WASHINGTON, DC�The Violence Policy Center (VPC), joined by Representative
Ed Markey (D-MA), today released its new study, From
Gun Games to Gun Stores: Why the Firearms Industry Wants Their Video Games
on Your Child's Wish List, at a Capitol Hill news conference.
The 19-page full-color report exposes the latest effort by the gun industry
to market firearms to children and teens: gun industry video games. With
titles such as Remington Top Shot, Colt's Wild West Shootout, and Guns
& Ammo: The Ultimate Target Challenge these games are designed, in
the words of the National Rifle Association, to help children and teens
"get into shooting cyber style."
VPC Policy Analyst and study author Marty Langley states, "These games,
marketed as children's toys and sold through channels such as eToys.com
are, in fact, marketing tools to attract new customers for the gun industry.
Such flagrant marketing of a deadly product to children has not been witnessed
since the days of Joe Camel and Spuds McKenzie."
In 1999 the trade publication Shooting Industry stated: "What
we need is a computer game which combines the use of a real handgun...with
state-of-the-art graphics and an exciting story....A game like that would
be an extremely effective vehicle to introduce safe recreational shooting
to the video-game generation." In the U.S., no one under 21 may purchase
a handgun and no one under 18 may purchase a rifle or shotgun from a gun
Through these games, gunmakers offer "virtual" versions of their deadly
products to children to introduce them to firearms and engender brand
loyalty in future customers. Remington Top Shot, which has no age
rating, offers a virtual arsenal that ranges from 50 caliber Desert Eagle
handguns�the most powerful handgun sold in the U.S.�to full-auto assault
rifles. Guns & Ammo: The Ultimate Target Challenge, rated for ages
13 and up, offers over 100 guns from 20 manufacturers. Remington Upland
Game Hunter, which has no age rating, includes what the game itself
refers to as an "On-Line Catalog" of selected Remington guns.
In the study, the VPC calls upon the federal government to investigate
the full range of gun- industry marketing efforts targeted at children