Presenting Guns in Video Games w/ Jonathan Ferguson

Today I am joined by Johnathan Ferguson, Keeper of Firearms and Artillery at the Royal Armories in the UK, which houses a collection of thousands of iconic weapons from throughout history. We’re talking about the representation of firearms in modern video games, in particular the changes in names and likenesses between games and the real world, and what drives these changes.

For more on this subject, check out the Gamespot Loadout video on the topic:


  1. I place Media Liability Errors & Omissions Liability insurance for all areas of the entertainment industry; film, television, music composers and performers, broadcasters, written works, live theater, internet streaming and social-media content creators, website and software/app developers, cyberliability elements of that, and more, etc.

    Ironically, the area of the entertainment industry that seems most devoid (and maybe simply unaware of existence) of pursuing that coverage is the video-gaming industry.

    The goal of such coverage is to address negligence and unintentional infringement in the face of copyright, trademark, likeness, defamation, invasion of privacy, and other dissemination of content, and whether any such use is allowed without securing a release or rights when paired to the ‘Fair Use Act’. The coverage can even be endorsed to protect against claims and lawsuits in conjunction with bodily-injury that may arise out of audience replication or emulating demonstrative content even if repeating what is depicted would be an incredibly stupid thing for someone to do, even if what is depicted is entirely fictional (the reason for the oft-seen “I’m a professional, don’t try this at home” disclaimers).

    Yet, I’m often baffled by the numerous, even the most prominent of, video-game manufacturers and developers in the industry that do not even think to pursue (let alone purchase) this facet of insurance to protect themselves. The important thing to keep in mind is that one of the most valuable points of such insurance coverage is about covering defense-costs, not just the potential eventual damages tied to a proven error or negligence of infringement in content after the fact, whereby a good number of such lawsuits are frivolous.

    It’s something that all video-game creators should at least think about, especially when quotes for such coverage are free; whether we are referring to firearms, cars, fashion, furniture, likeness or voice of characters (we’ve all seen those lawsuits), even graffiti and other images that may appear within the games – really, any sort of identifiable branding of others at all.

    There’s even such coverage to address reputational risk and disgrace regarding what a crucial feature or character/actor may be included in such video games, whereby a claim can ruin years of work in a minute’s notice upon its release to the public.


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