#1 Posted by posh (460 posts) -
The American confectionery company Victoria Sweets claims to have invented the candy cigarette. A thin stick of chocolate, wrapped in edible paper and designed to impersonate a roll-up, it debuted in 1915 and soon became the accessory of choice for children keen to play grown-up. Hollywood star, GI Joe, team captain: the sweet gave kids the chance try out one of the vogue props of adulthood.
Within 20 years it was so popular that cigarette companies began to take notice. Leading brands such as Marlboro, Winston and Salem authorised their packaging designs for use on millions of candy cigarette boxes. One confectioner of the period touted the sweet’s “tremendous advertising factor to coming-up cigaret smokers.”
The marketing of imitation adult products to children in the hope they will blossom into customers of the genuine article is widespread. The video game presents further opportunities for manufacturers to target young people. Toyota and Nissan work with racing game developers to show off their vehicles as pristinely desirable. Nike and Adidas position their logo on virtual boots. Gibson licenses plastic versions of its guitars in the hope players will progress from the coloured buttons of the peripheral to the nickel-wound strings of a Les Paul.
And Barrett, creator of the M82, a shoulder-fired, .50-caliber semi-automatic sniper rifle, hopes that the appearance of its weapon in a video game will, in time, turn young players into gun owners.

Link to the article

thoughts?

#2 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

Read that earlier. It's ridiculous logic to back a sensationalist grab for hits by exploiting an already hyperbolic cable-news-fueled non-issue, right now.

Using the same logic, racing games are even worse. Racing games use licensed brands at least as often as games with guns do. Deals are struck wherein the use and depiction of said vehicles are controlled. Some franchises are able to push this, but more often than not, the brands do not want their vehicles to be capable of taking damage. This chummy promotion of automobiles, to adults and children alike, is grotesque. Automobiles almost exclusively require petroleum, which direction or indirectly funds terrorism and terrorist countries based on where most of that fuel is currently derived.

It also negates the point that boys never needed a video game to be infatuated with guns and knowing everything about them by checking out books and magazines at the library. It also, you know, negates the whole point that the same age group such games are marketed to is also the age group legally allowed to own guns in the states, so I don't even see what valid issue there is here at all. Oh, and there's also a significant difference between the results of marketing smokes versus firearms. One requires significantly more effort to acquire and get involved with. The other is sold in vending machines and at the corner store and every gas station.

Anyway, it's a lot of sensationalist hypocritical bullshit. This is a Fox News level of complaint, wherein they typically ignore important issues like the age rating of such games and the fact that many of these other weapons in games (for example, BF3) are either not something you can acquire outside of the military or come with a lot of regulations. They may as well be making an issue out of the fact that tanks have real names, because that's probably going to lead every eighteen year old to rush out and acquire an Abrams tank.

The only explanation for making this a big deal, that I can see, is that the author is from the UK. So . . . whatever. I guess maybe this is an interesting topic of discussion overseas, where they already tend to have rather inaccurate perception of gun-laws and ownership in the US (I've actually had friends from Europe visit the states before and make a point of saying they expected to see guns everywhere and were surprised that most people not only didn't walk around waving guns around but didn't even own them).

#3 Posted by BaconBuTTy (171 posts) -
@Branthog Please don't think that the author's nationality is the reason for his ignorance in this article.

I am from the UK, and I have my opinions on gun control, but this article is beyond stupid - And I disagree with him COMPLETELY. This is a stupid link to make and is nothing like candy cigarettes whcih was truely exploitative.

Seriously, the author being in the UK has nothing to do with this. It is just straight up, plain ol' ignorance.
#4 Posted by posh (460 posts) -

@Branthog said:

Read that earlier. It's ridiculous logic to back a sensationalist grab for hits by exploiting an already hyperbolic cable-news-fueled non-issue, right now.

