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Games And Guns: The NRA, Education And The Choices We Make

WC: After the horrific events in Connecticut that saw 26 lives taken at a picturesque elementary school, the question of whether video games can induce violence in an individual has reared it’s head again. The biggest claim against the industry was by the NRA who partially blamed “vicious, violent videogames”.

While perhaps not viscous or violent, the NRA have come off looking more than a little hypocritical as they have released a new iOS game called NRA: Practice Range which places the player in a shooting range. The product description introduces the product as, “Meet NRA: Practice Range – the National Rifle Association’s new mobile nerve center, delivering one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources.” The game was originally billed as suitable for ages 4 and up, since the controversy has been shifted to 12 and up.

I think it is possible to see the NRA’s reasoning behind the game. By including information about laws, safety ‘tips’ and educational material, they are trying to educate players about gun safety so perhaps more ‘accidents’ could be avoided. But that leaves a huge question standing. Is normalisation of weapons really the right way to go? Do you want your child having been taught about how to ‘use’ or ‘handle’ a gun safely? That is where my strong opposition comes into it.

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