Monday, 8 October 2012

Day One DLC Assignment (Part 1: Ethics)

In the Gaming Industry, developers and producers face many problems when designing a game and how it can affect the target audience. They have to consider ethical, legal and regulatory issues in order for their product to survive in the gaming world.

Ethics and Morales

Ethics and morals play a big part when thinking about games because being careless about this situation could cause harm towards certain ethnic groups, causing danger for the gaming company in general leading to various lawsuits that can easily be avoided. However some games have been known to be ethically ‘dodgy’ in how they are creating/displaying the game.

For example in Resident Evil 5 the first trailer shown game footage of an American protagonist killing off African zombies which doesn’t seem that bad until you realise there’s no white African zombies at all, raising racist allegations from people across the globe who point out it’s not right that it’s just this colour that’s diseased by the virus and getting killed by a big muscle white American.

"There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with classic racist imagery”

-Quoted N’Gai Coral from Newsweek Editor

Eventually Capcom released another trailer showing a less racist side and also the protagonist’s assistant, Sheva. However this did not put the controversy to rest as more people found the game hadn’t been altered much still showing the hero killing just black zombies. Capcom argued back that the gaming team is diverse and that they can’t make everyone happy and they’re in the entertainment business - not to promote something political to the public. A lot of people agreed with statement saying it’s not racist and is in fact a good game.

Yet in a cut scene it’s shown a white woman being dragged by a black man who’s infected into his house, Eurogamer criticized it wasn’t ethically right because of black men being stereo typed as ‘rapists who come after girls’ during the time when America was going through Civil Rights. Japan isn’t educated much in this topic as they see nothing wrong with game nor thought about any ‘racist issues’ during the development which is, from their point of view understandable because they had nothing to do with the Civil Rights yet it doesn’t give them a clean slate either because they should researched any problems before development began so this controversy didn’t arise.

In my personal opinion after having watched two trailers and various game play that’s been recorded on Youtube I feel as though there is not an issue. Roles reversed if Chris Redfield was a different ‘coloured guy’ and he shot white zombies, only, there may be wouldn’t be as much as a big issue. On the other hand I’m not disputing that people who feel it is racist is wrong because it’s all personal opinions at the end of the day, those who see it’s not racist may not look or feel as though it is compared to those who feel it is.

Another ethically dodgy game is the newest Tomb Raider that will be released next year. It focuses on Lara Croft’s past events and how she’s developed to the person she is now. Having watched the trailer it shows Lara to be dependent on someone else coming to rescue her because clips show her nearly getting raped and having a slight mental breakdown, which antagonizes with her initial concept of being an independable  and indestructible (in a way) female heroine, that many female gamers empathize with and in some ways wish to be. Having seen these clips it makes some people feel as though Lara needs to depend on a man which is what the director said he wanted to do, so it can entice more male gamers to in a way to ‘protect’ Lara from danger yet annoying female gamers because to them it feels as though people are trying to say women couldn’t last or survive on their own, without something bad happening to them in past like rape or without a husband/ male protector. Therefore other females who think this way will no doubt not buy the game meaning that the Tomb Raider’s sale of the new game will not surpass older Tomb Raiders, thus turning the female target audience against future franchise.

“There's been a lot of negative reaction - people have been saying that she doesn't need be the survivor of an attempted rape, that using a male threat to make a female character There's been a lot of negative reaction - people have been saying that she doesn't need be the survivor of an attempted rape, that using a male threat to make a female character seem 'vulnerable' is highly sexist and that it's an exploitative tactic and what not.”

Quoted from ‘Macabre Magpie’s’ forum on Deadlock Truth


In conclusion I agree with what many other girl gamers believe and see from Tomb Raider: Reboot trailer and feel it is sexist, and that its depicts women as a weaker species compared to the male rival. I think Square Einx, like Capcom, should alter the trailer and take out the possible rape scene during the capture of Lara Croft. If they do this I would feel happier about buying the game and playing instead of having a grudge against the producers for they think is acceptable.

In a lot of games of games nowadays you’ll see various advertisements being displayed, that the public don’t really give much thought about them. My opinion to this at first was they use advertisements to make games that revolve around cities or include a city, like Bioshock and Judge Dredd, more realistic to public’s eye- not to actually advertise their services to the world. Also even though it’s not legal, loads of young children play over-aged games like Call Of Duty, Borderlands and again Bioshock where sometimes in games like these you’ll see an advertisement for the military. This can actually plant a seed these young children’s minds because they haven’t been exposed to what war is all about, to them because they play first shooter games ect, they themselves think it’s a game and don’t look at the bigger picture that going to war is all about being blinded by your country’s conscience, and having to fight the battle between life and death ultimately becoming survival of the fittest regardless of your comrades or even your family members- emotionally scarring you for life. I don’t think these kinds of advertisements should be in any games because of this reason. Stopping under age children from playing these kinds of games at home is impossible and not something that can be easily done but refusing money from local business when designing a game can, even though it could mean a lot of money is lost in the industry- yet it would mean not a lot of people will be the delusional thought battlefields are playgrounds in a sense.

