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Old April 25, 2013, 08:10 AM   #1
Kimio
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Video game gun experts...among other "experts"

With modern military based video games flooding the entertainment world, it is inevitable that you'll run into someone (Usually young) who gets all their information from said media and then assumes they're an expert with firearms.

Now, personally, I never have encountered such a person...until last night. I was talking with a co-worker of mine, when we got on the topic of firearms, a reasonably new member to my shop decided to chime in with his great pools of wisdom making just plain silly claims and boasting about his prowess with a rifle.

He's a heavy fan of military genre shooters, especially the Call of Duty franchise. Truth be told I will say that even I am guilty of being influenced by video games when it comes to my interest in firearms, however, I try to take into account that there are numerous inaccuracies in such media and do not take really any information gleaned from them as factual and look to researching and asking people who actually use said hardware about what is factual and what is not. (My fascination with firearms stems from a deep passion for history and miltary hardware...and from my uncle who, now retired, was a Chicago SWAT team sniper)

I'm not entirely sure what to call these people, but it was clear that the lad hadn't a clue to what he was talking about. While I was tempted to act the arse in this situation and set him straight (admittedly, likely in not the most amicable of ways) I held my tongue and just smiled and nodded.

What's scary, is that this kid has a firearm of his own, and the level of sheer ignorance is absolutely astounding. I don't know what he was trying to prove seeing as I could see no benefit of him trying to impress me, but I believe his plan failed miserably. (Not to sound stuck up or anything)

How often do any of ya'll run into people like this? It's not just the typical CoD fan that pops up, but you also have the caliber experts, who believe in all the drama that surrounds the topic and what TV depicts etc.

Honestly, I find myself laughing at the whole thing while also just shaking my head or facepalming.

Last edited by Kimio; April 25, 2013 at 09:58 AM.
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Old April 25, 2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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Your new-member guy is in no way unique, unfortunately. That's the opinion I've formed from these years of moderating.

However, I've heard a fair amount of ignorant statements from guys who were making a living as gunsmiths and gun dealers, as well as from some of the hangers-on at gun stores.

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity." Or of the arrogance of the ignorant.
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Old April 25, 2013, 09:45 AM   #3
ChaseReynolds
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I deal with a lot of people like this at work. People seem to think that if they speak with enough confidence that people will ignore the fallacies and praise them as "firearm masters". Not that I am an expert but the smell of BS is distinct and I will correct you in a way that is embarrassing. Not that I enjoy it but I want to make sure that the people that know nothing about guns who are listening to the bozo realize he is full of BS and not to listen to the tall tales of this wannabe Chris Kyle.
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Old April 25, 2013, 10:12 AM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimio
I'm not entirely sure what to call these people, but it was clear that the lad hadn't a clue to what he was talking about. While I was tempted to act the arse in this situation and set him straight (admittedly, likely in not the most amicable of ways) I held my tongue and just smiled and nodded.
I mean no offense but I consider this to be one of the biggest social problems in our society today.

Far too many people are entirely full of crap and it has somehow become socially unacceptable to correct them.

Sometimes, it's innocent, like thinking they know something that they don't but it's often intentional. They lie or just plain invent "information" and nobody calls them on it, so they just keep doing it. It's really not helpful to them or any of the people to which they spread their nonsense who might believe it.

Such folks should be corrected. Gently as possible but corrected nonetheless.

In this case, you're doing him a great disservice. He thinks he knows stuff and he doesn't, so he looks like an ass to anyone who does know. Imagine if he finds out how silly he sounds and 6 months from now he realizes that you knew better and didn't tell him. Do you think he'll be happy that you let him go on sounding like an idiot?

He may not respond well at the time but eventually he'll be glad that somebody set him straight.
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Old April 25, 2013, 10:13 AM   #5
MRYANJ99
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I'll admit that I'm a huge fan of the first person shooters, especially Call of Duty. However video games, like movies, misrepresent firearms very well. They've done a good job simulating the looks of various guns, but the functionality is where they are way off. I hear kids talking about shotguns as though they are usless past 10 feet and think it takes a full mag of .45 to the chest to drop an enemy. The movies have done a good job showing that reloading never occurs unless it is essential to the plot of the film. It's almost laughable the inaccuracies in the media about firearms. What's not laughable is that this is where most of the gun grabbing politicians get their firearms "expertise" from. But it does crack me up to hear kids arguing about the superiority of some guns over others when they've never even held a gun.

On the plus side, it's creating a generation of kids that are getting into firearms very seriously. There seems to be a lot more firearms knowledge out there amongst the younger generations than when I was a kid.
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Old April 25, 2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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My favorite one's from the conversation I had with this kid (He's 17 if I recall correctly) is him stating that an FN FAL is "The best sniper rifle ever in invented" or "I shot a fox through the lungs at 500 yards while it was at full trot"

He thought a Mauser was a city in Canada, even thought the 1911 fired a 30-06 round.

It was downright frightening.

I agree also, that the media is terrible with their actual portrayal of the functional aspects of firearms, but then again, they have to dramatize it in order to keep things interesting I suppose.

This kid seemed to be under the impression that unless you're shooting someone with a magnum round it's not worth your time, anything else is useless.

@Brian fair enough, whenever I see him again, if the situation calls for it, I'll correct him as politely as possible. It was just plain cringe worthy some of the things he was claiming.
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Old April 25, 2013, 10:56 AM   #7
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I, personally, haven't experienced this. Not everyone agrees with my gun politics (until I drop knowledge bombs on them and they come around!) but I don't know anyone with any delusion that video game guns are in any way similar to the real thing. Damage to targets in games are calculated quantitatively, with x gun doing x amount of damage to x body part. Of course, things don't work that way in the real world.

However, there are some games getting close. I played a game recently (Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2) that simulates trigger jerk, bullet drop, and windage. Also, targets tend to go down with one shot, but this seems to be relegated to sniper-specific games. The problem with video games as we know them is that we can not perfectly simulate putting a rifle up to your shoulder and going through felt recoil while playing into factors like operator biology. Not to mention that the bullet always goes where the front site is in the games. We know this isn't always true in the real world!!

I live in Chicago and most of the kids around here, fortunately but unfortunately, are well aware of the dangers present in real firearms.
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Old April 25, 2013, 11:35 AM   #8
lcpiper
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On the plus side, it's creating a generation of kids that are getting into firearms very seriously. There seems to be a lot more firearms knowledge out there amongst the younger generations than when I was a kid.
It's just too bad that so many are so seriously effected by the mall ninja types and their incessant youtube videos. Of course, given time and maturity I would bet the gun love stays and the mall ninja sits in the closet.
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Old April 25, 2013, 11:48 AM   #9
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Funny you would mention that piper, I'm only in my 20's and while I like the "Tacticool" look, I typically try to keep my rifles in KISS form. I think the most I'll ever place on any of my rifles is an optic and a foregrip or bipod.

Maybe for an HD rifle a tactical high lumen flashlight or something.
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Old April 25, 2013, 11:56 AM   #10
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Here's the problem:

While video games are absolutely great at recreating the look and feel of different firearms, there's no way to make a "fun" game and have the guns act realistically at the same time. We all know that any round, fired from any gun, in any caliber has the potential to kill someone...and even "one shot stop" someone. The problem is, this can't be accurately portrayed in a video game. In reality, most handguns perform very similarly. Most shotguns perform very similarly. Most rifles perform very similarly. However, in order to make a game fun, the game makers have to "quantify" different aspects of different firearms.

So, you have "sniper" rifles falling into a long range, slow cycling, high damage category. You have carbines falling into a medium to long long range, fast cycling, medium to high damage category. Shotguns falling into a short range, slow to fast (depending on the gun...AA-12's seem to be popular in these games) cycling, high damage, and handguns fall into a short to medium range, fast cycling, low damage category.

Then it gets more abstract than that. Let's look at handguns. You might be able to choose between a Browning HP, or a .50 Desert Eagle. Now, concealment, weight, and practicality usually get thrown out the window in a video game. So removing those attributes, the Desert Eagle is, of course, the better choice. But in an effort to bring these two guns in line with each other, the Desert Eagle will have high damage, but they'll lower another attribute of the gun...maybe make it less accurate, or it's damage potential at distance drops more dramatically than the BHP. Even though that's not reality, it's what's done in an effort to "balance" the weapons in the game.

So, what you have is people who then take these abstract attributes of different guns in the game, and apply them to their real world counterparts. This is why you get people saying that a 12ga with 00 buck can take out 2 or 3 people standing next to each other at 10 yards. Because the game lets them do it, it must be true. It's also why many gamers think the Desert Eagle (or Five Seven) is "like totally the best gun evar!!!111one." Don't believe me? Do a search on youtube for "top 10 handguns" or "best guns."

Here's the work done for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enZTXT1K6Fk

Most of these "experts" have never fired a gun, beyond a .22, and have absolutely no clue what they're talking about. They also think FPSRussia is cool, and that his opinion, and gun handling skills (*laugh*) are models of perfection...

And yeah, FPSRussia got popular making videos for, you guessed it, a video game...
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Old April 25, 2013, 12:18 PM   #11
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Funny you would mention that piper, I'm only in my 20's and while I like the "Tacticool" look, I typically try to keep my rifles in KISS form. I think the most I'll ever place on any of my rifles is an optic and a foregrip or bipod.

