Politician Asks Game Makers to End Real-Life Gun Licensing

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Politician Asks Game Makers to End Real-Life Gun Licensing

Call of Duty MW2 Screen

The Speaker of Connecticut's House of Representatives has sent a letter to leading game publishers urging them to end the practice of licensing real-world guns for use in videogames.

Electronic Arts said earlier this year that it would no longer license real-world firearms for use in its games, and now the Connecticut Speaker of the House J. Brendan Sharkey is calling on other big players in the videogame industry to do the same thing. In a letter sent to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, Valve Managing Director Gabe Newell and ESA CEO Michael Gallagher, Sharkey said "the industry practice of videogame publishers entering into licensing, marketing or other financial arrangements to feature real guns in their games blurs the lines between fiction and reality in ways that can have tragic consequences."

Although he acknowledged that "research has shown little connection between the virtual gun violence depicted in your games and the actual gun violence that claims the lives of 33 Americans every single day," Sharkey nonetheless made a point of noting that Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza was an "active" Call of Duty player and that the Bushmaster rifle he used appears in the game.

"Games designed to recreate the experience of wartime carnage and criminal violence constitute protected speech under the provisions of the First Amendment," Sharkey wrote. "But there is little to be said in defense of an industry-wide practice of arranging licensing deals with gun manufacturers for the rights to use the make, model and visual design specifications of their real-life weapons."

"I write to you today to request your cooperation in ending the nefarious relationship between videogame makers and gun makers," he concluded. "Our communities, our country and our children are counting on your leadership on this important issue."

Describing a legitimate and possibly even legally required licensing deal as "nefarious" is a little over the top and I'm not really a fan of how Sharkey admits the lack of evidence connecting virtual and real-life violence and then in the next paragraph slides into talk about "blurred lines," but regardless of how you feel about the underlying sentiment I think it's also rather badly misdirected: the real-life Bushmaster, a "versatile and useful gun" with flash suppressor and 30-round magazine, is still available at your local Walmart.

Source: Connecticut House Democrats, via GamePolitics

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At least he sent a letter asking them to "please do this, it might help?" instead of shouting about it up on a podium.

Roofstone:
At least he sent a letter asking them to "please do this, it might help?" instead of shouting about it up on a podium.

It's still retarded. He's basically admitting that guns are bad. But he doesn't want to do anything about real guns. Instead he thinks video games should take the heat.

It's slightly better than what most of the idiots are trying to do, but it'll still solve jack shit.

While at the same time we're putting armed guards in schools because Second Amendment.

On the other hand, branding doesn't really matter that much, so this is the smallest deal out of possible small deals. This is an anthill next to a molehill.

So please, guys, try not to make a mountain out of it.

I dunno... since none of the content is going to change, what possible use could this be? If they comply, however, it could easily be "interpreted" as the games companies recognising a link between their products and violence, and taking "responsible" action to head things off. From there, it's a really short step to trying to censor the content, since the companies themselves have already "admitted" the link.

Sure... it's /tinfoilhat thinking... but we're talking about American politicians here. Morons who think regulating vidya-games (while simultaneously ignoring books, movies, advertising and... you know... actual guns) is gonna solve their problems. I don't think the above is a significant stretch for mentally challenged lug-nuts like that.

erttheking:
It's slightly better than what most of the idiots are trying to do, but it'll still solve jack shit.

Thats roughly the same as giving a person a sweater so they dont get cold... in the desert...

*Edit*

Oh for fuck sake, YES! I KNOW DESERTS ARE COLD AT NIGHT! MOST PEOPLE WILL ASSOCIATE DESERT=HOT, THUS MAKING THE POINT OF THE REMARK ABOUT HOW ITS ALL FUCKING USELESS.

Also, I when I read bushmaster, I thought this:

image

I make no apology.

Slightly less stupid than the way most politicians deal with this sort of thing, but still fucking stupid nonetheless.

Maybe you should try something about the actual guns. Might help a bit more than trying to get rid of some licensing deals.

From the Speaker's page:

A report published in June by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and The Gun Truth Project detailed how deals between video game companies and weapons manufacturers often lead to promotional campaigns enticing players to purchase weapons featured in the games they have just played.

I'm not sure how "often" it actually happens; I'm only aware of the deal EA signed with McMillan and Magpul that it canned last year. But that's obviously the nail the Speaker has chosen to hammer.

Andy Chalk:
From the Speaker's page:

A report published in June by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and The Gun Truth Project detailed how deals between video game companies and weapons manufacturers often lead to promotional campaigns enticing players to purchase weapons featured in the games they have just played.

I'm not sure how "often" it actually happens; I'm only aware of the deal EA signed with McMillan and Magpul that it canned last year. But that's obviously the nail the Speaker has chosen to hammer.

