In thinking about games’ representation in mainstream media (see “And on a lighter note . . .”, Oct 6), I am uncertain about two ads that I have recently seen:
The first is for the History Channel’s presentation of World War II in HD — the ads have been playing for a while, and frequently the week of Nov. 2nd and 9th. The ad opens with a game interface — what looks like a first-person shooter with digital target sights and visible tracers — overlaying real WWII footage. Quite an interesting look if one can get over the disturbing nature of it (when the digital shells hit the submarine, it’s a real, filmed explosion). The words appear, then, “This was no game.” Of course not. But the marketers chose explicitly to make it look that way and then advertise WWII in HD for the first time — a ludic, if not game-like, enticement. The second advertisement is for the Air Force, depicting typical fantasy/scifi-like environments and then making the claim that it’s not science fiction (but real battle, a real profession).
Not only is there yet another videogaming-violence link in mainstream media, but one used specifically, it seems to me, to garner interest (or curiosity) in a WWII documentary or actual Air Force service.
At a conference this past weekend, I was asked after my presentation whether or not I have studied games’ representation in non-gaming spaces (television and film, specifically); I haven’t. Well, the time, it seems, has come (the walrus said) . . .