One thing is very clear about video games and violence – there has NEVER been a causal link established between the two. There have been indications that violent media (not just games) desensitizes the impact of other violent media, and that exposure to violent media (again, not just games) causes short-term increased aggression.
But that has never stopped some from trying to blame violence on video games. It was done for Columbine, and ever since you can be sure if a young person commits a shooting rampage there will be an immediate look at the impact of video games. The finger-pointing blame-game played out as expected last month in Connecticut after that school tragedy, as NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre was quoted in this Forbes article:
Guns don’t kill people. Video games, the media and Obama’s budget kill people.
So it is pretty clear – the NRA is very heavily amongst those who believe that shooting weapons in video games leads directly to being a rampage killer. So their next course of action was clear – release a video game featuring shooting! No, really – that is EXACTLY what they did!
Here is part of the description:
NRA: Practice Range also offers a 3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations. It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible.
3 immersive shooting ranges
3 distinct difficult levels
Analog & Gyroscope game controls
Game Center integration
There is other stuff in the app, such as safety and other informational elements, but based on a quick check-out, the app is crap. It is a poorly done simulator that has no reason to exist aside from being an NRA commercial. My son has ‘gun apps’ that depict realistic models of weapons with accurate firing rates, sampled sounds (including falling shells) as well as gobs of factual minutia about the history, use in combat, pros and cons and so on. THAT app provides someone with an interest in guns a way to explore the long history of weapons in a deep and interactive way. NRA Practice Range? Not worth the small download.
Head to the iTunes App Store and check it out if you care!
And let us know what you think!