REAL WEAPONS FROM VIRTUAL WORLDS - Friday, 15 November 2013

War gamers are being offered a rare chance to handle real weapons from fantasy worlds – including those featured in best-selling games, Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty.

Join Royal Armouries’ Curator of Firearms Jonathan Ferguson as he showcases weapons from the national collection and their roles in popular video games in the latest seminar at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, next Saturday (November 23).

Jonathan said, “If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to hold these iconic weapons, this is your chance to find out. We will also deliver a presentation on the depiction of weapons and their use in video games over the years – and why they’re so essential to so many titles in different genres.”

Here Jonathan comments on some of the featured weapons from Royal Armouries’ national collection. The name of the war game is indicated in brackets:

Two-handed sword, probably German, circa1400 (‘Total War’) – Some of the swords depicted in fantasy games are so large that you could barely lift them! We’ve chosen a more realistic example that, despite its size, weighs only 2.27kg (5lb 8oz).

Crossbow of Balestrino form, Italian, 17th century (‘Assassin’s Creed’) – A real period miniature crossbow that Ezio would be proud to wear on his bracer. Concealable ‘assassin’s crossbows’ like this were banned in Venice in 1545, and their possession was punishable by the removal of an offender’s hands.

Heckler & Koch HK 416D carbine, German, 2005 (‘Call of Duty’) – A modern development of the AR15 assault rifle, originally produced in 1959. It has real-world resonance as the type used by US. Special Operations Forces in the 2011 operation to kill Osama Bin Laden.

IMI Desert Eagle pistol, Israeli, c1995 (‘Tomb Raider’) – This huge pistol has appeared in more video games than any other, taking a lead from its popularity in action movies. In reality, it is useless as a practical weapon, even if you’re firing two at once!

The seminar runs from 10.30am to 4pm. Tickets are priced £30, available in advance either online or by calling 0113 220 1888. This event is suitable for adults only (18+).

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Notes to editors

Royal Armouries is home to the national collection of arms and armour, including artillery, and has three British sites – at the Tower of London; a purpose-built museum in Leeds; and at Fort Nelson in Hampshire.


The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds houses a major part of the national collection of arms and armour, and displays over 8,500 objects throughout its five themed galleries.

Download the PDF press release.