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Computer games & gun control


DocG
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So, here's an interesting thing: some video games have real-world licensed guns in them, meaning when you buy the game some of your money ends up in the pockets of actual gun companies. If you like guns and gun companies, that's probably fine. But what if you don't?

Kotaku asks "does that make buying Call of Duty or Battlefield a moral choice?" Predictably, the comments in reply resemble an explosion in a stupid factory. I can only imagine what the comments on Youtube are like.

I'm not sure which games are affected -- I can't watch the Youtube video in work. And I'm not sure how I feel about the premise itself. It strikes me as an interesting to debate though.

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Hopefully there'll be some kind of counterbalance to this. eg - a CND sponsored version of Bomb Jack. I don't know why we haven't seen more of this sort of thing before. Flicky could have been beneficial to the RSPB for eg.

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I remember for Medal of Honor Warfighter EA had this thing where they'd be pimping the guns from the game on their websites or something.

'You shot that noob in the face with the Extremodeath X-51, why not buy it in real life? Go on, you fucker. It'll make a man out of you.'

Christ. It's really quite disgusting, and this kind of thing's a far more effective deterrent to buying these games for me than the hysterically inaccurate ramblings of the media's scare tactics. 'Hur hur, little Johnny's about to become a mass murderer after playing Mortal Cobalt, lock him up parents'.

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Call of Duty licensing guns from Colt is no stranger in itself than Forza Horizon licensing cars from Ferrari, but it seems a hell of a lot stranger; perhaps because we don't really see guns as consumer products in this country, whereas they sell guns in supermarkets in the US. The licensing discussions must be weird - supposedly, car manufacturers dont like their cars being shown flipping over, or killing their occupants, whereas presumably Heckler & Koch would be lobbying for their weapons to shown as being really, really good at shooting people in the eye and testicles.

Simon Parkin wrote a really good article on this very subject on Eurogamer:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-01-shooters-how-video-games-fund-arms-manufacturers

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Stupid question maybe, but who benefits most from these kind of licensing arrangements? Do the licensees pay the licensers for the privilege of being able to associate their game with Product X, or is it the other way around, with the licensers paying the licensees to be able to advertise Product X in their game?

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Games used to do fine with guns called the Klobb and super shotgun - that's all I'm saying.

Well this is true, and I get quite annoyed with modern shooters whose vast arsenal of weaponry often consists of 30-odd similar black metal things with cryptic and forgettable names like "Mrn201", "HK300", "RR3Fal".

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I rarely took notice of the names of guns, either in games or real life. In games I tend to categorise them as "the piddling pistol you start with", "the shotgun", perhaps also "the more powerful shotgun", "the machine gun", "the sniper rifle" and so forth.

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Stupid question maybe, but who benefits most from these kind of licensing arrangements? Do the licensees pay the licensers for the privilege of being able to associate their game with Product X, or is it the other way around, with the licensers paying the licensees to be able to advertise Product X in their game?

you pay the IP holder for the use of their IP. you pay them to put their gun in, or you make up the names.

what's preferable, in this day and age?

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I rarely took notice of the names of guns, either in games or real life. In games I tend to categorise them as "the piddling pistol you start with", "the shotgun", perhaps also "the more powerful shotgun", "the machine gun", "the sniper rifle" and so forth.

In a roundabout way though, this is part of the problem. The visual appearance of real-world weapons of video games has come on massively in the past 5-10 years, but the in-game handling of weapons is still pretty fictional, with the usual "Doom" weapon archetypes still appearing in many games. The success of some games like Counterstrike which were widely believed to be "realistic" (when in reality they weren't) over others with slightly more realistic weapon handling (like Joint Operations) has led to a situation where no developer challenges the status quo, as there's the belief that every gamer wants weapons that handle like those in CoD.

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Well this is true, and I get quite annoyed with modern shooters whose vast arsenal of weaponry often consists of 30-odd similar black metal things with cryptic and forgettable names like "Mrn201", "HK300", "RR3Fal".

The BFG-9000 remains pretty rad, however. Probably because of what the letters stand for.

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you pay the IP holder for the use of their IP. you pay them to put their gun in, or you make up the names.

what's preferable, in this day and age?

I imagine it's the same as in car games - if you're a big established brand, then the game makers pay you for the use of it. if you're a small up-and-coming company, you do it for free because it's good exposure.

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I remember for Medal of Honor Warfighter EA had this thing where they'd be pimping the guns from the game on their websites or something.

'You shot that noob in the face with the Extremodeath X-51, why not buy it in real life? Go on, you fucker. It'll make a man out of you.'

Christ. It's really quite disgusting, and this kind of thing's a far more effective deterrent to buying these games for me than the hysterically inaccurate ramblings of the media's scare tactics. 'Hur hur, little Johnny's about to become a mass murderer after playing Mortal Cobalt, lock him up parents'.

Medal of Honor(sic) is the only game I can think of where this sort of thing stopped being speculative and actually became a real issue. Like they had the military funding it and supporting it, and that meant giving them creative control too, like when they do Hollywood films.

They were why the Taliban were changed to OPFOR in multiplayer.

But yes, bring back the Hyperblaster.

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Medal of Honor(sic) is the only game I can think of where this sort of thing stopped being speculative and actually became a real issue. Like they had the military funding it and supporting it, and that meant giving them creative control too, like when they do Hollywood films.

They were why the Taliban were changed to OPFOR in multiplayer.

It's funny how much they don't want their guns to be seen used by anti-American forces. They should just put a sensor on the grip that refuses to fire if the skin on the hand is too brown (sassy black sergeants would still be allowed to carry a shotgun or a heavy machinegun).
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It's seems like a minor ethical dilemma, unless I'm underestimating how much these gun license fees cost it seems to me buying a game like CoD would be like giving a minute fraction of a penny of profit to the gun makers. It's a slippery slope, if you're American, do you not buy at you're local store because it'll fund the guy who owns it to get his Desert Eagle?

It's like how the other day, I'm a veggie and I bought a T-shirt from Qwertee (the Abe's Oddysee one and it is great!) but my shirt came with a pack of Haribo, apart from being a little confused I couldn't give less of a shit, the Mrs eat them and enjoyed them, but technically I funded that pack, 5p from my order probably went towards a wholesale amount of Haribo. I partially funded a cow to be killed - but that's life, if I worried about that I'd have to worry about how people buy meat from the interest charged on my overdraft and daft shit like that - you'd go mental.

Incidentally whilst being confused why there was Haribo in my in my shirt order I found this guy who decided he was going to embargo them because of it.

http://www.tetsugaku.info/dear-qwertee-please-stop-sending-me-free-meaty-haribo/

You've really got to think about how much fuck to give.

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