Shiflet: Deer season is coming up in another month or so here in Texas, and I've been playing a lot lately, getting excited, getting all geared up about that upcoming season.Hunting and fishing simulators appeal to many people who love the outdoors. That's led some people to derisively call it "redneck software." Paul Rinde heads the Leisure Products division of GT Interactive. He says calling hunting and fishing games "redneck" is unfair.
Rinde: It's easy to refer to it as that, but the fact of the matter is the hunting and fishing industry is not a redneck industry, with the dollars that are spent, the corporations involved in that industry, it's really a broad-based, all-across-America industry. It isn't just a redneck, in the south, Walmart-only audience that is buying these games.
Wesolek: You always want to kill the animal instantly, so if you shoot it in the vitals, then it falls down right away. If not, occasionally you have to track it and follow its footprints and blood trail for a few yards but it doesn't , they don't go very far, you'll just find the animal dead.Killing animals is precisely the point of hunting and fishing games, and this makes some people uneasy. Target initially was reluctant to carry the games at first, after animal-rights groups threatened a boycott. Today, animal-rights groups don't know what to make of hunting and fishing simulators.
Prescott: We have actually mixed feelings about this topic.Heidi Prescott is director of the Fund for Animals, a group that opposes hunting and fishing.
Prescott: We obviously would rather have people at home, sitting in front of their computers shooting at fake animals rather than real animals. However, one of the concerns we have is whether or not this desensitizes children toward animals, ultimately leading them to develop a taste for hunting; that's our concern.Paul Rinde of GT Value Products says animal-rights groups don't have good reason to snipe at his products.
Rinde: It's virtual, it's not real. As we say, no deer were harmed in the making of our games.Despite the company's insistence that the games are not harmful, its hunting games carry a voluntary warning from the Recreational Software Advisory Council, which reads:
ADVISORY: VIOLENCE. Rewards injuring non-threatening creatures.GT 's Deer Hunter and Deer Hunter II have sold more than 2.3 million copies combined, making them not just the most popular hunting game, but one of the most popular computer games of any kind, ever. Analysts are expecting more big numbers from Deer Hunter III, a 3D game that will allow players to collaborate over the Internet. It's due out next month.