clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What is Kindergarten Killer, the NRA's showpiece for video game violence?

In a press conference earlier today, the National Rifle Association's executive vice president Wayne LaPierre blamed violent video games as a contributor to last week's Sandy Hook school shootings, citing Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, Splatterhouse and a free flash game called Kindergarten Killer as examples of games with destructive influence.

Kindergarten Killer?

La Pierre said the media has been hiding the existence of web-based Kindergarten Killer, making it his showpiece for the "dirty little truth" that an activist media works to conceal a culture of violence so it can be sold back to consumers.

"It's been online for 10 years," La Pierre said of the free Flash game. "How come my research department could find it and all of yours either couldn't or didn't want anyone to know you had found it?"

Kindergarten Killer is a first-person shooter in which players must kill the principal of an elementary school. Players use a rifle to shoot small children armed with guns as they run through the halls.

The free browser game was published in in 2002 to flash game site Newgrounds, from which it has since been removed, and to the personal website of then 18-year-old Gary Short, a student attending the University of Central England in Birmingham. Here's an excerpt from Short's website wherein he describes his evolution from creating websites to creating games and movies for the "Newsgrounds crowd."

At one point I tried pandering to the Newgrounds crowd (Ninja Turtles NES, Skate or Die, anyone?) to get more hits and better flash movie scores but I became sick of it. Now I just do stuff that I feel like doing (The Blue Blob series, Charles Arse) which get low scores and much abuse from the Newgrounds crowd, but I don't care. Kindergarten Killer was pretty popular though and got me loads of visitors, and still does.

Newgrounds creator and owner Tom Fulp told Polygon that in January 2012 the author asked to have his account deleted from the website and his games taken down. A gravestone on the site lists its "life" as just under a decade, from April 3, 2002 to January 26, 2012.


The game was also published to Ebaumsworld, from which it has also been removed, giving users a 404 image in its place.

Kindergarten Killer was also removed from a Finnish children's gaming site in 2008 a week after an incident in which a 22-year-old student killed 10 people in a school in Finland. Emails to Short have gone unreturned at the time of publish.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon