A Very 'Unofficial NRA Game' Uses Their Own Quotes To Shoot The Gun Lobby's Logic Full Of Holes

When it comes to the increasing scapegoating that says video games cause mass shootings, game-makers haven't had a whole lot to say in their chosen medium. Most video game companies and their representatives seem to be choosing to stay away from a debate in the court of public opinion, operating maybe on the principle that they may get outmaneuvered in the land of soundbites and pop punditry.

But Molleindustria isn't most game companies. And the man behind the indie agit-prop dev studio may have outmaneuvered the NRA and the gun lobby's political allies with a bite-sized game that shows how more guns don't necessarily make anyone safer.

The Best Amendment is a satirical game about how guns make you the good guy. It's also a game about how guns make the same you a bad guy, too. Simple controls -- WASD to move and mouse-clicks to shoot -- let you pursue the game's only goal, which is to collect stars. Things get tricky when you start having to dodge the bullets of other gun-toting characters, who are actually your ghosts tracing the paths you previously made.

Sure, you get bigger better weapons as you go but they're no match for the sheer number of past selves you'll face up against. As you play Best Amendment and inevitably die, the words of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre flash onscreen. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." But that assertion doesn't hold up in a game filled with guns.

The implicit argument embedded in the game is that the only way to stop gun violence is to not pick up a gun at all and/or to stop access to guns. Now, Paolo Pedercini -- the man behind Molleindustria -- leans way to the left in terms of his personal and professional politics. He's made games about the futility of trying to control information in the era of Wikileaks, the soul-crushing nature of working for big corporations and the messy business of being a unmanned drone pilot. Any accusatory claim of bias on his part would likely be answered with "guilty as charged." All Molleindustria games try to force players to re-think what they take for granted about the politics that circumscribe their lives.

Still, the most important thing about Best Amendment is that it's a video game that rebuts some of the harshest criticisms being thrown at the medium right now. It's a playable put-down of the people who would shift blame for tragedies like the Newtown massacre onto entertainment companies and not weapons manufacturers. Whether you agree with the game's stance or not, it's still a damn good thing that it -- as a piece art that doesn't shy away from political realities -- exists at all.

The Best Amendment [Molleindustria]


Comments

    Haven't done anything but read the description, but that sounds brilliant.

    According to a study done sometime in the late 1990s (I think it was, forget the name off the top of my head), one of the most common factors across all school shootings (in the US) was that the person (or persons) were ostracized by their peers... it wasnt that they were crazy or even playing violent video games. So using violent video games as a scapegoat isnt really justified...

    EDIT: Leary, M.R., Kowalski, R.M., Smith, L., & Phillips, S. (2003). Teasing, rejection and violence: Case studies of the school shootings. Aggressive Behavior, 29, 202-214.

    Incidentally, other more recent studies (Wike and Fraser, 2009 T.L. Wike, M.W. Fraser School shootings: making sense of the senseless. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 162 (2009), pp. 162–169
    have said that ostracism isnt as great of a factor as first thought, but seem to suggest that video games arent as anywhere near as important as other factors.

    Seems like an interesting game though...

    Last edited 19/03/13 8:29 pm

      Video games aren't a factor at all. Video games dont make you violent (proven), they dont make you depressed, they don't ostrcise you and there is a correlation with video games and the relief of or reduction of aggression and violent crimes.

      So i get rather annoyed anytime anyone says video games or movies are a "FACTOR" because that's like saying nursery rymes are a factor in terrorism or violence against women or racism (bah bah black sheep anyone). It's ridiculous unfounded and just another scape goat because people can't accept the truth.

      People who go on rampages are mentally ill due to a number of world factors such as poor home life, poor school life, depression, sexuality issues and on it goes. No where in this equation does video games come in, if anything the only relation is that potentially violent shooters like playing shooting games.

        Firstly, (violent video games) do increase aggression which can, but that doesnt necessarily lead to violence. There are literally thousands of studies on that. Just check google scholar. More studies would say that there is a positive correlation between violent video games and aggression (rather than a negative correlation as you suggest). I dont know where you got that info (but would like to know) because, personally, I reckon its pretty shaky.

        Secondly I never said violent video games were a factor in school shootings, rather I said that being rejected was (and said that only one study suggested video games were involved in one of MANY cases). Also, if you read closely, I said that it was unjustified to use video games as a scapegoat.

        Thirdly your analogy is flawed. Associating violent video games and violence is nothing like associaring nursey rhymes and terrorism. How are they even remotely similar?

          Sigh ninja you missed the entire point of my post and YOU ARE whats wrong with society.

          Even mentioning a slight link between real world and video game violence gives more kindling to the fire, as Nexi stated.