Using the same logic, racing games are even worse. Racing games use licensed brands at least as often as games with guns do. Deals are struck wherein the use and depiction of said vehicles are controlled. Some franchises are able to push this, but more often than not, the brands do not want their vehicles to be capable of taking damage. This chummy promotion of automobiles, to adults and children alike, is grotesque. Automobiles almost exclusively require petroleum, which direction or indirectly funds terrorism and terrorist countries based on where most of that fuel is currently derived.

alright, bit of a stretch perhaps to say "driving funds terrorism" and that advertising cars is on par with advertising weapons designed to kill

It also negates the point that boys never needed a video game to be infatuated with guns and knowing everything about them by checking out books and magazines at the library.

you know full well that learning about guns by going to the library and reading up on them would require a previous knowledge and interest of guns to look them up in the first place. call of duty is a huge game that everybody at school plays, learning about guns in call of duty is a byproduct of having fun with friends. gun books aren't heavily marketed

It also, you know, negates the whole point that the same age group such games are marketed to is also the age group legally allowed to own guns in the states, so I don't even see what valid issue there is here at all.

I personally don't think video game developers should turn a blind eye to the fact that their games are going to be played by people of all ages, though I can understand your point here and my point of view is probably a little idealistic. although it is very easy for a 13 year old to be able to play call of duty

Oh, and there's also a significant difference between the results of marketing smokes versus firearms. One requires significantly more effort to acquire and get involved with. The other is sold in vending machines and at the corner store and every gas station.

the article isn't making a direct comparison between smoking and gun ownership, it's making a comparison between their marketing schemes. not the results. it explicitly says that they haven't quantified the effects of the gun marketing, just people involved in it believe there's positive correlation between gun sales and gun marketing in video games

Anyway, it's a lot of sensationalist hypocritical bullshit. This is a Fox News level of complaint, wherein they typically ignore important issues like the age rating of such games and the fact that many of these other weapons in games (for example, BF3) are either not something you can acquire outside of the military or come with a lot of regulations. They may as well be making an issue out of the fact that tanks have real names, because that's probably going to lead every eighteen year old to rush out and acquire an Abrams tank.

it's not the model of gun that they're buying that matters, it's the fact they're buying these guns at all, based off a game where the objective is to kill people

The only explanation for making this a big deal, that I can see, is that the author is from the UK. So . . . whatever. I guess maybe this is an interesting topic of discussion overseas, where they already tend to have rather inaccurate perception of gun-laws and ownership in the US (I've actually had friends from Europe visit the states before and make a point of saying they expected to see guns everywhere and were surprised that most people not only didn't walk around waving guns around but didn't even own them).

seriously? I don't think I know anybody who thinks that way about the US at all. our perception of the US comes from the high crime figures and frequent news stories about gun sprees

#5 Posted by BaconBuTTy (171 posts) -

I love *authenticity* in my shooters.

I live in a country that excersises gun control.

I have no desire to buy a Glock.

So if the article has any accuracy in it's theory, the problem is apparently not the videogame which features the authentic weaponry.

#6 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

@BaconBuTTy said:

@Branthog Please don't think that the author's nationality is the reason for his ignorance in this article. I am from the UK, and I have my opinions on gun control, but this article is beyond stupid - And I disagree with him COMPLETELY. This is a stupid link to make and is nothing like candy cigarettes whcih was truely exploitative. Seriously, the author being in the UK has nothing to do with this. It is just straight up, plain ol' ignorance.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to imply that people in the UK are ignorant of just how little guns have to do with life in the US (outside of entertainment), but only that there are some in the UK who have expressed over the years what seems to be a great misunderstanding (as would be reasonable when most of what people may have to base it on is news coverage and entertainment material). I tried to make a generous assumption that the author was one such person.

@posh said:

@Branthog said:

Read that earlier. It's ridiculous logic to back a sensationalist grab for hits by exploiting an already hyperbolic cable-news-fueled non-issue, right now.

Using the same logic, racing games are even worse. Racing games use licensed brands at least as often as games with guns do. Deals are struck wherein the use and depiction of said vehicles are controlled. Some franchises are able to push this, but more often than not, the brands do not want their vehicles to be capable of taking damage. This chummy promotion of automobiles, to adults and children alike, is grotesque. Automobiles almost exclusively require petroleum, which direction or indirectly funds terrorism and terrorist countries based on where most of that fuel is currently derived.

alright, bit of a stretch perhaps to say "driving funds terrorism" and that advertising cars is on par with advertising weapons designed to kill

It also negates the point that boys never needed a video game to be infatuated with guns and knowing everything about them by checking out books and magazines at the library.

you know full well that learning about guns by going to the library and reading up on them would require a previous knowledge and interest of guns to look them up in the first place. call of duty is a huge game that everybody at school plays, learning about guns in call of duty is a byproduct of having fun with friends. gun books aren't heavily marketed

It also, you know, negates the whole point that the same age group such games are marketed to is also the age group legally allowed to own guns in the states, so I don't even see what valid issue there is here at all.

I personally don't think video game developers should turn a blind eye to the fact that their games are going to be played by people of all ages, though I can understand your point here and my point of view is probably a little idealistic. although it is very easy for a 13 year old to be able to play call of duty

Oh, and there's also a significant difference between the results of marketing smokes versus firearms. One requires significantly more effort to acquire and get involved with. The other is sold in vending machines and at the corner store and every gas station.

the article isn't making a direct comparison between smoking and gun ownership, it's making a comparison between their marketing schemes. not the results. it explicitly says that they haven't quantified the effects of the gun marketing, just people involved in it believe there's positive correlation between gun sales and gun marketing in video games

Anyway, it's a lot of sensationalist hypocritical bullshit. This is a Fox News level of complaint, wherein they typically ignore important issues like the age rating of such games and the fact that many of these other weapons in games (for example, BF3) are either not something you can acquire outside of the military or come with a lot of regulations. They may as well be making an issue out of the fact that tanks have real names, because that's probably going to lead every eighteen year old to rush out and acquire an Abrams tank.

it's not the model of gun that they're buying that matters, it's the fact they're buying these guns at all, based off a game where the objective is to kill people

The only explanation for making this a big deal, that I can see, is that the author is from the UK. So . . . whatever. I guess maybe this is an interesting topic of discussion overseas, where they already tend to have rather inaccurate perception of gun-laws and ownership in the US (I've actually had friends from Europe visit the states before and make a point of saying they expected to see guns everywhere and were surprised that most people not only didn't walk around waving guns around but didn't even own them).

seriously? I don't think I know anybody who thinks that way about the US at all. our perception of the US comes from the high crime figures and frequent news stories about gun sprees

Sorry, this got long.

It's not a bit of a stretch to say that oil funds terrorism. It has been stated by governments repeatedly and cited as an example of why we need to get off of oil (or onto our own national supply). Saudi Arabia is directly linked to supporting terrorism and derives massive wealth from oil purchases. Making this comparison to advertising weapons "designed to kill" is almost exactly the same. Both are talking about advertising things that have some violent detrimental result (if you carry the theoretical thread far enough).

Also, kids loved drawing guns and pretending to play with pretend guns and reading about them long before Call of Duty existed. We spent endless hours doing so as little boys in the early 80s and my uncle and little boys of his time did so in the 50s. That's what boys do. They play war and read about real ranks and real war and real guns. That's what makes this whole article the silliest. It negates the entire fact that this interest from boys in guns (with specific brands) predates all of video games. It's like when news journalists start freaking out a couple times a year about this scary new dangerous game that children have invented, where you bend over and gasp a whole bunch until you pass out. Oh noes! Except . . . . they did that in the 80s, too. And before that. This is just a bunch cable-news quality sensationalism that should be beyond "game journalists", who are typically the ones fighting this sort of ridiculous garbage when the ignorant news media outside of gaming spews it.

Also, there may be a great number of stories about gun sprees, but there are not a lot of gun sprees. Not for one second in my life have I ever had any fear related to a gun or being shot by one and to have a fear of being involved specifically in a spree killing would require discarding all statistical reality and buying into the sensational fears pumped into your brain by commercial news. Further, nobody is actually "buying all these guns, based off a game where the objective is to kill people". You have to be an adult to buy a weapon. And many of the weapons in these games are not even for sale to citizens. You are really making a lot of extreme leaps here. For any of this to matter, we have to first accept that mass killing sprees are the result of advertising, video games, or any other form of entertainment. That's an enormous gap to traverse before we even start to worry about the issue of "well, an underage person could play a video game that does have guns that have real brands and names and then they could become fascinated by them and want to go buy one, then they could wait five years until they reach legal age and then they could apply for a gun permit and go buy one of the available legal firearms and then wait a couple weeks for the background check and then they could use that weapon to go kill a dozen people in a school, because of an advertising deal in a video game.

