Games Lead to Guns. And That’s a Good Thing

courtesy

By Jason T.

Does any of this sound familiar?:

  • There are lots well-known people who don’t use or understand guns who wish to regulate or control them.
  • As soon as violence occurs that can be linked (even tangentially) to guns, certain people will raise a media ruckus, using the tragedy to enact stronger laws against the types of guns they don’t like.
  • There are people who make a living off of the fear of guns. They’ve been doing it for years.
  • The gun community is a large, diverse group, yet the “average American” has a caricature in their mind of what a gun owner looks like.
  • Guns can help start discussions of what beliefs we hold dearest. They can be used as tools to teach responsibility, our heritage, and can also be used as a catalyst for conversations with friends and family.
  • When someone commits a crime with a gun, the gun community as a whole is often blamed.
  • Those who enjoy guns in the US point to one of our first ten Constitutional Amendments as a clear reason why their legal ownership and use of guns is protected by the Constitution . . .


Now, all of those will seem pretty obvious to most gun owners. But you can take any or all of those points and replace the word “guns” with “videogames” and the points remain the same. For those who don’t know, gamers’ bete noir, their Dianne Feinstein, is a man named Jack Thomson, who’s tirelessly accused certain games of causing murders. Where gun owners point to the Second Amendment, many of those who play videogames point to the First.

As I entered college, I got into Fallout 3. The setting is a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C., and the player takes the role of  someone looking to survive and ultimately find their father. And while some may scoff, it’s the reason I am so interested in guns today.

The game first taught me that people without guns tended to die much quicker than those with them. It taught me that after firing many rounds without proper care, your weapon will probably malfunction, and almost certainly break. After two hours of playing, I had added several weapons to my backpack. I had to make a decision which guns to sell. Two of the guns took the same caliber round, so I sold the outliers and learned a valuable lesson about caliber commonality.

That lead to reading Jeff Cooper’s thoughts on “Ballistic Wampum”, which (invariably) brought me to gun and survival websites. That’s where I learned how invaluable medical care is after getting shot, which got me to take an EMT basic course. There I met a future mentor of mine who talked at length about different weapons and taught me the skill of shooting. And I haven’t looked back since.

Many of us have been at the range and heard a young adult or two excitedly talking about how a certain gun looked like one in a videogame they had played. You might have even scoffed when they called the magazine a “clip” or dismissed using an AR pattern rifle past 100 yards.

While it might seem strange, these people who are new to the gun culture are some of our strongest allies. The newer generation (those born in the 90’s and younger) is strongly pro-freedom and generally wish those in power would quit mindlessly regulating things they don’t understand. They’re people who fought for freedom on the internet when the US Senate tried to enact both SOPA and PIPA. They argued against California regulating their pastime more strongly than any other state, specifically because they thought the manufacturers did a good enough job self-regulating. Imagine if gun companies were supported in the same way. Magazine capacity restrictions might be manufacturer-dependent and you would hardly see state-specific guns being made (like the Seecamp .32CA).

Guns, like videogames, are mere tools. We who enjoy them responsibly should make it a point to teach as many young newcomers as we can. The alternative is even more laws made by those who don’t understand what they’re regulating.

comments

  1. avatar ProfBathrobe says:

    I don’t want to set the world on fire…

    1. avatar crosswiredmind says:

      Well … maybe Megaton … just once.

      1. avatar Dracon1201 says:

        …just after I quicksave…

      2. avatar Cortney says:

        +1. Was candidly surprised at what happened. I mean, I expected something cool, but… Whoa.

        1. avatar B says:

          I never could get into Fallout 3. It just seemed like random cliche quest after another thrown in just to be cool. Freaking love New Vegas though.

    2. avatar Nine says:

      I though Batarians did want Earth to burn though.

      1. avatar PNG says:

        Too bad the Reapers did that to them too… And Shepard took out the Alpha Relay.

  2. avatar Sam C says:

    When playing Fallout 3, you sold all weapons but the .32 Pistol and the Hunting Rifle? Or did you keep the 10mm Pistol and the Chinese pistol? In my many hours of experience, the .32 Pistol and the Chinese Pistol are the worst weapons in the game.

    If you kept the 10mm Pistol and the 10mm SMG, that would be reasonable. If otherwise, it would not be reasonable.

    1. avatar C says:

      The hunting rifle was my all time favorite in 3 and New Vegas. If you’re into the guns, NV is where it’s at. Probably the most technically accurate i’ve ever seen.

      1. avatar Brian S says:

        especially when you put the nightvision scope and suppressor on it 😀 (new vegas)

      2. avatar Eric G. says:

        I play New vegas every time I want to go shooting but can’t afford the ammo. All-American all the way

        1. avatar JW says:

          Gobi Scout Rifle when I want to Reach out and cap a Fiend. The light machine gun when I want to mow down a deathclaw.

    2. avatar Crazed Java says:

      In the early game when ammo is still relatively scarce it is best to save your .32 for the Hunting Rifle.

      As a gun guy, .32 out of a rifle makes zero sense, but that was the rules of the game and might as well maximize where you can.

      Funny thing is apparently ammunition after a nuclear apocalypse is still more plentiful than it was two months ago.

      1. avatar brianinca says:

        The bullet diameter .323 is 8mm Mauser (the Germans went to war with a hunting rifle….). The bullet diameter for .32 Spl is .312. The game designers must have felt really stupid about fouling something like that up, and the reworked New Vegas weapons were a big step up. My boys still play Fallout 3, but they recognize the limitations.

        Half the black rifle shooters at our range in the last 5 years have been kids that grew up WITHOUT DADS but as game players. They are motivated enough to teach themselves about firearms because of games and I think in part to figure out what being a man means. I really respect these kids, I’ve seen several (out of many dozens) that have brought their friends into the shooting sports – kind of substitute dads. How cool is that?

        Regards,
        Brian in CA

        1. avatar Jericho941 says:

          ” The game designers must have felt really stupid about fouling something like that up, and the reworked New Vegas weapons were a big step up. ”

          No; FO3 was developed in-house by Bethesda. New Vegas was published by Bethesda, but developed by a different team made up with a large number of former Fallout devs from the Black Isle/Interplay games.

      2. avatar Steve Truffer says:

        .327 federal has more energy at the muzzle than 5.56 when from an 18″ barrel… makes sense to me.

    3. avatar DJ says:

      Two words – “Lincoln’s Repeater”

      🙂

      1. avatar Mr. Lighter says:

        Bah. The sniper rifle and Blackhawk are where it’s at.

        Or, with the right skill set, the assault rifle. I could kill death claws in under one magazine.

        1. avatar Nine says:

          So I’m not the only one that questioned a .32 rifle.

          For 3 the 10mm SMG was go to gun for most situations, especially the Metro Tunnels.

          NV on the other hand begged for the Hunting Rifle or Train Carbine, all those wide open areas.

      2. avatar Aruges says:

        Lincoln’s Repeater is O.P. 😉

        1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

          I always liked the mini-guns (bullets or laser) for indoors. Sniper rifle outside until they got close.

        2. avatar Jacen says:

          That gun is fucking awesome. Ammo at first for it is hell to find, but once you get enough, you are unstoppable.

    4. avatar Pete says:

      Lincoln’s Repeater all day every day. Love that gun.

  3. avatar Crazed Java says:

    Just remember that the same people who want to restrict guns are the same people who want to regulate videogames and make sure we all drive fuel efficient cars with as many airbags as possible.

    Believe me, I belong to all three communities (Videogames, cars, and guns) and every single one of those communities is plagued by people who do not like them and would like to regulate them each into oblivion.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      ◾When someone commits a crime with a gun, the gun community as a whole is often blamed.

      “When an African-American commits a crime, African-Americans as a whole are often blamed.”

      Bigotry knows no color barrier and is not necessarily racism.

  4. avatar Hobbez says:

    Well spoken. Always remember, if they take any one amendment, they will take them all. The second protects the rest.

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      And I just saw a report that Congress is considering whether bloggers and non-professional reporters (i.e. not paid) should have the same protections as professional reporters. Just as I’ve never seen an asterisk with the 2nd amendment, same goes for the 1st. I just don’t get how someone that has sworn an oath to protect and defend the constitution can even entertain the idea that this merits discussion.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Those same linguistically challenged bureaucrats who cannot determine what “…shall not be infringed.” means obviously have the same difficulty with the phrase “Congress shall make no law…”

  5. avatar Shandower says:

    “Those who enjoy VIDEOGAMES in the US point to one of our first ten Constitutional Amendments as a clear reason why their legal ownership and use of VIDEOGAMES is protected by the Constitution . . .”

    Hrmm.. That substitution didn’t quite work out.

    Now, I’m as big of a Fallout fan as you could possibly find (I have a Pip-Boy right next to my portal gun), and I’m totally on board with the sentiment, but still.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      Arguing that they are protected by the 1st Amendment has shot down every attempt to make a governmental ban on selling MA games to minors.

      Oh, MA stands for Mature Adults, not Massachusetts. Then again, some people on here might like a ban on Massachusetts, too.

      1. avatar PNG says:

        The ESRB rates mature games as M; MA was actually from Sega’s own pre-ESRB rating system. I’m a geek, I know I am.

        1. avatar Gyufygy says:

          You are so very right. Think I had a brain fart and mixed it up with TV-MA. Derp.

      2. avatar PNG says:

        Ha, I can see that point of confusion! Especially considering that Sega hasn’t used its own ratings in nearly 20 years.

    2. avatar PNG says:

      SCOTUS ruled video games were constitutionally protected speech two years ago, striking down overly restrictive laws from you guessed it, Commifornia.

      1. avatar Gtfoxy says:

        Yet another ruling being ignored by our so-assumed rulers.

        Seriously, it is about time the courts started standing up for themselves and their rulings by mandating LEO enforcement of their rulings.

        Each divisionary judicial entity has constitutional control over its LEO equivalent. What it rules, it maintains power to enforce.

        When SCOTUS is not being listened to by POTUS or Congress, then their is Tyrrany afoot!

        They then have obligation to act in defense of the constitution.

        LEO (POTUS) does not have the “discretion” to ignore enforcements of constitutionaly sound judgements.

  6. avatar Scott D. says:

    While killing zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops with my 8-year old son, I asked him if he had thoughts of being violent to others because of playing video games. He replied, “No. Why?”
    “Because some people believe that playing video games makes you violent.”
    “That’s dumb. Watch out for that zombie! Double tap, Daddy! Ohhhh, head shot!”
    I like that kid.

  7. avatar Gyufygy says:

    I’m still waiting to fire a shotgun that shoots rockets.

    1. avatar DBPolice says:

      Get some Estes solid fuel hobby rockets and stuff them in some 12 gauge birdshot shells. Take out the shot and wad and most of the powder first. And fire them at night so you can see it all happen.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        I… I… I am so excited about this. There is no way this can possibly go wrong.

        1. avatar Alex Boshnack says:

          Also, eye protection. Possibly a parka with the hood up. And don’t be in an area that has a high risk of fire… or litigation. Sounds awesome though.

        2. This sounds like such a “hold my beer and watch this!” moment.

          Please do video it and post it on youtube.

          Especially if it goes wrong.

      2. avatar C says:

        I have all of the ingredients and a lot of time on my hands…….

  8. avatar Chris says:

    While I don’t believe that video games cause murders or violence, the repeated and sustained playing of extremely violent video games does desensitize kids to the natural human inclination to avoid violence. Read ‘On Killing’ by LtCol Dave Grossman, and the chapter on violent video games and how similar they are to the immersion training that police and military shooters receive. Again, they don’t cause kids to kill humans but they do reduce the inhibitions against killing as an option.

    1. avatar Erik says:

      Dave Grossman’s work is shoddy and imcomplete, it’s based off of several hypothesis that are not conclusively shown, and some of the source work he uses is questionable.

      you should look up “Tom Aveni, Dave Grossman debate” and take alook at that…

      1. avatar BDub says:

        Seconded. FOS, in fact.

        1. avatar Lucas D. says:

          My personal favorite about Grossman is that several studies he cites to prove his case cited him as their primary source. No disrespect to his rank, but the guy quite literally invents his own facts.

    2. avatar Ardent says:

      I’ve read On Killing and On Combat. Grossman usually has his act together but his rants on videogames strike me as nothing more than trying to make himself more relevant. It’s utter pop psychology garbage without.

      Saying that playing a violent video game desensitizes one to real violence is like saying that playing Mike Tyson’s punch out will make you a boxer or Mortal Kombat will make you start randomly throwing flying kicks at people.

      How far do we go? Games, then movies and TV, then books, then talking about violence? The old slippery slope and the nanny state mentality.

      Grossman points out that the juvenile school shooters played lots of video games as if it was significant. First off you’d have to be living under a rock not to get that teenage boys play lots of video games. He could just as well have said that the shooters had all recently broken out in acne or that they liked soda pop. If anything, the shooters sometimes excessive gaming was more likely due to feelings of isolation and depression, not the cause of it. Games can be an escape, and in bad circumstances act sort of like drugs, but they can’t and don’t make people kill.
      Think about the last time you played a violent video game and how you felt afterwards. Now think about all the times you’ve ever played one. Have you ever ended a gaming session feeling like you wanted to go try that out on a real person? The whole reason it’s fun is because you can’t really get hurt, you don’t have to have any guilt and there are no consequences. Transferring that to real life where none of those things is true ought to change everything. If the killers have difficulty separating fantasy from reality it would suggest psychosis. Blaming anything psychotics do on their environment is absurd since they aren’t operating within reality in the first place (by definition).

      Increasing disenfranchisement and alienation are real problems in society that can and do lead to metal illness and violent outbursts. Blaming it on something like video games ignores the real problem and is just a shortcut to thinking. Nothing as complex as juvenile violence ever has a cause so discrete and simple and Grossman know it.

      It’s the same old song as the antigunners sing only with a different subject. Guns, games, objects in general do not cause violence, drug prohibition, alienation, poverty and oppression cause violence.

    3. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      Chris, David Grossman is absolutely full of it.

      http://www.theppsc.org/Grossman/Main-R.htm

      1. avatar Chris says:

        Mr. Fleas, or can I call you Fleas? Thanks for the link. My original comment was in no way intended to say ‘ban violent video games.’ I was merely pointing out the similarities in immersive training that both military and LE organizations use now and violent video games. This immersion does not train shooters to kill, it conditions them to kill when necessary. However, unlike a despondent teenage boy (and yes, I have one) blowing away zombies at the rapid rate with no context or supporting ethical and law of war training, the military and LE balance this conditioning with ROE, ethics, LOW, shoot/don’t shoot training, etc… While I find Grossman’s work intriguing, for being a professional, Tom Aveni comes across in his responses as immature and petty. And, BTW, he owns a business and is trying to make money, and competing against Grossman, so he is not altruistic himself. I am just lashing out because I don’t have the fine motor skills to effectively play video games.

  9. avatar Leadbelly says:

    It’s not just guns or video games. There are simply people out there that think they should be able to tell everyone else what they can or can’t do, think, or feel on ANY subject. They are the common enemy of every worthwhile human being I’ve ever met.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      It must make them feel empowered…or self righteous…or elite, or all three.

  10. avatar Jesse Nelson says:

    Nniiccee… the Fallout series is one of my all times favorite games.

    Funny story there. I live in north Mississippi. Up near Ol’ Miss. And in Oxford has my FAVORITE gun store. Mississippi Auto Arms. I was in there a couple of years ago and one of the guys behind the counter was talking about how some of those college students came in after playing too much Call of Duty with the idea of picking up that SCAR or what ever they were playing with in the game. But most of the times they usually leave when they find out that a lot of these assault rifles are kind of expensive.

  11. avatar Cyrano says:

    I do think playing video games leads to an unrealistic idea of what guns are and how they function along with the seriousness of safety regarding their use. You play video games, you use firearms safely. You can’t shoot your self or others with a video game, you can with a gun. There is no connection with firearm operation and a gamer control. Too often I find my muscle memory developed over years of training with firearms useless and even obstructing good gaming. You might learn some teamwork as part of the games but you don’t learn good gun handling and accuracy. Games don’t teach breathing, trigger control, wind reading, recoil management, and ammo discipline. Game don’t teach real life dying either. An animal dies differently, on a hunt, than a zombie in a video game. I have been on hunts with people who game a lot. The comments coming from them are “boy I could shoot this deer easier in the game” “why do I have to wait so long out here?” “boy this gun is heavy” “I don’t need to practice with it, I hit my target all the time” “don’t worry, the gun is unloaded” …. Basically “WAHHHHH WAHHHH WAAAHHHH”. Only when that deer comes into sight and they hit it does the crybaby talk stops. Gaming gives people unrealistic expectations.

    1. avatar AnonymousOne says:

      “Gaming gives people unrealistic expectations.”

