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If Advertising really works-then do Violent games promote violent behaviour?

Updated on January 7, 2015

The paid silence on violence

Responsibility

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.


Violence has been used as a form of entertainment since time immemorial. Should this however be extended to children's games?
Violence has been used as a form of entertainment since time immemorial. Should this however be extended to children's games? | Source

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.

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    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      6 years ago from Oakland, California

      @Epigramman.Well it is mixed feelings about the riots.On one hand I am glad people stood up to be heard about an important issue.On the other hand,I do not support thuggery and looting that has nothing to do with the issue that sparked the riots.I do not see the point in burning down a 100 year old building...anyway,I am in the process of writing a hub about it. Thanks for your concern.We are fine and things have quitened down in London

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      6 years ago

      .....stirring editorial comment from you Sir and oh so true are your words and your philosophy. Great to hear from you and I sincerely hope you and your friends-family are safe and well. How do you feel about these riots in the past weeks in London ....

      lake erie time 9:09pm

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 

      6 years ago

      This is a great argument and I agree that there is much irony in what is accepted and what is not accepted. A lot can be done bt parents to monitor their children. But I know plenty of parents that just leave the room when their kids play video games -i.e., good my kids are busy I can do work, eg.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      Exactly!

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      6 years ago from Oakland, California

      @cooldad. Thanks for your efforts in raising your children right.I feel it is a necessary step for them to realize that violence is not entertainment from an early age.Thanks for passing by.

      @ Nellieanna. Thank you for passing by.It is indeed crucial to realize that it is not only the body that feeds but the mind too.I find denying this fact a tragedy in a society.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      AMEN! I've been concerned about it since my own children (now in their 50s) were kids. The manipulation and subtle mind-control is horrid. Now it's extended to convincing people they/we are ill and need meds when it is preposterous. Thanks for a good reminder.

    • cooldad profile image

      cooldad 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I have four children and I make a very concerted effort to make sure they aren't exposed to gratuitous violence. I'm not sure what it's like across the pond, but here in America, our society has become desensitized to violence and it's a shame.

      I cannot understand what is positive about children playing violent video games. They serve no purpose. American society is continually bombarded by violence and the sad part is that it only exists because there is a huge demand for it. What does that say about people today?

      Good hub, I enjoyed it.

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      6 years ago from Oakland, California

      @justom. Yah man,its a power thing.

    • justom profile image

      justom 

      6 years ago from 41042

      I think we pretty much agree on the lack of communication. I really think if you take care of that part everything will be Irie!! It's just a more violent world we live in. Power does strange things to folks!

    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      6 years ago from Oakland, California

      @justom.I agree with you especially when it comes to the fact that you explained things to him.These days there is hardly and communication between the older and younger generations in most cases.While still on the note of violence in games,I do not think that there were games such as Killzone and Grand Theft Auto back in the day. I stand corrected as always but i think the use of hyper real graphics (Design LOL) adds to the effect of blurring the line between reality and fiction in young minds. If they go unattended,I think it leads to play acting these games in real life and before we know it,we have a violent generation.Thanks for sharing your opinion.

    • justom profile image

      justom 

      6 years ago from 41042

      While I appreciate your stance Victor I'm not so sure I agree. I grew up watching violence and playing with toy guns, shooting everything in sight and grew to be a very peaceful person (never owned a real gun in my life). When Justin was a kid I'd have to hold him up on my knee to play those video games and I took him to see whatever movies he wanted to see, many violent. You know what, I took the time to explain it all and put it in perspective telling him these things were not real. There is too much real violence in this world to protect them from it, the daily news being a prime example. Justin is also a very peaceful guy so I don't think we can throw a blanket over violence until we, as humans, all become more peaceful and set a good example for all the children. Just my opinion man! On a lighter note I always get a kick out of the term graphic design. They all seem to be just production jobs and rarely involve actual design. Good hub, Peace!! Tom

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