Apparently CBS believes politics is inappropriate for games
December 11th 2013
A little known game called Democracy 3 released earlier this year and was lauded as “The Ultimate Political Strategy Game.” In this political and economical simulator, you can control and adjust everything from taxes, to research funds, to normalizing the death penalty, and to reinstating the draft. It is both a niche game of interest and an educational tool for those who seek for a more interactive lesson on politics brought to us by Cliff Harris’ studio Positech Games.
Harris sought to advertise their latest game on Gamespot, who’s owned by CBS. However the advertisement was rejected. Here’s the conversation as posted by Harris:
"Message from the publisher: I’m sorry, but your ad banner is inappropriate."
"so… why exactly? Or do I just spend my money elsewhere?"
" apologize, but we can not promote any politics as this is a sensitive topic."
This sediment effectively stifles the maturation of video games. There have been several games that discuss controversial topics including slavery, abortion, prison pregnancy, and Anne Frank’s experience in the Holocaust. It’s difficult to comprehend that a medium which has received incessant criticism over the past two decades for juvenile and violent content, that once it steers away from the stereotypes and the conventions, games like Choice Texas and now Democracy 3 are panned for their content.
Cliff Harris makes a profound point in response to CBS’s and Gamespot’s rejection:
" WTF? I bet ads for games like hitman, or GTA, or games where you get slow-mo closeups of people’s skulls being blasted apart by high-caliber bullets are just fine. But discuss income tax? OH NOES THE WORLD WILL END! I saw a clip of mortal kombat on that charlie brooker doumenatry that made me feel sick, but apparently we as an industry are just FINE with that… It’s stuff like this that sometimes makes me ashamed to be in this industry. Half of the industry wants to be grown up and accepted as art, the other half have the mentality of seven year olds. I’m pretty cynical, but I never expected my ads for a game about government-simulation to be too controversial to be shown (for money no less…).
My next game will be gratuitous homicide battles. I bet everyone will let me promote that one eh?"
Note: I caution folks not to point the finger at Gamespot, but at CBS. We don't know Gamespot's involvement or weight that they have in making decisions in approving advertising as it seems that CBS's influence supersedes the website's, just as the same case might have occurred if IGN was still owned by FOX.
Should YouTubers get a “real job”?
December 12th 2013
What’s your definition of a real job?
Is it being a social worker like me? Working an office job, or earning some salary income between the hours of 9-5? Is it working in retail, landscaping, or nursing?
Working a job is doing a service, whether that may be for entertainment or making someone else’s life more convenient and/or better for monetary compensation.
And yes, [that] includes YouTubers.
It’s been rather difficult to ignore or avoid the metaphorical s**t storm YouTube has bestowed upon its users. This week YouTube issued its Content ID (their version of a copyright infringement tracker) which track YouTube videos, particularly those with attached advertisements, and if there’s any content – whether that may be video or audio, they will be flagged and the revenue generated from advertisement will be terminated.
Content ID has been catastrophic to the gaming community on YouTube, to internet personalities who earn their keep posting videos on YouTube of Lets Play commentaries, reviews, and any uploads that utilize game footage. Many of these personalities dedicate themselves full time after having had quit their conventional jobs and threw their entire weight behind building video empires, building reputation, and making money for it.
Doing something you love isn’t always a cake walk. Any reputable video game journalist will tell you that their job isn’t easy. I myself loose hours reading material and writing blogs 5-6 days a week. I can’t imagine what these YouTube users sacrifice working nearly double the amount of hours of a traditional work week writing content, setting up equipment, editing footage, maintaining their creative energy day in and day out producing the content we enjoy on YouTube.
YouTube is effectively loosing apart of its identity with Content ID. YouTube once could pride itself as an intuitive platform where creative minds could channel their passion in a form of expression and make money for it. That’s an incredible opportunity to be able to provide. But this week, YouTube has ripped that livelihood out of people’s hands, ripped that opportunity for those who have just gotten started, and ripped the very existence of that community.
Here’s what the very outlandish, and often violent Francis has calmly and profoundly stated in response to this: