‘FPS’ doesn’t just stand for ‘feet per second’ any more. In the video game age, it also means ‘first-person shooter,’ the genre of generally ultraviolent, bullet-riddled military or sci-fi action games pioneered by Castle Wolfenstein 3D and now exemplified by the Halo and Call of Duty franchises. You have heard of Halo and Call of Duty, right?
These games are immensely popular. Despite their generally useless time-wasting character, they’ve introduced literally tens of millions of teenage boys (let’s be realistic here) to the joys of busting a whole lot of caps. Just as ‘Guitar Hero’ has drawn many gaming geeks into the world of guitar-slinging garage musicians, I think that the FPS shooter craze has probably helped fuel the recent increases in gun sales and CCW applications. And irresponsible YouTube shenanigans. Or not.
Either way, video game designers and critics both acknowledge the importance of so-called ‘gun porn’ in the design and marketing of FPS games. Design crews spend months building accurate 3d models of dozens of guns, wrapping them in just the perfect colors and textures, and capturing the sounds and physical dynamics of firing and reloading them. (And then they throw most of that physics stuff right out the window in favor of game balance and fun factor, but that’s another story.)
In the end, no matter how many thousands of virtual foes one has dispatched to their digital Valhalla, there’s a big difference between video-game fantasy and reality. Just like wet-behind-the-ears Lietutenant Gorman’s thirty-eight simulated combat drops in “Aliens”, playing make-believe doesn’t mean shit when it’s time to do the real thing. And by the ‘real thing’ here, I mean real shooting and not real combat.
‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ is currently the hottest FPS game on the market, and it’s got so much XXX gun porn that the pages of the game manual are stuck together. Players can air out their opponents with make-believe versions of thirty-five real-life guns, from a pheasant-worthy Citori or Orion over-under shotgun to the ‘WTF is THAT?’ WA2000 sniper rifle. Here’s a list of pistols, rifles, shotties, subguns and heavy iron. How many of these objects of FPS commando lust (or their civilian-legal variants) have you owned or shot?
‘Olympia’ (Generic over-under)
‘Stakeout’ (Remington 870 w/pistol grip, no buttstock)
Dragunov (includes PSL)
Accuracy Intl. L96A1
Devel ASP (S&W Model 39)
Sadly there is no actual prize up for grabs, but contestants will get bonus points for having fired a full-auto, suppressed or short-barreled ‘real thing.’ Otherwise, we’ll assume that you have complied with all local, state and federal laws, which is why I’m skipping the missile and grenade launchers.
For the record, my tally is 14, and my most exotic shoot was a semi-automatic 9mm Spectre machine pistol. FPS fanboys shouldn’t think too ill of me; my ‘Modern Warfare 2’ score was much higher, but times have changed and MW2 is so 2009…