      Next thing I know, you’re going to start bitching about porn and how it’s the downfall of western society… :\

    2. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

      That’s because most games are well, games first and simulations of firearms second. Concessions are usually made in the name of what’s fun or what’s balanced. However, if you want to see a game that’s done its homework check out Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm. Bullet drop, adjustable sights- you can even adjust the RPM on the BAR. It actually takes a stab at realistically depicting WWII.

  12. avatar Renegade Dave says:

    As a reformed fan of video games, I can absolutely personally attest that I was a lot more callous and much more prone to objectifying people (read: only seeing their worth when they had some benefit to me, not acknowledging their inherent worth as human). They definitely do not promote good socialization or foster good social skills. At the end of the day, you’re not gaining anything by playing them other than enjoyment. Play an instrument, get better at making music; go jogging, get in better shape; Play video games, get…. .

    Saying all that to say this: I absolutely do not think video games should be censored, but I also do not wish to promote them, or even liken them to the cause of protecting a natural right. The RTKBA is a proxy for the right of the individual to defend himself in his natural environment. There is no natural right (that I can think of) that playing video games even comes close to. There is already precedence for speech being regulated (no four letter words on TV, in print, etc without hefty fines). The more popular games encourage over indulgence at best and violence at worst. Everything that is permissible is not necessarily beneficial.

    1. avatar Vendetta says:

      And yet the SCOTUS disagrees with your nonsense.

    2. avatar Crazed Java says:

      As a long time gamer, though I don’t play as often as I used to, and with two videogamer kids I think it’s all about perspective.

      When things get too intense, the games go off. That’s all part of the parental responsibilty. It’s also why I no longer play on-line because it made me agitated and high strung dealing with idiots after working all day. So I made a choice not to let them make me a worse person.

      Videogames are like anything, they can be an addiction. Just because it affects SOME people negatively is not a problem with the games themselves. When I’m in a car I turn into a bit of an a-hole. That doesn’t make the car bad.

      I think un-monitored and unlimited access to violent videogames is bad, but the same can be said about movies or tv. Granted, one is an interactive experience and the others are not. Still, part of making good choices is knowing when something is not making us better people.

      1. avatar Renegade Dave says:

        I’ve spent enough time with a headset on to learn that “moderation” is more the exception than the rule. I applaud you in your ability to find balance, but I couldn’t find it. I would argue that I’m far from the exception.

        Basically, the “you’re letting the TV raise your kids” argument has taken on a new face with video games. I think the culture propagated by the TV is garbage, and I think the culture propagated by video games is garbage.

        At the end of the day, it’s the individuals choice how to spend his free time.

        1. avatar Fred says:

          In the case of children it’s up to their parents. If you don’t want your kids playing violent videogames don’t buy them violent videogames. If they get them some other way take them away. Parents these days seem to want to be everyone’s friend at the cost of raising kids the right way, or at least what I would call the right way.

        2. avatar Crazed Java says:

          Moderation does appear to be the exception to me as well, but again we shouldn’t blame the games.

          If we go down the path of “We must do something about [X] because someone is doing something bad with it” then we end up in a position where people are trying to ban things “for the children”

          Oh wait. Crap.

        3. avatar Renegade Dave says:

          In no way am I even intimating that “something should be done”. I recognize the straw man argument is a popular debate technique on the interwebz, but, again, I’m not even suggesting “something should be done”.

    3. avatar Fred says:

      I don’t know about that, those lan-party days were pretty social, and I still sign into a Skype group or Teamspeak group to play games with people I haven’t talked to in a while that I couldn’t go for a jog or bike ride with due to distance. Pretty much the equivalent of a board game with a little more complexity.

      It depends on various factors, though, like what you play, how you play, how long you play, who you play with, what you take away from it, and your purpose for playing. We’re not really talking about the same thing because of a difference of scenarios. The same thing happens to guns and gun owners, as mentioned in the article. We’re not all the same, you can’t treat all videogames or videogame players the same. Someone that loses their house over WoW is pretty different than an average ArmA player.

    4. avatar Cliff H says:

      I enjoyed playing Call of Duty and my stepson (high school) got totally addicted to “Counterstrike”. I didn’t care much for the force-on-force game, but the result was that we had a lot of good conversations as to tactics, motives, ethics, real-world firearms, the unrealistic gaming scenarios, etc. For example, real Spec Ops soldiers would not hop across an open area in order not to get shot, nor would they simply run headlong into confrontation without regard to life and limb. He is now grown up, in his twenties, well adjusted, a VERY successful salesman, and as far as I know has never shot anyone even though he has a CCW and several weapons.

