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Issues & Debates within the Video Games Industry
Terms in this set (11)
THE BELIEF THAT ONE SEX IS INNATELY SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER.
- In GTA women are only side characters; you could take all the women out of the game and it wouldn't affect the gameplay
- The only time they are in the game, is if they are being abused, if they are objectively used for sex, or if they're a damsel in distress
IT'S A PROBLEM BECAUSE PLAYERS OF THE GAME MAY END UP ADOPTING THIS HARMFUL MINDSET THAT WOMEN ARE INFERIOR, AND ARE ONLY GOOD FOR THE THINGS LISTED ABOVE.
WHEN THE QUALITIES OF AN INDIVIDUAL FROM A CERTAIN RACE/ETHNICITY OR GROUP OF PEOPLE ARE PROJECTED ONTO THE WIDER COMMUNITY DUE TO THE ACTIONS OF THAT INDIVIDUAL(S).
- In GTA Franklin is the classic stereotype of an African-American man: a criminal living in the ghetto/"hood", he either dresses like a basketball player or a gangsta
IT'S A PROBLEM BECAUSE IT PROMOTES NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES THAT PLAYERS MAY END UP APPLYING TO REAL LIFE.
Targeting Younger Teenagers Rather Than Adults
GTA is rated 18, however the imaginary entity for the game is most likely a 14-18 year old teenage boy who enjoys playing video games. This target audience age also coincides with puberty, so the presence of naked women and prostitutes is most likely welcomed.
THIS CAUSES PROBLEMS AS IT MAKES THE APPEAL FOR THE GAME LARGER IN AUDIENCES WHO MAY NOT BE MATURE ENOUGH TO BE EXPOSED TO SUCH CONTENT, AND AS A RESULT, WILL FACE NEGATIVE EFFECTS FROM THE GAME.
Depictions of Torture
One of the first gameplay tasks in GTA involves the player having to actively torture somebody and they can't get around it.
THIS IS A PROBLEM AS THIS VISCERAL EXPERIENCE CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HARM TO THE MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF THE PLAYER BECAUSE THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY FORCED TO DO IT IF THEY WANT TO PROGRESS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE A YOUNG PLAYER - EXPOSURE TO SUCH THINGS AT A YOUNG AGE CAN CAUSE DESENSITISATION IN THEIR FUTURE
Drug Use & Abuse
In GTA the characters are regularly seen taking and abusing narcotics for recreational purposes.
THIS IS A PROBLEM, AS IT SENDS THE MESSAGE TO THE PLAYER THAT DOING THIS IS OKAY, DESPITE THE HARMFUL EFFECTS THAT THIS MAY HAVE, NOT TO METION THE LEGAL ISSUES.
In GTA there is an abundance of extra violence, as players are encouraged to commit acts of violence towards a whole range of in-game characters.
THIS IS A PROBLEM AS EXPOSURE TO SUCH VIOLENCE CAN MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SCAR THEM. IT CAN ALSO LEAD TO DESENSITISATION TO REAL LIFE VIOLENCE. YOU CAN EVEN GO AS FAR AS TO SAY THAT IT ENCOURAGES PLAYERS TO COMMIT THESE ACTS OF VIOLENCE TOWARDS OTHERS IN REAL LIFE.
In GTA players are exposed to frequent bad language in all aspects of the game.
THIS IS A PROBLEM AS THIS MAY INFLUENCE AND ENCOURAGE PLAYERS TO USE THIS LANGUAGE IN REAL LIFE, EVEN IF IT IS DEEMED UNACCEPTABLE AND OFFENSIVE. STUDIES HAVE EVEN SHOWN THAT PROFANITY IN VIDEO GAMES HAS ALSO BEEN LINKED TO TEENAGE AGGRESSION.
CASE STUDY: The James Bulger Case
- Jamie Bulger was a two year old toddler who was kidnapped and murdered by two ten year old boys.
- Robert Thompson and Jon Venables took him from a shopping centre in Liverpool, before beating him and abandoning him on a railway track.
- It's said that the boys had become desensitised to violence due to them having a rough upbringing, where they played violent video games
- It's also said that Jon's father let them watch Child's Play 3, a violent R rated film, some time before they murdered him.
- The desensitisation model can also be applied to the 38 witnesses who saw James crying whilst being dragged and beaten through the streets of Liverpool but failed to intervene because they thought it wasn't a big deal.
- However this is an extreme case of media causing desensitisation.
- What followed were examples of moral panic: Child's Play 3's showings on TV were cancelled as people believed that this film caused the boys to kill James, and were outraged that it was still being shown. They were also outraged that murderers were being let out loose on the streets, when reports revealed that they were allowed visitation to a shopping centre whilst serving their time at a young offenders institute.
REGULATORY BODY: PEGI
- The Pan European Game Information gives games appropriate age classifications based on potential inappropriate/offensive content
- They give advice to producers and consumers
- They ensure warnings are displayed on games to inform consumers
- They've given GTA V a rating of 18+
REGULATORY BODY: OFCOM
- Regulates all media content in the UK
- It's a government body
- They will take and investigate complaints, however consumers may need to complain to content creators first
What Does The Law Say?
Age classifications are only legally in place at point of sale, so it's not illegal for parents to buy the game for their kids.
This set is often in folders with...
Product Knowledge - GTA V
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