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Mary Ashley's Papers

1499 words - 6 pages

Violent Video Game Advertising: Is it ethical?
Mary Ashley Badgett
Communication Ethics
November 6, 2013

Violent Video Game Advertising: Is it ethical?
Section I: Summary
Controversy over violent video games resurfaced in 1999, when two armed high school students instantly became killers of their peers. On April 20, 1999, at a Colorado high school, known as Columbine High, two students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire, shooting 20 people and killing 13. The media revealed that Harris and Klebold constantly played violent video games, including “Wolfenstein 3D,” “Doom,” and “Mortal Combat.” Following the allegations of the Columbine case, it was announced that the rapid ...view middle of the document...

Violent video games create a thrill in shooting and killing someone, stealing cars, and other various types of violence, which drive people into wanting to perform dangerous behaviors in reality.
Although parents might think their children are not being exposed to these types of violent games, in retrospect their children are. The Christian Science Monitor notes that a survey performed reveals that children are playing "killographic" games without their parents' knowledge or consent and are certainly playing them for a drastic period of time.
Furthermore, according to the ProCon of Video Gaming, 97% of 12-17 year olds in the United States played video games in 2008, thus fueling an $11.7 billion of domestic video game industry. During the year of 2008, half of the top 20 best-selling video games in the United States contained some form of violence. It has been understood that violent video games have been accused as being liable for school shootings, violence towards women, an increase in violence in neighborhoods, car theft, and much more. “Critics argue that these games desensitize players to violence, reward players for simulating violence, and teach children that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflicts (ProCon).”
Today, many people are contemplating if violence in video games essentially leads to violence being pursued in actuality. Video games that are presently being sold on the market such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Mortal Combat, and many others, have the reputation of condoning violence. Grand Theft Auto III was the series' first foray into an immersive, fully 3D environment, and it revolutionized the concept of an anything-goes sandbox where players could carjack vehicles, solicit prostitutes, steal, kill and otherwise cause copious amounts of mayhem (RollingStone).
Studies have been conducted to show the influence violent video games have on citizens. The study continues to suggest that there is a connection between game-playing, mainly sedentary activity, and obesity, informing readers that a decrease of 13 percent in physical activity has occurred. If children aren’t able to purchase these games and should not be playing them because of the violent content, what are the motives of the advertising companies for advertising it on a channel mainly children view?
Section II: Linkage to class
The debate over advertising violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto, Doom, and many more relates to class when questioning if advertising violent video games is ethical. According to the theory of Timothy Leary and LSD, the American Mass Media system is advertising subsidizing; therefore we let the market decide what is going to occur. Everything from the top gaming systems coming out, to the most vulgar video games being produced are always going to have some type of commercial quality to it. Consuming is a value to appreciate, but advertising agencies are encouraging viewers to purchase gruesome...

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