I'm not trying to belittle your point, here. It's just that for any of this to really be worth caring about, we have to string such a large number of improbabilities together.

Personally, I'm more concerned with the idea of my favorite video game that I pay $65 for is trying to sell me Coke and Juicy Fruit with blatant and unbridled advertising. At least with guns and cars, it's applicable to the situation and is something people demand from their games. Nobody is going around saying "damn it, this game has fake soda brand names in it!" -- but they do care whether the cars and guns in their games are the "real thing". And that's not because the game is shaping them to care about it. It's because they already cared about it before that and want it to be recognized in their game. It's the complete opposite of what the article seems to suggest.

. . . anyway, what is the ultimate point of all of this? Are you suggesting they shouldn't be able to strike these deals, because it might encourage children to be interested in owning a gun someday? Why is that a problem? Or they shouldn't be allowed to do this, because in some alternate reality, one mentally deranged person on medication out of every fifty million or so might decide to break into the gun closet or whatever that their crazy end-of-worlder parent left poorly protected and then go out and shoot some people -- all because the guns in their favorite game were branded instead of using made-up names? And let's allow all these crazy strings and implications that make that piece of marketing ultimately culpable for all of that. So what? Ultimately, people are responsible for themselves. Freaky shit happens that is beyond people's control and they could get shot (but almost certainly not) or they could even be run over in an outdoor mall by a crazy old lady mistaking the gas for the break. But we have the right of free speech and expression. So . . . unless we're going to abridge this right. Unless we're going to render it meaningless and determine that "if it can save just one life... yadda yadda yadda" we need to take action . . . then were do we stop? No guns at all, in games? er -- all entertainment media, I mean? No knives, branded or otherwise? No cars? Cars kill a lot of people, after all. How about booze and smokes in media?

I don't have any particular fascination with guns. Don't own one. Don't use one. Don't care to. But I find it absolutely bizarre that everyone keeps going around in this first amendment thing over guns. That is just . . . astonishing. I support the right to own guns, but at least taking issue with gun ownership because guns are actually used to kill people (as well as defend them and other things) has a certain consistency. Suggesting that content in games or movies or other media should be censored (voluntarily or otherwise) because of all these other strings that theoretically eventually result in someone using a gun is . . . that doesn't seem consistent to me. And if that isn't the point of all this, then I don't know why the article exists and everyone keeps talking about this.

#7 Posted by Brodehouse (9573 posts) -

Dead Eurogamer. It is legal for adults to purchase firearms in many Western countries. Games that feature actual H&K; machinepistole 5 firearms are rated M or Pegi-18, and are sold to adults.

Stop treating the legal sale of firearms like it's an illicit, immoral activity.

Online
#8 Posted by Brodehouse (9573 posts) -

Bah, that was supposed to say 'dear Eurogamer'. And then a semicolon snuck in there.

Phone typing, don't do it kids.

Online
#9 Posted by Aterons (198 posts) -

I couldn't give less shits about the non-content about this milked out non-issue.

But in the early 20 century cigarette companies were making candy cigars o.o... i want a time machine just to buy a pack of those and taste them. Wonder if any are still left as a "collection" item.

#10 Posted by s10129107 (1179 posts) -

It's not legal to go out and buy the vast majority of the guns in games. I can't go buy a P90. That being said I could go buy a berretta or a Desert Eagle. Also before these games I couldn't personally name any rifle so maybe.

This article assumes exposure to young kids. It is at a parents discretion whether or not to allow their kids to play games like this.

#11 Edited by EpicSteve (6471 posts) -

To be fair, a .50 cal rifle is incredibly expensive. Not to mention the ammo would be about $5 per shot fired. Most rifles are not at impulse purchase price or anything. It's a lot easier for someone to buy cigarettes than a weapon. Also, who cares? This is legal activity. The type of person that legally goes out to buy an expensive weapon is also the kind of person (in my experience) is responsible with it.

