Would-be politician created video game where players shoot gay people at pride parades

Happy Culture Shootout. Screencapture via PressProgress.

Meet Mario Greco, a high school teacher and aspiring Canadian politician for the People’s Party. Greco has come under fire from critics for a video game he created in college called “Happy Culture Shootout,” a shooting game in which players attack characters depicted by cultural stereotypes, including mass shootings of LGBTQ people at pride parades.

Canadian publication PressProgress reports that Greco continues to defend the game, which he insists is not violent or hateful. Other evidence, however, calls that claim into question.

“They’re not dying in the game, no one’s dying in the game, there isn’t a single person that dies in the game,” Greco claimed to PressProgress. “They’re beams of light, no one’s dying, they’re being sent to Happy Land because the goal was to end war and discrimination.”

Interesting that the game doesn’t involve “shooting” haters, but rather the innocent. For that matter, interesting that the game involves removing the victims of discrimination to end social tensions. Moving on…

PressProgress further reports that the outlet obtained a since-deleted video of Greco defending the game taken while still studying at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. In it, he rebukes his classmates, one of whom called the game “the most racist game I’ve ever played.”

Related: Police department says it’s really sorry for running recruitment ad on antigay alt-right website

“My friends and I love people of all cultures and we also love humour of all types,” Greco said in the video. “That includes harmless racist jokes. This game was intended to make a joke about how ridiculous cultural stereotypes are so we can all laugh about it together and move on with our lives.”

Greco also claimed his friends thought the queer pride level was “hilarious” and further claimed the game is “not racist in the slightest.”

The game designer fingered those offended by the game as the source of the controversy. “People can believe what they want of pieces of art,” Greco claimed to PressProgress. “These days anything could be perceived as racist.”

PressProgress has called that assertion into question. The outlet further reports that Greco admitted to omitting a Jewish level from “Happy Culture Shootout” at the insistence of an instructor. The site also documented tweets from Greco in which he referred to Critical Race Theory as “cancer,” and another in which he drew a picture of Pepe the Frog, an icon commonly associated with the alt-right on online forum 4chan. The same image also contained a reference to “Kekistan,” a fictional country imagined by alt-right trolls. On his election profile site, Greco also claims he refuses to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He has also published photos of himself wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Mario Greco is currently seeking a seat in the Canadian House of Commons in the Vaughan—Woodbridge district of Ontario. The election will be held this September 20.