Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

February 3, 2011 -

In an editorial entitled "Your mom will hate 'Dead Space 2,' but does anyone care?," writer Tim Dunn ponders why EA's marketing department has used a technique usually used for teens and children for a mature rated game. Further, he wonders why EA would even think about using such a campaign when the Supreme Court is hearing a case about keeping ultra violent video games out of the hands of you children.

While his comments might seems a little overblown, he points out some valid concerns as well. He mentions mature games such as Heavy Rain and Red Dead Redemption, which carry a mature rating because they are telling stories and tackling topics that are geared towards adults. The Dead Space 2 campaign plays on "juvenile notions of maturity gamers have worked hard to change." In other words, the marketing for the game takes that fight a step back.

Here is more from Dunn:

This ad campaign is indefensible. Even as the industry tries to argue that it doesn’t market age-inappropriate products to children, it directly markets a mature game to people not even old enough to purchase it. After all, who else would care if their mom didn’t like a game? The “intended” audience of the game, according to its rating, is players 17 or older. However, I don’t know of any 18-year-olds who base their entertainment decisions on whether or not their mother disapproves.

EA’s hypocrisy makes the situation even worse. When developer BioWare released “Mass Effect” in 2007, controversy surrounded its sex scene. Fox News aired a segment falsely accusing the game of allowing players to engage in graphic sex. In response to these glaring inaccuracies, EA defended BioWare, arguing in a letter to Fox News that the game “requires players to develop complex relationships before characters can become intimate” and that the content of the game is no worse than what someone would see on the Fox network. EA defended the artistic value of “Mass Effect,” yet it depicts “Dead Space 2” in the same light that it fought against.

Dunn ends his editorial by saying that EA, who is the second largest publisher in the world, should be very concerned about the industry's image. The ad campaign focuses on Dead Space 2's violence and gore, while ignoring other parts of the game that might be important and interesting - all in the name of selling a few extra copies of the game to people who want to go against their mom's sensibilities on violence and gore.

Source: idsnews.com


Comments

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

When i was a kid i watched and played things like this, and it never messed me up.

But am i the only one who dislikes dead space?

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

I have to agree with the author that this marketing stunt sounds stupid. I acknowledge that it has generated a lot of publicity, but whether or not that publicity will be converted to sales is debatable, so I would not necessarily call it a success.

Selling the game on the premise of it being violent and gory is a bit like trying to sell a car by promoting how bad it's fuel economy is; it's not the main attraction, but an inextricable aside that may or may not be a negative depending on your personal convictions.

Funnily enough I saw a TV spot for the game a few days ago. My mum said it looked 'ridiculous', I said I didn't think it was meant to be down to earth (pun intended). That's one of the things I like most about video games, they aren't afraid to be a bit ridiculous.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

Thing is, the moms in the commercial were all in their 60's or 70's, implying their sons would be in their 20's or 30's. If they had showed a bunch of young soccer moms complaining, I would agree that they are marketing to kids. Basically, they wanted to show that this is a part of our generation's culture, while the baby boomers are clearly out of touch with the medium.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

I have to agree with Dunn on this one. My 8 year old son said that he wanted to get Dead Space 2 because of those commercials. He thought the moms' reactions to the game were hilarious. I told him that the game is extremely bloody, you are decapitated fairly often, and there are baby like entities that suck your blood and chew your face off. He said, "Cool!" I said, yeah, it does sound cool. But, my job as your parent is to guide you away from future psychosis. After you play Dead Space 2 all day, you'll be very scared to go to sleep, or lie in a dark room. You'll want to tell us, but you can't because you want us to think you're old enough to handle a game like that. So, you'll eventually fall asleep and have horrible nightmares, and probably wake up crying. Years later, you'll have forgotten all about Dead Space 2, but you'll be lying in bed alone with a nasty case of the night terrors. If I let you play that game, at this age, then it's my fault for not looking out for the future you.

 

This was a long ass conversation that I didn't have to have, except for EA running this kind of campaign. So, EA employees that read this, please reconsider your advertising practices.

 

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

Wow you really think if a 8 year old plays dead space it will give him night terrors.

Sorry maybe thats your kid, but not everyones. Sounds like your buying in to that games mess your kids up crap.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

As i mentioned in the Dead Space 2 sales article, EA's marketing department needs their asses kicked, and common sense shoved down their throats. I'm not against targeting the lowest common denomenator every once in a while, hell i love games like Conker's Bad Fur Day because it's immature, it's a break from the seriousness of life and other titles, but this gives all those who hate on games free ammunition at a very bad time when we're struggling to finally cement games as a protected media like books or movies.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

Come to think about it, I didn't see any "moms" in that advertisment. They seemed all "grandmas" to me. Not a woman under 50, which would mean, all their kids had to be at least 18.

But yes, this marketing campaign was the dumbest I've seen in a long while (since the "fat-ass" Gamefly commercial), and at a very inopertune time. We're busy fighting both the SCOTUS Scharzeneggar vs. EMA, and the Joe Baca bill.

