When raising a kid, you start to wonder where you draw the line. Should I stop her from getting on that footrest and jumping up and down? It's cute, but she might fall off. Ehh, it's not that high, and I'm not going to be the parent who wraps their kids in bubble wrap all the time. Hmm, how about her now climbing on that bookshelf? Yeah, that could fall over on her. I should probably stop that.
It's an ongoing battle in your head. In the years since I grew up, parents have become increasingly paranoid when raising their kids. I blame the media. Constantly reporting on abducted children and debilitating injuries can never help calm someone down and make them less worried. But I've started to wonder if the same thing that's magnifying our fears, is also magnifying our outrage.
We've gotten to the point, when not a single day goes by that we, as a collective society, aren't outraged about something. Let's think back, just in the last year, about video game marketing. Case after case of outrage. Gamers decrying this game or that because of some failed marketing campaign. Is any of this justified, or are we just being too sensitive?
It really comes down to you as an individual, doesn't it? We you incensed by the Dante's Inferno "Sin to Win" contest, in which Comic-Con attendees had to take pictures of "sinful acts" with the booth models in order to be entered? No? Well then you probably aren't a woman.
Were you horrified by the recent Modern Warfare 2 debacle, in which a promotional video ended with the title of a fake organization whose name spelled out "F.A.G.S"? No? Well then you probably don't have any gay friends or family members.
I hate the argument that these are games. Just because something is used to derive enjoyment, doesn't mean you can't be disgusted when it's advertising goes too far. Video games are big business, and there are millions of dollars being spent to market them. If someone does a moronic thing like spelling out the word "fags" in their advertising, we definitely need to let them know that is unacceptable. But where do we draw the line?
I don't want gamers to slowly become like the parents of today. My kid has gotten plenty of bruises in the year or so that she's been walking, but none of them have been very bad. She's gotten tough. She might cry, but she runs up to you and says boo boo, or more like "BA-BOOOOO!". You give it a kiss, and say "All better!" and she runs on her merry way. If anything more serious happened to her, I'm sure it wouldn't be that easy to calm her down.
I like to think of things like the Dante's Inferno marketing campaign as a bruise that can be kissed away, and the Modern Warfare 2 controversy as something that could use hospital visit to be sure. Still, that could just be who I am. Perhaps I'm a misogynist with a gay friend. Either way, all I'm asking is that people learn to draw a line. Don't freak out about every little scrape and bruise, or game marketing will be completely boring and dry. Instead, learn to relax a little bit. That way, when the really offensive thing comes along, we won't be the gamers who cried wolf.
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November 06, 2009
Labels: video games