Obama Pal Slams Video Game Commercial: 'Shouldn't We Also Quit Marketing Murder As A Game?'

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, the advertising freight train chugs along mostly unaffected. Video game and movie studios continue to hype violent entertainment, filling coveted advertising slots with gunfire and explosions. It creates a juxtaposition with grim reality and an unspoken commentary on the violence Americans see and sell every day.

Former Obama advisor David Axelrod, who helped orchestrate the President's successful 2008 White House campaign, was none too pleased to see ads for violent games during NFL football last night:

That same night, NFL programming was pre-empted for President Obama's speech at the Sandy Hook vigil.

Though Axelrod's words weren't specifically directed towards Sandy Hook, they are likely related, one more entry in the tapestry of varied reactions to the shooting and new calls for gun regulation, including a proposed 24-hour cease-fire for all violent games as a memorial to the victims of the shooting.

(Spotted by Polygon.)


    While I am firmly in the camp that games do not cause or trigger violence, or train people how to kill I do think that there are better ways to advertise modern games that high resolution, high intensity montages of people being shot at and killed in gruesome ways.

    Even if that's the whole point of the game, do we need to bombard people with that imagery during sporting events or while they're trying to eat dinner? There has to be a better way.

    For online trailers that people have to go to youtube or gametrailers to see? Then shit, go nuts. Make sure you get some titties in there too.

      Damn it Mather K, stop being so sensible.

      I can seriously see both sides to this. I don't think games make people psychopathic murderers, but it does seem a bit crass right now. There was a reason they delayed the release of Jack Reacher.

        ya, it doesnt seems right when you have the current Target ad advertising Blops2 likes its good fun for your 8-14 year olds, not directly but indirectly through the female narrator's voice.
        And beens said many times, but the whole thing were sex and nudity is just plain wrong but ultra violence is just fine really needs to be changed in american culture.

    I think the problem here is the word 'game' and how it relates to video games. Because video games contain the word game, because we're known as gamers, there's this perception of the medium as something that's just about fun and silliness and light heartedness and all those other things that people think of when they hear the word 'game'. A game can't be serious, it can't send a message, it's just mindless fun, and marketing murder as mindless fun of course sounds like a major problem. But then you have to consider movies, tv shows and books. No one says, let's stop marketing murder as a film, let's stop marketing murder as a book, because neither of those words conjure up the same images as the word 'game' does and because both those mediums are considered mature, capable of being more than mindless fun, capable of telling compelling stories and impacting heartfelt messages. It's unfortunate that video games have yet to reach that level of social acceptance, because that's what this man's message is really saying. Video games aren't capable of the same level of story telling, the same level of depth, the same level of maturity, as the other entertainment mediums are.

    Not that video games aren't clearly being designed and marketed with the idea that killing lots of pixels is fun, and I don't even disagree that perhapes video game marketing should shift away from it's focus on pure violence, but no ones would say that a trailer for a movie like, let's say Skyfall, should tone down on its showing of violence.

    Note: I haven't slept in close to 20 hours and I'm feeling extremely out of it, so if my post makes no sense and seems like random ranting and rambling that's the reason why.

    It's a tragedy what happened to those kids and i agree they should look at marketing violent games differently.


    I find it Hypocritical that the U.S. government (weather it's Democrat or Republican) promotes violence it's self.

    War after war, killing of innocents in foreign country's (of course the killing of innocents are all accidental, i don't believe they would do that on purpose but it still happens.) assassination of Osama Bin Laden, execution of Saddam Hussein, Drones killing people in other country's, unarmed drones now flying around in U.S. States, etc ,etc.

    I believe the U.S. has bigger problems than violent video game ads, someone in power over there needs to stand up and say that they are a violent country which contains people who enjoy having weapons and would love to kill other people, then there are the people with mental health issues which when they get there hands on fire arms go on a shooting spree.

    The U.S. government needs to come forward and address the major issue of mental health and stop promoting violence by going to war.


      Last edited 18/12/12 5:50 pm

        But that little bit about how they market their product is the WHOLE deal. That's the bit people are objecting to.

        Just find a way to advertise the game that isn't just violence.

    During an NFL game? Where very large men run into each other at top speed and knock one-and-other out!? My goodness. The idea you'd allow adverts for violent video games is unthinkable!

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

      you should of the seen the fallout bob costas had when he commented on gun control during the half time show of an NFL game just 6 days before the current mass shooting. all because a player commited a murder suicide

      Made me think of this from Penn and Teller BS

    There have been plenty of times where books, movies, TV shows and music have been blamed for all of societies ills.

    Regardless of whether games do or do not cause violence it is not unreasonable to expect publishers to find less violent ways of selling their games.

    Oh and they ARE games. I don't see you point...

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