The generational divide is often bigger than we think. Desensitization – for better or for worse – has been in full effect for decades, and that much is evident in this gutsy viral campaign for Dead Space 2 .

We all know that Visceral's latest will be one of the most graphic, intense, gory, and explicit games of the generation. We also know the majority of those over a certain age seem to disapprove of video games or, at the very least, are ignorant of that form of entertainment. We may have even thought about how our mothers (or grandmothers) would respond to something like Dead Space 2 … Well, if you were wondering, the reactions are right here.

You can see full individual mother reactions linked at Kotaku and as you can see, they're pretty well convinced we're all going to go on murdering sprees tomorrow. But remember, while we may scoff, we do have to appreciate that aforementioned generational divide, and realize they've never been exposed to anything like this…it'd be hard for anyone to digest.

The debate could rage forever: is this really a harmless form of entertainment? It certainly has an "M" rating for a reason, as it has been proven countless times that exposure to such content at a young age will generate more aggressive, deviant behavior in someone still developing, but there hasn't been much proof to support any effect on mature, stable adults. The other question is, was this a good move on EA's part? Well, maybe.

Related Game(s): Dead Space 2

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Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

For the record, I sort of agree with Kotaku.

…this is a little mean. I wouldn't show DS2 to my grandmother; I'm afraid it'd kill her.

crunchy_nut_kid
crunchy_nut_kid
9 years ago

lol

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

In response to your article, I have a question for all an sundry here at PSXExtreme.

The campain is based on buying and playing the game as a kind of act of rebellion against what your mother would or would not like you to play. "Your Mom would hate this…." OK then, but the game carries an M rating, so why would anyone who can legally and appropriately buy an M rated product (remember folks, rated M for Mature, not for Teens or younger) care what their Mom thinks? Is it just me, or is this M-rated title being marketed at gamers who really are not old enough to be in that 'M' group?

Just asking.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

A great point Highlander. It brings up the possibility of splintering the purchase base. Anyone over the age of fifteen(here in Australia, it's seventeen over there, isn't it?) will probably be able to get it for themselves, and will probably already have their minds made up. I feel that it is certainly aimed at a younger market, as they are more susceptible to being roped into what is "cool". Thus, the target of this ad campaign is the very people that would rely on their parents to purchase this for them.

Now, here's an interesting thought. If a parent were to research the games that their child is asking them to buy (Seemingly not a common occurrence, but still), they would likely come across this, and realise that DS2 is certainly not the kind of game that they want their child playing. So, I really see no sales benefit being created by this, unless a parent does no research whatsoever, which is simply bad parenting IMO.

Am I on your train of thought here? Or did I derail it completely to achieve my own ends?
Peace.


Last edited by Lawless SXE on 1/17/2011 2:49:10 AM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

You're on my train of thought. One aspect of this I am concerned about is not just the irony of the campaign targetting people who by the games rating shouldn't be buying it, but also the impact that such a campaign an game could have politically when the various anti-game lobby groups wake up to this. It kind of seems like they are thumbing their nose at the entire rating system by essentially advertising an M rated game to gamers too young to buy it.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

I see what you mean, but lets face it, the youth will be playing it too, here in england we dont have M+, we have 15+ & 18+ But i remember even when i was younger than 18 i would ask my parents to buy me GTA, mind you i was about 16 at the time my interest turned to GTA.

example, Red Dead is an 18+ and i was online yesterday and the people on their headsets literally sounded like 8 years old, possibly younger, even their pronounciation was off. Me an my friend were sitting there thinking surely this is not right even my character commented on it by saying "This is a man's game!".

So yes for people old enough, they have the right. but i guess the problem is it does not always to the correct audience.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Well, yes. The political ramifications of this are also quite frightening. The idea behind this ad campaign, taken the wrong way could be extremely damaging, not only to EA, but to the gaming industry as a whole. The very thought that this ridiculous level of violence, and potentially vomit-inducing events, is the core of the gaming industry, or at least a large part of the appeal of it could be used by the media in a smear campaign. I think that it is certainly the wrong part of the game to use as an example.

