Marketing Link Between Guns and Violent Video Games?

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

After National Rifle Association CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre blamed video games for mass shootings last week, the New York Times delved into the connection between guns and games and found a marketing link between some violent video game manufacturers and the makers of firearms.

Makers of firearms and related gear have come to see video games as a way to promote their brands to millions of potential customers, marketing experts said …

Assault-style rifles made by Bushmaster Firearms have a roster of credits that any actor would envy, including appearances in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, a part of the popular Activision series.

The gunman in the Connecticut killings, Adam Lanza, used a semiautomatic rifle made by Bushmaster, which is a unit of the Freedom Group.

The most recent entry in the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops II, featured models of weapons that are also made by Barrett and Browning. Another popular game sold by Electronic Arts, Battlefield 3, depicts assault rifles and pistols similar to those made by Colt, Heckler & Koch, Glock and Beretta.

The American military also uses Call of Duty and other video games for recruitment and to train soldiers.


But Slate reports that the relationship has some apparent tension, because gamers and gun buffs aren't too enthusiastic when the link is too obvious.

While video games often license the image of the firearms used, manufacturers don't necessarily want their products associated with illegal activity depicted in some games. And gamers have previously gotten Electronic Arts to remove links on a promotion for Medal of Honor Warfighter that brought users to the websites of a gun maker and a gun accessories manufacturer.


Read more at the New York Times and Slate.

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