Everyone in EA's marketing department needs to be fired.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

I think the editorial takes the 'mom' aspect to literally.  I see this same type of message in car commercials.. setting up something as 'adult' yet still against the sensibilities of the previous generation, capitalizing on the pseudo-rebellious feelings of college students and young professionals.  It is not that they actually care what their literal mother thinks, it is the image of 'stuff your childhood puritant would be agast at'.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

I dunno... I think the EA marketing guys have their heads up their asses.  Between this and the Dante's Inferno stuff, it seems like they're a bunch of drunken fourteen year olds.

 

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

 I agree that the whole "Mom" campaign was really dumb. Its seemed completely gratuitous. Dead Space 2 already had a huge following before launch, and there was already tons of hype and regular ads surrounding the game. The was no need for this marketing scheme. Oh well.

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

>Video games have come a long way in showing “mature” themes. Games like “Heavy Rain” and “Red Dead Redemption” have shown that the medium can create mature, developed characters that aren’t simply super soldiers. Whereas mature once meant blood and guts, it now also encompasses games that deal with concepts like how far you would go to protect your family or reforming and atoning for past sins. 

And as a result of the Dead Space 2 marketing campaign, both of those games, and games similar to them, have ceased to exist and have been erased from history.

Hang on, wait- no, they haven't. Gaming, much like every other artform that has ever been, isn't supposed to move exclusively in one singular direction, and even if it was, that wouldn't be the way to gain genuine acceptance with the mainstream. That means that this sort of thing, identical to the sort of thing music, films and TV pull off all the time, is a perfectly acceptable part of a broadly appealing, wide-ranging medium.

/b

 

Re: Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

EA defended the artistic value of “Mass Effect,” yet it depicts “Dead Space 2” in the same light that it fought against.

I don´t know, but I think that they are two separated cases. With Mass Effect, it was a controversy caused by the oportunistic people of Fox News. With Dead Space 2, I think this just a satire at the same level of the protestors on Dante´s Inferno, another EA´s game.

The cases of Dead Space 2 and Dante´s Inferno are more related each other than with Mass Effect.

Tell the author to take a chill pill. He is creating controversy where there is no reason for it.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

 
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Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

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MechaTama31What was wrong with Remember Me? I liked that one... >.>11/20/2014 - 8:50pm
AvalongodI tend to see the violence and sexism issues as different. Historically we know that the violence issue is overblown. But sexism is real. Better representations of women in games WILL happen.11/20/2014 - 7:35pm
Andrew EisenAnd unless I completely missed it, there's nothing in there about "how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta look deep for it."11/20/2014 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, you're upset, irked and fearful over an opinion piece that suggests the Pokemon demo would be better with more options and a better-written female character? SERIOUSLY?!11/20/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://gamasutra.com/blogs/PugetAlain/20141118/230420/Nearly_Ripped_off_to_death_by_a_publisher__Get_better_by_yourself_and_wait_for_justice_Maybe.php Topware screws over an indie studio because they can.11/20/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAre you SURE you provided the right link?11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99And yeah that sucks, especially when bonuses are tied to it, but that is more a problem with crappy publisher policies and scoring in general than any discussion on what may or may no be sexism in games.11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99But no one is on their legislative high horse or on the litigation war path, for that matter. The biggest effect is that a reviewer might give it a lower score and drag down their meta critic ranking.11/20/2014 - 4:56pm
Wonderkarpyup11/20/2014 - 4:51pm
Andrew EisenOh for crying out loud. Wonderkarp, I apologize for how rude this question is but seriously, did you actually read that article?11/20/2014 - 4:47pm
Wonderkarpits a stigma. people in power hear this crap and start getting on their legislative high horse. but I feel like we've already paid too much attention too a demo.11/20/2014 - 4:46pm
Andrew EisenHarm gaming how?11/20/2014 - 4:35pm
Wonderkarpcause it gets parroted around and is used by people to harm gaming like Jack Thompsons did with Violence. http://www.themarysue.com/pokemon-oras-sexism/ here's the article.11/20/2014 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenNo idea why such an opinion would upset or irk you so I'd be interested in reading it. Got a link?11/20/2014 - 4:13pm
Wonderkarplook deep for it....reaching much. those kinds of people are what urk me.11/20/2014 - 4:07pm
WonderkarpI got upset the other day when a known feminist blog wrote a large article on how the demo to Pokemon Omega Ruby was Sexist cause you couldnt play as a girl. It was a Demo....who cares? but they went off on how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta11/20/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenHere's the panel that Sarkeesian quote from earlier comes from. Amazing what the proper context does, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0qxtKz2vZw11/20/2014 - 3:32pm
NeenekoSomething to keep in mind, we tend to look at physics as 'hard', but math and physics are trivial compared to soc/psych (I have worked in both), but FEELS like it should be simplier.11/20/2014 - 3:17pm
NeenekoI think what tends to make discussing sexism in games difficult is scale, the issues tend to be systemic in nature, but bite sized examples are not... and the systemic part ties into a lot of dry academic stuff requiring domain knowledge not everyone has.11/20/2014 - 3:16pm
Wonderkarpand I jumped for joy when the Cogs went multigendered in GOW. but I also like male protagonists like Kratos or Nathan Drake or Link.11/20/2014 - 2:58pm
 

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