newspaper.
The popular mobile game, developed by Brazilian tech company TFG, is rated 4 1/2 stars and has 12 million reviews. It is available on iOS and Android.
“Grab your sniper, aim and start shooting your enemies,” a description of the game reads.
But the video game storyline comes as attacks on journalists have skyrocketed in recent years – and after President Trump called journalists “enemies of the people.”
The First Amendment boosters were outraged by the game glorifying violence.
“Well that’s horrible,” a Twitter user said on Saturday.
New York Times reporter Jamal Jordan tweeted that his nephew brought his attention to the game.
“My nephew is 10, and we had a really long conversation afterwards,” Jordan told the Huffington Post.
Michael Mac-Vicar, a representative for TFG, said the game was meant to be a fun fantasy.
“Our Sniper 3D Assassin game is fictional and aimed at a mature audience”, Mac-Vicar says HuffPost. “We are working to create games that bring fun and entertainment to users around the world. As such, we take feedback from our players very seriously. “
He added, “After listening to our community today, we have decided to remove the ‘Breaking News’ mission from the game.”
Apple and Google did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Post.