Summer Game Fest just showed me how much I don’t want to play with guns

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I’ll admit right away that I’ve never been one for the shooter genre of video games. In fact, the Infernal Arms – which are essentially a weapon – were by far my least favorite weapon Hades. To quote mine BFF Obi-Wan Kenobi, “So uncivilized.” But when I watched the Summer Game Fest presentation on June 9th, I was presented with shooter after shooter after shooter. In the face of this flood of digitized semi-automatic weapons, I realized something. Amidst a relentless wave of real-world mass shootings, the allure of marksmen seems even more remote than usual. i Yes, really I don’t want to play a gun game right now.

The opening presentation of the Sumer Game Fest started with street fighter 6. punching! Excellent, love it. But then it was a parade of games that followed men (and a small handful of women) slinging guns down their backs: Aliens: Dark Descent, The Callisto Protocol, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, storm gate, etc etc I was bombarded with first person shooter POVs. If the trailer for Goat Simulator 3 appeared, I wanted to cheer. You mean there’s a game where I can ram someone like a goat without shooting them? In a game in the year of our lord 2022? Wow. Great. Even neon white— an indie game I was looking forward to when it was announced last year — hit me differently and felt a lot less engaging. It felt more like “just another shooter” than last year.

The botched landing of this trailer parade is entirely due to the present moment we are in. We live in the vivid aftermath of mass shooting tragedies, in a country where politicians can’t even agree that you have to be 21 to drink alcohol, so maybe you should be 21 if you’re looking to buy an AR-15 . (Not to mention whether or not you should even buy an AR-15, but I’m already flinching at the thought of what goodies will find their way into my inbox after this article, so I’m not going there).

Looks. I’m not suggesting that violence in video games leads to an increase in violence in the real world. We all know that’s bullshit. Though Republican politicians are pointing fingers (or to the existence of doors) to divert attention from the need for gun control, study after study has proven that video games do not cause gun violence. If so, common sense says, why isn’t there more gun violence in countries like Japan? I’m saying as a person living in America I already have to worry about a shooter showing up when I go to the grocery store or to the movies or whatever. Standing behind a gun in a video game doesn’t feel like a release from that environmental anxiety — it feels exhausting.

I’m not saying that to raise a finger at Summer Game Fest, or even at the developers for this series of trailers. These games have been in development for years. But for the future it might be nice if movie studios and game developers were constantly thinking about making guns look cool. I, for one, am tired of seeing guns constantly glorified when I could be flipping through the news in the real world given arbitrarily Day and see that there has been another mass shooting. Maybe I would feel differently if our government actually did something to solve the problem, or if our president didn’t go on late-night shows and say, “Wow, I wish someone would do something!” But we’re stuck in this gun-smashing hell. I’m sick. I play video games to escape from reality, thank you very much. I’d much rather outfit my tainted with Wolverine claws and go into town that way.

I’m not trying to embarrass anyone who is into shooters and who does find escape in them. you make yourself But even when I chat with like-minded people, I know I’m not alone in my gun-game fatigue. Watching Summer Game Fest felt a bit like tuning in stranger things 4 a few days after filming in Uvalde, Texas, and was greeted by an opening scene graphically depicting dead children. Even the Disney+ Obi Wan Kenobi The series began with images of slaughtered children. I… come on.

(Selected image: Activision)

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