Caleb has something good to say about the Call of Duty Effect, and I have to agree:
But hereâ€™s the thing â€“ yeah, those kids can beÂ annoying at times.Â But instead of shunning them or casting them aside, I truly believe that we need to embrace the video game generation and their love of firearms.Â You see a kid thatâ€™s interested in learning about the BushmasterÂ ACR, or M4Â Carbines or whatever because heâ€™s been playing Modern Warfare?Â Talk to that kid.Â Educate him, donâ€™t dismiss him.Â Someone come to your range with his freshly purchased semi-auto Thompson because it was awesome in a World War II game?Â That kid is the future of our shooting sports, right there.Â Take him to a USPSA match, because that kid needs the adrenaline from Run and Gun.
I have probably said this before, but I honestly believe that the video game generation is our future in the shooting sports.Â Think about it for a minute â€“ kids growing up playing games that involve firearms are going to have fewer mystical beliefs than those that have never been exposed to any type of firearm, digital or otherwise, so there is the potential for great teaching and recruiting opportunities.Â Itâ€™s up to us to capitalize on that opportunity.
Video games are about the only way boys can play with guns these days. BB guns? Pretty much out. Cowboys and Indians at the playground at school? Hell no! No in the days of “zero tolerance.” Â I think Caleb is right. The future shooting sports participants are going to be the Counterstrike Kiddies, or whatever it is the kids are playing today.
8 thoughts on “We Used to Call them Counterstrike Kiddies”
Video games?? Let me tell you a maddening story.
WII has a game for kids that happens to be big game hunting. My son wanted it, he got it. It comes with a rifle shaped plastic controller. Guess where the Wii folks placed the trigger on the plastic rifle? Up by the end of the barrel. It has a trigger guard and in it are some controls to start and stop the game, not a trigger to shoot. I was furious, and fired off a letter. Never returned any response to me.
We returned the game.
The mechanics of the wii remote probably dictated the trigger placement. Still not something to encourage.
I like the reasoning. I really do. And I want so hard to believe it. But as a shooter who happens to be a gamer, and specifically as someone who plays Modern Warfare, I really don’t want some of the people I run into online to be on the next lane from me at the range. Some of them are fine – I am one of “them.” But some of them are questionable.
Even if only 10% of the online jerkoffishness leaked thru IRL shooting, you’d have people at IDPA matches screaming “OMG n00b, go kill yerself plz k? You are teh suck at life and should die.” Or at the other end, I’ve heard people (kids) literally crying because me or someone else killed them x times, or at an inopportune moment for them, or that I only shot them 13 times with an RPD and I was a hacker, etc. If only their parents could hear some of the things they say…
Those kind of people need to get out more… And, probably, a chunk of their parents’ DO hear what they say.
I’m going to need a porch, rocking chair, and shotgun at this rate.
I’m not saying that every kid that plays Halo or Modern Warfare is someone we should recruit for USPSA. What I am saying is that if one of those games is enough to spark an interest in firearms in a teenager/young adult and then said teen/adult goes to a gun store or the range, that we should nuture them then. Or if a kid asks about gun stuff because he saw it in a video game, try to nuture that in the right direction.
Sure, there are d-bags that play video games, but we’re not necessarily trying to recruit people as we are trying to cultivate the interest of kids that are showing an independant interest in firearms because they saw it in a game.
BB Guns may be out, but you can buy full-auto belt-fed tripod-mounted NERF guns these days, and NERF guns with laser-esque sights, rails, hi-cap mags and shoulder things that go up ( http://archive.exurbanleague.com/2009/11/30/were-still-winning.aspx ), and the kids who have those today are going to play 1st person shooter video games and shoot airsoft guns with their friends as they grow up.
Any kid who has a background like that is going to be fascinated with AR’s and Glocks and the like. The natural desire to get ahold of real versions of the toy guns they’ve played with for years will be there: Are we as responsible gun owners going to teach them safe gun use, or are they going to be statistics for the Brady bunch when they find out that that there is no re-spawning when you shoot someone with a real gun?
That’s how I got here. A coupla years ago, I was playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and fell in love with the USP compact. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and began learning how guns worked. I became fascinated by the combination of mechanical intricacy and inherent simplicity that embody firearms. Things just kind of snowballed from there.
(Sigh) I have had high-school boys turn down a free ride to the range and the use of someone else’s rifles and ammo, because they were on-line with each other and too busy playing a shooting game to get up and go shooting. One of these fellows was later treated by a child psychologist: his honors-section grades had collapsed from “screen addiction.” You may as well say there are a lot of drug addicts, so shooting up is the future of shooting.
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