In the Trailer for the New Game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Players Are Instructed to Aim Guns at Unarmed Civilians
In a Recent Project Unloaded Survey, Nearly Half of Boys and Young Men Say They Learn About Guns from Video Games and 76% of 13-25-year-old Males Believe the Myth that Guns Make Them Safer
CHICAGO – This week, Activision Blizzard, which owns the Call of Duty video game series, announced that its latest game earned $800 million in sales in its first three days on the market. The game is a huge hit – and it reinforces dangerous myths about gun use. In the game, players are instructed to aim their guns at unarmed civilians as a means of de-escalating a situation. In real life, this recommendation would make it more likely for gun violence to occur – not less.
“Video games are more than entertainment – they’re an important source of information about guns for young people, especially young men,” said Nina Vinik, founder and executive director of Project Unloaded. “Video games don’t directly cause gun violence. But with gun violence as the leading cause of death among young people, video game companies like Activision Blizzard owe it to their customers to consider the messages that games like Call of Duty are sending and how games may reinforce the deadly myth that guns make us safer.”
Call of Duty players are nearly 70% male and about a third of players are 10-20-years-old. According to a recent survey from Project Unloaded, an organization working to change the cultural narrative about gun ownership and safety, 76% of young men and boys believe the myth that guns make them safer. Nearly half of 13-25-year-old males surveyed named video games as a key source for learning about guns. Gun violence is the number one killer of children and teens, and young men are disproportionately impacted. Teen boys carry guns at rates four times higher than teen girls.