Maybe for an HD rifle a tactical high lumen flashlight or something.
Actually I don't really care that much that some kid does a youtube review of the Remington 870 Marine Magnum. No matter what the topic you always have to concider the source anyway right?

It's just that, well, I figure he'll continue to spend money buying and changing his guns, and whatever else he does, he'll shoot, etc. But in the end I expect he will never ever go do the things most of us have grown up doing with guns, like deer or dove hunting with a father or brother.

Perhaps I just have a melancholy nature
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Old April 25, 2013, 12:22 PM   #12
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FPSRussia is entertaining to watch, but that's all IMO. I can't agree with you more though Gaerek, it's just astounding how so many can't seem to differentiate fantasy from reality.

It just seems logical that they wouldn't function quite in the same manner as a video game or like they're portrayed in movies IMO.
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Old April 25, 2013, 01:17 PM   #13
Nine the Ranger
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As someone who got most of his Firearm interest from video games I can say that I was knocked down MANY pegs once I held a true rifle in my hands.

You lose a sense for the weight of a rifle in a game,you can run and manuever however you want whether you're holding a 9mm pistol or a PKM LMG. This is not the case in real life as you all know. The same goes for Ammunition, in a game if you have ammo you have magazines and space for all of it. Again: Not True. And while I knew this, it's like kicking a bad habit, it's hard to get it out of your heard.

And in a world of Call of Duty, and Battlefield full of M4s, AKs, Miniguns, Barrett .50s, and Javelin Missile Launchers, you forget about the Winchester '94s, the Mini-14s, the Browning Citoris, and all the other wonderful firearms that have rich histories.

I could go on for days.
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Old April 25, 2013, 01:20 PM   #14
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What burns me and some of my friends up is those occasions when our boys had just as soon sit and play CoD rather than go to the range with us and shoot the real thing. But, these kids are quite 12 yet, so I'm sure that will change with time.

All the video games we had growing up was "pong", or if you were really fortunate, a state of the art Atari system. In spite of being a Korean War Veteran, my dad wasn't a shooter, and at 12 years old I always leaped at the chance to go shooting. Since I was 11, till this day, I'm still the only member of my family to own a firearm. My boy just doesn't know how good he's got it!
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Old April 25, 2013, 01:37 PM   #15
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I wonder if it would be a profitable approach to start actively pursuing these "gamers" to get them into shooting sports in particular.Maybe if we're thinking, this is where the next generation of gun enthusiasts strong enough to fight for their 2nd amendment rights come from. We all know not all gun owners are vocal RKBA supporters. We really need to find sources for folks like that out of the younger generation.
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Old April 25, 2013, 02:13 PM   #16
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Although not all gamers have a competitive nature, many do. Competitiveness is a pronounced feature of many online games and almost all shooting games.

The idea that you are in competition against others either individually or as a team has a strong pull that non-gamers just fail to grasp or realize. It isn't always the venue, sometimes it's just the spirit of competition.

You don't have to do much to get ready for a game of Call Of Duty, you probably won't sweat much, get your shoes dirty, have to clean up anything more then a few dropped chips and maybe wipe some coke off your desk. It's not that expensive as hobbies go, there are certainly more expensive ways to spend your weekends. You can stop and pick it right back up where you left off, and you have a world of people to play against and some of them are really funny people if you wind up speaking with them in voice communications.

Some can become almost friends, but the strongest attachment you'll likely have is a feeling that the team might need you tomorrow night cause they are playing another team in a scrimmage.

None of us are going to live forever, might as well pass on what we know to the young guys. Usually it doesn't take long and a little mutual respect and understanding can make a good impression.

Kids usually don't like being rejected or looked down on. Be accepting and share whats common between you and they respond better then you might expect. If they say something foolish, just tell them what you have observed and why it works that way, let them assign the word "wrong" all on their own in their own time. They will get around to it sure enough, specially if you say "Hmm, let's test that out".
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Old April 25, 2013, 02:35 PM   #17
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Ignorance is one thing, I'm not one to go off spouting that I know everything (Far from it in fact) especially when it comes to firearms, because I know I don't know a lot of things.

I think what bugged me the most with this kid was that I had the feeling he was trying to impress me or gain my respect. Maybe its some kind of inferiority complex or something, but I'd have much more respect for someone that admits they are ignorant on a topic and are making strides to try and educate themselves.

Heck, when I first came to this forum, I'm sure I asked a whole bunch of stupid questions (Still do in fact), but, thankfully, the community here welcomed me with open arms and were patient with me.

