So I was lucky enough to get my first session at a shooting range in a couple weekends ago, thanks to my awesome best men and the bachelor party weekend they planned. It was TONS of fun, especially as someone who hasn’t really had any experience shooting more than a BB gun. It gave me some cool insight into guns and their portrayal in gaming, so here are a few lessons about different styles of guns that I came away with that day.
The .22 Rifle
One of my two best men, Andy (you can see him in the Connor Kenway combat videos) brought along his own little bolt action .22 rifle. This thing shot like a dream, with a simple little scope, and great accuracy. There was no noticeable kickback on this thing (as one would expect from a .22). Even at 14 yards though, no-scoping is pretty much a no-go if you want any real accuracy, hahaha. The difficulty of shooting accurately from a standing position without any kind of tripod, even with a small, light rifle like this, is vastly understated in games.
The 9mm Handgun
Forgive me if I’m not remembering any of the specific models we shot, all I remember is this was a police issue 9mm semi-automatic handgun (maybe a Glock?). Nice, simple handgun, not too much kick, easy to operate. Something you really underestimate with handguns is how inaccurate they can be when you’re first learning to shoot. Since you only have two points of contact when you’re shooting (your two hands), it’s difficult to brace and steady yourself against recoil, not to mention the involuntary un-leveling that can come with squeezing the trigger. Don’t even think about two-handed dual wielding pistols, unless you care about throwing tons of lead downrange without actually hitting anything. Two hours in with a dual-handed grip I was only just starting to get decent groupings at 10 yards.
The 9mm Carbine Rifle
I believe this was an AK model, semi-automatic, small bore carbine (so it shot 9mm instead of 5.56 or 7.62, which are larger assault-rifle style ammo). This was my favorite gun of the day, and I got my best groupings on it. Any game that features solid accuracy with something that isn’t a rifle past fifteen yards is probably lying to you. With this baby, however, I shot a nice small grouping on my first attempt. Even at semi-auto, the magazine emptied quite rapidly, so spray and pray style games are pretty inaccurate on this. Regardless, this one and the shotgun gave me the “closest to gaming” feel, in that I was able to pick it up and feel pretty proficient right off the bat. Lots of fun!
The Remington 870
Holy crap this thing was fun to shoot. Pretty standard shotgun, lots of fun, just obliterating paper targets at ten yards. The kickback from this sucker was incredibly, though, two of the four of us left with bruises on our shoulders, haha. Any time you see an action movie star or video game character casually wielding one of these things one-handed with a pistol grip, feel free to call bullshit, because holy cow does this thing let you know you’re shooting it. Again, this gun was so much fun, hahaha.
First off, I really want to go shooting again. So much fun! Note: Of course, I do not condone violence against other people in any way, shape or form, but shooting apart paper targets is lots of fun! If you have a chance, I really suggest you head down to your local range and give it a shot (groooaaaan)! The visit also really opened my eyes to what is realistically possible in both gaming and action movies, and what isn’t. It may have dispelled a bit of the magic, but it was still an educational experience, and totally worth it. =D
From a Bioshock Perspective, Booker wields a pretty wide variety of weapons in the game. While not all of the depictions are completely realistic, from what I can tell they do a pretty good job approximating things. As far as Booker himself goes, he’s a much more experienced and skilled marksman than I am, which sells the whole thing pretty well. If Booker’s the man you’re trying to be, I suggest you get yourself down to the range and get yourself educated, so you can start putting in the hours of practice you’ll need to catch up!
Being Cool-headed and Adaptable
Booker’s had a pretty rough life, and it shows through both his lack of reaction to violent situations, and his ability to handle some pretty crazy stuff. He handles the whole transition to Columbia pretty damn well, all things considered, and adapts well to the situations thrown at him. He’s also adventurous in trying new things, like the random Vigors he finds lying around, or jumping right into (literally) the skyline system. Here’s some tips for you, the reader, on how to widen your own horizons.
Be Open to New Experiences
Now, I’m not saying try everything under the sun just because you can. I wouldn’t want you to go out and start trying hard drugs just because I said “Be open to new experiences.” However, when something new or different comes along that isn’t outright malicious, maybe just a little uncomfortable, then think about giving yourself that little extra push to give it a shot. Maybe it’s a new food, a new hobby, or a new social situation, it’s always worth trying new things. It’s how we grow and learn as a person.
Sometimes our doubts might get the better of us in these situations, and that’s when you should ask yourself what’s holding you back. Afraid to try a new food? The worst thing that happens is a bit of temporary discomfort, and maybe the need to get yourself something else if you don’t like it. New hobby? What’s the worst that could happen, you suck at it? Everyone sucks at something, sometime. The only way you get better is by giving it a shot and sticking with it. Or, if you decide it’s not for you, let it go, but at least say you tried. New social situation? The worst outcome here? Maybe it’s a single awkward party, or gathering. As long as you aren’t spouting racist nonsense or setting someone’s house on fire, I doubt you’re going to make any new enemies, or alienate any of your friends.
Let Your Mistakes Go, Look at What You’ve Gained from Them
In the aforementioned situation, assume things go wrong. You make a bit of an idiot of yourself, or you discover you’re really, really bad at playing piano, or maybe you just tried the grossest food in the world. Don’t dwell on it. Let it go, and keep what you’ve learned from it. You know now that maybe that’s not a crowd you want to hang out with, or you need to work a lot harder at piano if you want to become proficient, or you’ll just steer clear of the escargot next time (by the way escargot is delicious). You’ve learned something about yourself, and the world, and you can grow from that!
Widen Your Social Circle
When you meet new people, make an effort to keep in touch with them afterwards. Ask if you can hit them up on Facebook, or Twitter. Invite them to the next big social event you have. The more people you know, the more little worlds you can peer into and take part in, and the more unique experiences you’ll get a chance to have. Remember, relationships are a two-way street. If you find yourself never being asked along to things, ask yourself when the last time you organized an event and invited people? Be genuinely interested in other people, and you’ll find some who are genuinely interested in you.
We grow by expanding our own limits. It’s a lesson so important, I even included it as part of The Champions Code. Seek to expand your own horizons and experiences, so you can grow as a person, too.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow we finish up, with The Depth of Booker DeWitt. If you haven’t joined The Champions Guild yet, head on over and sign up now so you can be kept current with what’s going on with the blog! You’ll also get two free eBooks written by yours truly. Check it out!
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Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace