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NRA releases firing range iOS app -- NRA: Practice Range

updated 11:00 pm EST, Mon January 14, 2013

Game poorly disguised effort to present gun factoids to players

The National Rifle Association has released its own iOS target practice simulation app, despite its critical reaction to the video game industry in reaction to the Newtown CT school shootings. NRA: Practice Range (free) offers players a virtual shooting-gallery, tips on safety training, and a database of gun laws sorted by state. The app is rated 4+, meaning it is cleared for child use because it contains no objectionable material, according to Apple's classification guidelines.

"There exists in this country a callous and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse," said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre during the group's press conference following the school massacre, which shocked the US despite a plethora of school shootings in recent years.

Developed by MEDL Mobile, Practice Range lists itself as an official NRA-licensed product. The game offers multiple firearms for "training," with several other models -- including an M-16, and AK-47 among others -- available as in-app purchases.

The app contains no graphic depictions of violence, with the player shooting at paper (though human-shaped) or clay targets. The app seems in-line with the NRA's guidelines of educating the public on gun safety, despite the hypocrisy of the NRA releasing a video game after its condemnation of the industry as a whole a month ago.

MacNN examined the "game" a bit earlier today, and we found it to be rudimentary, with poorly implemented tilt controls. The shooting range feature felt interstitial to the NRA-curated factoids presented during loading screens between range sessions. Clearly, the factoids and gun law database are the main point of the game, but poorly presented in the framework of an entertainment app. Several free apps by developers not openly associated with the NRA exist which present the same data in a clearer and more usable fashion.

The iOS app isn't the NRA's first foray into video gaming. In 2006, the lobbyist group partnered with Crave Entertainment to develop the NRA Gun Club program. The PC game was poorly received, and IGN reviewer Ed Lewis wrote that "if anything else, such as fun or variety or not wanting to bang your head on the floor should appeal to you, then avoid this like the plague."



By Electronista Staff
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  1. bsaxton77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-30-07

    There is no such thing...

    ...as the National Riffle Agency.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Yes, that should be Association ... BUT when you are proofreading others, you may want to proofread your own correction ...

  1. Ω

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 11-18-03

    Oh the ironing.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    It's for "training." Training for what? Oh yeah, all the stuff they deplore in the other gun-related video games. The NRA is a lobby group for gun makers, not gun owners. Their recommendation will always be to promote the purchasing of firearms.

  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 07-25-06

    The app is a step in the right direction, although the mechanics apparently need improving.

    Our debate over guns is distorted by the fact that Hollywood owns the Democratic party, and Hollywood grows rich with violence. Serious, deeply human films not only take talent to make, they don't translate well into other languages and cultures. Unfortunately, violence as in crazed and pointless gun fights and martial arts does translate easily. And Hollywood makes its big bucks not off the US market, which merely covers the cost, but on international sales that are almost pure profit.

    That's one the primary reasons why the Democrats want to blame ordinary, law-abiding citizens for gun violence. It lets Hollywood off. And what Hollywood wants, Hollywood gets.

    I'd love to see a heck of a lot of pressure put on the entertainment industry (movies, TV and games) to portray gun use properly. The studios themselves are exquisitely careful with how gun props are used. Unfortunately, they do not show guns being used carefully and responsibility in what they release. It's a bit more boring that way and they want violence that sells and makes them mucho $$$$$.

    And it is that irresponsible depiction of guns that influence the occasional crazed mass killer intent on going out with a brief moment of fame. That an a news media that could care less about the many hundreds of drug related killing that take place in major, heavily gun-controlled big cities such as Chicago, but direct enormous attention at the lone crazed killer in ways that merely inspired the next mass killer and still more hysterical news coverage.

  1. Stuke

    Junior Member

    Joined: 02-11-05

    Mostly Agree

    Originally Posted by InklingView Post

    And what Hollywood wants, Hollywood gets.



    Yes, I agree with your post but at the same time, Hollywood gets what it wants due to Freedom of Speech and I doubt there's a single Democrat (or Republican) who wants to touch that Amendment! Yeah, they could do better in handling how guns are used in films but it's unlikely legislation would make that happen, only morals and goodwill! :hmm:

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Originally Posted by InklingView Post

    the Democrats want to blame ordinary, law-abiding citizens for gun violence.



    Nope. I don't see anything wrong with that statement. No siree. Seems like a completely provable point. Not a single hole in that argument. :stick:

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'm with Flying Meat -- bit of a tinfoil hat there Inkling. "Democrats" aren't this strange alien race, they're the guy next to you. And their beliefs aren't really much different than anyone else's -- it's all about methodology (reminds me so much of Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, fighting over the correct way to worship their invisible, imaginary friend!).

    There are PLENTY of Republicans in "Hollywood" -- let's start with Clint Eastwood, as you know a great man of peace who never made any gun-glamourizing movies ... sorry, had to take a laughter break there ... oh and #1 news network Faux Noise, not part of the LA culture AT ALL, and certainly never one to promote incendiary violence against people who've done nobody any harm ...

    Seriously do you even listen to yourself? You come off a bit of a nutter when you write stuff like that.

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