Ok, that I don't mind so much. But it still kinda feels like he's going after games and not the gun manufacturers.

As we all know guns and violent videogames don't make people in to cold-hearted killers, it's licensing deals.

This would make looking up weapons in wikis so much more annoying... :/

But seriously, this feels like another attempt to kill MMS games, albeit in an indirect way; I'd say the biggest aspect MMS games have in common is familiarity - Familiar planet, familiar setting, familiar weaponry, etc. - If they can't licence weapons then they might aswell be making up the weapons they feature, and then it's not so familiar anymore.

...Not that I'm against creativity or anything.

Of course EA will "no longer license real-world firearms." They don't believe they have to license any real world product before using it in their games. Because licensing somehow infringes on the corporation's right to Free Speech.

http://kotaku.com/ea-ends-first-amendment-claim-to-use-real-world-helicop-1159651214

Also notice how EA and Bell "settled out of court" so that no legal precedent would be set and EA can continue to use products without license.

That's right kids: Publishers have to pay to licenses to be allowed to depict real world guns in games. That money goes to the arms industry. Which means that every time you buy a game that depicts real world guns in it: Some of your money is spent on making real weapons. You help the arms industry! (And some of you, whilst doing that unwittingly, will be on the Internet demanding gun control. lol cosmic irony!)

This is bizarre.

"the industry practice of videogame publishers entering into licensing, marketing or other financial arrangements to feature real guns in their games blurs the lines between fiction and reality in ways that can have tragic consequences."

Although he acknowledged that "research has shown little connection between the virtual gun violence depicted in your games and the actual gun violence that claims the lives of 33 Americans every single day," Sharkey nonetheless made a point of noting that Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza was an "active" Call of Duty player and that the Bushmaster rifle he used appears in the game.

Translation:
"This act will decrease the violence that videogames cause, even though there is no proven link between videogames and real violence.
Also this one time a guy played a videogame that had a real gun in it, and he shot people in real life using that gun. True story."

Note how, even when he was required to state that this request had no scientific basis, and he was essentially talking out of his ass, he dressed it up to appeal to the listeners patriotic emotions by adding the shocking "claims the lives of 33 Americans every single day". That's simply there to lock his listeners focus on the sheer extent of the problem, so they forget the first half of the sentence which refutes the whole basis of this appeal.

This will solve nothing and fool nobody. What's the point in all that videogame research that was called for if they aren't going to bother to wait for the results. That's like going to the hospital to see if you have testicular cancer, and then deciding to castrate yourself in the car park before you enter the building.

its a retarded egg chicken question for this politician.

did the kid shoot up other kids with a bushmaster because it was in call of duty or because it is one of the most recommended and sold assault rifle in america.(the answer is the last part)

I'd be ok with this as it'd mean less money to the arms industry, but unless they can actually come up with proper weapons we'll see the same thing we're seeing with cars in games like GTA and SR. A bunch of cars that are vague and shitty clones of existing and non-existing real life cars. So basically we risk ending up with Hot Wheels guns.
Still, I'd say it's worth it.

You know what at this point I just find it insanely hilarious, no one dares take on the real life issues so they duck it out over games... it's so messed up I can't even tell what form of entertainment this would qualify under.

WanderingFool:

erttheking:
It's slightly better than what most of the idiots are trying to do, but it'll still solve jack shit.

Thats roughly the same as giving a person a sweater so they dont get cold... in the desert...

Also, I when I read bushmaster, I thought this:

image

I make no apology.

When I read Bushmaster I thought of this:

Racecarlock:
While at the same time we're putting armed guards in schools because Second Amendment.

Wait what O.o

OT:He went a bit too far in the "Think of the children" way but I do like the idea of less real guns as it gets the arms industry less money.

Well at least the letter they sent had some sensibility, but going for a symptom of gun violence will not get rid of the root cause.

A lot of video games that feature real guns are in M rated games, as in the 'children' they keep hiding behind like a meat shield shouldn't be playing these kind of games in the first place. The adults who play these games should know well enough what happens when you pull the trigger in real life, even if some don't give a shit.

"I write to you today to request your cooperation in ending the nefarious relationship between video game makers and gun makers," he concluded. "Our communities, our country and our children are counting on your leadership on this important issue."

really? Nefarious?

pictured, video game developers and gun makers:

To wrap up, I commend what they're rallying for, but first take care of the real world problems before the fictional.

He should love Saints Row then. Dildo bats and dubsteps guns will never incite violence!

