In what is considered to be an outrageous attempt after blaming video games for the violence that occurred at the Sandy Hook Shooting in CT, the National Rifle Association released a video game called “NRA: Practice Range” this past Sunday on iTunes moments after finishing a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden about gun violence. The 3D shooting game uses simulation practice ranges to try out weapons like Beretta, MK11 and a Colt pistol. Just one month after the dreadful event, news headlines are going bonkers calling NRA’s choice of action ” Outrageous. The NRA never seems to be able to amaze me” (Joel Faxon, a member of Newtown’s Police Commission), “How two-faced of the NRA to introduce a violent video game on the heels of their blame game”(Lori Haas, whose daughter survived a mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007), and “Is this some kind of sick joke?”(User Papershipsonfire.) [ CNN and NBCNews]
Longtime crisis-management expert Gene Grabowski whom has advised gun manufacturers had this comment to state.
“But the NRA has long ignored what anyone but its base cares about. They are not worried in any way about what the general public or the chattering class thinks. That’s why this looks cynical, because it is cynical.”
The speculation whether this was a planned tactic or a mere accident is not clear yet as the app is an official licensed NRA product.
What’s even more concerning is the iTunes app is recommended for ages 12 and up after being initially recommended for ages 4 and up. The NRA has yet to make a comment on the topic.
A video game theorist by the name of Bogost had this to say about the perspective of NRA’s game.
In its post-Sandy Hook press conference, the NRA blamed violent media instead of gun ownership for the tragedy, singling out video games in particular. But from the NRA’s perspective, the practice range game is not a violent game. The player only discharges firearms at paper and clay targets. For the NRA, it offers a model of responsible gun use.
However, at a time when the country is still coping with the sense of violence and how to prevent it, this tactic is by far too premature when NRA’s core argument to politicians and conservative groups is that video games challenge players to gun down enemies.
This is not the first time the NRA has released a video game endorsing a shooting game. “NRA Gun Club” for the PS2 was another game that was release in 2006 as well as “NRA Varmit Hunter”, “NRA High Power Competition” and “NRA Xtreme Accuracy Shooting” in 2008.
In such a callous move, many like Mansonr6 are stating “What a dumb move. Good luck getting anyone to take your video game theory serious after this.”[NBCNews]
Narz is CEO and Founder at Girl Gamer Vogue and Lead Video Game Columnist at KnickerBocker Ledger.