Gun Control Game 'Thoughts & Prayers' Sums Up The Gun Debate In One Simple Way
In case there is somebody out there who isn't aware of the tragic lack of action U.S. lawmakers take in gun control reform, this game drives the message home. Thoughts & Prayers: The Game is biting in its sarcasm, as it is aimed at the terrible response to tragedy Americans witness on the regular. It was created by the team at Everyday Arcade, a group of developers who don't have any qualms about attacking the status quo.
The game challenges players to stop mass shootings in the U.S. with the power of spiritual energy. This idea came about after creators saw prayer hashtags and sentiments following one mass shooting after another, while no steps were taken to resolve these crises. The game states the following at its start:
America faces an epidemic of mass shootings. It's up to you to stop them ... With the power of your thoughts and prayers.
The instruction that is given is "Let us pray," and then the game begins. A player presses T to think and P to pray. That's simple enough, and also horribly ineffective, revealing the message of the game.
However, as the clock counts down and shootings happen around the nation, another option is offered. Users gain the ability to ban the sale of assault weapons. When that button is pressed, messages like, "That's un-American!" and "You depend on NRA donations!" appear on the screen. This is the type of rhetoric those in support of gun control are accustomed to hearing. The point is that thoughts and prayers simply are not enough to stop this madness, and that they really do nothing to alleviate gun violence.
Mike Lacher, one of the three founders of Everyday Arcade, explained that the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando helped inspire the game, as the creators noticed the use of the phrase "thoughts and prayers" following these types of events. Apparently, the point was not well-taken in some firearms communities, where the game has gotten some attention. Lacher explained:
Assault rifle enthusiasts are discussing the game and don't like it that much.
This is not the first attempt to satirize the ineffectiveness of America's collective discussion on gun control, which again was thwarted after four separate proposals failed to pass through Congress on Monday. Until America makes some progress, angry and sarcastic responses will continue appearing across the nation with increasing persistence, as is natural when the government fails to act. Well-played, Everyday Arcade. Your move, Congress.
Images: Thoughts & Prayers: The Game (1)