Do "Shoot'em up" video games help RKBA or hurt?


November 17, 2003, 07:57 PM
The title basically asks the question..

I've shot for quite a few years, but my older brother has never touched a gun in real life, but he "claims" he can shoot pretty well, because he plays CS... :rolleyes: :barf:

I am neutral towards them, but I find them to be quite a big excuse used by the anti's..

Thoughts and comments?

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November 17, 2003, 08:00 PM
For those of us who had overly protective parents that had outsideophobia, our first and only exposure to guns are computer games. How the heck else was I going to know the diff btw a Beretta 92, 1911, M4 Carbine and M16A2? Heck I didn't even go camping till I was 19 :rolleyes:

OTOH gun games spawn know it alls. Some gun friendly, some not. I think video games create people and reinforce opinions on both sides.

PS Deagle :barf:

November 17, 2003, 08:12 PM
i think they do neither. pro-gunnys play shooting games as well as non-shooters. video games are a form of entertainment.
if they somehow hurt the RKBA, then movies/tv would also hurt it. oh wait, movies and tv already do hurt the publics opinion.....

five more minutes and i'll be on Omaha Beach doing pixelated damage with either the Mauser or the Garand.

November 17, 2003, 08:59 PM
Personally, I find them very difficult to justify on a moral level. They seem (note - I said seem) to have a profound psychological effect on some people, and there's a growing discussion on whether they contribute to the development of a criminal personality (no conclusions yet). I also find them, in many cases, devoid of moral content. For example, a straightforward war-based scenario is usually fairly self-explanatory, and the violence it contains fits into the scenario: but what about something like "Postal", which is meaningless, mindless violence and killing with no justification whatsoever?

I've not played these games because of my moral reservations about them.

Mr. Bombastic
November 17, 2003, 09:43 PM
I don't think computer games influenced Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan much.

It has to be re-iterated, that it is the individual adult that is responsible for their own actions, and not games, films, music, cars or guns etc, etc...

Edit.: Postal is actually, really crap. Get Max Payne or Jedi Knight instead! :D

November 17, 2003, 11:06 PM
Games like Half Life (the single player) and resident evil help it - These games serve as an allegory for SHTF. If everyone in Raccoon city had a SAR1 in their closet the zombie invasion would have been ended real fast. Hunting around the Black Mesa facility for more shotgun ammo helps you to appreciate the handiness of that 870 you keep by your bedside and the case of buckshot in your closet.

Games like Grand Theft Auto, Postal, and others don't help it - the negative press such intentionally inflammatory games stir up among the blissninny crowd help to demonize guns as Very Bad Things.

The one thing I can say however, is that I have never met anyone interested in shoot em up video games who also was not interesting in shooting real firearms and did not have a very pro-gun belief. That doesnt mean they have a clue about firearms, and especially gun safety. Ive put a hiatus on taking computer gaming friends to the gun range, and especially the skeet range. "The safety was on and I didnt get to shoot that bird. Now I will turn around with the shotgun at waist level, live shell in the closed chamber, and pointing straight at the observers ask for another bird" Hoooo boy.:what:

November 17, 2003, 11:41 PM
I'd have to say that on the whole violent video games have a neutral impact on RKBA.
Many will play these games, and it will give rise to curiosity about the real thing. They'll go out and learn to shoot, and hopefully become involved.

On the other side, you'll have incidents like Columbine happen where statists will point and blame violent games for fostering such an interest in people who were already psychopaths to begin with.

In other words, it all comes down to the individual.

November 17, 2003, 11:51 PM
The one thing I can say however, is that I have never met anyone interested in shoot em up video games who also was not interesting in shooting real firearms and did not have a very pro-gun belief.

I have. Friend of mine from high school who loved some variety of kill-em-all video game, but he somehow thought my AR was possessed of evil demons or something, and refused to touch it.

I'm still not certain about 'em. On the one hand, Grossman's comparison to the military mental conditioning range excercises makes sense to my old undergrad psych major self, and yet even there I see an excercise that makes someone more mentally able to take a certain action, not more likely to do so.

