Product placement of real-world gun brands in video games does not appear to affect attitudes towards the gun, a new study shows.

Many violent video games allow players to use real-life firearms in a virtual environment, creating concerns that violent video games promote and advertise firearms through product placement. 

After playing first-person shooter games with either a virtual depiction of a real firearm (the Bushmaster AR-15) or a science fiction plasma rifle, the players’ attitudes towards the AR-15, and gun ownership in general, were surveyed.

The participants were either given powerful or weak versions of the guns, neither of which were found to change opinions on public policy surrounding gun use or estimation of gun safety, suggesting that brief exposure to product placement does not encourage certain attitudes towards guns.

The authors noted that gender and political party association were strong indicators of a participant’s stance on guns.

The full study is accessible here.