Sci-fi Shoot ’em Up

Written By: Seebz

Jess Nigri
The beautiful Cosplayer- Jessica Nigri as Anya Stroud, from Gears of War

 

“Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons Are No Match for a Good Blaster at Your Side, Kid”- Han Solo

I’m sure most of us growing up were always playing with toy guns and swords, pretending to be Luke Skywalker wielding his lightsaber or a Colonial Marine shooting his pulse rifle at hordes of Xenomorphs.  Let’s be honest, the guns used in Sci Fi films are often the iconic identifier of that film.  Heck, those types of weapons kept my imagination running wild as a kid and gave me years of memorable playtime with my friends.  I just watched Starship Troopers the other day and it really made me wonder, what are some of the most amazing and identifiable guns out there in the Sci Fi world?

 

Since I mentioned Starship Troopers,Morita_Mk_I_Assault_Rifle_by_A13jandr0169 I’ll start off with every Mobile Infantry Soldier’s best friend, the Morita MK 1.  This beautifully crafted machine gun designed to mow down the arachnid forces of Klendathu really packed a punch.  To add to it’s already dominate abilities, is a secondary shotgun at the base of the handle in case you need a last resort for a swarming bug as demonstrated by Johnny Rico as it saved him from an almost guaranteed gruesome death in the first battle of the movie.  The only con to this beast is that it’s oddly shaped and wide, making it very difficult to make a quick get away.  But, perfect for a heroic last stand if you’re trapped on an empty outpost and ready to go out with a bang.

Next up is a weapon not too many people are familiar with, the M1-L1 triple pulse assault rifle made famous from the entertaining B-Movie, Deep Rising.  The only thing better than this weapon in the movie, is seeing a young hot Famke Janssen before her X-men days (Jean Grey).  To put the M1-L1 in laymen’s terms, it’s basically a mini-Gatling gun that holds a thousand rounds of ammo.  The rotating barrel was a very cool feature and I remember saying as a child “Me want”.  I honestly m1 l1think if it weren’t for this weapon, the giant spiked tentacle mutated octopus would have made quick work of the protagonists on this luxury cruise liner (yes cruise ship….I recommend this movie to anyone).

han solo  blasterNow onto the Blaster that inspired my choice of the subtitle of this blog, the DL-44 blaster. This weapon was made famous in Star Wars Episode IV and is the go-to choice for Han Solo.  We all know Han Solo will take a blaster over hokey religions and ancient weapons any day of the week and rightfully so if you’ve ever seen his shooting skills.  I think I chose this more so on the way Han carries and uses it like the space version of a cowboy and how quick he is to the draw killing any stormtrooper or bounty hunter who get in his way.  Also for the record, Han shot first.

Since we are on the subject of Star Wars and Stormtroopers, I have to mention the E-11 Blaster Rifle they wield.  I like this rifle especially for Stormtroopers, as it’s compact and very light for them to get around and end up being killed by Luke, Leia, Chewbacca etc…(This could go on for one thousand pages if I keep naming people who killed Stromtroopers).Stormtrooper_gun  Nevertheless, this was a very cool and memorable rifle in the Star Wars universe.  It’s almost a shame the bad guys wielded it and did it an injustice.  Stormtroopers couldn’t hit a target if Darth Vader himself was force guiding the lasers at their mark. But maybe that was built into the design of the rifle? Maybe not.

M41a_Pulse_Rifle_by_Paul_Muad_DibFinally, onto my favorite Sci Fi weapon of ALL TIME!  I’m of course talking about the M41A Pulse Rifle first introduced in James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens.  This is the key ingredient to make a Colonial Marine the “ultimate badass” (queue Aliens Director’s Cut reference).  You can argue that every sci fi nerd would recognize this gun, that’s how notorious it is.  It’s a badass weapon for a badass enemy, the Xenomorphs.  The weapon comes equipped with a 99 round magazine with a digital counter to track the remaining rounds.  If that wasn’t enough it also has a grenade launcher, a fucking grenade launcher!!!!  I think what sold me on the Pulse Rifle being my favorite sci fi gun is the scene in aliens-hudsonAliens of Private Hudson’s last stand. It’s basically him screaming a bunch of expletives taking as many Xenos with him as he can before being pulled through a floor panel.  At that moment I thought, “Yep that’s how I wanna go, Pulse Rifle in hand”.

 

Now I know there are so many more iconic guns out there but these are just a few that really stood out to me as a kid.  I’ll end this blog with a topic for you to comment with.  What is your favorite iconic Sci Fi gun or guns and why?

Violence in the Vast World of Video Games

Written By: Brandon

controllerWords cannot begin to describe the sheer thrill and excitement I felt when I bought my first set of video games. I remember saving my cash in my Star Wars bank and using that money to purchase some of my all-time favorite video games. The first video game system that meant the most to me was my Nintendo 64. I saved up my allowance and Communion money to buy the system myself and bought three new games with it: “Super Smash Bros.,” “Banjo-Kazooie,” and “Mario Kart 64.”

angry boy with video game controllerWhile my first experience with video games was a positive milestone in my life, I wanted to discuss an issue that is becoming more of a concern with the younger generation of gamers today: violence. Video game violence has increased significantly from when I was growing up in the 90s. The purpose of this blog isn’t to bash the video gaming industry, because there are many benefits video games can offer. Instead, we as a society need to become more familiar with how violence in gaming affects consumers, and not put it aside due to the sheer awesomeness of interactive gaming.

As a teacher, my students are always discussing with me about different video games, some that I even played as a kid. For example, I have two brothers that love playing “Super Mario World” on the Wii. I remember playing this game when I was their age, and I love sharing in these adventures with them. We always play this game whenever I see them, and we do not go to sleep until we have beaten an entire world.  This represents a great quality video games have to offer: they bring people together for the sheer purpose of enjoyment and passion. They can be an escape for some children into their own world and have shown to strengthen one’s team work skills, creativity, and gross motor functions.
vg violenceThe growing concern however is not only the violence itself but also the audience to which the violence is shared. Studies have been done regarding violence and whether to much exposure has a negative impact on a child’s development.   Some young children have difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy, which makes them more vulnerable to the effects of media violence. They may become more aggressive and fearful if they are exposed to high levels of violence in video games. Children have easy access to violent computer and video games, therefore necessary steps must be taken by adults. There is absolutely no reason why a 10 year old boy should be shooting terrorists in Call of Duty or picking up hookers and shooting up stores in “Grand Theft Auto.” Instead,  let’s simply keep a better eye on what we’re adverting and where we are sending a mixed message to children about the reality of violence.  A message to Parents: ADHERE TO THE ERSB GAME RATINGS.

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What was the first violent video game you remember playing?