Update: an earlier version of this story referred to the ceasefire as a 'boycott'. After constructive feedback, we agree this doesn't describe the event in the correct light, and have updated our story accordingly.

Gamers are being urged to down their weapons on Friday as a mark of respect to the victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The campaign has been launched by gamers amid a fierce debate about the cultural influence of violent video games.

Several newspapers and high-profile people in both the UK and US have criticised violent games in recent days. Some have even sought to make a direct link between the killer and the fact that he was a gamer.

Others have criticised those comments, arguing in part that millions of people buy violent video games and virtually none ever commit any act of real-life violent crime.

The Facebook group calling for the one-day ceasefire- Day Of Ceasefire For Online Shooters - said it is staying out of the debate on responsibility for violence, but wanted to hold the event as a mark of respect.

"We are simply making a statement that we as Gamers are not going to sit back and ignore the lives that were lost. Instead we will embace the families with our love and support."

The man leading the group - Antwand Pearman, CEO of gamerfitnation.com - said he wanted to show gamers are "mindful" of violence and its real life consequences.

In a video he called for gamers for "just one day, just show that you have a heart. show that despite what people might portray you as, you give a damn".