#12 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

@Aterons said:

I couldn't give less shits about the non-content about this milked out non-issue.

But in the early 20 century cigarette companies were making candy cigars o.o... i want a time machine just to buy a pack of those and taste them. Wonder if any are still left as a "collection" item.

You can still get the candy cigarettes, they were just renamed candy sticks and don't have a red tip.

#13 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

Wow, I read that article and didn't get any of the crazy shit that most of ye seem to be talking about. I just thought it was interesting that these games fund arms manufacturers by paying for liscences. I had never really thought about how the NRA would demonise games manufacturers while at the same time the companies that fund the NRA would be making money directly from the sale of video games.

Overall I thought it was fairly balanced and interesting to read. It doesn't really come down on any side of the argument and certainly doesn't say that it encourages people to buy guns. It just says that people who sell guns feel that it encourages people to buy guns.

People really love flying off the handle on these forums.

#14 Posted by OmegaChosen (644 posts) -

...How would a kid progress from driving a car in a game to getting said car in real life? Nissan, you crazy.

#15 Posted by razkazz (169 posts) -

I discovered the awesomeness of guns at a young age via G.I. Joes and comic books and studied them for hours so I could draw them myself and create my own badass action scenes. I think Aliens and Terminator 2 should be required viewing for every 8 year old boy. Yet I've never had any desire to own or be in the presence of real life guns. I actually had a gun pulled on me once and I didn't enjoy it at all. It's frustrating that people refuse to believe that disconnect can exist.

#16 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

@Arabes said:

Wow, I read that article and didn't get any of the crazy shit that most of ye seem to be talking about. I just thought it was interesting that these games fund arms manufacturers by paying for liscences. I had never really thought about how the NRA would demonise games manufacturers while at the same time the companies that fund the NRA would be making money directly from the sale of video games.

Overall I thought it was fairly balanced and interesting to read. It doesn't really come down on any side of the argument and certainly doesn't say that it encourages people to buy guns. It just says that people who sell guns feel that it encourages people to buy guns.

People really love flying off the handle on these forums.

FOLLOW THE MONEY MANNNN!!!

#17 Posted by Flacracker (1594 posts) -

And what is bad about being a gun owner?

Online
#18 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

I haven't actually read the article because it seems like a waste of time but I have to say candy cigarettes didn't have a 16+ rating on them like CoD does.

#19 Posted by mlarrabee (2885 posts) -

@OmegaChosen said:

...How would a kid progress from driving a car in a game to getting said car in real life? Nissan, you crazy.

I dunno, Hot Pursuit was pretty fun so I'll probably buy a Bugatti Veyron Sang Noir at some point.

#20 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

To be fair, a .50 cal rifle is incredibly expensive. Not to mention the ammo would be about $5 per shot fired. Most rifles are not at impulse purchase price or anything. It's a lot easier for someone to buy cigarettes than a weapon. Also, who cares? This is legal activity. The type of person that legally goes out to buy an expensive weapon is also the kind of person (in my experience) is responsible with it.

To be fair, you are in the military, and I'm sure that introduces you to a lot more responsible gun owners. I lived in a weird redneck area in Washington state, and there were a LOT of idiot gun owners. But they sure as hell didn't buy their guns because they played CoD.

Regardless of my point of view on who should own what types of guns, though, I agree with you. Even most cheap rifles are going to set you back a good bit of money. A real cheap AR15 would be around $500-600 and require some doin'. They aren't cheap to shoot, either. Unless you get some little .22 or something. And at that point, what's the point, really?

And any military style weapon is going to be very expensive. Much more than $500. And much more than a kid could afford.

And it's not like they can go to the 7-Eleven and have some bum buy them some glocks. It takes a bit more work than that, and those candy cigs were targetting the youngest of the young. Anyone old enough to know "sweets are good." These games are advertised to teenagers, 15 year olds at the youngest (Saying it's "18 and up" is a bit of a bullshit statement, I've been playing M rated games since they were really more "AO")

I'd also rather see smoking outlawed than stricter gun control laws, to be honest.