STUPID NEWS: These Mother’s just got Punk’d by Dead Space 2…and so did we
In a time when the Supreme Court of the United States is about to decide on whether or not video games are protected by the 1st Amendment, I have to wonder if EA’s newest ad campaign for Dead Space 2 is as brilliant as they think it is. For years, we who love games have been defending our past-time by saying “Hey, you can’t just take the violence out of context like that. There’s a reason why all of this is happening. It’s about survival. It’s about getting out alive. There’s a story and a narrative.” So what does EA do? They said, screw all that, we’re going to get some mothers all riled up by showing them the most violent and disturbing scenes in Dead Space 2 entirely out of context. Well, mission accomplished EA. You’ve done exactly what you set out to do. And while you may think we are all in on the joke, have you failed to consider that the opponents of video games will, most likely, see this piece in an entirely different light? Perhaps one that’s much more negative and inflammatory? One that could even be used to point the finger at our past time and call it the plaything of a bunch of degenerates?
No…clearly you didn’t think that through. Just like you didn’t think that through with the less-than-brilliant Dante’s Inferno prayer group debacle back in 2009.
Look, I see the in-joke you’re going for. We ‘get it’. Our folks don’t. Even I thought it was funny the first time I watched it. But it highlights the very problem that makes non-gaming parents and politicians hate what we love: it completely ignores the fact that the violence in video games (for the most part) doesn’t exist in a vacuum. That most games aren’t about violence for violence’s sake. And if we ever want to convince people otherwise, then this is NOT the way to do it. For all we know, one of those women could become the next Jack Thompson, rallying against the video game industry, all because you wanted to make them the butt of a joke for our enjoyment. It’s a pretty despicable way to sell a game. And it makes the whole industry look a little bleaker in the eyes of those who really don’t care if the industry wins Schwarzenegger v. EMA or not.
It makes me wish some of these mothers had the skill required to actually play the game, instead of just watch videos of the game. Maybe then, the takeaway would be a little more positive. Someone might even take away the fact that it’s a video game. That it’s not real. That everything they’re seeing is a total fabrication created inside the mind of a team of talented developers (in one video the disembodied voice even tells a mother it’s based on real events. Are you f*cking kidding me?!). But that wouldn’t have achieved the reaction EA and Visceral were going for.
You can find the entire collection of videos on the Dead Space channel over at Youtube.com