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Marketing Article

Violence in Games

12/2004
By S. Housley

With the holidays approaching I felt it that it was appropriate to address the issue of violence in games. As a parent I abhore violent games. Actually I dislike the way companies use violence to market to children. Sadly more and more entertainment companies are using use violence as a marketing tool.

As a professional I understand the need for businesses to make money. The fact of the matter is violence, like sex, sells. Compare the revenues in the software industry of an eductional software developer like Flix Products or Pharos Games to that of Duke Nukem, sadly you will find that regardless of the high quality software, violence outsells quality interactive educational tools every time. Why?

Is it the emphasis society places on gore, making it "cool", or is it the lack of emphasis on education that is creating a society where there is disdain for intelligence and celebration for violence.

Software developers in the entertainment sector face a difficult decision, do they morally and ethically write software that they value and believe in, but won't feed their families? Or do they turn to the darkside and embrace violent games with narcistic twists that allow players to personalize their warriors?

More and more products are emerging with war themes or behavior that any sane individual would find offensive. While adults, in most cases, can distinguish between reality and fantasy but with the technological advancements and graphical barbaric nature of games being released.

Now, I'm not really a fanatical person, or parent for that matter, unless of course you ask my children, but I have to wonder who is at fault? Is it the parents who complain about the violence in the games but have little interest in those with educational value? Let's face it in this equation in most cases it is the parents who pay for the violent games, often succumbing to peer pressure so that their child will not be ostracized. Is it the fault of the media that glorifies violence or is the fault of society that fails to speak up? In modern society there is a stigma associated with being smart, it is a heavy cross for any child to bear. It is so much easier for children to be cool and play Quake. What values are we are ultimately instilled in these childrens? It the fault of the developers themselves who capitalize on the blood being spilled, constantly pushing the limites of what is socially acceptable?

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for the NotePage http://www.notepage.net and FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com product lines. Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com , and http://www.small-business-software.net

 


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