Advertisements are literally plastered everywhere in technology these days sending a lot of people into an ‘outrage’ because we can’t go somewhere technological without being swamped in advertisements. Take Youtube for example if you’re not a heavy gamer. Before you could just watch any video in peace without your computer freezing or crashing and full concentration would be on the clip- but no! Now we have to suffer like we do when watching the tv, viewing advertisements that are taking away at least 30 seconds of our precious time and life to try and sell people more goods, when all we want to do is watch that wonderful video clip- dream on! Also I have noticed since the advertisements plagued Youtube and other movie like Animecrazy, Animeoan, BBC I Player, a lot of the time the hardware does slowly down adding to fuel of making people go berserk. Now on online gaming they’re injecting more and more advertisements into these things sending gamers into frenzy. It’s not ethically right to be continuously pestered by companies we don’t like or don’t want to buy from  because their sales have gone down, don’t get a lot of recognition or like the ‘Go Compare!’ person wants to annoy you with their horrible music and rhymes.


It isn’t fair that our gaming experience is going to be ruined furthermore by advertisements.


The patent, filed July and granted November of last year, goes into more detail about how this would affect the user experience. The filing suggests that gamers could be warned of an impending advertisement by a warning message, or by slowing down gameplay. The filing also suggests that game content could effectively be rewound at or prior to the end of the ad, presumably in an attempt to ready up the player in case the gameplay broke off at a critical point.


Online multiplayer games are specifically mentioned, confirming that Sony is at least considering the approach to both online and offline games. During online games, the patent has clauses for the display of the same advertisement to all users simultaneously, and different adverts for one or more players.

Taken from James Holloway, ‘Sony patent could see games interrupted by compulsory ads article’

The responses to this advert were:

This is the worst idea I have heard of lately, as a gamer if this were to take off I would boycott the game!

Is there no sanctuary left where we are free from blatant advertising?

Advertise somewhere else, do not interrupt any games!!


Quoted from-Michael Simpson


Sexuality is another big conflict in games because designers don’t appropriately display the sexually diverse characters correctly through image, or their role in the actual game isn’t ethically correct to begin with or they just don’t have a proper depth meaning they don’t flesh out in the game like they should. Developers don’t necessarily think about these things and go with the stereotypical white, powerful American/Asian guy that’s a Mary Sue with possible fetish for maybe ‘cuddly cat’.


In Persona 4 the antagonist who’s gay actually has a better back story then most other homosexuals in other games. It talks about his struggles as teenager on whether he’s hetro or homo and to some it can be difficult to realise what you are personally, eventually making you sympathise with that character. This is because of public’s stereotyping with males being gay are actually weak minded or suffered from something horrific in that past to make them that way, this isn’t the case. The character in Persona is rebel, one who proves and fights or his freedom listening only to himself when in reality he’s actually scared of what other people think about his orientation- which is true in real life for both male and female. In order for him to become stronger person he overcomes this fear of showing that he’s gay to public and gives off the vibe that he doesn’t care what they think, thus making him mentally stronger and again it happens in real life.

Another from the same game actually wants a sex change from a female to a male because she believes that her world is male dominated so to speak. Sometimes in certain hobbies or things I’ve done I have felt it’s overly dominated by males because a lot of the females tend to go for other things making out your weird female and suppose it happens to males as well. Even though the girl doesn’t change gender it gives another thought to public about how we treat people like this and how it fits into ourselves and how we feel about the sexually diverse issues.

A lot of games from 7+ revolve around the protagonist taking part in violent scenarios which many parents feel this has an impact on their children and other people. Yet developers have set our punishments if the gamer were to commit too much violence, like killing people that are innocent or just killing to many living creatures. In Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time if you kill too many chickend or pick on one for example, all the chickens in Hyrule no doubt appear out of nowhere and come to kill you.
Assasin’s Creed makes you start from the beginning of the mission if you kill innocent citizens or too many of them and in other games like Grand Theft Auto and Simpsons Hit & Run, the legal forces will be on your tail to hunt you down until you pay or up or the game ends. I think it’s a good idea for making sure there’s a consequence if one was too kill just for sake of bloodlust on a game. It gives the parents a peace of mind and media will stay of the gaming companies backs for longer instead of trying to sell out a story that’s full of rubbish.


When buying a new game that’s finally been released after so long and you quickly run home in order to play it, you don’t really want to find out the game you’ve just spent all your money on has disk-locked content that will only be released if you go to a certain place, spend more money or just won’t be released at all. It’s really annoying and not ethically right. As the public you pay for your franchise then all of sudden you can’t have part of it- even though you’ve paid for it? This would then lead to piracy in the gaming industry that does burn holes in their sales. In order to gain a little more money is to stop this disk locked content nonsense allowing more people to enjoy the whole game- hopefully decreasing piracy.


(Accessed 03/10/12 at 20:17 for racist quote on Resident Evil 5)

(Accessed 03/10/12 at 20:34 for information on the controversy of Resident Evil 5)

(Accessed 03/10/12 at 21:29 for sexist quote on Tomb Raider: Reboot)
(Accessed on 08/10/12 at 11:14 for Resident Evil Image),r:41,s:0,i:270
(Accessed on 08/10/12 at 11:16 for Resident Evil Image)
(Accessed on 08/10/12 at 11:24 for Resident Evil 5 Extended Trailer)
(Accessed on 08/10/12 at 11:18 for Tomb Raider: Reborn Image
(Accessed on 08/10/12 at 11:21 for Tomb Raider: Reborn Trailer)

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