The game lets the user us an AR-15 assault rifle to shoot school children
The game lets the user us an AR-15 assault rifle to shoot school children

An online game in which you can re-enact the Sandy Hook school massacre in which 26 people, including 20 children, were killed has angered the families of the victims.

The game entitled The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School was available to play on four websites, but has since been taken down from one.

In the game, players are told to act out the day's event of the tragedy which occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, last December. These include instructions to shoot the mother of the gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, before collecting more weapons and ammunition to shoot children and teachers at the school.

The game, which has was created by Ryan Jake Lambourn, has been described as "disgusting" and "absolutely sickening" following its creation. Lambourn has defended the game, saying its intentions was to promote stricter gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

The family of Victoria Soto, one of the teachers at the school who was murdered at the school, condemned the game as it appeared online close to the anniversary of the shooting.

The Soto family said in a statement: "The constant barrage of negative backlash we face as a family is unimaginable. We constantly have to battle people who still to this day, think Sandy Hook is a hoax. For those people I can only say I hope you never have to go through what we do as a family.

"On top of all that, as we are trying to summon up the courage and composure to face the one year anniversary, we learned about a video game that was made called.

"We do not encourage this game, nor do we condone it. We only bring attention to it so that we can perhaps reach the maker and make him understand why his message was delivered in the most inappropriate way.

"We cannot understand why anyone would think what happened at Sandy Hook is something that can or should be made into a 'game'. This is real life to us. Every day."

Ryan Jake Lambourn also made a game inspired by the Virginia Tech shooting
Ryan Jake Lambourn also made a game inspired by the Virginia Tech shooting

Lambourn defends the game in a message at its end credits. He explains how he was motivated to create it after moving to Sydney, Australia - a country which made radical changes to its gun laws following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people were shot.

"Guns are no longer a noticeable part of Australian culture," he said.

"Here we are nearly a year after the Sandy Hook shootings in which 26 people were killed and absolutely nothing positive has come out of it," he said.

The game also tells players how to contact their local state governors and congressmen in a bid to get them to chance gun laws in the US and a link to a website which updates with information about gun legislation.

Following the controversy surrounding his game, Lambourn also tweeted: "The liberals don't like me because I've disrespected the dead. The conservatives don't like me because of the gun-control message.

"The conspiracy theorists don't like me because it risks informing people of what happened. And the trolls don't like me because it wasn't edgy enough."