I mean, I won't pretend that I felt anything other than enormous sense power with a gun in my hand. There's just something immensely satisfying about pointing a heavy bit of metal at a thing, and then watching that thing get blown to pieces. In many respects, they're the ultimate fidget spinners.
That shouldn't, of course, mean that guns should be freely available to every last hillbilly or emotionally damaged Nirvana fan with a grudge - or maybe at all. I mean, if you want to know why guns should never get into the hands of anybody other than stable, trained professionals, go hire a belt-fed M64 for half an hour.
But then, you're a normal, stable, person, probably, and of course there are people who want to own guns so they can eke back a sense of control in their lives. Unfortunately, the psychology of gun ownership never seems to factor into the debates.
Anyhow, I'm sure that's precisely the sort of thing a filthy centrist would say. Heck, if I went back to a shooting range now, the targets probably wouldn't be pictures of Muslim men anymore - but photographs of centrists!!!!
You've played video games, so you know - to a point - how shooting feels, and it's likely why there have been many attempts (though, admittedly, not so much in recent times) to recreate it faithfully in the home without actually killing anybody.
Here's a quick rundown of some of the home light guns we've had over the years.
Inevitably, given how new the technology was, it proved to be a bit of a faff. Most of the games available - through a pair of anthology "game cards" - required one player to point the gun, and another to control the on-screen targets.
Additionally, players had to place "target overlays" over their TV screens, which required you to aim through holes punched in them. Artwork on the overlays did their best to disguise the fact that the games were, pretty much, identical.
"Which one is this?"
"The one with pictures of dinosaurs printed on the bit of paper."
"Who loves ya, baby?"
"I wasn't talking to you..."
Good reference. Topical.
Like pretty much every game on this list, the Zapper only works with old-school CRT TVs. Why?
Presumably, they wanted to get kids away from playing with more gun-ish guns, but the Super Scope - bundled with a collection of six games (including a version of Tetris called Blastris) - was supported only by a handful of releases. Its design seemed to detract from the main appeal of a light gun; playing with guns.
Nevertheless, the Super Scope was considered gun-like enough that - along with Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2 - was cited in 1993 US congressional hearings on video game violence for looking like an "assault weapon". Indeed, it was even used by Dennis Hopper (as King Koopa) in the Super Mario Bros. movie, where it was rechristened the "Devo gun"... for its ability to make its targets devolve, see.
<Insert hilarious satirical joke here about needing to be devolved already in order to own a gun>
The Mega Drive's answer to the Super Scope was, essentially, a truncated Super Scope, which required a laborious recalibration every time you wanted to use it. Exactly like the Super Scope, it was bundled with six unmemorable games, and only really came into its own with the third-party release of the T2 arcade conversion.
For some reason, Sega never planned to support the Menacer beyond the initial bundled games. Speaking to the website Sega-16, Mac Senour - who designed the six Menacer games - claims that Sega "laughed when I proposed more".
It stumbled into a bit of a storm of controversy over the fact it resembled a real gun (specifically, a Colt Python, same as its arcade counterpart), even though they made a pink version available (presumably, for girls). Like the Super Scope, it was held up as an example of violent video games during the 1992/3 US congressional hearings.
It was also released in a garish green hue for the PlayStation, under the name The Bogie Blaster (Hyper Blaster).
At least, in theory; the LaserScope was notorious for its inability to recognise voice commands, thus rendering the entire device almost entirely pointless.
Oddly, however, it did - at least on a vague design level - foreshadow the use of headset microphones for playing online first-person shoot 'em ups. Perhaps they should've allowed the player to shoot by bellowing foul-mouthed, homophobic and racist insults into the microphone.
The GunCon 2 was alright - adding a D-pad on the gun's buttocks - but the GunCon 3 somewhat spoiled the aesthetic by bolting a joypad to the front underside of the weapon.
You know: just like real guns don't have.
Also, it looked a bit like one of those stupid Star Trek: The Next Generation phasers, which were about as threatening and sexy and cool as pointing a TV remote control at somebody.
"Keep back or I'll change your channel... TO DEAD!"
Still, out of the many guns available for the Dreamcast, Sega's own official weapon was the best - despite that weird overhang at the back (which offered a convenient crevice into which you could cram the Virtual Memory Unit).
Hey, do you remember those blister-carded "spy" kits you used to be able to pick up from spinny toy racks in newsagents and toy shops?
They'd come with a pair of cheap binoculars or telescope, a spy badge, and - usually - a spring-loaded gun which fired suction darts. They'd typically also have alternative ammunition in the form of a plastic "grenade" which could be fired out of the gun; that's what the Sharp Shooter looked like (fortunately, it didn't actually shoot the Move controller "bulb" out of the end).
I once bought one of these "spy" kits on a school trip to Holland. I was playing with it on the coach, when I accidentally fired the grenade out of the end, and it shot across the coach and hit a girl called Elizabeth Covell in the teeth.
This was problematic for two reasons: 1) I'd just shot a girl in the mouth with a toy grenade, and 2) The main thing that everyone knew about Elizabeth Covell was that she had very prominent front teeth.
Oh well. It was bound to happen. I mean, you couldn't miss them if you tried...