Game Over: Video game industry urged to stop marketing deadly weapons to children, “who are considered possible future owners”


video games guns game over

Just a little something I received in my inbox (bolding mine). A fitting sequel to my last post, San Francisco sues gun companies for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines disguised as gun repair kits:

 Game Over: Video Game Industry Urged to Stop Promoting Guns and Gun Manufacturers

As E3 Conference Kicks Off, New Report Condemns Licensing Agreements and Product Placement for Guns in Games

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Launches Pledge Petition

Washington, DC – According to a new report out today, video game manufacturers are signing profitable licensing agreements and product placement deals with the gun industry, and providing a dangerous promotional platform for assault weapons and other military-style weapons, including the same firearms used in mass shootings at Columbine and Sandy Hook Elementary.

According to the report, these video games often feature real-world weapons by make and model and have offered cross-promotional opportunities to players, often children, to purchase them once the game is over.

The report, published today by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and The Gun Truth Project urges the video game industry to cut commercial ties to weapons manufacturers and to end deals with the gun industry that promote deadly weapons to children.

The report’s publication comes as the video game industry convenes in Los Angeles for its annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

“We are outraged that video game companies and gun manufacturers are entering into deals to market guns to our children, particularly given the real-life epidemic of gun violence in America,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The report demonstrates that licensing deals between video game companies and gun manufacturers are specifically aimed at increasing the visibility of firearms. One gun industry representative cited in the report even brags that video games provide an opportunity to promote to children, “who are considered possible future owners.”

However, the report shows that these promotional deals are actually not profitable for video game manufacturers. In fact, games featuring real-world guns identified by make and model do not sell any better than games with made-up weapon names. According to the report, the economic benefit is almost exclusively on the gun manufacturers' side.

One of the largest video game manufacturers, Electronic Arts (EA), announced just last month that it would no longer enter into licensing agreements with gun manufacturers after a legal dispute over a licensing agreement.

“We not only applaud that decision, we are asking the rest of the video game industry to follow suit,” said Watts. “There is no reason why video game manufacturers should do the gun industry's dirty work, promoting assault and military-style weapons to our children and teens.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is urging video game companies to follow Electronic Arts’ lead and sign a pledge not to enter into any new licensing or product placement deals with gun manufacturers. The Every Child Matters Education Fund is supporting the effort.

Michael Petit, President of the national children’s advocacy group, the Every Child Matters Education Fund, added “thousands of children and teenagers are killed by guns every year. How any company, knowing that, could continue to market guns to our kids is simply beyond me. It is unacceptable.”

While the link between video games and real-world violence continues to be investigated, the report out today details the link between recent mass shootings and the video games of choice of the mass shooters and the correlation to the weapons they used in the shootings. For example, it has been widely reported that the Newtown elementary school shooter was an avid player of Call of Duty, which features Bushmaster semi-automatic rifles. During  last December's shooting spree, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, he fired off 154 shots from a Bushmaster XM15-E2S.

“The manufacturers of video games should not enter into deals that promote assault weapons and military-style weapons to our children. The gun industry and their lobbyists have proven time and again that they’re only motive is profit, not encouraging reforms or regulations that would make our children and families safer. To them, our children are pawns to be manipulated for profit,” said Watts.


About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America ( was created to build support for common-sense gun legislation. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. In just six months, the organization has more than 100,000 members with more than 90 local chapters in 40 states across the country.

Every Child Matters Education Fund was established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization to make public investments in children, youth, and families a national political priority.

The Gun Truth Project is a working group and rapid response team leading efforts to expose, isolate, and fracture the gun lobby.