I'll admit to some reservations about 'em, but then again I'll admit that's personal preference and lack of experience. It comes down, in the end, to the same as real weapons I guess... lotsa lotsa millions of gamer kids didn't shoot up their high school today.


November 18, 2003, 01:01 AM
I think someone here said the game Deus Ex made them pro RKBA....

November 18, 2003, 08:55 AM
Well, as it's already been pointed out, I believe that ultimately, it's the individual. Claiming that video games, movies, television, music, and even literature cause violence completely ignores that it's an individual's disposition, experience, environment, education, and state of mind that influence a person's actions.

Case in point... my younger brother has been a video game addict since he was a little kid. He's 15 now, and has probably played most every shoot 'em up type game known to man (OK, I'll admit it, I've played a couple in my life, too :) ). Yet, when it comes to firearms, because he's grown up exposed to them, he's very responsible and knows how to handle them and how to conduct himself. He's pro-RKBA, too. Video games did not turn him into a sociopathic killer, nor did being handed a firearm.

One of my friends at university had never even handled a firearm before last year. He grew up in a somewhat sheltered environment and his only exposure to firearms was through electronic media. Add this to the fact that he had an already slightly anti-RKBA attitude and I had a great candidate for an educational range trip. I took him to the shooting range, just with my Ruger 10/22, and we spent a few hours there. He quickly realized that being able to put down hundreds of goblins at once on his Playstation did not translate into shooting ability. And naturally, it changed his view on RKBA.

I think that it's important for people to counterbalance the suspension of reality they experience in video games with real-life experience. If your only experience of firearms comes through video games and television, it seems natural that you will have an unrealistic and distorted view of their use and capabilities. Having at least a basic education when it comes to firearms gives you a much more realistic perspective. No shooter I know doesn't see a shoot 'em up game or action movie and say something like "No way that [insert gun here] can do that!".


November 18, 2003, 10:56 AM
For a long time, my parents resisted letting me play games that were more "violent," like Goldeneye for N64. They kept telling me, "Garbage in -- garbage out."

Now, eventually, they loosened up. And I have played many a shooter since then... like Turok, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, All of the Medal of Honor games, Half-life, Counterstrike :barf: , No one lives forever, Halo, etc.

Some, like Wolfenstein, are pretty darn bloody. Others, like MOH, have no blood or gore. Neither really bother me too bad.

But there are some that I won't play. I find Postal, Grand Theft Auto, and Max Payne (among others) to be violent enough to be quite disturbing. I just don't want to play them.

Movies are probably the same way. When "Saving Private Ryan" came out, my parents made us watch it, because they thought it necessary to show us what war was like. That movie disturbed me enough that I couldn't watch the whole thing for a long time. Other movies have been similar.

So the question shouldn't be whether or not media is "bad," it should be about why some react as I do, while others say, "cool!" or seek violence out in real life.

The difference is in the person.


November 18, 2003, 07:07 PM
The difference is in the person.

And that person's age.

I think that it's important for people to counterbalance the suspension of reality they experience in video games with real-life experience.

Children have a much harder time doing that than adults.

Bottom line: I watch movies and play games that I would never let my younger siblings experience.

November 18, 2003, 08:00 PM
Videogames are still low on the list of accepted media in the US. I don't see how they would hurt the RKBA though, unless they are used to push an anti-gun message (which GTA:VC comes very close to doing IMO).

One thing I don't get, is how parent-figures say that blood is bad. For example, They think it is OK to shoot someone in MOH but not in MGS2, because when you shoot someone in MGS2, blood slatters all over the wall they were standing against. I think people would be less likely to kill people when the 'people' in the game bleed, limp, and the bodies don't disappear than a nice sterile game. I think it should be realistic when you kill A CHARACTER in a videogame. Why sugercoat it?

