Video Game Violence



Critics are obsessed with the esthetics of video game violence. The debate about increasing levels of realism in computer games is an adding to the debate. Video game violence has even entered the political arena. Are violent video games targeting the youth of America? Is violence in video games the way the industry does business? The answer to this question is no. Violent games are just a small corner of the market that is annually targeted by politicians. Advances of computer graphics by developers should not be punish for their hard work. Yes, a Few game companies do exploit violence as a marketing ploy, but in most cases its just a side effect that comes with the realism that's captured in computer games.
Violent video games found themselves under fire last December. Targeted was the industries escalation of blood and bashing in computer games. While at an event in Washington DC senator Joe Lieberman states, "Killing and carnage is not enough any more." Also, "To torture and maim is often the name of these games now." Lieberman also blames video games in part for the violence in school. The video game industry is being accused of targeting the children with their violent video game.
The reason for these accusations sprang from advertisement like the Sports Illustrated for Kids advertisement for Resident Evil 2. Video game industries are being accused of targeting children with their violent games. This advertisement is being compared to tobacco industries "Joe Camel." The results of the annual Video and Computer Game Report Card published by the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF). While receiving an 'A' for putting ratings on games, the survey gave stores a 'D' for their lack of enforcement of those ratings. In addition, the report flunked on-line advertising and marketing for being both unrated and, in many cases, more in-your-face than magazine ads.
The primary voice for the industry, the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), responded to the accusation of violent games. Douglas Lowenstein responded with, "The repeated, annual ritual of focusing on the tiny minority of games and, this year, ads with violent content creates a distorted view of our industry."
Douglas Lowenstein is the speaker and president of the IDSA. By the IDSA's accounting, only ten percent of video games published receive the mature rating. IDSA believes it wrong for gaming industry to being labeled for such a small minority of the industry. Of all the buyers of games two-third of video gamers are adults. This mean, of ten percent of the games that are violent only one-third are played by people below the age of 18. This again shows that the video game industry is such large target for such a small portion of it.
The Report Card that has been bringing so much attention to video game industry was release last December by Media and the Family. The video game industry received high marks for creating the rating and the clear labeling of games. The majority of the low grades receive where rating that where out of video game makers' control. The enforcement of video game rating is up to the retail and rental store's desecration. Will information found on the Internet for the most part is a virtually impossible task to try to regulate. Web sites located on the Internet do not have any regulations to adhere to. Other then this, games receive hi praise according to this Report Card. This is contrary to what Sen. Lieberman had to say in his speech.
1998 Video and Computer Game Report Card
Industry Rating Percent of Games Rated A
Accuracy of Ratings B
Retail Stores Ratings Displayed A
Ratings Enforcement D
Rental Stores Ratings Displayed B
Ratings Enforcement D
Ratings Education C-
Arcade Industry Ratings Development A
Implementation Incomplete
Internet Game Safety Game Demo Sites--Ratings/warnings F
On-line Gaming Sites--Ratings/warnings F
Filtering Software Effectiveness D-
Parental Supervision C-

The report cited several examples of inappropriate marketing. Among them an advertisement for a game called Resident Evil 2 in the magazine Sports Illustrated for Kids. The game, made by Capcom Entertainment, carries an "M" rating, indicating it is appropriate for those ages 17 and above. The advertisement in Sports Illustrated for Kids was for a toned-down version of the game made by a different company, Tiger Electronics Ltd., and adapted for hand-held units. "This version carries a 'T' rating, meaning it is suitable for those 13 and older," said Sandra M. Schneider, vice president of Tiger Electronics.