I was approached recently about leveraging the power of games for use in the 2012 election, to change behavior and engage young voters. Ours would be a project to educate on issues....
While contemplating what would undoubtedly entail playing with fire, the news broke:
Conservatives are angry about a new video game that allows players to slaughter “tea party zombies” and murder zombie versions of Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin among others.
The online video game, called “Tea Party Zombies Must Die,” was released by the New York-based StarvingEyes Advergaming.
Zombie versions of Palin, Bachmann, Beck and the Koch brothers are involved in the game, which enables users to bludgeon Bill O’Reilly with a crow bar, shoot Glenn Beck with a semi-automatic weapon, or stab former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with a knife.
The game was created by StarvingEyes Advergaming, which apparently creates online video games for promotional purposes, and its site says its clients include Pepsi, NASCAR, History Channel, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, and GM.
“The game was just a personal project. I am not worried about it effecting business,” Jason Oda told the Media Research Center (MRC), which on blasted the game, with content editor Stephen Gutowski posting: “While it is disturbing to see that some people believe it would be fun to mow down your political opponents, it's also quite that odd that an advertising company with a diverse portfolio of high profile corporate clients from Meow Mix to Pepsi would create a game to allow those people to do just that.”
Oda in 2004 released a game that allowed characters to fight monsters that represented members of the Bush administration.
“Liars in the world of entertainment will tell you that what happens on screen has no real-world effect. Which is why corporations spend billions every year using visual mediums to get people to change their behavior,” said BigGovernment’s John Nolte.
And yet another blogger suggested that the incident revealed a double standard in the media. “Any propensity towards amusement is immediately stricken from my imagination the instant I picture the indignant media firestorm that would undoubtedly arise if the growling death targets resembled, say, Barack Obama,” notes Townhall’s Guy Benson.
Some researchers contend that first-person shooter games, where the user wields weapons to attack human targets, encourage actual acts of violence by helping a potential gunman to visualize and practice an attack. Lt. Col. David Grossman, a former West Point psychology professor who has written several books on violence in the media, calls FPS games "murder simulators".
Read more on Newsmax.com: New Video Game 'Slaughters' Beck, Palin, O'Reilly