Connecticut's State House Speaker is urging the video game industry to end all licensing and product placement agreements with arms manufacturers, saying the deals are "nefarious" and may have contributed to the Newtown school massacre.
"The industry practice of video game publishers entering into licensing, marketing, or other financial arrangements to feature real guns in their games blurs the lines between fiction and reality in ways that can have tragic consequences," wrote Speaker Brendan Sharkey in a letter
to three video game company executives and the Entertainment Software Association.
"Games designed to recreate the experience of wartime carnage and criminal violence constitute protected speech under the provisions of the First Amendment," Sharkey wrote.
"But there is little to be said in defense of an industry-wide practice of arranging licensing deals with gun manufacturers for the rights to use the make, model and visual design specifications of their real-life weapons."
Twenty first-graders and six teachers were killed in the December massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Gunman Adam Lanza, who also killed his mother in the rampage, used a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle which had been featured in a video game he played, said Sharkey.
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