When considering that it is ridiculing the ratings systems, it could go several ways. One is that the media could leap on it, and as mentioned, raise awareness. Another is that it could go wrong in an altogether rather epic fashion and cause a complete rewriting of the rules pertaining to games classification. Increasing the strictness, and making it far more difficult for minors to gain access to these games.

Perhaps it could go so far as to make it policeable, in an attempt to keep such games out of the hands of people that, by law, should not have them. Harsher penalties for those found selling inappropriate games to the wrong people could be another result. EA have potentially set us on an extremely slippery slope with this b**lsy campaign. This is all supposition, and probably not even close to what may result from this.

Anyway, I'm off to cook lunch for tomorrow. I might be back to discuss this when I'm done.
Peace.


Last edited by Lawless SXE on 1/17/2011 4:02:58 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

A fine point.

I'm also wondering if anybody ever told these mothers that such a game isn't designed for kids. Remember, the moms all think that video games are only for those under the age of 10…I'm thinking that's half the reason they were so horrified.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Indeed Ben, that is a good point. But then, I personally find movies that have followed the recent torture porn trend like Hostel to be offensively obscene. I'm quite certain that many would agree that such movies have very little reason for existing and zero artistic merit. I'm fairly certain that the same group of mothers would be just as outraged by such movies as well, even though they would at least recognize that the movies were intended for so-called grown ups. There are times however, when whatever the intended audience, there are things that didn't need to be made or depicted, and Dead Space 2 may be treading in that territory. Certainly this ad campaign is, and it's got potential to backfire horribly on the industry and EA in particular. Picture young Johnny and his Mom going to GameStore(TM) to buy a new game. The box has 'EA' on it. Mommy takes one look, see's the logo and puts it back. No matter what, she's not getting Johnny any game from *that* company. Then we have the anti-gaming lobbyists licking their lips and cracking their knuckles over this latest campaign by EA. I think this campaign is a big fat own goal by EA.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 1/17/2011 10:44:02 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

"Indeed Ben, that is a good point. But then, I personally find movies that have followed the recent torture porn trend like Hostel to be offensively obscene. I'm quite certain that many would agree that such movies have very little reason for existing and zero artistic merit."

Agree 100% This idea that all forms of expression, no matter how twisted or disgusting or potentially damaging to viewers, is art…bugs the crap out of me.

There is a line. And when it's crossed, anything positive disappears.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I disagree and think that the point of the ad is just what they say, that if Moms hate a game then it must be great. That doesn't necessitate that you are a kid, merely that if moms across the country or world think it is horrible then it must be good. It's a sort of barometer for anyone, not necessarily an ad telling kids to get it for rebellion purposes.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Worlds,

I'm not saying that the ads are aimed explicitly at kids, but I am saying that the campaign certainly indirectly tar5gets gamers younger than the supposed M for Mature crowd. It's just that to me, the campaign is aimed at that slightly immature rebelliousness that commonly begins in the mid teens, which I think we can all agree is younger than the age group for which the M for Mature rating is intended.

As I said though, it isn't so much that – or even the game itself, as it is the impact of the campaign on those political interests that are anti video game already.

Thinker
Thinker
9 years ago

@Ben Dutka

"Agree 100% This idea that all forms of expression, no matter how twisted or disgusting or potentially damaging to viewers, is art…bugs the crap out of me."

Actually, I don't mind violent or ultra-violent themes in games or movies, AS LONG AS it serves a valid purpose, e.g. advancing the story in a meaningful way or character-development.

That said, I don't think the Saw/Hostel/House of 1000 Corpses/Devil's Rejects movies fulfil the aforementioned criteria. As far as I can see, most of this kind of movies only serve as titillation for sadists and/or masochists.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Thinker.

