Sitrep: Hating Guns and Totally Loving Playing With Guns

guns_2

By on April 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm

I hate guns. Hate them. I often sit around thinking about how America has 99 problems and the gun is a big one. They know it, too. Obama wants to take those guns away, just ask the internet. The people cling to their grammatically unsound Constitution and cry, “How will we protect our homes tho Bamms?” It’s hard not to sit there and go, “Fair call. If there’s a home intruder, all bets are off – but why does it need to be a lethal killing stick? Why not replace everyone’s guns with phasers set to ‘stun’?” They’re bad, don’t like ‘em. I play a lot of shooters though, and I love shooters. I love shooting all them things. Uh?

I was wonder about how that makes any sense in the shower just before. Picture my suggestively lathered moonlit complexion and the pensive look on my face. I’m absently applying a loofah to my nether regions, too. Right, so. Thought process: Guns suck. They kill folk and seem entirely unnecessary in a society that has patented leopard print tasering weapons that fit in a handbag.

And yet as I scrubbed the ingrown hairs from my legs and tended to a heinous pimple on my shoulder, I remembered a particularly fond moment in some FPS or other where I killed a guy in the face. I laughed churlishly and said hello to my neighbour through the semi-open bathroom window. That dude, he’s always walking by when I shower.

I realised it goes like this: For many people – men especially –  guns represent absolute power and dominance, a need sometimes made intrinsic if that man is in any way consistently disempowered in his daily. When I play online, I often get a sense of this when someone is frothing excessively over the fact they just killed someone. Like, really frothing, as if that person ran over their cat or something. They are usually young and weedy-sounding, or older and prone to a broken voice. This vibe I can understand, if not relate to. That primal human need to kill shit is a powerful one that no amount of civilising can ever truly tame. Not in everyone.

In me, yes. I don’t want to kill anyone. Or anything. I get upset when I accidentally step on a snail. The allure of guns for me is not one rooted in reality (shot a pistol thing once, did not have fun), but in the context of gaming, it’s an extension of catharsis. The journey between bullet to other person is what appeals, not the act of besting someone via fatality. I don’t care about that. It’s the amazing nuances that can lead to spectacular destruction – and, yeah, some death – that I want to be a part of. Nobody even has to die, and this feeling of release applies even when I’m the one who kicks the bucket.

It is just to have flown and ejected and landed and shot and been shot at, mayhap scattered all my grenades into the air like unfriendly confetti before leaping from the fray and into uncertainty. I had taken some bullets, and my health was low. It was not the bullets that killed me, but the fall I made for myself.

Tags:
36 comments (Leave your own)
Silent_Cheeseburger

disagree with the reasoning and opinion, but a refreshing read, nonetheless.

 

It’s funny you bring this up, as I had been posing the same question to myself lately, which ended in some very specific results. Just last week I contacted Steam Support and requested a whole pile of games to be removed from my Steam account, all titles that involved shooting other humans in the face in some form of realistic manner.

This included titles such as Arma, Counter Strike, COD, Battlefield, Insurgency and the list goes on and on. In fact my Steam games list is now a quarter the size of what it once used to be (though it must be said I requested a lot of small pointless purchases to be removed too while I was at it – in fact this cull took place over 3 requests with Steam)

Personally I could just no longer overlook the question of why game time had become so much about the semi realistic killing of other humans, and I couldn’t justify it to myself anymore.

I have no moral objection to others enjoying the genre still, as this is purely a personal call, but when you actually sit and look at a game collection and think about how much of it involves the killing of things in some form, it really does raise some questions. For me this was just the right time to draw a line in the sand as to what my game time would be from here on.

Some games missed the cull, for borderline reasons, such as Killing Floor and L4D2 as I viewed them more as defense against fantasy monsters than killing other humans, but then I also kept games like Company of Heroes, which still simulates war and killing is some form. Where do I draw the line as to what is too far for my personal beliefs now? If I was really rigid about it I would have almost no games left on Steam. That in itself poses more personal moral questions.

Anyway, that’s just my current situation with gaming, and something I have been thinking about for a long time. I think I should add, I don’t think that violent gaming leads to violence itself, that is not the reason for my game cull, more just the fact of why – why is it that my game time is so focused on killing?

