How Many Games At E3 2017 Had Guns? A Scientific Investigation

Clifford “Cliffy B” Bleszinski once described video game guns’ profound appeal with this simple sentiment: “reach out and touch someone . . . with your gun.” Since the early 1990s, guns have pretty much been the telephone of choice for video game characters: they speak to their rivals with bangs, booms, and headshots.


Now, however, it is 2017. Game characters don’t just shoot each other: they can also steal cars, slit throats, and climb walls. I figured the yearly once around of the media carousel some game industry insiders call “Electronic Three” was the perfect opportunity to check back in on what video game characters are doing with their lives, as you can see in the video above.

My science experiment proceeded thusly: I prowled the Electronic Three show floor; I picked twenty-five displayed games at random and assessed them with my eyes. I counted the games with guns and the games without guns.


There are countless millions of games I did not analyze. After my experiment, I can only conclude that probably pretty close to almost all videogames ever have guns in them.

I make videos for Kotaku. I make video games for myself and my friends. I like writing fiction. Someday I will publish a novel. Who knows!

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Chris Person

“is a crossbow a gun?” the greatest thread in the history of forums, locked by a moderator after 12,239 pages of heated debate.