259: Gunners and Gamers

Russ Pitts

The Boss of You
May 1, 2006
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Gunners and Gamers

Guns and games typically only come up in the same news story when it involves a horrific act of violence. But what about all the responsible enthusiasts out there who simply want to enjoy their favorite pastimes? Russ Pitts speaks with gamers and gun owners about their dual hobbies.

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BrotherRool

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Oct 31, 2008
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I feel that there is a huge cultural divide here. To me lots of the article didn't make sense and that's because I believe the UK has such a completely different attitude to guns. We definitely have the COD4 affect here (it convinced my brother that he wanted to join the army) but you get very few people over here who campaign for gun ownership.

Other than that it was an interesting article, but the statistics were dodgy. Trying to fob off the higher death rate by cars is a bit ridiculous because it takes no context into account. It's the equivalent of suggesting that it's okay to order 20 000 people into an acid bath, because more people die from cars. You're not thinking of percentage use of the thing (cars are used far more often than guns), or of the need. Cars are much more necessary than guns.

You're also falling into the trap of 1 death is a tragedy and 30 000 is a statistic. Sure 15 000 deliberate shootings is a lower number than 30 000. But listen. 15 000 people died. That's every single person you have every loved or known in this world. Maybe it's every single person you've ever had contact with. You can't fob it off with comparisons, instead you've got to look at each life and wonder if it was really worth losing.

Finally correlation doesn't equal causation. There are fartoo many variable to compare percentage drops and rises. And of course, crime statistics are terribly unreliable

I'm not going to simplify the situation, I haven't presented any arguments that a gun ban is a good thing. All I'm saying is that neither have you (in fact 15 000 deaths due to shooting was far and above what I was expecting, that's like 5% of your entire population compared to 42 over the whole of Britain. 5% compared to 0.000001%), and that no-one really knows. We've got to focus on close case-specific studies before we can prove or disprove any link.
 

Quintin Stone

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Aug 11, 2006
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Isn't this the same article posted on March 16th?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_245/7299-Gunners-and-Gamers
 

Russ Pitts

The Boss of You
May 1, 2006
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Quintin Stone said:
Isn't this the same article posted on March 16th?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_245/7299-Gunners-and-Gamers
This week's issue is Best of, The best articles of The Escapist Magazine from January - June 2010.
 

Alar

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Dec 1, 2009
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"I just want to headshot some noobs! ... Like on Halo!"

That quote had me rolling with laughter.
 

FaceFaceFace

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BrotherRool said:
(in fact 15 000 deaths due to shooting was far and above what I was expecting, that's like 5% of your entire population compared to 42 over the whole of Britain. 5% compared to 0.000001%), and that no-one really knows. We've got to focus on close case-specific studies before we can prove or disprove any link.
Um, the US has 300 million people. 15,000 is .005% of our population. I don't disagree with you, but your percentage was horribly off. Also, in the US you couldn't ban guns without a constitutional amendment, so no, those deaths cannot be totally eliminated. HIs is a valid comparison because both guns and cars are unavoidable and eternal things in America, for better or for worse.
 

AllLagNoFrag

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The only thing that I know of that does not require field training and can be trained by the most game-like simulation is un-manned aircraft such as drones. There is still, no matter what, a huge difference. In a game, such as HAWX, the missiles you fire, bombs you drop, cannons you fire matter to you as much as a click of a mouse (also, find me a plane that can hold over 40 missiles like the ones in HAWX). When you are actually controlling an un-manned aircraft, there is always that knowledge that what you do, is affecting how you control it compared to how you would in a game.

Alar said:
"I just want to headshot some noobs! ... Like on Halo!"

That quote had me rolling with laughter.
Same

Dont forget your hearbeat sensor so you can "pwn some noobs".

One thing that has always bothered me in games are silencers on guns. How the hell is it so soft? (I do realise that it is needed because it is a game). This is mainly because I have heard supressed weapons being fired and I dont know, it just bothers me.
 

7ru7h

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Jul 8, 2009
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What really gets me, are the people who freak out about video games and yell "TEH VIDEOGAMEZ IZ MAKIN OUR KIDZ KILL!!!11!!" when, if you take the time to do even the slightest bit of research, you find that the violent crime rate has dropped every year since the introduction of the ps1.

Yep. Those video games are really turning our kids into mindless killing machines. Just look at the thousands of kids every year who shoot up their school. /sarcasm
 

Larsirius

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May 26, 2010
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As far as the ACR search results on Google are concerned, I don't think that all of those are related to MW2. Last fall, PTS, the Airsoft subdivison of Magpul, the designers of the ACR, as it is known under the Bushmaster and Remington brand, revealed that a airsoft version of the Masada(the original name of the ACR), was soon to be available on the market, specifically at the end of the year; around December. For a few years, the Masada/ACR has been a hot topic in the international airsofting community, a weapon system most learned of from the TV Show "Future Weapons".
 

