Following the release of Games For Change’s highlight reel of positive gaming moments, the president of the company has explained why they created it.
Recently, the White House released a Youtube montage of grotesque imagery from the most violent video games of the modern era. The video's aim was to prove that the recent wave of school shootings in the USA is caused by games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. The White House even scheduled a meeting with industry executives to try and get to the bottom of an issue that’s existed since Mortal Kombat’s release in 1992.
Games for Change, an organization that uses video games for social change, clapped back at the White House highlight reel with one of their own highlighting the beauty in gaming regardless of the rating. Their reason for doing this was simple: they wanted to show another side of gaming. They saw the White House video package as an inaccurate representation of gaming.
“When we saw the video The White House produced on YouTube, we saw it as an unfair representation of games, it was very a one-sided representation,” says Games for Change president Susanna Pollack. “It was singling out super violent moments of very select games told in an 88-second clip reel.”
The White House used some of the worst moments from titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call Of Duty: Ghosts, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Sniper Elite 4, The Evil Within, and Dead By Daylight, all of which are M rated games.
“It ignored the beauty, adventure, and fun that games can be,” says Pollack.
To contrast this, Pollack and her team at Games for Change made their own sizzle reel. Using titles like CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, The Last of Us, and other blockbusters of all ratings, their outlook of the industry stood in stark contrast of the White House’s despite using many games with the same ratings as the titles the White House chose to highlight.
Aside from the White House’s sizzle reel seeing scrutiny from gamers and industry people alike, it doesn’t represent what the gaming industry actually produces. According to the most recent report published by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), only 11 percent of video games are rated M for “mature.” Now, this doesn’t encompass all games made, only those rated by the ESRB; however, each game in the White House montage is rated M.
Regardless of where this goes, it’s nice to see someone stand up for the gaming industry. The Games for Change sizzle reel stands in contrast with the White House’s and it shines a very positive light on the games industry. Thought the topic will probably never completely die down, there is hope that this can help show the other side of things.