    5. avatar SpeleoFool says:

      Renegade Dave:

      If you didn’t get anything out of gaming, you played the wrong games. Or focused on the wrong things.

      My mom posed the question of what possible benefit so much video game time could have for me when I was a kid, burning hours and hours on the NES. I’m now going on 40, and still an avid gamer (when I feel like it, anyway), and I have plenty of good answers for that question:

      1. Problem solving skills. Nearly every type of video game poses some kind of challenge. If they don’t, they’re not much fun. Playing games is a good way to exercise creative problem solving–the games reward you for cleverly overcoming the challenges they pose.

      2. Cooperation. As much as I like Call of Duty and other shooters, I much prefer a good online co-op game to competitive multiplayer. Just my style, I guess. Playing co-op requires teamwork, communication, tactics and skill. I find that way more rewarding than just running around fragging people.

      3. Patience. Ever grind out a monotonous game for a near-eternity for some in-game reward? It takes patience, and that patience absolutely translates into a real world skill. I got into achievements on the 360, and I can’t even begin to describe some of the absurdly long hours I’ve put into certain achievements (reaching #1 in the GRAW leaderboards took hundreds of hours). I’ll be the first to agree that the 360 achievements are pretty meaningless, but what I got out of them is very real. That style of play helped me develop the patience to drive from Phoenix to Yellowstone with only stops for gas, and just recently I put in over 400 hours in a month to help avert a disaster at the office. I used the same patience to pay off $63k in college loans in under 3 years when I graduated–RPGs taught me that it’s better to grind early in the game and save up for the kickass sword, then romp all over enemies for the rest of the game. That works in real life, too.

      I could list more, but hopefully that’s enough to make a point. 🙂

      Cheers!
      Speleo.

      1. avatar Renegade Dave says:

        Speleo,

        I’m not asserting that there is no benefit, I am asserting that the same benefits can be had from other outlets AND provide you with a useful skill in the process. Take rec league sports for example. Both of the first two on the list can easily be checked off and the argument could be made for the third as well. In the process you would be having actual life on life encounters with people who live close to you, forging friendships in the process. Plus the added benefit of fitness and social capital you can relate to others with (in my years behind the sticks/ KBM it was rare I ran across anyone who cared). Change “team sports” to IDPA or Martial Arts, the list is still checked off, still get the bonus of community and swap the skill set. It doesn’t necessarily need to be sports, there are loads of options that still refine character plus give the bonus of enjoying community and a real world skill.

        1. avatar SpeleoFool says:

          Well, sure. I’d agree there are lots of different paths to growth in life. Not to knock your suggestion on team sports (it’s a good one), but that kind of thing bores the snot out of me. Caving and canyoneering, on the other hand, have the same elements of being physically demanding, personally challenging, and requiring teamwork to succeed is tops of my list. Maybe it’s something about keeping score? I dunno. That’s just me.

          It’s worth pointing out that gaming alone doesn’t provide a great balance, but then I don’t think any one hobby or activity can. Caving, canyoneering, music, guns and a bunch of my other interests have all helped me grow in different ways.

          As for friendships forged, I’ve made some good friends from all over the world via XBox live. Enough so that I’ve been to a wedding in TN, took a vacation to Washington, and even helped fly a couple friends out here to AZ (to go shoot styrofoam heads filled with Tannerite, as it happens).

          Anyway, sorry if gaming was not a rich & rewarding outlet for you; my experiences have been different, and I think I’ve rambled on long enough about them. Thanks for the reply.

          Cheers!
          Speleo.

    6. avatar Pyro says:

      Replying to your comment on gaming’s causing antisocial tendencies. I know players in New York, California, Florida, Texas, Austria, Australia, Canada(actually a Cop) and Connecticut. All of whom I would consider friends and who would pick me up from an airport. Through playing on gaming teams I built friendships with people way outside of my geographical location. Gaming for me has definitely been an experience filled with relationships of teammates and friends.

      1. avatar Renegade Dave says:

        How many of them will help you move in? How many of them will bring you a meal if you get sick? How many of them can you share your life with outside of the context of video games? I used to think the same way as you before I hung up my headset.

