Hashtag Prayer Hands Emoji
October 6th, 2017 – In the aftermath of another mass shooting, our Twitter and Facebook feeds were once again filled with messages of thoughts and prayers for the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy – one that left 59 dead and 500+ injured. According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, this was the 273rd mass shooting in 2017. With such a high number, we’ve become somewhat familiar with the “thoughts and prayers” message as well as the politically charged debate surrounding gun control. What’s a bit more fresh, however, are the creative ways people champion their side of the gun control debate.
A site called “Thoughts & Prayers: The Game” uses a retro computer game to highlight the affect that offering thoughts and prayers actually has on saving lives. After you start the game, ominous music turns into metal as the stakes are laid out.
Once you’ve identified the letters “T” and “P” on your keyboard, you’re brought to a countdown screen where the United States is flanked by large “THINK” and “PRAY” buttons. Throughout your 30 second crusade, the map shows you cities that have had mass shootings along with the number of people killed. You have the option to “think” or “pray” for the incident and, depending on which option you choose, you will hear a thoughtful “hmm” or a heavenly “ahhh” after your deed.
If you try to select the “BAN ASSAULT WEAPON SALES,” you only find mocking messages such as “WEAK!,” “EMPATHIZE,” “YOU DEPEND ON NRA DONATIONS,” “MORE PRAYING!,” and “YOU DON’T HAVE THE VOTES!”
The game already made headlines when it was making the rounds back in 2016. It comes as a part of the “GOP Arcade” (a part of “Everyday Arcade”), which also offers the games “Trump’s Pussy Grabber,” “Trump Toss,” and Get Trump’s Taxes.”