Activision: Games Based on Current Events are Viewed Unfairly, Seen in Exploitative Light

November 23, 2011Written by Alex Osborn

The comparison between video games and film gets brought up a lot, especially in a day where developers can create experiences that really blur the lines between the two forms of entertainment.

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing points out that consumers tend to cast games in a negative light rather than films, comparing Modern Warfare 3 to The Hurt Locker.

There’s a sense that games are more exploitive in a way that The Hurt Locker — which also was designed as form of entertainment — isn’t. I think they are an art form, and I think that ‘too soon’ criteria is not applied to things like Green Zone. Or United 93. There will be a time when we look back and find it quaint that video games were so controversial. I think the active ingredient to changing that attitude is time.

The producers didn’t create The Hurt Locker as a public service; they did it to tell a story that they thought needed to be told. It was a piece of entertainment that they sold tickets to and sell DVDs with. And, yet, that’s not viewed as exploiting current events. It’s viewed as somehow artistically interpreting and commenting on current events. The creative process of making that movie and making our games is very similar, but they’re received differently.

Hirshberg brings up a number of great points. Perhaps over time games will be able to eventually shed the negative connotations that seem to come with the territory.