Hence the designation – Torture Porn.

falcon10474
falcon10474
9 years ago

this game is disgusting, deviant, depraved and immature,,,,, that's why I will be picking up my copy on Teusday

spiderboi
spiderboi
9 years ago

Its desensitization of society. Things that shouldn't be see are spread like wildfire. Like c'mon, curiousity got the best of me, but things like ## girls ### cup should have never ever made its way to the net. (trust me, don't even try to see that vid)

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

That's M*****F*****' funny. That's why, don't show ur females Dead Space. Maybe I'll show it to my cutie. LoL

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

…And screw all u thumb down haters and besides my comment is a joke.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/17/2011 2:05:27 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I see this being edited and used against games on FOX news.

Nevertheless, it's an interesting venture. I think every older generation thinks every younger generation's stuff is evil. It's freedom of speech anyway (so long as the courts stay Just).

I have yet to kill anyone in real life ūüôā

spiderboi
spiderboi
9 years ago

You sure about that World? LV hasn't been around for quite some time…. :p

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

haha, well, he wasn't entirely human. You'll notice in the video one mom mentions "killing people" and yet you are actually killing alien monsters. Save that hate for GTA where you can murder just about anyone.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/17/2011 11:15:54 AM

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

LV is a dipsh!t plain and simple.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 1/17/2011 5:12:11 PM

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
9 years ago

This is dumb. A course your mom is going to hate it just like they hate every other rated M game. I was undecided about a D1 purchase but I will get it use now.

Lairfan
Lairfan
9 years ago

Just because of an advertisement you're getting it used?

Danny007
Danny007
9 years ago

I'm glad that I'm not a mom, because Dead Space 2 looks friggin awesome.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

While as Ben said there is a link between violent video games and agressive behaviour in children. Studies have found absolutely no connection from violent games, or movies for that matter, to violent people. Simply put, mature functioning members of society understand that this is not real. The real blame falls not on the developer, but on the parents who choose not to learn about the rating system and buy M rated games for 11 year olds.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Matt,

You're missing the point entirely. Aggressive and violent children become aggressive and violent adults. Although the material may not affect normal, balanced adults, it can affect those who are younger, and if it does affect a child who 's behavior changes, that child will grow up to be a different person from the one they could have been. If the game was being consumed by adults, that wouldn't be an issue, but this ad campaign is clearly aimed at consumers still young enough to worry about what Mom would like. It's kind of like the way that the cigarette industry is not allowed to market to kids, and yet they use cartoon characters that children find cool and adults couldn't care less about. It's marketing indi9rectly at a younger audience, and in this case, it's an audience that potentially *can* be harmed by the content in question.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

@Highlander

Totally agree. I'm friends with a mom and son and she is very strict about violent games.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

Highlander,
I completely agree that many of the ad campaigns for these games are made in a way that is appealing to kids as well, and that is something that the developers are at fault for. However I still think that parents should make more of an effort to understand what their kids should and shouldn't play. (I'm also aware that many parents are very attentive to what their kids play)

NoOneSpecial
NoOneSpecial
9 years ago

Not a good idea. The anti violent game groups are just going to add this little campaign into their arsenal.

piratedrunk
piratedrunk
9 years ago

I showed my mom God of War 3 today and while she was a little disturbed by some of the violence there were a few times I heard her say "thats pretty cool."

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

The question is, how many of these moms have kids who own the first Dead Space? More than a few I bet.

That is, provided these interviews aren't entirely fictional.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/16/2011 11:10:43 PM

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
9 years ago

This is kinda mean if this is real. Reminds of those two girls one cup reaction videos that were floating around some years ago, those were mean to . My heart goes out to anyone who saw that horrific video.

Thinker
Thinker
9 years ago

This ad sort of flies in the face of the "M for Mature" rating, a sort of tacit admission that many of the folks who play this game will not be eligible for actually playing it.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
9 years ago

Lol I didn't think of it that way. These women are someones mothers, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't select moms with 25 year old children for this little promotional experiment.

