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.