Eurogamer has one of the best investigative journalism pieces you’ll read this month: a pages-long exposé on the profits the military-industrial complex manages to wring from video games. Even if you aren’t a gamer, it’s worth a read; gaming is, at this point, a multi-billion dollar industry, and so where its money goes matters.
Don’t take my word for it. Look at the piece:
But today we know that a portion of every dollar spent on triple-A military-themed video games flows into the pockets of small arms manufacturers, either directly through licence payments, or indirectly through advertising. These beneficiaries include Barrett in the US and FN in Belgium. They may include other controversial arms dealers, such as Israel Weapon Industries, creator of the TAR-21, which appears in Call of Duty. Such deals politicise video games in tangible yet hidden ways. Consumers have, for the past few years, unwittingly funded arms companies that often have their own military agendas.
“I know there’s a lot of concern about violence and I have the same concerns that anybody would have about the sustained use of guns and violence in video games,” [Oregon Senator Ginny Burdick] said. “But with regard to the use of licensed weapons in games? It looks to me like this is part of a much larger pattern to increase guns sales in any way possible.
Not one of the publishers contacted for this article was willing to discuss the practice. (EA: “I’m afraid we can’t progress this.” Activision: “Not something we can assist with at present… My hands are tied.” Codemasters: “We’re focused on our racing titles these days.” Crytek: “We can’t help you with that request.” Sega: “[This] doesn’t sit comfortably.” Sony: “I can’t help with this I’m afraid.”)
Why are you still here and not reading the piece.