November 18, 2003, 08:32 PM
Why sugercoat it?
Because I'm playing this daggom game to have fun and relax, not to imagine myself as the next Charles Whitman. There have been some studies that have shown that shoot'em up video games can enhance the users fine motor skill and wide angle attention better. I dunno I played tons of space invaders and I'm still a clutz. I have found that shoot'em up games do give me an oppourtunity to enforce the four rules with my five year old and demonstrate the effect of not paying attention to such rules, i.e. "you shot me in the back, aren't you watching where taht thing is pointed?". I also don't play any pointed violent games. Mostly we play Mech Assault, and some Halo but only the first few levels with the "funny" aliens.
I don't think the games have any effect on RKBA at all. Cowboys and Indians was around way before MoH and nobody went off then.

November 18, 2003, 09:41 PM
It would not surprise me at all to see shoot-em-up video games banned eventually, at about the same time that firearms ownership is banned.
The same people will be behind it.

November 19, 2003, 12:05 PM
What gets my goat is every time some blissninny starts babbling about violent video games and how we need to "think of the children," they mention a game that has been out for 10 years now and is a joke now as far as violent video games goes: DOOM!!!

Every time it sends me into peroxysms of laughter. Laughter at their unmitigated and incessant stupidity.:rolleyes: You know every "gamer'' is doing the exact same thing too.

November 19, 2003, 12:22 PM
A person who cannot distinguish between the death of pixels on a screen and the death of a real person has deeper problems that can't be blamed on video games.

Personally, I can't play first person shooters because I get motion sickness :o and I'm quite horrible at most games anyway.

So I settle for a fun game of Think Tanks. (
Your brain has been separated from your tank! Please press the space bar to continue.

November 19, 2003, 12:49 PM
The single greatest media threat to your rights is the way firearms are portrayed in TV and movies. For most of your elected officials and population, this is the one and only way they ever see a firearm. Used by criminals and/or as a method of dealing with them. How often do you see a movie character who shoots for fun, isn't a vigilante, a cop, an ex-DEA type(or whatever), etc, etc? Never.
The problem is that people are so stupid they think what they see on TV and in movies is real. Then they complain to the government about it. Elected officials being interested in only one thing, getting re-elected, make laws to guard against the things seen in movies. These are the same types who whine about video games being violent as they wait in line to pay for their kid's Christmas gift. Yep, a Play Station. Where most of the games originated.
The kids, however, aren't that stupid. Most of 'em know it's a game that nothing to do with reality. And the ones that don't are dimwitted in the first place.
Video games no more influence a normal person to do violence than a flight simulator game teaches you to fly. And yes I can dive bomb in a Lancaster thanks.

November 19, 2003, 12:58 PM
great thread! as a youth sports coach, i encourage my players to play FPS shooter games, a recent (actual) scientific study showed people who play these games have better peripheral vision and reaction times.

as for are they helpful? i was playing these games before i bought my first handgun, when i started learning about tactics, i was suprised to learn how much i had already figured out by trial and error. (read: getting fragged) room entry/clearing tactics specifically

do they hurt RKBA? IMHO, no, the people who decry guns would do so if every video game were about blueberry picking


November 19, 2003, 01:39 PM
Neutral-to-positive IMHO. I'm tired of hearing blame assigned to video games, movies, and songs for behavior that is controlled by the individual. Anyone who "goes postal" has something wrong with them and should be kept away from society, not just video games. Without visual stimuli there would still be literature. And don't get me started on banned books.

My reasoning on thinking video games as a slight positive is the same struggle for freedom, albeit without as much constitutional back-up.

Free your mind.

November 19, 2003, 11:18 PM
Everytime I hear people debating this, I think of two things that happened when I was about 11.

One was that I started playing Doom.

The other was a pair of pictures I saw. The first was in a book on hunting, and showed a person who had been killed and partially consumed by a lion. Everything below his diaphragm was gone. It was the first time I'd seen a real picture of a dead person. The other was an autopsy photo of a victim of Jack the Ripper. This was A) the first time I had seen a woman sans clothes and B) the first time I'd seen someone disemboweled.

