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Guns Galore: Borderlands 3 Due Out September 2019

Borderlands 3

Lock. Load. Loot.

Earlier this month Epic Games dropped its official trailer for Borderlands 3. The newest installment of the highly successful “first-person shooter” saga comes loaded with new planets, co-op game modes, “Vault Hunters,” and an estimated “1B guns” available for game play. This was such a selling point, they make a showy mention of it in the trailer.

In a cultural climate where the influence of violent video games is hotly debated, with even Donald Trump weighing in, it seems as though the gaming industry has reaped the greatest benefit. Research has repeatedly shown that the connection between violent video games and young people who commit violent acts is abysmal. The data collected in these studies show that gamers span a broad range of ages, genders, and locations.

There were only six gun deaths in Japan in 2014, compared with over 33,000 in the United States, according to GunPolicy.org, which tracks published reports on armed violence, firearm law and gun control.

New York Times

Further, the evidence profiles shooters as consuming less media prior to carrying out their attacks, not more. Despite this, the NRA has chosen to jump on the anti-gaming bandwagon. The nation’s most powerful lobbying group has consistently used blaming violent video games as a way to shift attention from itself in the wake of any mass shooting.

Trump received over $30 million from the NRA during his presidential campaign, an organization funded in large part by small arms manufacturers.

Erik Kain, Contributor at Fortune

It comes as no surprise that a group like the NRA would act out of its own self-interest, however, it seems likely that policy makers have been quick to shy away from the preponderance of evidence pointing toward access to weapons as the real boogeyman in order to avoid accountability or provide any tactile solutions. Equally as alarming is how far the US has fallen behind other developed nations when it comes to sensible gun reform.

“The United States is the only country with this level of gun deaths and mass shootings, but it is not the only country in which people play video games. There are fewer mass shootings, fewer school shootings, fewer homicides and fewer suicides in every single other industrialized nation by an order of magnitude. Somehow these nations pull this off while their citizens engage in video gaming and pornography without also killing one another at unimaginably high rates.”

Erik Kain, Contributor at Fortune

So, about the game. For the time being, it appears we can enjoy Borderlands and titles like it, as a form of escapism, and revel in the highly-skilled digital artwork and well-crafted narratives that rival the script treatments given to major box-office films. Like with all things entertainment industry-related, the amount of labor that goes into the production of these products is expansive.

For those curious about all the cool features stuffed into the latest version of the game you can peep the Gearbox development team host the Borderlands 3 Worldwide Gameplay Reveal Livestream here.

Due to the rise in digital gaming, brick-and-mortar gaming shops, such as GameStop, have experienced sluggish sales, and the reliance on signature titles that have been a mainstay of the gaming community over the course of the last several years. Moving forward sales from the most popular franchises will be critical as the industry begins to prepare for its busiest season: the holidays.

In the 20 years since Columbine, the US has averaged roughly one mass shooting per day. We have heard countless tales of panic and heroics. We know young people are the target audience for video game sales. Is it possible that we could take a cold hard look at the facts surrounding gun access and find the wherewithal to make the legal changes necessary to prevent another kid having a target on their back at their school campus.

Asking for innocent lives, like the one of Denver STEM student, Kendrick Castillo, who died during the school shooting at Highland’s Ranch on May 7, 2019, after lunging at the gunman in order save his classmates.

I’m pretty sure, he just wanted to get home and fire up his Xbox after school.


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