If Advertising really works-then do Violent games promote violent behaviour?
The paid silence on violence
Someone is being paid big money to shut up about it. That is my argument and I will stick with it. Exposing children to violence and expecting them to be sweet little angels when they play with their mates or come to the table is extremely delusional. Your children are as much a product of their environment-positively or negatively as they are a part of you.It is absolutely horrifying to see companies get away with the production of violent video games, yet when we see a toy gun in the shop window-we freak out and call for friendlier toys.The difference between a video game,which suggests violence to the mind and a toy that suggests violence to the body,is minimal, if not negligible. It is time we decide if violent video games really do harm or not. I will take it from the perspective of selling. The market has become so competitive that businesses have to use the most savage of tricks to market their products.Product appeal too is of essence, and the easiest aspect to target the market is its animal nature.The fight or flight instinct. I will look at the basic functioning of advertising and graphic design to drive my point home, as this is the vehicle for the graphics in the games and also their selling.
Does Advertising work? How does it work? And for whom does it work? If you answered yes to any of the following questions, you may enjoy reading this. If you answered no to any of these questions, you need to read this.
The advertising industry from my personal perspective
Choosing between Graphic art and fine art.
In my early years of studying art, I had to make a choice between Graphic Art and Fine Art. A quick break down, Graphic Art/Design involves a more commercial aspect to art.It is widely used in marketing and the decorative industry. Web design benefits a lot from Graphic Design. Fine art on the other hand involves practices such as Music,painting,sculpture,drawing and so on.
My choice was clear to me from the word go. I went with Fine art for the following reasons, I have the absolute freedom to paint or make prints (Lithographic printing) of what I want. My personal opinion matters a great deal in my work and i am the one who controls the outcome. Graphic design seemed to me to be a useful field but the manipulatyive aspects used in creating Advertisement campaigns for example,just put me off for .Graphic design employs tactics to suggest and manipulate the viewer into making a decision.This is of course with the idea to sell a product.Fopr example in the 1970s, cinema used subliminal advertising to sell coca-cola products,this was done by splicing a film and adding a split second of a coke advert .In other cases, sex and violence is used to "entertain" the viewer by appealing to our animal nature/instinct.Hardly noticeable to the eye, these adverts are however caught by the subconcious mind. Such manipulative practices put me off the idea of working in the field. Other examples of how abusive Advertising can be involve the use of sex appeal to sell products. Graphic Design works to enhance the campaign by employing the psychology of colour and product placement.
An appetite for the gruesome
Where did this appetite for violence come from?
Selling a product such as a game, one needs to put an angle, a hook to it, World of Warcraft thrives on the fact that there is so much to do within the hyper real interface.There are millions of players online in real time and some have actually gone on to meet in reality. The quests /levles get you hooked into playing the game for hours and in some cases days.You accumulate wealth and weaponry, you also gain special powers the higher you climb in the ranks.
The sad part about all this
The sad part about all this is, it works. One may find themselves being attracted to a certain product but not know exactly why. The same methods are being employed to sell Games these days. There have been a barrage of extremely violent games put out in the last few years. Grand Theft Auto has gruesome violence delivered in sterling graphics,World of Warcraft displays an animalistic nature where fighting and killing is the entertainment. Guns and bombs are used in these "games" in order to triumph.
Advertising Violence: When killing becomes a game
Advertising and Graphic art used to promote violent entertainment.
I was greatly shocked to hear that some judge in the United States let violent game makers go scot-free. In my opinion, if we are prepared to sell games with titles such as "Killzone" and expect children not to be affected by the aggressive nature of these games, then we should not be too shocked by the type of violent crimes that are committed. Yes indeed, one can say children can discern what is real and what is not. Still my argument is based on the fact that life is based on imagination being realized.What we feed into our imagination becomes reality if given enough attention and effort.
It is time we claimed responsibility by shunning all forms of violence in children's (and indeed adult) games. I do not see the fun in a game that involves shooting people or slaying their throats. I maybe wandering in the wrong direction but I believe we need to step up and say no to what our children are exposed to.
A history of an insatiable love for violence.
Looking back in history, mankind has always had a desire to be entertained by violent acts. If you think about the fights gladiators would have in arenas and so on. War has always been looked at as a way to prove the stronger side, the stories of war become tales for entertainment.
It would appear we have not advanced very far in terms of violent entertainment. Advertising is just magnifying it.