Players are pretty happy with Fortnite's new Tactical Assault Rifle

Originally published at:

And we wonder why the US has a gun problem…


Most of what I know about Fortnite is celebratory whee-happy fun-times posts about all the goofies and the wackies, so a post like this, with that illustration, looks like parody.

“Haha, what if this game that every kid in America plays had guns in it? And treated them with the same sense of gleeful joy as all the pandabears and flying schoolbuses and everything? That’d be pretty messed up lol, I bet it’d have ads like this”


Enh. I like Team Fortress 2 A LOT and would probably get equally addicted to Fortnite if I tried. But I have no wish to pick up a real gun or real grenade launcher and start firing away at others.


I have to say, I love games, but Fortnite looks just annoying, and all the parents I know are deeply distressed by the addicted spending of time and money by their kids to get the latest junk.

I’m sure though the publishers are coining it.

And people are going to leap all over you about how violence in video games doesn’t increase the likelihood of real-world violence while missing the entire point. I will never be convinced that this fetishization of guns in our society doesn’t have a direct and dramatic impact on their proliferation and our acquiescence to their pervasiveness.
Of course, there is also a whole lot of terrible Supreme Court precedent, aggressive lobbying and a complete unwillingness to enforce existing laws or pass reasonable new ones at play here, but there is zero chance our obsession with guns doesn’t act as a propellant.


It’s rather impressive that they haven’t already botched everything up so badly as to completely alienate a large fraction of their audience. But it’s probably just a matter of time.

1 Like

The game has been filled with every sort of gun imaginable since Day 1. What, did you think kids were throwing pies at each other? Shooting guns and building forts to shoot guns from and trying not to get shot by guns is literally the entire focus of the game.


I did not intend to be controversial as I am neither totally pro or anti gun (I believe there should be restrictions but am against total bans). I’m also not anti-video game: I used to love the original Doom-style FPSs back in the day (I avoid all video games now due to the time suck and in-app purchases which have become de rigueur).

Something about Jason’s description though just struck me hard this morning. I mean, his writing sounds like it could have been lifted straight out of the pages of Guns & Ammo - including lots of three letter acronyms and very specific methods for efficiently offing your opponents. He could very well be writing a review for the latest AR-15 knockoff.

Guns appeal to our lizard brains and we learn from incredibly young ages first to point with our fingers and sticks, moving up to squirt guns and dart guns, graduating to BB guns and hyper-realistic airsoft replicas. Somewhere we’ve developed a deep subconscious lust for objects that propel projectiles towards targets.

These influences are obviously all around us - including these seemingly innocuous games. Yet we ask the same questions over and over again about where our fetish for guns comes from and how can we counteract the influence of the NRA every time another school is shot up. Celebrating the effectiveness of Fortnite’s Combat Shotguns in Close Quarters Combat maybe doesn’t help.


This is exactly the same kind of “clearly, kids using guns in videogames lead directly to school shootings” argument that our finest GOP senators use constantly. You’re literally stating that Fortnite introducing new guns is playing into the NRA’s hands and is the sort of thing that causes people to murder children. How about let’s not.


All I’m saying is how about we think about the influences we are all exposed to on a constant basis which might contribute to the US gun culture.

Why is this any different than other topics such as toxic masculinity or covert racism that we debate every day here on BBS?


No, they’re quite literally not saying that. This knee jerk reactivity that gamers and their sympathizers has is a big, weird blind spot that is completely mystifying to me. That we can’t even discuss it without being told that there is no consequence to guns saturating our culture, especially in this one specific realm, should put everyone willing to think about these things in good faith at a deep level of unease.


I have my doubts about guns in movies and video games being a major factor in American gun culture (or at least American gun violence) because other cultures around the world that are exposed to those same movies and video games don’t seem to have the same problems with gun violence.


I agree. I doubt that it’s a major factor and think that the issues I cited above are far greater precipitating factors; chief among these being proliferation. However, it seems there is just no reasonable discussion to be had around this issue as it pertains to video game violence specifically, and that really worries me. Especially in a forum such as this that is largely free of the toxic one-sidedness of most internet forums. To say that there is no impact whatsoever just seems insane to me.

Edited for poor grammar.

1 Like

I absolutely disagree. The post above criticizes Jason’s language as being unnecessarily militant and NRA-esque and states that Fortnite’s new guns and discussing them here shows “the influence of the NRA” and how it leads to school shootings. This is the same junk Tipper Gore and her ilk have been talking about for decades and it’s not useful here, either. If you feel that’s insane, that’s fine. I reject that argument, especially when it’s equated with ‘covert racism’ or ‘toxic masculinity’.

1 Like

Ok, I’m really not trying to be argumentative here, but the quote you extract:

…seems to me to be saying that it’s weird that we’re willing to talk about gun violence within the context of lobbying and propaganda campaigns, but not even touch the impact that gun fetishization in culture has. Video games happen to provoke an especially fervent denial that there’s any impact whatsoever. Which I truly do understand as you so correctly remind us how they’ve been routinely sold as the primary cancer precipitating gun violence in America. But these things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You don’t find it at all possible that the vast majority of users can separate the fantasy from reality while a select few revel in the violence and see it as a prelude to real-world action?

We have a serious issue with guns in this country. There are lots of factors at play. That this particular topic is verboten strikes me as a major blindspot that in many ways mirrors denialism of institutional racism. Saying that they bear some of the same hallmarks is not the same as directly equating them.

ETA: Hmm. The way that quote extracted makes it appear to come from the wrong account.


You’re taking my words out of context. I wasn’t equating these subjects to each other…I’m merely saying that we debate sensitive topics like racism or toxic masculinity here every day and the various (suspected) causes and effects such as incels and PUA that contribute to them being a problem in our society. Why is the correlation of real life violence and in-game violence off limits?

@cannibalpeas is correct that my intention is to spur debate about the various influences and hidden biases that we all carry around inside us without realizing that they may (or may not) contribute to the US fascination and fetishization of guns. Jason’s post today, and the way he happily listed out the features and benefits of the new fictitious gun in Fortnite jolted me in a way that I hadn’t really thought about before.

I agree that you cannot draw a straight line from violent video games to real life violence and I am in no way qualified to defend such a claim. However, taking a more nuanced position, I do believe there is a cause/effect influence at some level that deserves further examination.


Fortnight is most likely the main reason Epic (the publisher) was able to afford to eliminate subscription fees for their main product, Unreal Engine, and also how they are funding their current efforts to boost their digital store by doling out piles of cash for exclusive short-term distribution rights for a bunch of high-profile games.

I wish they were publicly traded.


Might it be that US culture generally is full of guns (pro and anti)?

From my perspective, the US has a situation where guns take an almost mythical, heroic status - regardless of whether one is for or against having them.

Is that culture because of the video games and films or are the films and video games because of the culture?

1 Like

Is it video games of guns being readily available that permits/causes mass shootings, or is it guns being readily available?