EA removes gun links from Medal of Honor site


Guess why. Not because it’s ridiculous on its face to advertise to kids who play video games — obviously not, when the average gamer is 35 and has played games for 13 years.

When it was announced that Electronic Arts would be partnering with gun companies for the latest outing of their Medal of Honor franchise, the vast majority of those following along let out a collective sigh. “Great,” people said to each other, “Another reason to blame video games for gun violence.” EA has finally agreed in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and pulled the links to gun retailers from the Medal of Honor: Warfighter site. All it took was a national tragedy for them to realize their mistake.


The game industry is already getting ridiculous amounts of flak where, despite scientific evidence that there’s no real correlation, the industry is getting the blame for all the violent crime and mass-shootings. Putting gun links on a site for a game series that prides itself on its gun realism is terribly gauche and hands the industry critics… um, ammo… to push their blame-anything-but-the-guns-themselves narrative. They took the links down because of Sandy Hook, and because they’d have gotten lots more bad publicity for their stupid own-goal move than they might have been able to weather.

According to BBC News, a representative for Electronic Arts said, “We felt it was inappropriate and took the links down.” The fact that it wasn’t inappropriate when they first partnered with the gun companies is more concerning than the fact that they realized keeping the links would be a PR nightmare.

Fully agreed. A little awareness about public image might be nice, EA. A little awareness about how much political scapegoating is going on might help. Don’t wait til people are reacting to the ill-advised campaign — get out in front of it.

Comments

  1. left0ver1under says

    Many software companies make car racing games based on real life series such as Formula 1, GT series, NASCAR and others. But in all those games by all such companies, software companies deliberately remove any and all tobacco and alcohol advertising and logos from the cars, walls and billboards shown in the games. There still are advertisements for commercial products within the games (e.g. food, soft drinks, clothing, cleaning products), but no tobacco or alcohol.

    EA was a maker of Formula 1 games and still makes NASCAR games. Why is it that EA considers it “improper” to advertise tobacco and alcohol to children, but not improper to advertise guns to children? That’s a question I’d like an answer to.

    —–

    Of all the computer games involving gun violence, the series to which real life violence should have been attributable was “Postal” and “Postal 2″, games about serial killers committing mass murder on civilians and police in cities. How many murders in the US or elsewhere were attributed to people who played those games?

    Zero. Or at least, none that I can find by searching.

    If game violence has any connection to mass murderers, I suspect it’s because those who kill seek out the games, not because the games themselves make people violent. Yes, there are studies suggesting a link, but also studies suggesting there isn’t. Neither side’s results are convincing or conclusive, so AFAIC they cancel each other out.

    The numbers that stand out for me are how many violent video games are sold compared to the number of violent acts. How many people who commit mass murders (or just single murders, rapes, assaults, etc.) did not play violent video games? That’s a question that never gets answered but deserves one. I suspect the actual number would be the exact opposite of what the anti-game people claim.

  2. says

    I’m curious if the gun ads were an idea from the EA marketing department or if all their departments are so incompetent.

    If my friends who’ve worked for EA (one for their call center customer service, another for a developer under EA) can be trusted, it’s the entire house.

  3. John Horstman says

    I’m curious if the gun ads were an idea from the EA marketing department or if all their departments are so incompetent.

    It’s the whole organization, for decades now.

  4. Anonymous Atheist says

    There are points on both sides, but personally I think that to some extent, violent video games can be a release for people’s frustrations that could otherwise come out in harmful ways (whether real-life violence or ‘just’ self-destructive behavior).

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