The Daily Show has created a video game to make a powerful point about gun laws

Joe Sommerlad@JoeSommerlad
Saturday 10 August 2019 08:00
Showbiz

With Democrats piling pressure on Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to address gun control in the wake of the deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Republicans have spent the week seeking alternative scapegoats for the tragedies.

Trump himself was quick to blame mental illness for the actions of the shooters, who between them killed 31 people and left more than 50 injured, while the likes of House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick both took to Fox News to pin the blame on video games.

McCarthy told the president's favourite news channel:

The idea of these video games that dehumanise individuals to have a game of shooting individuals and others, I’ve always felt that is a problem for future generations and others.

We've watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals. When you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.

Patrick was even blunter:

We've always had guns, we’ve always had evil. But what's changed where we see this rash of shooting? I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the first to rubbish such claims, which have emphatically debunked by academic researchers in the past.

Now The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has joined in, with a novel way of illustrating its argument.

Noah said on Thursday night's instalment:

For a lot of politicians, the solution has been to do something about video games because they've said that violent video games have the power to influence people to commit murder. 

And that got us thinking, if video games are so persuasive, maybe video games could even inspire politicians to do something to end gun violence.

The South African comedian then unveiled The Legislator: License to Bill, a 16-bit first-person game owing something to Duke Nukem that his team put together in just one day.

In it, the player attempts to usher their new firearms bill through the corridors of power without becoming distracted by National Rifle Association funding or offers to water down their motion before taking on the final boss, McConnell himself.

The game is both funny and makes a serious point about the many obstacles in the way of congressmen and women seeking to make a difference.

You can play it yourself here.

As fictional video games go, The Legislator is right up there with Labour Party Conference from Nathan Barley (2005) in which a frightened Pingu (Ben Whishaw) plays as Andrew Marr, stalking the darkened halls of a sinister seaside hotel as Gordon Brown and Tony Blair leap out at him.

HT Mashable

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