Gummy

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Oct 24, 2007
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I also don't like your use of statistics, 'there are 40% more deaths caused by motor vehicles than guns' says nothing, I assure you the population of motor vehicle users is a lot more than 40% higher than the number of people that own or are regularly around guns.
For more on whether games can be used as murder training simulators, check out the books 'Fun Inc.' and 'Grand Theft Childhood' (I forget the authors names, but they should be easy to find) they each have some interesting chapters about shooting real vs virtual guns.

Recently I've been looking into visiting a shooting range, purely because I'm interested to see if I can shoot as accurately without a virtual reticule or crosshair hovering in the air everywhere I look.

The article did offer an interesting insight to the gun-enthusiast community though, Coming from UK, where most cops don't even carry guns, and now living in Australia where cops and security guards do, but no-one else other than farmers and, occasionally, criminals (in fact there's been talk of banning handguns outright after a security guard was killed with his own weapon in a recent shooting). I'm interested to know more about their motivations other than 'it's fun' to shoot guns. what legitimate reason would a civilian have for owning an ACR or even any kind of assault rifle or smg. Rifles and shotguns used for hunting, farming and sports, are one thing, but I don't understand why you'd buy a tactical grade weapon unless you intend to kill someone, or are expecting to be in a firefight in the near future. Personal defense doesn't really cut it for me either. if you're that concerned, keep a baseball bat next to your bed (in UK or Australia) or if you live somewhere where guns are more ubiquitous, keep a handgun in a safe somewhere on hand, but no-one needs an uzi in their kitchen cupboard.

However the gun crime argument is far too complex to be blamed on a single scapegoat like games or rock'n'roll sadly it's a very small and misled minority that generally commit these random killing sprees, and while I don't believe that the actions of these people (such as children or mentally ill) should be cause to inflict restrictions on the rest of us, it seems clear to me that if guns were less accessible, there would be less gun crime.

And I have spent some time in USA, I know a little about the reasons behind the right to bear arms, I was also present at a shooting in Colorado during my stay, so this is a topic that interests me a little
 

Kuhkren

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Gummy said:
I also don't like your use of statistics, 'there are 40% more deaths caused by motor vehicles than guns' says nothing, I assure you the population of motor vehicle users is a lot more than 40% higher than the number of people that own or are regularly around guns.
I think what he is getting at is media attention. Guns get a lot of bad publicity in the media while the dangers of car accidents are not as reported. Its more dramatic, brings numbers and what not. Hard to take the news seriously nowadays.
 

Ari Brown

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May 30, 2010
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"Enthusiasts who share a passion for both games and guns are generally well-educated, well-trained and well-practiced in the detailed minutiae of how to engage in their hobby safely."

I approach guns with great respect. All or tools/machines in this world have the capacity to either harm or kill you. The minute you don't respect what your using, what your using fails to respect you. I learned to assemble and operate the M16 A3 in the IDF as part of training program called GADNA when I was 17. Up until that point I was an avid FPS and RTS kinda guy. Half-Life and Medal of Honor were pass times of mine and I couldn't count how many I times I saw Saving Private Ryan. But my time in Israel really slapped me in the face to show me how ignorant I was. My short time in training unveiled a sense of reality that I was never in touch with. But the thing is that I don't consider myself crazy enough to devote myself to a career in the military where (in these turbulent times) I could possibly die in combat. So to be safe I tried my hand at airsoft. I find myself doing something that I never do in video games. When in the field with all my gear and weapons (or toys) on me, I find that I hesitate with my first shots of every airsoft game I have ever played. It is an odd dynamic that when I have a set of pixels sighted in that I can click away and watch programmed animations of recoil and watch my target's pixels fall. I can actually puts rounds downrange at a printout of a human silhouette through the head but shooting plastic pellets at people actually freezes me up. I don't like hurting people.

Guns are beautiful and marvelous pieces of a combination human ingenuity, mechanical engineering and manipulation of physics. There's a saying that goes: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." and I tend to think that has weight to it. Do video games make children more violent? I can't say but if my knowledge of history has taught me anything, if someone wants to kill badly enough, they'll find a way. The method is just pudding.

So to all the CODers out there, if you claim to be genuinely interested in firearms, take the logical step and ask someone that knows more than you. Instead of going on in semi-blind ignorance, put some work into it and learn. You never know, it might boring as all hell and you'll never do it again but to I'm certain that the "COD Effect" is going to lead to someone doing something stupid that is going to get someone killed and then video games will just end up suffering.

p.s.
I am not a gun owner. I don't see the point. I do rent every so often when I find myself at a range.
 

Coverax

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Nov 11, 2009
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I have to say that i think the logic behind this article is flawed.
The main point is that it mixes anti-gun arguments with anti-gaming arguments in a shallow attempt to promoting gun ownership by seating gun-owners and gamers in the same boat. The anti-gaming arguments are basically along the lines of "games make you aggressive, they make you kill people, they are bad". In its most basic form this assume a causal relationship between playing a violent game and killing people. This causal relationship is very hard to proof. What isn't hard to prove, is the causal relationship of owning a gun (or to be more precise having access to a gun) an killing somebody with it. In this case access is a necessary (even though not sufficient)conation for the killing. Further while anti-gaming arguments stats that games make you want to kill people, which is again a claim that needs strong empirical backup. It is a fact that there are crazy people around that really do want to kill people and that its a bad idea to give them guns.