 
 

I’m a gun person who is agrees with restrictions. Sometimes I ask myself, “Matt, if you like guns, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad having less restrictions?”. Then I watch how a large portion of the pro gun guys act when this topic comes up and am reminded of the people who shouldn’t go anywhere near a firearm. And thus the cycle continues.

I’ll be impressed if the conversation is this civil by comment 10.

 

Haha you’re probably right Matty, gun control debates and religion spiral out of control quickly and that’s why I just don’t bother. Suffice to say that some regulations do need to exist, but they seriously need reviewing and having some common sense put into them as they are in Australia – seriously I can own a lever action shotgun, or a pump action rifle, or a bolt action shotgun, but not a pump action shotgun? Genius!

 

silentcheeseburger:
disagree with the reasoning and opinion, but a refreshing read, nonetheless.

pretty much this.

A taser for home intruders… I’m all for use of lethal force in cases of self defense but in this country … I’d settle for being allowed to carry a taser.

The problem in America isn’t guns it’s their attitude towards them. They treat them more like toys than the potentially lethal tools they are I mean its ridiculous that it’s perfectly legal to have a loaded weapon sitting in an unlocked closet. A federal law requiring guns be locked up in a secure gun cabinet would pretty much solve the whole accidental death thing. And considering there was just a mass stabbing in the U.S I don’t think banning guns is really going to help the whole mass killings problem. At best it’ll change the weapon used.

 

I worked for Games Workshop for six years, essentially glorifying war to children. I have a collection of Nerf Guns and I’ve really enjoyed firing a range of assault weapons in the USA. I love first person shooters, movies about war and crime and violence.

Violence, and by extension War, is exciting. I sometimes have difficulty reconciling my enjoyment of all of the above and the knowledge of the consequences of violence – but at the end of the day I can separate what is real, and what is fantasy, what is make believe. Violence will never stop being exciting, but ideally as we develop more as a society it will become something that happens less in reality and more in games and entertainment. If we think that playing violent games CAUSES violence in our society, I would dispute that (as I think most people here would).

For the record I’m totally pro gun control, there is no reason to have a gun in your home. There were guns in my home growing up, but even stored securely I think the proper place for them is locked up at the range.

Finally let me leave you with a poem which I think highlights the consequences – this was in an amazing documentary called The World At War which I recommend you all watch (all 24 hours). As a father this had me in tears.

Do Not Call Me, Father
Anonymous, Soviet Union, 1942

(Son to father…)

Do not call me, father. Do not seek me.
Do not call me. Do not wish me back.
We’re on a route uncharted, fire and blood erase our track.
On we fly on wings of thunder, never more to sheath our swords.
All of us in battle fallen – not to be brought back by words.

Will there be a rendezvous? I know not. I only know we still must fight.
We are sand grains in infinity, never to meet, nevermore to see light.

(Father to son…)

Farewell then my son. Farewell then my conscience.
Farewell my youth, my solace, my one-and-only.

Let this farewell be the end of a story
Of solitude past which now is more lonely.
In which you remained barred forever from light,
From air, with your death pains untold.
Untold and unsoothed, never to be resurrected.
Forever and ever an 18 year old.

Farewell then.
No trains ever come from those regions,
Unscheduled and scheduled.
No aeroplanes fly there.

Farewell then my son,
For no miracles happen, as in this world
Dreams do not come true.

Farewell.
I will dream of you still as a baby,
Treading the earth with little strong toes,
The earth where already so many lie buried.

This song to my son, then, is come to its close.

 

discolt,

There is a lot government can do to make it better for both gun owner and non gun owners. But they wont. And the above point is good, guns/war/military is pretty glorified atm.

 

Great article that I very much agree with. The USA has kazillions of guns in circulation, it is a pandoras box that cannot be shut again, thus gun control would only leave honest citizens disarmed. Australia on the other hand doesn’t have a widespread gun availability issue to start with, so I’m all for strict gun control here.

GamingKen that’s a really interesting step you took for your moral code, respect.

I see virtual violence like sport. It can be something to replace the innate cave-man need for aggression and action through competition. It can also educate and be a great reminder of how much IRL violence sucks. But ONLY if the user is mature enough to understand these things.