Moms just like them are gonna buy DS2 for their not-yet-17 year old children.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

I think its fine. They didnt have to watch it, im sure they had more than plenty warning what theyd see. With that said its all for promoting the horror-esque feel of the game.

Cant wait for this game! I just finished te first and ddnt think id like it because im not into that type of stuff. But i loved it!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

…I seriously doubt they were given any warning at all.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

I dont see how you could talk people into going into a room and having them sit in front of the television, without some sort of explanation haha. You know what i mean? Thats all im getting at. I dont see these folks just blindly being ok with it. Something was said even if it was miniscule to keep the reactions high.

This is my take on it. Its like when they film an audience in a scary movie. You see the audiences reaction and they are all screaming or jumping around. All the while they know what they are getting into. They may not know what will happen on screen but they are aware that something surprising may happen. Thats how i feel about this.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

No, if it's being called an "experiment," the focus group CAN'T know anything about what they'll see. They'll have prepared themselves accordingly and you won't get genuine reactions.

They did not know anything. I think that much is evident.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I think it's just actors.

coverton341
coverton341
9 years ago

@bigrailer

As Ben pointed out if they label it an experiment then they can't give them too much information because the reactions will have been adjusted to what they think is going to happen.

In psychological studies it is paramount to not introduce anything to the subject that can sway the psychological reaction one way or the other or the resulting data gathered is of no use. All they had to do was tell them they were in a focus group to judge the reaction of something.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

Points taken. I understand and those thoughts you guys believe have ran through my head. I just cant help but wonder…

___________
___________
9 years ago

ok, now thats a little over the top!
all i can guarantee though, is this wont be everything i want in a game.
i want this to scare the sh*t out of me, but if its anything like the original it wont even come close.
come on, what do i have to do to get the good old pants wetting experiences RE, silent hill, fatal frame use to give us back in the day!?
last game i played that i can say honestly scared the sh*t out if me is fear, which released what 7 years ago!?

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

4 years ago… Just sayin'…

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

I really didn't think FEAR was that scary. Now playing DS at night with the lights out and my 5.1 SS headphones on make it creepy as hell. I kept pulling them off thinking I was hearing something in the house.

___________
___________
9 years ago

DS was not scary its far too predictable.
i could see everything coming from a mile away, like one of the elevator scenes you walk in, the camera turns to face very slowly closing door.
as soon as that happened i thought here we go, a nec is going to leap out and pry the doors open.
than the lights go out and the elevator shakes, and i think yup thats definitely going to happen.
and what happened?
a nec leaps out and pryes the doors open.
fear was at least not predictable, i mean that part where you enter the maternity ward and than the room fills with blood, than you turn around and see alma getting closer and closer.
you cant tell me you saw that coming!
how is something suppose to scare me if im expecting it?
fear also scares you by messing with your mind, i will never ever forget that scene.
dead space does not mess with your mind, all it does is try to scare you by having things jump at you.
fear is far more sophisticated than that!

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Fear works best when it uses your imagination to generate potential images far worse than the reality, a sense of suspense and of course the shock when whatever it is is finally revealed.

___________
___________
9 years ago

thats what makes fear so scary, its not what happens but what does not.
most horror games try to scare you by having things leap at you, thats not really scary and only scares you for a second.
psychological horror scares you allot more, and sticks with you for a long, long time!

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Like what happened with the first Alien movie. You saw so little of the creature and everything was in darkness and shadows with menacing noises and glimpses of horrible parts of the alien. It let your imagination work overtime. Very effective too.

___________
___________
9 years ago

exactly!
what you see on screen is never as scary as what is off.
that is the whole point, thats how psychological horror works.
thats why fear was so scary, it played with your mind and because of that you are constantly thinking about it and that keeps it with you.
having things jump at you scares you at the time, but 5 hours later is it still scaring you?
thats why fear was so scary, it did not have things jumping at you, it showed you creepy wrong images that stick with you forever.
i mean walking into a maternity ward, all nice and bright and white than the whole room fills with blood.
now thats f*cked up!!!!!