        1. avatar aff89 says:

          If they were near me? Every single one of my friends would. We’ve all passed around money to get a buddy through a tough time…or just get him into a game we were all loving so we could play it together. I’m currently looking at options to move. Three areas are near friends. They’ve offered to let me live with them, rent free, until I can find an apartment. Two might be my roommates if I end up there. We talk about everything. I’ve dealt with depression a lot and they’ve all been there. They were there when I split with my long time girlfriend.

          Just because you apparently didn’t have good friends you played games with doesn’t mean others don’t. I’m not sure why you think the only way someone can relate is through the game itself…

        2. avatar SpeleoFool says:

          For what it’s worth, my wife is a gamer. We didn’t meet through a game, but the fact that we’re both gamers was a definite factor in our getting together. Her game of choice was an online RPG called “Kingdom of Loathing” that has a pretty huge cult following. In fact, there’s an annual get-together (KOL-Kon) that draws hundreds of people from around the world. Many of her close friends, and now mine, are fellow KOL players. These are people who absolutely would (and do) drop everything to help one another. We get together like any other group of friends with a common bond does, and I actually have helped some of them move!

        3. avatar Renegade Dave says:

          aff89 I’m not contesting that friendship can take place on internet. My point is that having friends close by is more valuable then friends far away.

  13. avatar Augur says:

    I still remember how Leland Yee said that “Gamers have just got to quiet down. Gamers have no credibility in this argument.” http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/01/25/anti-game-lawmaker-says-gamers-don-39-t-have-credibility.aspx

    I only wish people would treat this statement the same way as if he had said that gun owners have no credibility.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      Holy crap, he really is just that much of an asshole. “I don’t agree with you, so you have no credibility.”

  14. avatar Trogdor says:

    And yet we still can’t have Holy Hand-grenades. 🙁

  15. avatar Fred says:

    I began playing PC games very young, along with my brother, with games like Frontline and Warcraft I and II, but the first games I played seriously, as in I could grasp what was going on, were Diablo for a short while then Diablo II and Starcraft enough to wear out two mice. The Diablo series is known for being dark and exceedingly gorey, plunging players literally into hell. You slash through thousands of demons, yet my brother and I never started sword fighting in the basement, despite having an ample sword collection on the wall about three feet from our computers. See, my dad, who usually played with us, taught us we were fighting evil creatures for good, not just indiscriminately killing for fun. I recent reinstalled Diablo II to go through a quick nostalgia run and was shocked at all the gore I did not remember. I’m pretty sure we were more interested in the stats of our gear than the gore.

    Games do not dictate behavior, they reinforce pre-established patterns of thinking and behavior. Parenting determines the patterns of thinking and behavior, but we all knew replacing real parenting with the media is bad already, right?

  16. avatar Nine says:

    Wait a second…

    What the hell happened in that screenshot?

    1. avatar PNG says:

      Looks like the Lone Wanderer fatally kneecapping a super mutant with a 10mm autopistol in the postapoc epic Fallout 3. Amazing game, one of this gen’s finest.

      1. avatar Nine says:

        But look at the Mutant, he’s upside down.

        The 10mm isn’t so strong as to flip one of those big SOBs.

        1. avatar Somethingsomething says:

          It’s just the physics engine. When you kill something, they tend to tumble.

        2. avatar PNG says:

          Rule of Cool, my friend, Rule of Cool.

  17. avatar Crashbbear says:

    Fallout: New Vegas got me into reloading. And both games are the reason for my love of the 10mm cartidge.

    If only i could get a Gauss Rifle in real life…sigh.

    1. avatar DBPolice says:

      The power of 10mm is horribly under rated in F3 but in NV they almost fixed it.

  18. avatar JoshinGA says:

    Videogames are an avenue with which you can get younger generations interested in guns. I played games like call of duty, the battlefield series, etc which is what first piqued my interest in firearms. And I dont think Im alone. Point blank I wouldnt be a first generation gun owner and staunch supporter of the 2nd without video games.

  19. avatar Gareth A says:

    Sort of how I got into reading sites like this. I got some of my likes for firearms from movies and games (had a phase where I loved muzzleloaders after “The Patriot”).

    I only really got into the political side after a few issues regarding my hobby of Airsoft. There were a few untruths said that led me to more from our anti group in the UK, ended up reading more and more until I ended up on American sites, and agreeing with more than a bit of what’s said.

    I still take some small inspiration from games – my “primary” AEG is based off New Vegas’ “Marksman Carbine”.

