Cannon Fodder: Protecting Our Industry

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder whether or not the entirety of the video game industry cares about the constant opposition that is presented by the mainstream media and the older, non-progressive population in general. Most of us in the editorial end of the industry find ourselves acting as advocates for those in the developing and publishing end — we defend the games and the people who make them with our word-shields.

Now I’m not claiming that without the burly strength of myself or the hundreds of other games journalists out there that these folks would be utterly defenseless against the evil oppression of the man, because usually those who we are working to protect do a fairly good job of helping themselves, too. That’s great.

Unfortunately, certain members of the industry sometimes make decisions that are, for lack of a better term, stupid. They somehow seem to forget that there are watchdogs out there who are hovering like vultures over industry members’ every move, just itching to take a pot-shot at whoever they can.

Of course, the fashionable complaint nowadays is that video games are violent in ways that are somehow different from every other form of media (such as movies, television, and books), and that these works of interactive entertainment are universally marketed to children, regardless of content, in an obvious attempt to poison our youth.

The defense to this sort of half-baked and ill-informed assertion always remains the same: that some games are for children, while some games are not. If a video game is made for and marketed to adults, then it should be met with the very same opposition as any R-rated movie. Now imagine every one of those being met with the same torches and pitchforks that greet each new Grand Theft Auto game.

A problem arises when a publisher or developer does something to give fodder to that angry mob, in essence working against their own cause. Such is the case with the Collector’s and Survival Editions of Bethesda Softworks’ upcoming Fallout 3. Historically, the Fallout series has always been produced and best suited for a mature consumer base, but this time around, the bundled schwag in the special editions of the game are likely to be construed as something different.

When toys are included in these packages, it is understood that one needn’t be a child to own such things, so there is justification, but Fallout 3 comes with lunchboxes. Only children actually make use of lunchboxes as they are meant to be implemented, so why would a game that we claim is marketed to adults include one of them

Any reasonable individual can see that this collector’s item is meant to sit somewhere on display or to hold the other items that are come along with it, rather than to carry peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, crackers, and orange juice to school, but are industry opponents ever that understanding? They are just looking for ways to connect violent video games to children, and this is that tiny thread that, in their eyes, does it. Why even give them the ammo?

It’s an uphill battle. Every detail should be thought through… unless of course you are uncompromising in adhering to your vision, regardless of public opinion. In that case, my anti-authoritarian, defiant hippie side is with you, but my wish for the unconditional acceptance of our industry is not.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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