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The Blame Game

Recently, violent acts of children and adult alike have been blamed on video games, but is this claim justified? One news story stated the reason a 17 year old shot his parents was due to Halo. Granted, there are some realistic bits of the game, but for the major portion this game is completely fantasy based.

Looking at this picture alone, one can see the futuristic display, weaponry, and armor; so how can the public easily connect the idea that something so different from reality makes a huge impact on the way people percieve our world and cause acts of senseless violence?  Part of the problem is that the gaming industry makes itself a large target to be hit for these type of accusations.  For instance, EA recently released a game titled Dead Space 2, which was advertised by one of the worst represenative commercials in the history of video games.

The main reasons why this is a terrible commercial stems from the target audience and how they labled gamers.  They categorize this game as something your mother hates following with comments from the mothers about how violent the game is, how it would make people insane, and how much of an atrocity it is.  Directly after making the game out to be some terrible monstrosity, the announcer says that the afformentioned traits are things that gamers LOVE.  This means that EA, the designers, intentionally made it look as if gamers were some sadistic bunch of lunatics and that the target audience was some rebelious bunch of teens. It is commercials and acts like these that feed the fire of hatred for games.  These acts are what makes all of the people and companies in the gaming community easy targets to be hit by the press and any court system as scapegoats for violence and acts of rage.  When the gaming community takes a few steps forward by making their industry more accessible to the public with innovations such as the Wii or family friendly titles such as the Kinects Pet Game, it is the acts of the companies such as EA that makes gamers fall down and slip backwards toward just beging a target to blame.

  1. March 25, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I definitely agree with most of this article. The media has twisted the video game world as something to hate due to violent acts committed such as the double homicide mentioned above and the Columbine tragedy. But the media fails to add that there were other outside influences that perverted the assailants into committing the acts. In Columbine, it is was due to excessive bullying and other related acts. In other situations, it is because the attackers had pre-existing health conditions. But it is not the commercial’s fault for making the target audience look like a bunch of rebellious, violence-crazing teens. It is common knowledge that the more violent M rated games are the highest grossing in the market. They are not setting up the image, they are simply stating a fact based upon marketing trends. I’m not saying ultra-violent game are everyone’s favorite type of video game, but this marketing campaign was actually a successful one because Dead Space 2 is the top selling game released this year. So, they maybe actually onto something. It just comes down to the blame game. People always need someone to blame when bad things happen like atrocities, oil spills, economic downturns, and even evil in the world. It is not the gaming industry’s fault

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