...much like with comics, is that the entire medium is thought to be "for kids." So say, when you have a game like Grand Theft Auto, which is like playing a version of the best R-rated mobster movie out there, immediately Parents Groups and members of Congress come wailing their arms and want to shut down the entire industry.
But video games, like music and movies and books, have different genres and are for different ages. The problem comes, when games seem to be marketed to children. There's not a lot of different video game magazines out there, so most likely you'll see an ad for Grand Theft Auto in the same magazine as an ad for Pokemon. It's not like you'd be reading Nickelodeon Magazine and see ads in there for Bud Light.
But, for the most part, those of us "of age" who enjoy playing more mature titles have been able to win the argument by saying, "Hey, everyone knows they're not for kids! It says M For Mature right there on the box!!!"
Then, Sears comes along and plays a new advertisement on national television with this fucking Connor kid:
You catch that last part? He likes Halo and Halo 2. Well, who doesn't? Killing the hell out of aliens and watching their body parts explode in a bloody mess is good old fashion entertainment! And you know, maybe this kid is real and maybe his parents let him play Halo...good for them, that's their choice...but what kind of message is this sending to the rest of us? It only furthers the "righteous cause" of those who want to destroy the video game industry. "See, SEARS lets Connor play Halo! They ARE after our precious lil' children!!!"
Molly and I have seen this ad a few times (it was shown during last night's episode of LOST for example) and honestly I don't think she caught it the first time. She's not a video game junkie like I am, but I doubt that only video game junkies see the harm in what one single advertisement from Sears could mean for the entire industry.
Video games are already misunderstood enough on their own. The last thing they need is Sears coming along giving them help.
I saw this quote on one of the gaming blogs and it's so true (and funny!) that I felt the need to re-post it here. It sums up exactly what went through my mind the first time I saw the ad...
New BORDERS bookstore COMMERCIAL:
8 year old boy: "I read... I like SPORTS ILLUSTRATED... I really like that magazine, I really got addicted to it because it's lots of fun and stuff, because I like to read about MLB and NFL... you can know about the top players...
And I like ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, because I'm into movies and stuff...
And, uh, I like HUSTLER and UNZIPPED magazine... my name is Connor, and this is what I discovered at BORDERS"
~from DJ @ the Joystiq boards.