In a somewhat creepy, and certainly tone-deaf, move, the NRA recently launched an iPhone game app that kids can use to shoot coffin-like targets.
And the game is rated for kids aged “4+” – meaning, 4 year olds and up. Four year olds? Seriously?
And for any who might think that’s simply the game’s rating, as in “how many stars did reviewers give it,” look at this other shooting game and its rating of “9+”:
You can read more about the age ratings here at TechCrunch:
When you go to submit your app through iTunes Connect, one of the steps takes you to a ratings matrix that you must fill out. This contains 10 questions listed under “Apple Content Descriptions.” For each of the 10 questions you must say “None”, “Infrequent/Mild”, or “Frequent/Intense.” Depending on what answer you give for each of these, the rating of your app in the upper right corner will change. These ratings go from “4+” to “9+” to “12+” to “17+” to “No Rating.”
The game, called “NRA: Practice Range,” was released on January 9, a little more than three weeks since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 six- and seven- year-old children were murdered in a spray of gunfire from a legally-bought weapon.
Three weeks later, and the NRA is back is back in the business of peddling guns to kids. But it’s actually worse than that…
One of the options in the “game” is indoor target practice that has kids shooting at things that look like coffins.
Just as troubling is the fact that this isn’t just a kid’s game – it’s part of the NRA propaganda machine, helping to push political criticism of the White House and Democratic members of Congress to impressionable children. The NRA admits up front that this is more than just a “game.”
At the opening screen that I printed above, one of the options is “NRA INFO.” If a child selects that, he/she then get to choose among other topics, including Gun Safety, NRA News, Hunting Season, Gun Laws, and Legislation. The NRA News and Legislation sections are pure NRA propaganda, intended to criticize the Democratic White House and Democrats in Congress.
Most if not all of the top stories on those page critical of Democrats, only. Of the four top stories on the “NRA NEWS” page, one story criticizes VP Bideen, another President Obama, a third Democratic Senator Feinstein, and a fourth, anti-gun House members (and guess who they list in the article, only Democrats). See four screen shots below.
A larger question is why Apple is permitting NRA “kids” games at all, let alone ones that seem to be attempting to subtly (or not so subtly) propagandize impressionable young iPhone users. And for four year olds?
Some of the reviewers for the “game” were understandably upset – and one raised an excellent point: If the NRA is so upset about violent games, why is it creating a game based on violence?
If Apple is against porn on the iPhone, shouldn’t it be against gun-porn as well?