Ugh. I don't even like guns, but even I know this is a total canard. If people in the government would do the hard work of bringing good jobs, economic security and improved availability of mental health care to the people, we wouldn't have to worry about this crap in the first place. :|

I like this on two levels. The first is a creative one. If this becomes not legislation, but simply rule of thumb, then we get to see shiny new guns, not just more pixels to render the same gun again and again. Good stuff, I am a massive fan of cool new guns in games and I am tired of M16's.
On another level, this guy is actually pretty ballsy. He doesn't like the fact that we have licensed guns in games and, despite the fact that there's no evidence that it will actually have an affect on violence, openly objects to it. Good. For. You.
Certainly, licensed guns do no good for anyone. As I pointed out in the first paragraph I, at least, find them boring. So we have this guy here, off-handedly doing something that will spark creativity, in the midst of attempting to enact something that he deems to be morally correct. I have mad props for this situation.

"research has shown little connection between the virtual gun violence depicted in your games and the actual gun violence that claims the lives of 33 Americans every single day,"
"I write to you today to request your cooperation in ending the nefarious relationship between videogame makers and gun makers,"

Seriously?
SERIOUSLY?

'games don't cause violence, but censor yourself anyway, because you're evil'

Hero in a half shell:

WanderingFool:

erttheking:
It's slightly better than what most of the idiots are trying to do, but it'll still solve jack shit.

Thats roughly the same as giving a person a sweater so they dont get cold... in the desert...

Also, I when I read bushmaster, I thought this:

image

I make no apology.

When I read Bushmaster I thought of this:

I cannot agree more with that statement. A gun that shoots Paul Hogan at enemies, a gun that shoots Frank Zappa at enemies, a gun that shoots bombs at enemies that create Neil Patrick Harris shaped explosions. I would play the hell out of that.

Personally I don't give a shit if I indirectly support the arms industry, and I concur with everyone else, this guy is clearly talking out his ass. He even acknowledges it in the same breath, and I feel the need to point out that he probably wouldn't be bitching if it was a kel-tec PF-9 or some such other pistol that is far more regularly used in crime than rifles. by a factor of like, 20.

No. I always downloaded those mods that renamed the guns in S.T.A.L.K.E.R to their real world counterpart. Feels more sensible than playing with the "This is obviously an m4 but it's now an E-381 mark 2 herpy derpy doo!"

If the Ameican governments did something about the gun industry, they might get somewhere. It took one horrific mass shooting for Australia to do this, America never will D: At least rap is not being blamed anymore.

ritchards:
He should love Saints Row then. Dildo bats and dubsteps guns will never incite violence!

If someone had an actual dubstep gun though, and used it anywhere near me, I'd kill them slowly.

So how exactly does this harm the children if you use real life firearm brands in a video game? Same applies with vehicles and aircraft.

This is a neutral act from the neutral planet of WTF? It may help? I guess?

Kind of misses the point that fake guns in a game probally give people out lets that hopefully avoids bad stuff in real life and well games don't kill people guns do, but being english I don't really understand or get involved with the US issues with guns but I live in plymouth(the city the mayflower launched from) pretty big and I cannot remeber the last time someone was shot and killed in the city, 10+ years? yea people get stabbed and beaten up but thats generally less leathal and people can think twice about it while in progress, unlike a gun. Just my thoughts and perspective.

But the news that EA is now making up gun names, which is going to be fun in Battlefield 4 they better be good I want the Badger9000 as a gun name kk.

Yeah this is retarded, I have a question for him. If it's bad to depict real guns in games why hasn't he called for this in films, tv series, freaking documentaries, maybe textbook descriptions. No he doesn't get to cherry pick where you can and can't depict realistic firearms and if you can or can't licence them. Maybe he should focus more on said firearms in real life then make-believe land, or does he have certain psychological difficulties differentiating between fantasy and reality. Ok rant over I really must stop coming to these forums just before I go to sleep.

Andy Chalk:
Sharkey nonetheless made a point of noting that Sandy Hook mass murderer Adam Lanza was an "active" Call of Duty player and that the Bushmaster rifle he used appears in the game.

And here is where I can clearly see this guy hasn't done his research. Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster-licensed version of the AR-15. There has never been a Bushmaster-licensed AR-15 in any of the CoD games. There have been plenty of AR-15 variants in CoD games, and the ACR in Modern Warfare 2 was based on the version produced when Bushmaster owned the liscense to the design. However, none of the AR-15's used in CoD have been Bushmasters, and the ACR isn't an AR-15 variant.

If this guy bothered to do his research, he'd be able to see this clear as day. However, instead he decides to talk out of his ass and try to connect a mass murderer with video games for the umpteenth time. =/

So guns in games are bad. Guns in real life is fine. Yeah, this makes zero sense. Firing a gun in a game is different to firing a real gun. Also how many people are playing Cod looking at the gun to ensure it looks exactly like the gun its modeled on? Kids can use a stick as a gun and play cowboys and indians. I some how think some people lose the plot when it comes to guns in games because i dont think anyone has been killed by a gaming gun.

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