So basically the gun access laws as they are in the US provide irresponsible people with the means to get a device which they can use to kill people more efficiently. Anti-gun arguments don't need to claim that guns make people want to shoot other people, they just need to claim that there are people who want to shoot people.

I am deeply disappointed by this article as it is flawed in its logic clearly not neutral and presents argumentation of the worst kind by basely using a few arbitrary examples and some out of context numbers. This article fails any standard of journalism i know, which is disappointing since this site otherwise contains excellent articles.

The worst thing about this article is comparing guns with cars and saying the anti-gun argument is the same as an anti-car argument (by implying cars kill more people than guns do). Cars are a necessity of modern society they have practical use and death involving cars are not the main intend why cars are produced or used. Guns as an instrument are designed to kill/hurt/threaten people.

Gun should be prohibited not because some gamers are also gun-owners, however guns should be prohibited because they are guns.

(edit: added some things since the more i think about this article them more it infuriates people)
 

RvLeshrac

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Oct 2, 2008
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Coverax said:
I have to say that i think the logic behind this article is flawed.
The main point is that it mixes anti-gun arguments with anti-gaming arguments in a shallow attempt to promoting gun ownership by seating gun-owners and gamers in the same boat. The anti-gaming arguments are basically along the lines of "games make you aggressive, they make you kill people, they are bad". In its most basic form this assume a causal relationship between playing a violent game and killing people. This causal relationship is very hard to proof. What isn't hard to prove, is the causal relationship of owning a gun (or to be more precise having access to a gun) an killing somebody with it. In this case access is a necessary (even though not sufficient)conation for the killing. Further while anti-gaming arguments stats that games make you want to kill people, which is again a claim that needs strong empirical backup. It is a fact that there are crazy people around that really do want to kill people and that its a bad idea to give them guns.

So basically the gun access laws as they are in the US provide irresponsible people with the means to get a device which they can use to kill people more efficiently. Anti-gun arguments don't need to claim that guns make people want to shoot other people, they just need to claim that there are people who want to shoot people.

I am deeply disappointed by this article as it is flawed in its logic clearly not neutral and presents argumentation of the worst kind by basely using a few arbitrary examples and some out of context numbers. This article fails any standard of journalism i know, which is disappointing since this site otherwise contains excellent articles.

The worst thing about this article is comparing guns with cars and saying the anti-gun argument is the same as an anti-car argument (by implying cars kill more people than guns do). Cars are a necessity of modern society they have practical use and death involving cars are not the main intend why cars are produced or used. Guns as an instrument are designed to kill/hurt/threaten people.

Gun should be prohibited not because some gamers are also gun-owners, however guns should be prohibited because they are guns.

(edit: added some things since the more i think about this article them more it infuriates people)
Your logic is flawed. Anyone who wants to commit a crime has free and open access to purchase a firearm, completely unhindered by all legislation.

Case in point: Where do you think all those terrorists get weapons? In most of the first world, it would be considered treason, which is a capital offence, to sell weapons to terrorists. The vast majority of firearms are manufactured in the first world, or nations under the eye of the first world.

So with all the proscriptions against criminals having access to weapons, they still manage to get weapons.

I'm 100% for most forms of gun control, but completely eliminating the right to carry is not the answer.

WRT automobile deaths vs. firearm deaths, perhaps Russ should have instead used <a href=http://bit.ly/9YuWAU>pools as an example.
 

MasterSplinter

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Jul 8, 2009
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Five pages of text about call of duty and guns?!

I think my brain just sublimated and fleed trough my ears before i dared to try to read this.
 

The Random One

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May 29, 2008
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This article is just as awesome as it was the first time I read it. The little tale Jim told is probably spurious, but I doubt ones quite similart to it never happen.

Re the car X gun controversy: Guns are things that throw small bits of metal at extremely high speeds (enough to easily kill a human being). Cars are huge masses of metal capable of moving at extremely high speeds on their own accord (enough to easily kill a human being). Any civilization interested on its own survival would severely limit both and especially the latter, but if you still had any faith in humanity you probably haven't been following the news at least since they were invented.
 

C4N4DUCK18

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Jun 9, 2010
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I think it's obvious that video games (whether they be Shooters or platform games, etc.) make children more aggressive. If a child can't get passed a point in a game, most often times they're going to react aggressively. By aggressive I mean jumping up and down, screaming and yelling, cursing and so on. The real topic should be whether or not shooters are more prone to make children more aggressive than other types of games. As for the article, I feel it was well written, though I think more info was taken from those guy's at that gun forum than anything else. The story about the punk trying to buy a sniper rifle made me laugh a little, but it really just made me disappointed. To think that kids could be that dumb is really depressing. Perhaps North America should adopt a better education system, to make today's youth more educated in the world around them. If children want weapons to "Headshot some Noobs, like in Halo!" than there is something really wrong with the way kids are taught.