“It’s not a real AR-15,” motherboard.vice.com asserts, “but it sure looks and handles much like one. Anton Hand created it for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset using custom-made parts by his friend Nightfrontier, and he uses the Vive’s motion tracking controllers to handle it much as someone would handle a real weapon. The main differences are concessions allowed for interactive feedback, such as the way the rifle makes an audible ‘click’ when you try to fire it with the safety on. As Hand admits in the Reddit thread announcing the rifle, real one wouldn’t.” So, other than OCD gun nerd stuff, what’s the problem? Glad I asked . . .
It’s also potentially controversial territory, particularly since the AR-15 has been the weapon of choice in the numerous mass shootings of recent years. Gunmen used it to kill 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary and a dozen at the Colorado theater shooting in 2012, 14 people in San Bernardino, and nine people just last October in Umpqua, Oregon. Just last Thursday, an editorial went up in The Washington Post from Mark and Jackie Barden, whose son Daniel died at Sandy Hook, arguing that the sale of AR-15 rifles should be banned in the United States.
As such, it presages future debates over the meaning of violence in video games if this kind of thing ever makes it to the big-name shooters.
Huh? It’s not as if the AR-15 — and “worse” (i.e. better) — aren’t featured in all the popular firearms-related video games. Why would a more accurate AR-sim cause conniptions? Because guns! Yes, well, the video game biz is worth about $55b per year compared to annual firearms and ammunition sales of $13.5b, that signal ain’t gonna be stopped.