The new game “Practice Range” from the National Rifle Association is already generating a lot of controversy – as the current moral panic over gun continues to escalate nationwide.
Rather than getting caught up in emotionalism, let’s remember that any links between simulated violence and actual violence have proven tenuous at best, and that nations
around the world with plenty of violent entertainment do not share America’s tragic history, which itself becomes exaggerated by self-serving alarmists.
Everyday violence is a big problem and its heavily gendered character rarely gets addressed directly. And guns kill people like nothing else. But the NRA game is little more than a poorly timed and crassly advanced public relations effort. It’s not going to hurt anyone. As CBS reports about the game.
“The NRA is offering its own self-branded video game for free to the public: ‘NRA: Practice Range,’ which is available for free on the iPhone and iPad. The game is rated for ages four and up. In response to a suggestion that it was wrong to develop a game for those aged ‘4 and up,’ developer Medl Mobile said “the NRA app is to promote gun safety, not “for kids aged 4+,” according to Kotaku, a web site that focuses on the video game industry. According to the game description, the app ‘puts the NRA’s broad scope of resources in the palm of your hand – with 2nd Amendment newsfeeds, gun law information centers and educational materials that you can access anywhere, anytime.’
In addition to news, the app also has ‘a 3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations. It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education.’ Based on that description, the game is not similar to the violent shooters LaPierre condemned post-Newtown. It does, however, make the simulation of shooting guns freely available to almost any person with access to an iPhone or iPad, “allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible.”