I'm a Human Inbox

Friday, September 23, 2005

Slain Officer's Family to Picket "25 to Life"

[Media: Article]

Reading Gamepolitics article about a family who plans to picket Eidos because of their game 25 to Life, I find myself finally sick and tired of people protesting unreleased media because of concerns for society.

The family quoted:

"We'd like to see the game off the market. I can't even believe it was developed in the first place. It was a huge slap in the face to us and 14,000 other families who have lost a family member in the line of duty," she told the newspaper.

"What I saw was scary because it's very realistic," she added, referring to an online trailer. "I'm not a real gamer, but it's 3-D, realistic graphics - it's very gory, it's bloody. They show all kinds of gunfire. There are realistic sound effects. It just makes me sick to think about."

Although I can empathise with the family, I think there are a lot of concerns here. First of all, 25 to Life is an unreleased game, one which is slated for release next month. Although I read gaming related stories every day, I had never heard of this game until it started gaining attention from politicians, lawyers and anti-violence groups. To me, this game is slated for obscurity and normality. It is a "Me-too", Grand Theft Auto clone which seems to have nothing to offer beyond a clich├ęd presentation of "Cops and Robbers". And being such, this game's wildest fantasies are coming true, it is getting negative mainstream attention from the media.

To the family planning to picket Eidos, I suggest this; don't do it. By granting even more attention to an uninteresting videogame you are certain to only boost sales. I suggest ignoring this game, refusing to talk about it and your problem will go away, straight to the bargain bin. Of course this advice won't be taken into consideration and the game will sell well despite its eventual critical failure.

My second problem with this is the confusion as to why they are choosing to target this videogame. Do they feel that 25 to Life is worse than TV, movies, music and, literature based on simular subject matter? Do they feel that 25 to Life's popularity deserves their attention? I doubt it since this game is unreleased it has no popularity yet. Do they feel that the violence depicted towards cops is the problem? I find that hard to swallow as well, since most of the screenshots consist of cops beating the crap out of civilians, of which they don't seem to have a problem with. Are they concerned about police officer's reputation being tarnished? Perhaps, but lately I've found within the last couple of days, a number of reports of abusive use of power by the police.

I think the real reason they have a problem with this game is that they have little to no exposure to vidoegames at all, and were shocked when an example of a videogame was pointed out to them. Their quote "it's 3-D, realistic graphics" itself shows that they don't really know much about videogames because to me the graphics look 3 or 4 years out of date. Their anger seems misdirected and instead of focusing on an unreleased videogame as being a problem, perhaps they should focus their energies on something more constructive such as preventing police corruption, attempting to curb violence and criminal acts, or doing something for their community.