Sony's UK managing director Ray Maguire has written a very interesting column over at MCV, discussing the recent Change4Life controversy, and how the games industry itself has perpetuated a negative stereotype in the past and is now reaping seeds of past indiscretion.
"Clearly, the ad targeted many people’s paranoia, the kind that is often amplified by media such as the Daily Mail," he argues, "but anyone who knows anything about games, which is half the population these days, will have immediately dismissed the ad as irrelevant. The other half, who don’t play games, would have immediately accepted the stereotype.
"Games marketing in the 1980s and ‘90s was anarchic and controversial, with giant poster ads featuring baths full of blood for Resident Evil and all sorts of other shock tactics. That’s what the population saw. And that’s what they remember. Whilst our industry used this strategy to appeal to what was then its only target market, we left a dangerous legacy."
Maguire talks about how the industry "must constantly demonstrate when it has been a cause for good." He also highlights the recent videogame BAFTA awards, and how they showed that the industry is so much more "grown-up" these days, but that it must work more with the government and show the general public that gaming is nothing to look down on.
It's a very interesting read. I recently realized that the industry really should stop seeking the approval of the mediocre masses and keep on keeping on, but Maguire's words are still quite encouraging and, above all, reasonable. Go check out the full column.