Do you ever find yourself not enjoying your video game genocidal spree as much as usual because you’re not really killing? Do you tire of killing what after all are usually figments of somebody’s imagination?
Would you like to go hunting and shooting on the Internet, and end up with something, well, really dead?
Basically, someone who runs a hunting ranch in Texas has decided to enter the computer era. He’s set up a computer-controlled rifle that people on the Internet can aim and fire. Right now, public use is limited to target-shooting, but they plan to shortly offer real animal hunting (technology and the Texas Legislature willing).
Before any sick puppies get any ideas, the system is monitored so that you can’t shoot what you’re not supposed to shoot (like the ranch employees or other hunters). If you end up being not such a hot shot, those monitoring folks will have a gun handy to finish the job (and hopefully turn off the remote firing mechanism before venturing out to do so).
You can have your hunt recorded and put on a DVD, and purchase all the other services you might want after your hunt, like meat packing, taxidermy and the like.
Real-time, real-life Internet shooting won’t come cheap, though, a hunt with all the fixings will cost something a bit north of $500, though the price is probably not that much different than those charged for an old-style trophy hunt.
Target-shooting is much cheaper, $14.95 a month to join, $5.95 per ten-round clip.
Some folks in the Texas Legislature don’t like this idea at all, and want to ban it, but the owner of the place says it’s hardly any different than current guided hunting, and it’s hard not to agree with him. If you’re against this, you’re not against Internet hunting, you’re against hunting.
If this does well, no doubt this field of enterprise will spread.
We suspect current real hunters will take it or leave it, based mostly on how much or little access they have to the real thing. We see it as just another way the Internet makes what would otherwise be difficult or inconvenient easy.
What we’re curious about is what gamers will think about this. Will many like this idea because the killing is real, or repulsed by the reality?
Do gamers like violence in video games despite their actions having no real-life consequences, or do they like it precisely because their actions have no real-life consequences?