I got bored and made a thing.
Actually, I’ve been rewatching Daria now that it’s on Hulu and thought this bit stuck out as particularly poignant given the trend towards creating artificial controversy in games in the last few years. I singled out Call of Duty mostly because it was just released and watching a little girl get blown up in MW3 is probably the most flagrant attempt at emotioneering I’ve seen in years. But I could have just as easily pointed to Medal of Honor’s skirmish with the Marines over the Taliban being playable in the game, EA’s attempt to market Dead Space by showing super-offended moms, or EA’s marketing of Dante’s Inferno by both inciting fake protests and trying to offer “sinful pleasures” to people who took part in their viral ads… Offending people as a marketing gimmick – or more specifically, trying generate the illusion of offending people for a marketing gimmick – is pretty terrible. More than that, I’m not even convinced that it works – if your game sparks a debate about whether a challenging or controversial subject matter was justified in the greater context of the game’s thematic content you might get more people to play the game and find out. If you’re just putting in controversial material for the sole purpose of generating that response – like No Russian and to a lesser extent the other two scenes in the video – I think people will rightly recognize you as the equivalent of a toddler scrawling on the walls with crayons for attention.
More long-form videos are coming – I just finished recording the next one. Need to sit down this week and edit it together.