Looking back at it, perhaps it would be prudent of me to offer whatever wisdom I've gleaned from here onto this kid.

@Piper you are correct for the most part about how gamers can be extremely competitive. I'll be the first to admit that I hate losing, and strive to win at whatever I endeavor upon. It's all in good sport though, I've got several people whom I've become quite close with online, a few I've actually gone and met in real life and we hang out on a regular basis.
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Old April 25, 2013, 03:05 PM   #18
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Kimeo, in my experience the type of self respect that doesn't need boasting and reassurance is the type that's earned by overcoming real world problems. These games limit the opportunities to overcome real world obstacles by taking time away from the real world. This is no big deal in moderate doses, but if they are played too many hours there simply isn't enough time in the day.

Maybe what this young guy needs is someone to take him under their wing and help him harness his competitiveness for things that will build his self respect. If you don't have the time yourself, maybe one of your shooting buddies?
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Old April 25, 2013, 03:12 PM   #19
Kimio
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True, perhaps a trip to the range to show what it's really like to shoot a rifle would help, and how much of a difference it is. According to him, he has shot a rifle before, but only a .22lr

As you said, confidence is built by confronting your fears and acknowledging your own imperfections. Once ammo becomes more available again, perhaps getting into competative clay pidgeon shooting will help him.
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Old April 25, 2013, 03:29 PM   #20
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I know someone in their early 20s that was in the army he plays the Call of Duty video games. He was telling me they have recruitment programs and ads around the game to get younger guys into the army and many things like fly drones are just done with a joystick and screen.

I have also been hearing opinions that much of modern war will be waged by remote control because their is not much need of humans to be inside many of the war machines being devolved.

Strange times.. I personally hate video games and try to get my nephews to put them away and play with real stuff, like guns and bows
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Old April 25, 2013, 03:52 PM   #21
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I have also been hearing opinions that much of modern war will be waged by remote control because their is not much need of humans to be inside many of the war machines being devolved.

Strange times.. I personally hate video games and try to get my nephews to put them away and play with real stuff, like guns and bows
There are people that think we can pull this off but it still is not actually feasible on the ground anyway. Drones work out in limited roles because the situation is more controlled and stable. When you take this to the ground the situation becomes much more complex.

Let's imagine a remote controlled (drone) tank. What do you do when it throws a track, or a fuel filter freezes and needs replaced, or a hundred other small manual tasks that the computer control just can't do?

I suppose it could be self destructed to keep it from falling into enemy hands but that would be a real waste from my experience.

Also, troops in tanks have on occasions in history, dismounted and acted as infantry when confronted with situations where the tank itself couldn't be employed but the crews could.

And even today with drone operators performing combat missions by "computer game", they still must maintain their physical fitness, weapons proficiency, and knowledge of basic soldier skills because sometimes the toys just stop working and you have to become the weapon, not just guide it.

We really are not that close to a remote controlled army, but when we are, they'll look like terminators (figuratively).

Actually, I would never want an army of robots. It's just not what war is all about. War is a human struggle, take the humanity out of war and there is no terror, no downside, it's just an expensive game of robot warriors. I don't want to live to see it.
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Old April 25, 2013, 07:52 PM   #22
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I'm not entirely sure what to call these people, but it was clear that the lad hadn't a clue to what he was talking about.
Around here, we call them Call of Duty Groupies. Some have a legitimate interest in learning to shoot, so it's not all a wash.

And, before we get too critical, how many folks bought and/or got into guns because of Miami Vice back in the day? C'mon, be honest...
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:02 PM   #23
Newton24b
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there not a very smart group of people. to many of them think soldiers are let loose in "enemy' towns with a semi auto 10 guage shotgun in either hand, that you can actually jump over a 6 foot tall wall while dual wielding a pair of m60s and so on.


most of the groupies of these games that i know and work with, are those i wouldnt trust with a rubber pocket knife.
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:48 PM   #24
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I'm not entirely sure what to call these people, but it was clear that the lad hadn't a clue to what he was talking about.
They are called......."Video Game Commandos" - they are numerous, more numerous than zombies. Their intimate knowledge of firearms is only equaled by politicians' knowledge of the ObamaCare bill provisions
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Old April 25, 2013, 09:21 PM   #25
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Younger gen...

I worked on a DoD contractor job for approx 8 weeks in the summer of 2006 carting new US military applicants & recruits around in a 1999 15 pass Ford E350 van.
Some were cool & polite/eager to learn and a few were stuck-up nitwits/brats.

The ones with the bad attitudes or lack of maturity seemed like they knew it all or didnt care if they treated people like dirt.
I was in the US armed forces & the DEP(delayed entry program) in my teens. I NEVER acted this way.
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