Last month the NRA called the video games industry "a callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and sows violence against own people" in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, but that hasn't stopped the gun-loving organisation from creating a new iOS shooting game appropriate for ages four and up.
Developed by Medl Mobile, NRA: Practice Range is exactly what it sounds like: a shooting range simulator. Described on the iTunes App Store as the "NRA's new mobile nerve center", Practice Range delivers "one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources". Because, ya know, nothing excites a four-year-old more than learning about state gun laws.
When asked about the low age rating, Medl Mobile responded via Twitter, "the NRA app is to promote gun safety, not 'for kids aged 4+.'" Since you're not firing on live targets, the age rating is less outrageous than it sounds, but it's still disconcertingly low when games like Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat are rated E10+ while gorilla attacks are far less prevalent in our society than shootings. (Although gorillas are dangerous too. Seriously, do not look up pictures of gorilla attack victims.)
While Practice Range is free, it does have $0.99 microtransactions where you can buy firearms like an AK47 assault rifle or an MK11 sniper rifle, which is totally what that kid from A Christmas Story wanted, right?
Unsurprisingly, the game is terrible, which might be for the better as it's unlikely to turn prospective tykes onto gun ownership. Curiously, this is the second game by the NRA. Its previous title, NRA: Gun Club, scored an abysmal 18/100 average on Metacritic.
Get your first month for £1 (normally £3.99) when you buy a Standard Eurogamer subscription. Enjoy ad-free browsing, merch discounts, our monthly letter from the editor, and show your support with a supporter-exclusive comment flair!