There's a fine line between adding to realism with in-game advertising and blatantly selling out. One can actually improve the game's atmosphere, and the other is a quick road to riches. There is, however, another factor to consider. According to a new report, advertising in violent videogames can backfire and actually create a negative perception of the product being pitched, as well as lower brand recall.
We wanted to avoid covering this story altogether – our logic, of course, being that Fox clearly wants attention, and it's pulled very similar game-demonizing stunts in the past. But the outlet's misinformation-packed article is everywhere now, and we'd be remiss if we didn't attempt to drop a kernel of actual truth into the mess. So we're not going to talk about Fox or its alleged “experts.” We're not even going to link to its article. Instead, we're going show you some excellent investigative work by the fine folks over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Boy, times sure have changed, haven't they? Our technology makes Thomas Edison's predictions look downright silly, we might have cured HIV, and – most insanely of all – Duke Nukem Forever has a friggin' release date. Oh, but you know what hasn't changed? Like, at all? Congressman Joe Baca.
Yep, he's at it again. Same “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent games has been linked to blah, blah, blah” bit, same alleged proof that games cause violence, same ignorance of all evidence to the contrary. Hell, he's even regurgitating the same two year-old press release!
This time, though, Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia is his co-sponsor, which means an entire two people now support this hilariously misguided cause. Seeing as the bill flopped last time and then proceeded to disappear for a couple years, its passing is about as likely as Baca changing his first name to “Chew.” (Which would completely change our opinion of him, but we digress.)
Science (and real life) may have provided ample evidence to the contrary, but that seemingly hasn't been enough to persuade the majority of American adults that videogames aren't diabolical tools of desensitization and bloodshed – the very weapons wielded by Satan's army. According to a survey uncovered by The Escapist that polled 1000 adults, 54 percent of American adults believe videogames to be a cause of increased real-world violence.
More troublingly, 69 percent expressed concern about the amount of violence in modern games, while 65 percent figured the government should have the right to pen a new chapter for its big ol' book of rules and regulations. Here's hoping -- for obvious reasons -- that the Supreme Court didn't contribute to this survey.
On the upside, only five percent thought the government should be the main decision-maker when it comes to “the amount of sex and violence children are exposed to in videogames,” with a whopping 71 percent putting that responsibility squarely on the shoulders of parents. Also of note: older adults were generally more up-in-arms about videogame violence than younger adults.
So basically, it's a pretty bleak picture, but there are a few dabs of hope mixed in there too. And so long as the older, gray-bearded folks don't succeed at pulling a Gandalf-style “you shall not pass” on gamers and our rights, it'll only be a matter of time until games stop taking so much flack. And what a wonderful day that'll be.