          You just stated video games aren't a factor but then said they CAN LEAD TO VIOLENCE. *insert buzzer noise for stupid answer* No they can't, no study in the entire world that has been legitimately run from neutral sources (as in not NRA studies to scape goat) or that has had real proper testing has ever found video games to cause real world violence. The only thing that has been found is that it stimulates the aggression center of the brain, which does not mean more aggression so again you are wrong *buzzer sound again*.

          Now my second point "there is a correlation with video games and the relief of or reduction of aggression and violent crimes." What that means is there (key word here) "appears to be" a link with video games and the decrease of actual violent crimes, hence the fucking word correlation, google it for christs sake so you even know what im saying.

          My terrorist/racism analogy is not flawed it was used to illustrate the point that video games do not and have never been shown to make people violent or cause violent crimes, EVER. Just like the nursery rhyme bah bah black sheep hasn't increased the amount of racism in children. Even saying its a factor, or has a chance to cause, or was INVOLVED (as you stated too) any such terminology is fucking flat out wrong and makes your statement hypocritical.

          As such i wish the people who are too un intelligent for their own good would shut their mouths and stop spreading mis information. Because people like you who are smart enough to think they understand do nothing but make matters worse for those who know what the fuck we are talking about.

          Ps. Not knowing what correlation means in a scientific study shows you don't deserve to be in this argument, even before showing how incorrect your "opinion was"

            It might be kindling to the fire, but it is definitely relevant and worth talking about.

            You misunderstand. I said they can lead to violence, but that they werent a major factor in school shootings. Notice the difference.

            You say that, ""no study in the entire world that has been legitimately run from neutral sources (as in not NRA studies to scape goat) or that has had real proper testing has ever found video games to cause real world violence."

            Here are 2 studies that supposedly show a causal relationship between violent video games and violent/aggressive behaviour. None of the studies I mention below are funded by the NRA (or any such organisations). They are independent or if you would prefer, neutral). There are no conflicts of interest. If you believe they have done improper testing or have a poor methodology, I invite you to read and critique each of them.

            An exerpt from Anderson CA, Sakamoto A, Gentile DA, et al. Longitudinal effects of violent video games on aggression in Japan and the United States. Pediatrics. 2008;122(5).

            "Existing experimental studies demonstrate that playing a violent video game causes an immediate increase in aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, and aggressive emotions". Below are those studies.

            Anderson CA, Carnagey NL, Flanagan M, Benjamin AJ, Eubanks J, Valentine JC. Violent video games: specific effects of violent content on aggressive thoughts and behavior. Adv Exp Soc Psychol.2004;36 :199– 249

            Irwin AR, Gross AM. Cognitive tempo, violent video games, and aggressive behavior in young boys. J Fam Violence.1995;10 (3):337– 350

            You say, 'The only thing that has been found is that it stimulates the aggression center of the brain, which does not mean more aggression so again you are wrong *buzzer sound again*" What do you think stimulating the aggression centre of the brain does? It certinally shows correlation, but not necessarily causation. But it just so happens that some studies show stimulating regions of the brain responsible for aggressive behaviour increase behavioural aggression (will post it later...)

            Seriously though, how can there been a decrease in violent/aggressive behaviour when there is an increase in the brain regions responsible for aggression/violence. I know precisely what you said and understoof it just fine. I'm just asking for scientific studies supporting your point of view. Where is your proof that there is a" a link with video games and the decrease of actual violent crimes "? Show me 2-3 studies (that have proper testing of course).

            You also say, "As such i wish the people who are too un intelligent for their own good would shut their mouths and stop spreading mis information. Because people like you who are smart enough to think they understand do nothing but make matters worse for those who know what the fuck we are talking about. Ps. Not knowing what correlation means in a scientific study shows you don't deserve to be in this argument, even before showing how incorrect your "opinion was""

            How is what I am saying misinfomation? Please enlighten me as to how that is the case. Oh and am I unintelligent or am I smart? Want to make up your mind?

            Oh and for the record, I know the difference between correlation (they are associated) and causation (one precedes the other) and mediation and moderation and other such terms that are relevant to this discussion.

      Sadly this is politics and something need not be justified, only believed by the target demographic in order to keep people making shitty decisions in power.
      Tell everyone over the age of say 50 that video games are responsible for violence and there is a fair bet that some 70% or more will believe you, with or without proof, even if only due to preexisting bias against video games.

      On the topic of the game itself though, going by the description in the article it sounds like a brilliant concept for a game.

      I’ve conducted my own study and found the most common thing in all of history among school shootings (in fact! all mass shootings) is that people had free access to (military issue) guns!

    How does anyone stop a bad guy with a gun?

      Change your morals, beliefs, or way of thinking such that you believe in his cause and thus make him a good guy with a gun?

        You would only be betraying yourself.

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