 

Well I’m in an odd position when it comes to guns. I like them a lot, mostly through research and modding games (particularly Jagged Alliance 2) and correcting guns stats.

I’ve also shot a few and it turns out I like shooting, plus I’m pretty good at it to.

However I’ve always lived in countries where gun control is so strict the only 3 factions with guns are the criminals (no problems getting them), the police (usually not as practiced at using them as criminals) and the military. Anyone with a gun not part of those factions is vilified by other people who don’t have one, usually for no real reason.

Guns are only a problem in the hands of those who would abuse them. This is the same for kitchen knives and even a damn ball point pen. The issue is usually that guns are designed for the sole purpose of killing. However like any tool with a purpose I still don’t see it as reasonable to fear or dislike them.

Something else I find odd, is that people can’t separate game from reality. I have no problems shooting some fake entity in a game world with a gun. The gun’s fake, the world is fake as is the target be it a representation of a tree or a human, or even a toad. It’s all just make believe. Yet some people seem to find the reflection of reality as too disturbing or close to it for their liking, others (usually extremists) then try to force that opinion on others, especially if they have some semblance of power.

Back to the real things though and I have the same enjoyment from them as any other skill based action. I like the challenge of being accurate, I like how many things you have to think of and coordinate to get that perfect shot. I don’t like them for the capacity to wound, maim or kill, but I am much more secure in that I can use one if needed for defensive purposes without issue.

TBH I think as a whole people have gotten too complacent about their safety and it only takes a few seconds to have your life turned upside down one way or the other. Having the ability to alter that outcome from knowledge, skill and wisdom is always preferable to ignorance, fear and panic.

 

discolt,

matty:

I’ll be impressed if the conversation is this civil by comment 10.

Given this is comment 11, I’m just gonna say anyone who likes guns is a redneck sister humping psycho who got bullied at school.

/jks

Seriously, it’s an interesting paradox where you’ll find many who like playing FPS also believe in gun control. At the very least for me, FPS (and games in general) are a form of escape and allow me to do things that I wouldn’t dream of committing in the real world. I wonder how many shooters out there play FPS games?

I admire the power and the workmanship of a gun, but that doesn’t translate to the belief that everyone should have one. Bona fide hunters, farmers should have guns, but I’m of a firm view that “self defence” is not a valid excuse to have a gun. Just ask Oscar Pistorius :/

 

Actually you know what I want more than better gun laws? Airsoft. If they’d just fucking legalize airsoft I’d be so happy.

 

Shot a gun once, into a sandbag. Didn’t like it very much. Got shot in the arse by a mate with a slug gun too. Wasn’t real keen on that either.

FPS guns are different though. As you’re doling out lead in measured doses, it feels more like a priest annointing with holy water, or ladling out human kindness at a soup kitchen. “Take that my friend. Peace on you. And a dose for you too old chap…”

 

discolt:
Actually you know what I want more than better gun laws? Airsoft. If they’d just fucking legalize airsoft I’d be so happy.

Heh. I remember travelling to Hong Kong and seeing all the airsoft shops there, I was like a kid in a candy store. Shame I couldn’t bring any back :(

I doubt airsoft will ever get legalised in Australia. The police would definitely oppose it. Too many dickheads out there who will use these guns for stupid things.

 

That’s true Ralph, but those dickheads can just buy replica guns in QLD or WA, or just resort to using other weapons to achieve their nefarious goals. Honestly if they said to me that if I handed in my firearms licence and my guns in exchange for the ability to own airsoft rifles/pistols and play it as a sport, I think I probably would!

 

i do like the idea of you writing about the fact that you don’t like guns but really enjoy fps and would like to read a more in depth about that aspect of being so opposed about some thing in reality yet fine with it in a virtual world.

How ever, im sorry but how can this be published on this gaming web site, its content is some what racist in saying American gun owners just want to kill people, while barely relating to the subject of gaming while aggressively shoving your anti gun agenda in my face.

gun control doesn’t work it never worked before it doesn’t work now and wont work in the future.

