A couple of weeks ago a question started to nag at the inside of my squishy skull: why are gamers so obsessed with guns? The answer became quite obvious after only a little bit of thought. I mean, we all play games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, each of which contain real-world weaponry, and each of which require us to upgrade weapons and equip attachments. We develop an unusual fascination with weaponry through customization and competitive play. No matter the obviousness of this answer, though, one thing still continues to stand out. This obsession with real-world weaponry, whether a developer got a gun to be accurate, and whether an in-game gun has a real-world counterpart is... kind of creepy. It's also cringy as f**k.
Now, I'm not about to make the classic argument that video games cause real-world violence. That debate was debunked years ago. There are countless studies that prove otherwise, and the whole conversation is rather boring, so let's not even go there. Instead, my argument is simply an emotional one. Isn't it kind of weird to know a s**tload of stuff about devices that have one purpose, and one purpose only: killing.
Let's all be real: if we had done what we obsessively do in-game in the real world, we would be complete freaking psychopaths. There is no doubt about this. There's a reason why gun violence is such a hot-button topic, because it's horrific. Whilst games don't turn kids into killers, they do glorify violence, and make it – literally – into a game. It's kind of weird, but why do we like these kinds of games so much?
Why Do We Like Guns and Violent Video Games?
Humans enjoy violence, there's no denying that. We have been waging wars since we were apes. We love Tarantino movies, Fast & Furious, and Michael Bay movies. We focus on violent histories, rather than peaceful histories. Most "man" movies are all about violence and sex. The two seem to go weirdly hand-in hand: look no further than James Bond. It makes sense, then, that gamers like to play violent video games.
We also need to remember the medium that we are talking about: video games. They are games. They're not books, they're not songs, they're not pizzas, they're games. Games have mechanics, and something that humans love to do is practice their precision in the form of a game. That's why Billiards is so popular, that's why we like to play Football, that's why we like to throw Darts. It's a game, it's fun, and it practices an almost tribal desire within ourselves. The desire to be accurate, the desire to hit that tiger with the f**king spear that our Grandfather passed down to us through the generations. If we miss the Tiger, we die. Thus, we like to hit the Tiger, and more specifically, hit the Tiger somewhere that'll kill it straight away – precision.
So, now that I have explained why humans like violence, and why humans like the act of shooting a gun (both in-game and in real life), it's time for you to ask the question: so what the hell are you going on about, mate?
What the Hell are You Going on About, Mate?
I am going on about how freakin' weird it is whenever I hear about the specifics of an in-game gun. Seriously, these people who run around the Sub-Reddits, the Twitter feeds, the Discord Chats, and the Facebook Comment Sections of the world with an unbridled passion and specificity about guns astound me. These are inanimate metal objects have the sole purpose of killing things, and yet people are so obsessed that they feel the need to correct other people on the origins of a specific type of SMG... it's weird guys, it's truly weird. It's also cringy as f**k.
Cringer than Kanye, and he's the guy who wrote "Famous". Seriously.
So my message to gamers is simple: it's not cool to know so much about guns that you can point at a weapon and tell me whether it's the 1947 edition or the 1948. It's just kind of lame, and kind of creepy. If you want games to be taken seriously, if you want to stop hearing those news-channel bells ring, if you want to stop hearing the predictable sound of some fifty-year-old nut job saying the words "Are violent video games poisoning our poor children?", then cut it out with this creepy s**t.
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