Shooting games for kids simulation game that lets children pretend to get shootouts in offices, an indoor forgery hamlet with a bank and what appears to be a school is raising concern among law enforcement authorities and has come to Queens. The business behind the game says it’s “harmless fun” similar to tag or cops and robbers. Jonathan Vigliotti reports. The game, called iCombat, outfits children with other toy firearms and fake assault rifles — like SWAT officers. When the gun is fired, compressed air in a single type of toy gun even simulates recoil. And players wear vests that are electronic that light up when hit — where the victim was shot showing. A child shrink told NBC 4 New York that this degree of realism is dangerous for children. “There’s no question that this raises aggression and it desensitizes them to killing, also it is a big, big mistake,” said Dr. Harris Stratyner. The company ventured into children’s entertainment, and renamed the system iCombat this past year. The game is unusually realistic, and that’s really what disturbs many in the law enforcement community. “They’re going to need to take it to the next progression, to that dangerous next step,” said Sal Lifrieri, who served as manager of security and intelligence for OEM under former Mayor Giuliani. There is also the worry that the strategies used in the game should not be accessible to the public. “There continue to be secrets in approaches and techniques that law enforcement is now using. the thing that scares me the most is that we are going to lose those secrets,” Lifrieri said. A spokesman said the game is similar to “any other toy firearms” and added that “it’s the innocuous enjoyment of tagging each other or playing cops and robbers.” The company noted that parents finally decide whether their kids get to play. In regards to law enforcement concerns, the spokesman said “iCombat doesn’t and will not teach the people or children about police tactics.” Still, critics worry this game could channel some energy for those who may blur the line between fantasy and truth. “This allows kids to have somewhere to really go and practice what could be another assault on a school,”
They obey the law all the time, as in, without exception. This may sound like the right way to program a robot to drive a car, but good luck trying to merge onto a chaotic, jam-packed highway with traffic flying along well above the speed limit. It tends not to work out well. As the accidents have piled up — all minor scrape-ups for now — the arguments among programmers at places like Google Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University are heating up: Should they teach the cars how to commit infractions from time to time to stay out of trouble?