This Satirical “Thoughts And Prayers” Game Pinpoints What The GOP Doesn’t Seem To Understand About Gun Violence

In the wake of the Orlando tragedy and a year ridden with alarmingly regular shootings, there is a now a painfully brilliant gun violence game called “Thoughts And Prayers The Game.” As you can probably guess from the name, it satirizes the hypocrisy of law-makers who tweet about sending their thoughts and prayers to victims while doing nothing to prevent further gun violence. The game was recently put up on GOP Arcade, a website dedicated to creating humorous and painful games skewering our current election — some of the other equally notable games include Get Trump’s Taxes, which is another brilliant concept in itself, and Bomb The Right Place. You can definitely sense a tone here.

“Thoughts and Prayers” starts with a homepage where players see a glowing orange map of America. Once you hit “Play,” a series of shootings pop up around the country (yes, this is incredibly bleak), and on the right and left hand sides of the screen, you have the options “Thinking” and “Praying.” During the whole debacle, there is a center option to “Ban Assault Weapons,” which the game NEVER tells you to press because it is too busy urging you to think more or pray more. If you do happen to press the “Ban Assault Weapons” option, it will either say you don’t have enough votes or that you’re un-American.

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CREDIT: Screenshot/ThoughtsandPrayers

The end screen is as bleak and on the nose as the game itself, and reveals the number of thoughts and prayers you’ve racked up (lots) against the numbers of lives you’ve saved (zero).

The spot on setup and visuals of this game would be funny if it wasn’t so brutally honest. I’ve played it a few times now, and each time felt an inner conflict of amusement at the execution of the game and sadness at how important and prevalent the points it brings up are. The fact that most lawmakers are either completely passive (and likely receiving bribes from the NRA), or not receiving the backing they need to go through with bills is not only soul-crushing, it’s fucking fatal.

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CREDIT: Screenshot/ThoughtsandPrayers

If you make the decision to play the game, it’s likely you’ll see your city named as one of the fictional shooting spots. But, the scariest part is that given our currently violent landscape, none of it feels fictional or outlandish. Each fake tragedy that flashes across the screen while you’re urged to “Think more!” or “Pray more!” feels more like an omen than a plot line in a faux arcade game, and that in itself is telling.