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Can anything be done to prevent misrepresentations of games in the media?


Many of you know that I'm in college. Many of you may also know that, from time to time, I take classes and even have projects. With that established, I'd like to bring up a current bit of research I'm performing: trying to find out why games are so negatively misrepresented in the media. Having just read Grand Theft Childhood, I noted not only how more current research proved that there are few recordable effects of violent and adult themes in games, but also how prior research is highly questionable based on leaps of logic and jumping to conclusions to satisfy personal agendas. I'm interested in where these biases come from, why they are manifesting, and if there is anything we can do to help games overcome their oftentimes poor image.

Obviously, games are only recently beginning to reach a truly mainstream market, beyond hardcore enthusiasts and people who chose to identify with the "gamer" label. The way development is proceeding, I fully believe there will come a day when such a label disappears, or at the very least becomes redefined along the lines of "movie geek," due to an eventual cultural acceptance. However, if the public perception of video games is continually attacked in false ways and is painted as a negative influence on society, that day will take longer and longer to reach.

I know many of you think that, because similar sentiments have existed in the past with movies and rock music, such protests will easily die off, but in this day of the internet, where every blowhard has the ability to loudly project his voice, I can't help but feel that negative publicity is hurting the game industry. Look no further than the "Hot Coffee" incident and the rerating of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: when unofficial game mods are treated as legitimate releases due to the masterful words of those with agendas, there are not only industry repercussions, but societal repercussions, as non-gamers incorrectly learn of the situation.

Are these biases coming from any place in particular, beyond the usual complaints from old conservatives and attention-seeking politicians? And if there anything that can be done to better aid the game industry's perception in the public eye? I really question if leaving a notoriously seclusive industry to fend for itself is the best path to take.
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About Bob Muirone of us since 2:15 AM on 01.08.2007

Bob has been hanging around ModernMethod for years and and somehow writes almost everywhere, including Japanator and Flixist. He was once lit on fire, but it's not as cool as you'd think.

I remember being in here a lot:

R.I.P. Failcast

Rantoid - An editorial column that updates on Sunday
The Zen of Yaris
Conditions of a Review
Longevity - seven years, to be exact
Stop talking about HD-DVD
What is wrong with Japanese developers?
Are achievements beneficial?
Random topic for New Year's
Gaming changed my Christmas
Dreamcast 2 would fail
Buy more special editions
Game Length and You
Reexamining Twilight Princess
Thank you, Mr. Thompson, for being our nemesis
Do games need to be respectable?
Startgame Syndrome's dark secrets
Pre-hype is a big let-down
Why can't games have bad endings?
Why would you want a Resident Evil film to begin with?

Illustrated Review - A picture-focused analysis of gaming stuff, to save you the trouble of trying it
Fallout 3 Survival Edition (and Collector's Edition)
Fable II Limited Collector's Edition
Dead Space Ultra Limited Edition
SoulCalibur IV Premium Edition
Grand Theft Auto IV: Special Edition
Devil May Cry 4: Collector's Edition
Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect: Limited Editions
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Systems Owned: 3DS, Dreamcast, DS, DS Lite, DSi XL, GCN, GBA, GBA SP, GB Micro, GBC, N64, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360

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