Guess which event had a more serious impact on my life?

P.S. A handy-dandy tip for the parents in our audience. Whenever you choose to teach your kids about the difference between men and women and sex; a book about Jack the Ripper including pictures of his victims and detailed accounts of prostitutes being raped and then disemboweled is a BAD tool. Sure as hell didn't help me any. Especially since my parents were so repressed that that was the only info I had :(

November 20, 2003, 10:45 AM
I think people who played cowboys and indians didn't grow up to kill indians.. and so again, I find the problem to be a lack of personal responsibility... and parental guidence..

But the one beef I have, is the "armchair" gun experts.. They've never touched a gun, yet they are experts because they've played a video game.

I've done flight simulations, but I seriously doubt I'm qualified to fly a plane..

November 20, 2003, 03:10 PM
Actually, if you set up a plane to fly using a game console controller, you probably could fly the plane. Technology these days has replicated everything in flying except the "seat of your pants" feel.

I really must say that I thought firing a pistol would be so painfully easy that any moron could do it. Right up until I shot my 10mm. It sucks getting a wake up call with a 10mm, even if you are on the safe end.

November 21, 2003, 11:02 AM
Resident Evil 2 (zombie game) is somewhat pro gun...they rely on guns for self defense and in the STARS room, the Raccoon PD's SWAT team, there's a disassembled gun there, when you click it, it says that it's owner is probably an NRA member. There is also a pic of all the STARS guys with their guns and even some shooting medals.

Video games, guns, doesn't matter, it's the person, NOT the object. I sometimes play my brother's Grand Theft Auto game but I, nor he, would EVER do that crap in real life...


November 21, 2003, 11:25 AM
My wife really does not like guns.. That being said she has no problem with me having a FEW :evil:

But she has drawn the line of letting my two sons (11 and 8) play "shoot em up games" as you call them. Which I have no problem with. I tend to pick my augments.:D

I just take them to the range.:neener:

November 21, 2003, 06:25 PM
I think someone here said the game Deus Ex made them pro RKBA....
That might've been me--that's one of my top three favorite PC games. The great thing about it is that the amount of actual political science that goes into the plot is staggering. It teaches you things like:

1) Guns are not always a good idea (the first few levels give you skill points if you use only non-lethal force or evasion tactics)

2) Individual ownership of guns is a good idea. Throughout the game, you see unarmed people all over the place that are no better than sheep. The armed civilians are the ones that are taking matters into their own hands, and fighting the gov't for the benefit of all.

In the game, there are a few hood-types who have guns... but it's made clear that these are undeserving of their weapons. At one point you rescue a guy who is being held up at gunpoint (extra skill points for that too) and he goes on about how even though the rebels (with the best intentions) give guns to everyone that will fight, there are some that just use them for crime. Later, a hotel clerk (and an old friend of yours) needs to defend himself from a neighborhood BG. You're given the option to either A) give him one of your guns, or B) tell him "I'm sorry, I'd rather not arm an ordinary civilian." When you give him the gun, he defends himself (extra skill points). If for some reason you leave him helpless, he dies. The ultimate-uber-boss-ending-bad-guy never, in the entire story/ game, picks up a gun but still manages to do a heck of a lot of evil. Also, the music is quite good. :D

Downsides to the game? Only two... 1) IMHTGO, it hasn't recieved the recognition it deserves. More people should play this game. 2) 10mm does a heckuvalot more damage than 7.62x51 :uhoh: :rolleyes:

Find a copy. Play it. If not for the plot, if not for the politics, if not for the music, then the action will do just fine.

November 21, 2003, 07:41 PM
Deus Ex. Yummy. Definitely underrated.

I seem to recall that I screamed mightily and wanted to shoot my monitor when DE crashed mid-way through the game and I had to do funky stuff like change screen resolution to get past that particular scene without crashing. Grrr.

November 21, 2003, 10:19 PM
I think it was nsf003 who was converted to the RKBA by Deus Ex.

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