EA Games are aware that the nature of the games they produce will “stir conversation” among the press and public. Generally, though, attitudes towards EA’s obsession with in-game realism have been positive – it helps games like Battlefield to be the realistic and immersive depictions of warfare that they are. You may not know, though, of EA’s ‘Gun Club’. A virtual community of FPS enthusiasts, the ‘Gun Club’ is devoted to additional achievements, the kind that are deemed ‘too hardcore’ to be included in the regular game. Is it a fun community, or is it something a little more sinister? We find out.
EA’s Gun Club welcomes ‘warriors like you’, and touts itself as a great place to get social about games like Call of Duty including Crysis 2, Battlefield 3 and Army of Two. There are lots of promotional videos for EA’s games, and an area called ‘My Gun Club’ where you can take on super-hard challenges (such as logging in to play multiplayer for 100 days).
It certainly doesn’t feel like the healthiest of video game places, put it that way. But does it seem actively detrimental to anyone signed up? No, not really. If you were expecting gore-filled forums or links to live weaponry, it’s not that sort of place. It’s a place where the young and tender can come to feed their shooting game addictions, but it’s not a place where those addictions can really be made any darker.
With 106,000 likes on Facebook, the Gun Club is well-established as a place to discuss video games and achievements and also demonstrate your flair for the younger side of techy patois (if you don’t know your n00b from your pwning, you should probably steer clear). The Gun Club forums are integrated with the regular EA forums, which are well-moderated and provide less opportunity for abuse than, say, your average trip on to Xbox Live (which is basically a exposing yourself to a torrent of foul-mouthed obscenity).
Ultimately, the Gun Club is nowhere near as sinister as I had expected. The Gun Club is not a plan to push the susceptible youth in to the American Pro-Firearm group – it’s a marketing tool, a bit of fun, and a harmless way to breathe a bit of challenge in to games whose difficulty curve doesn’t push you any more.
What do you think of Gun Club?
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