The Atlantic

Why It’s So Hard to Stop Marketing Guns in Video Games

Video games don’t cause mass shootings, but they do serve as insidious advertisements for weapons.
Source: Jae C. Hong / AP

Video-game guns are so similar to real guns that comparing the two has spawned its own YouTube micro-genre. Fans of the most popular first-person shooter games—Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds—have created dozens of “guns in real life” videos, dedicated to explaining all the similarities between real guns and their virtual counterparts: their weight, their rate of fire, the physical stamina needed to carry and fire them in real life, and their efficacy in each corresponding game. Brownells, a real-world gun and gun-accessory manufacturer, has done the same.

Nonetheless, gaming companies are desperate to separate themselves from the idea—spread by almost since —that they have a role in causing gun violence. Even to those who generally accept the disproving , the optics are undeniably: “Video games are not a gun-violence problem. But video games do have a PR problem.”

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