A big thing that hit the gaming news world this week was that the National Rifle Association (NRA) in America had released a game app on to Apple’s iOS system that used a variety of weapons in a shooting range. The game was rated for ages 4+ and up.
This app release comes weeks after the NRA condemned the video game industry over violent video games, which it blames the Sandy Hook tragedy. The NRA thinks that because Adam Lanza (the accused shooter) was a fan of Call of Duty that was enough to blame video games for his actions.
This isn’t the first time that the NRA has been so obviously hypocritical on the subject. After the shooting, the NRA came out and condemned video games but neglected to remember that in September 2006, they realised a PS2 game called “NRA Gun Club” which was rated 14+ ESRB. I’m not sure how the NRA has managed to remain so strict about their views and stare straight through their own hypocrisy.
While I believe that there may be some truth to the idea that violent video games beget more violence, I don’t believe it’s the sole reason for the string of shootings that happen in America. There seems to be issues that run further than the superficial idea of video game violence. Mental health is a major player and so are the socio-economic situations these people are in.
President Obama has started to introduce stricter gun control laws, which I’m generally in favour for because I’ve seen it work here in Australia. After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, the Australian government introduced harsher gun penalties. These laws have ensured that we haven’t had more tragedies like Port Arthur and we’re better for it.
Let’s hope our American friends can stop shifting blame and start actually trying to work towards a solution that encompasses everything involved.