Something that keeps coming back to me is that I don’t put real guns in my games. I don’t mind playing games like GTA and Wolfenstein, and TF2 was my love for a long time. None of my games have bullets. They have explosions and lasers, though. So I just got to thinking about them:
Guns are the great equaliser. Only your aiming ability and reaction time is required. A vast bodybuilder, martial arts expert or someone in a wheelchair are suddenly all on the same level.
Guns cause instant change. I think this is why we see a lot of guns in entertainment media. They force rapid change in the form of killing, their speed is so fast it might as well be instant. It’s much quicker to run through that than solve it through discussion. Drive-by arguments never caught on.
The gun itself is indifferent. The gun, unless something is wrong with it, will not shoot someone. It requires an operator. The gun isn’t sentient. (but what if it was? A gun with morality)
In many ways the weapons I have in my games offer the same features. So why am I afraid of putting guns in my games? I think I just don’t like them. I’m currently mentally planning out 2 games and working directly on Stratonauts. None of these feature real-world type guns.