NRA says shooting game is designed to educate about safe gun use and laws
The NRA has released a gun target practice game for iPhone and iPad, just weeks after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The game, approved as suitable for children aged four and above, is free to download and described by the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a "mobile nerve centre" that uses "fun challenges" to educate and inform about gun laws and safety in the US.
Featuring a target practice game where players are asked to shoot coffins, the game also includes instructions such as "Start Shooting". Customer reviews of the app have described it as a "sick joke". One reviewer questioned why Apple had seen fit to rate the game as suitable for children aged four and above.
Announced on the eve of the Shot Show in Las Vegas, a major shooting and gun trade show, the NRA game comes at a time of fierce debate about gun laws in the US. Vice-President Joe Biden is expected to make his recommendations on gun control on Tuesday.
Video games are often blamed as having an influence on gun violence. In an open letter to Vice-President Biden the Entertainment Consumers Association said that banning or regulating games was pointless.
"With the recent tragedy on everyone's minds, some people are looking for a cause and culprit other than the shooter. Unfortunately some are blaming media, including video games, for violent behaviour in individuals.
"We know this isn't the case; banning or regulating media content even more won't solve the issue."
Medl Mobile, the company who developed the NRA game, has created more than 80 iPhone and iPad games. Amongst its back catalogue is Shotgun Free, a game which encourages players to "unleash a high-calibre hellstorm".
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