    Interesting look at the subject, Dan.

    1. avatar zora says:

      +1 for airsoft! the only way I can take something that looks like an AR, feels like an AR, has a barrel shorter than 16 inches (take that NFA), and use it to shoot other people with everyone going home at the end laughing.

      1. avatar Sandman says:

        Thats best thing! I would much rather be outdoors hunting humans in non-lethal force on force then inside playing video games. However, the videogames are saved for later that night… 🙂

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    I feel kinda left out of this conversation since the last video game I played was Pong in a bar back in 1972. I’m not sure that it made me a more violent person, but it did increase my interest in beer.

  21. avatar zora says:

    Why the heck don’t we have FATBOYS yet?

  22. avatar DBPolice says:

    The nanny left wing types have to go after everything cool. Cars, guns, and games. Thats why I play games that include cars armed with guns.

    1. avatar JuanCudz says:

      Old skool ‘Car Wars’ by Steve Jackson Games?

  23. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    Very cool so see all the video game love here. I felt pretty out of place when I first stumbled on TTAG. I grew up in an anti-gun house, and only really got into guns relatively recently (maybe 3-4 years ago, now) because gaming gave me the notion that it might be fun to try target shooting & see if I was any good at it. And I liked the idea of owning guns, ‘cuz freedom.

    Anyway, it’s nice to see gaming accepted as a valid path into gun culture. Seems like I’ve got more company that I realized.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      SHUT UP, NOOB, UNINSTALL YOUR GAME AND CRY

      That should make me feel more at home. 😀

      1. avatar SpeleoFool says:

        Yeah…. Well, at least you nailed why I stick to party chat and don’t accept random friend requests on XBox Live. Now where’s my mute button… 😉

        1. avatar Gyufygy says:

          When I used to play on X-Box Live with my old roommates, we’d race to see who could mute all the other players fastest.

        2. avatar Al says:

          Your mute button is mapped to ALT-F4.

          (helping with the welcome wagon)

  24. avatar Mediocrates says:

    Post apocalyptic Washington DC.. Huh huh… Huh…

    Young people aren’t scared of guns if taught to respect them early enough. My father took me hunting when I was seven.

    1. avatar Crashbbear says:

      and your point is what? I play the hell out of some fallout, and was hunting when I was a kid (and now too) I’ve been handling 12 gauge shotguns since i was 8 and .22 pistols since before that.

      so go be a curmudgeon somewhere else.

    2. avatar CyborgCowboy says:

      What’s funny is that in the Fallout universe, post-apocalyptic Washington DC is still a hellhole some 200 years after the nuclear war, while in the West where New Vegas and 1 and 2 take place they’ve started rebuilding society. Although the New California Republic can’t shake the bureacracy that being from California entails.

  25. avatar MojoRonin says:

    Gotta love the Python in Half Life (but why only 36 rounds max?), I’m a fan of Fallout: New Vegas more so than Fallout, primarily for the weapon variety and detail – handloads, anyone? Give me the 1911 from the Honest Hearts DLC (concealable in the casinos), This Machine (the 308 rechambered Garand), and Boone with the Gobi Campaign Rifle (make sure it stays repaired), and you got most of your FNV threats covered.

  26. avatar DMZ says:

    Video games can help fill the familiarity gap of fewer people hunting with guns because of an increased urban population. Like ’em or not, Wayne LaPierre was insane to blame them after Newtown. It’s self-destructive to the cause.

  27. avatar JW says:

    I used to be an adventurer, until I took an arrow to the knee…

    1. avatar Nine says:

      I used to be a Courier like you, then I took a bullet in the head.

      Fallout: New Vegas FTW!

  28. avatar JW says:

    Fallout was an eye opener for me when I was in High School ( talking old school people). It became a favorite as it made me realize how easy it was to get capped by something more badass (Supermutant with Minigun, anyone?). After a long hiatus from games I bought Fallout 3 and was immersed into a world that did not respect anything except who was stronger and better skilled. As an adult it led me to learning about and respecting Firearms. It also led me to really wanting a plasma caster and t51b power armor. Hey, it’s good to have goals…

  29. avatar karl h. says:

    bros, bros, bros, we need to stop arguing. clearly the best small arm in fallout 3 was the reservist’s rifle. that game is so great. reservist/vicotry rifle, deathclaw gauntlet combo… best ever.

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