STAFF REPORT ISB: A screen grab from the video game “Pakistan Army Retribution,” set during the 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, has been removed from the site.
Online critics call it “distasteful” and said that the attack was “no game”.
The first-person shooter (FPS) game, called “Pakistan Army Retribution,” invited gamers to play the role of a Pakistani soldier ridding a school of insurgents. It was removed from circulation on the internet.
It begins with a rousing rendition of the Pakistan national anthem, before recreating in nine levels the terrible events that comprised Pakistan’s worst-ever insurgent attack, in which 145 people, including 132 children, were killed.
A review by a local English-language news outlet called the decision by developer Punjab Information Technology Board, a government agency, to base the game on the infamous attack saying it has failed on every front.
Punjab IT Board Chairman Umar Saif later took to Twitter to acknowledge that the game was “in poor taste,” and said that by removing it the company had made “amendments”.
He later told the media that the government had run a campaign around the first anniversary of the attacks, which the game was part of, to unite the nation in “peace and harmony.”
However he admitted that the game was inappropriate and its release poorly handled — adding that it had opened a Pandora’s box of issues surrounding radicalization and that the game’s release was also causing security issues, but declined to elaborate.