My personal point of view on firearms is that it’s probably more humane to be shot over the head than to be slain with a sword with several strokes… or a pickaxe or a shovel… or a prodded spoon. So adding firearms does not, in my opinion, add any additional possibilities of depicted brutality to the game that is not already there. On the other hand, I know that the legal requirements in the USA are different from those here in Europe, and that these different requirements make the emergence of a strong gun lobby and a strong anti-gun lobby possible. As far as that is concerned, I can’t really speak from here.
As far as gun violence in games is concerned, I think it makes a big difference who the gun is pointed at. I think in terms of Minetest in 4 categories:
1. monsters and dangerous animals, that are real threats,
2. harmless animals,
3. human NPC (without zombies, of course) and
Shooting serious threats is probably Ok.
To kill a cow or a pig you might not need a firearm, but somehow you have to use violence to get a feces.
As for the villagers, I think that a sane player will soon come to the point of view that it is not so funny in the long run to shoot all villagers over the heap. With a player who repeatedly logs into a Mesecraft survival server to shoot specifically at the cute villagers, I would get doubts about the health of the mind of this player. Such players can be found everywhere, but I’m afraid that they are rather rare on minetest survival servers, since there are now special servers for the cultivated PvP carnage under Minetest. And that’s ok. After all, there is a consensus that you kill each other virtually.
Regarding the violence between players in Mesecraft, I would like to point out that it is at the discretion of the administrator to allow PvP combat at all.
These considerations lead me to believe that an enabled PvP option in Mesecraft and Minetest is primarily to allow collateral damage. It would be different in the case of an anachy server. But whether a server is an anachy server is also up to the administrator.
So I think from a moral point of view it is definitely Ok to add firearms to the game inventory of a minetest game.
However, there is one thing that makes a difference between ranged weapons and the currently most common melee weapons, and could change the game dynamics significantly in special situations.Recently I had to deal with another obvious minetest newbie. These players may hit you with their wooden pickaxe simply to find out what is happening. If I’m attacked with a melee weapon (or tool), my first reaction is usually (even with more experienced players) to move back out of combat distance. If the player immediately moves in and continues to attack me I know “he’s really trying to cause trouble.” This is a form of non-verbal communication that doesn’t necessarily work with powder weapons because the combat distance and the damage inflicted is much greater. I’m afraid that this circumstance could lead to faster and more devastating misunderstandings. Violence between players could increase.
I have a suggestion that would mean a deeper intervention in the game concept. Besides, feasibility and the effort involved is hard to estimate for me and I have hardly any experience with Mars so far. Especially not under Mesecraft. (I know, my mistake, but you can’t be everywhere. 🙂 )
But I can simply suggest.
(See suggestion “Firearms to Mars”)