The UK has very little guns and very few deaths and the toughest laws regarding things like knives and assaults and a huge net work of CCTV cameras, it also is the most dangerous place in Europe. Yet places like Switzerland and Sweden where the governments gives all of its citizens the current standard rifle of choice in use by the military has almost no crime or drug use despite both being completely legal.

guns are not the problem the reason there are so many people killed by guns in the US is because its turning in to a 3rd world country, currently 2/3 are on welfare or food stamps, 1/5 people are born in to poverty, you cant afford health care unless your in the upper middle class, the government is broke and there’s states filing for bankruptcy. But lets look at banning what ever the latest (and not even the most used) tool people are using to kill each other rather then the actual underlining problems America is facing.

 

squishie:
How ever, im sorry but how can this be published on this gaming web site, its content is some what racist in saying American gun owners just want to kill people, while barely relating to the subject of gaming while aggressively shoving your anti gun agenda in my face.

I’m not sure if I missed it but I don’t see anywhere in the article that says American gun owners just want to kill people.

 

I too enjoy shooting things in games, and reading books where things get shot and “in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war”, I enjoy it quite a lot. And I also think that I don’t really have a huge issue with guns, just certain types of guns for certain situations seem over kill. I enjoyed shooting an air rifle at a rifle range, and clay pigeon shooting with a shotgun. But I can’t wrap my head around the idea of needing a assault type rifle with a large magazine. (Apologies if the terminoogy is wrong, really not into guns lol) for target shooting or hunting.

But that’s just like, my opinion, man.

 

discolt,

There is an Airsoft place in Auckland that let people of ages 10+ to play. Having seen the marks they leave I’d love to meet the tough 10yo who is playing Airsoft :P

 

makena:
I too enjoy shooting things in games, and reading books where things get shot and “in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war”, I enjoy it quite a lot. And I also think that I don’t really have a huge issue with guns, just certain types of guns for certain situations seem over kill. I enjoyed shooting an air rifle at a rifle range, and clay pigeon shooting with a shotgun. But I can’t wrap my head around the idea of needing a assault type rifle with a large magazine. (Apologies if the terminoogy is wrong, really not into guns lol) for target shooting or hunting.

But that’s just like, my opinion, man.

Interesting comment, using automatic large mag battle/assault rifles or SMG’s with large mag’s is actually more of a convenience thing for sporting shooters. It also requires a slightly different skill set to semi-auto and single fire/bolt action firearms.

Comparing to motorsport, someone not interested in motorsport wouldn’t see much of a difference between Mini racing and GT3 Endurance races. But the skills are very different and the nuances of the disciplines lost on those who aren’t interested.

Personally I’ve fired semi-auto 22LR’s, 9mm Pistols, Air Rifles/Pistols, 12 Gauge Shotty’s and a semi-auto 5.56 Rifle. I would love to try out some higher calibre guns, primarily for the sporting aspect, secondarily for experience and knowledge.

@squishie – I think you read into the American’s bit a little too much. It’s just the easiest comparison. You are dead right about Sweden and Switzerland vs the UK as well. Having lived in the UK for 20yrs it was and still is overly controlled by rubbish legislation. Both the USA and the UK aren’t addressing the base issues that are the cause of crime in their respective countries as they have no idea how to go about it, so the talking heads just spout all sorts of prattle about cracking down on crime by talking crap.

However something often forgotten in the argument is the effect patriotism has on people and how it also contributes a lot to the almost tribal mentality of a lot of people these days. It’s especially visible here in Australia, but is still very obvious in the USA and UK with people blindly acting without thought.

 
Leave a comment

You can use the following bbCode
[i], [b], [img], [quote], [url href="http://www.google.com/"]Google[/url]

Leave a Reply

PC Gaming Calendar 2014

Follow Games.on.net

YouTube

Steam Group

Upcoming Games

Community Soapbox

Recent Features
Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 made me fall in love with turn-based RPGs

This Kickstarter-powered old-school RPG delivers in unexpected ways.

Destiny

Destiny is a Very Good Shooting Game, but in 2014, I want more

James comes away from Destiny impressed, but feeling like Bungie could have done a lot more.

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Sudden price rises for games just make everybody mad – so why do publishers keep doing it?

Pictured: Australians fighting against The Gigantic Price-Gouge Claw.

The Sims 4

The Sims 4 SteelSeries giveaway! Four prize packs up for grabs

Get your hands on some sim-ply excellent gear.

Streaming Radio
Radio Streams are restricted to iiNet group customers.

GreenManGaming MREC

Facebook Like Box