LAFS SVGI Session 9 - Games and Society

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Lecture for Session 9 of The Los Angeles Film School's Survey of the Video Game Industry course.

Text of LAFS SVGI Session 9 - Games and Society

  • 1. Session 9 David Mullich Survey of the Video Game Industry The Los Angeles Film School
  • 2. Mortal Kombat (1992) Publisher: Midway Designer: Midway Genre: Fighting Mortal Kombat was one of many violent video games that appeared in 1992-93, and was the first game to raise the issue of violence in the medium The U.S. Senate held hearings on video game violence Possible catalyst to the implementation of a rating system, and the first game to receive an M rating
  • 3. Doom (1993) Publisher: id Software Designer: Tom Hall, Sandy Petersen, John Romero, Shawn Green Genre: First-Person Shooter Doom was, and remains, notorious for its high levels of graphic violence and satanic imagery The game sparked criticism throughout a period of school shootings when it was found that the Columbine High School shooters were avid players of the game
  • 4. Grand Theft Auto (1997) Publisher: BMG Interactive Designer: DMA Design Genre: Action-Adventure Open World The game was controversial from the very first incarnation of the series. It was condemned in Britain, Germany, and France due to its extreme violence, and Brazil banned it outright. Later versions of the game were criticized for allowing the player to commit violent acts, including the killing of policemen, and instigating gang wars
  • 5. GTA 5 And Violence Does GTA 5 Mean That There Will Always Be Violent Video Games? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios (6:13)
  • 6. Columbine High School Tragedy In 1999, two students opened fire in their Colorado high school -- shooting 20 people and killing 13 The media revealed that the two killers played a lot of violent video games The widow of one of the slain teachers filed a lawsuit naming multiple video game publishers Do video games contribute to violence?
  • 7. Arguments That Games Do Promote Violence The basic claim is that video games are more likely to affect peoples behavior than TV: Games are immersive Games are repetitive Games reward violent behavior According to a 2001 study reported in the journal Psychological Science, children who play violent video games experience an increase in: The physiological signs of aggression Aggressive actions
  • 8. However. A relationship between virtual aggression and real-life aggression isnt necessarily cause and effect. Maybe bullies in real life also enjoy being bullies in virtual life, so they play violent video games The results of studies, so far, are inconclusive. And to date, all lawsuits against video game companies for distributing violent content have been thrown out of court. But the controversy is far from over.
  • 9. PBS Newshour Can Violent Video Games Play a Role in Violent Behavior? (13:25)
  • 10. Discussion What was the incident that happened in Newtown Connecticut? What do critics of video game violence say is the effect on players? What do supporters of video games say in response to the criticisms? What did the Supreme Court have to say about video game violence? What does President Obama recommend doing about video game violence?
  • 11. Violence and Free Speech Extra Credits, Season 1, Episode 06 - Free Speech (7:04)
  • 12. Facing Controversy Extra Credits, Season 1, Episode 15 - Facing Controversy (9:53)
  • 13. Entertainment Software Ratings Board The Entertainment Software Association is the U.S. trade association dedicated to the business and public affairs of video game publishers. The ESRB was established in September 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association as a means of regulating the video game industry.
  • 14. ESRB Ratings Early Childhood Game is geared towards children ages 3 and up. Everyone Game is well suited for a general audience. It has minimal violence but may contain some crude language. Teens Game is for older kids, ages 13 and up. Such games often have violent content and can contain strong language. Mature Game is for people 17 and older. It usually has very violent or gory content, strong language and possible nudity. Adults Only Game is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. They may contain graphic violence, language or sex.
  • 15. How Games Get Rated Publisher submits game content (video) to ESRB ESRB has reviewers view video Reviewer recommends rating ESRB sends rating to publisher Publisher can change content and resubmit
  • 16. ERSB Rating Use At All-Time High
  • 17. Global Ratings Groups US Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB): www.esrb.org Europe Pan European Game Information (PEGI): www.pegi.info Germany: USK: www.usk.de Australia: Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC): www.oflc.gov.au Japan: Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO): www.cero.gr.jp
  • 18. ESRB G4 Icons Episode #42: ESRB (21:32)
  • 19. COPPA The Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 places restrictions on the online collection of information from children under 13 years of age. It details: What a website operator must include in a privacy policy When and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent or guardian What responsibilities an operator has to protect childrens privacy and safety online, including restrictions on the marketing to those under 13
  • 20. Intellectual Property What is the Goal? Technological IP Creative IP
  • 21. Importance of IP IP protects market share IP represents future earnings IP represents majority of company worth
  • 22. Copyright Literary works Musical works Dramatic works Pantomime and Choreography works Pictorial, graphic, sculptural works Motion Pictures and other audiovisual works Sound Recordings Architectural works Computer Software
  • 23. Copyright Length: 95/120 years Process: Low cost - $30.00, easy to obtain Rights: Negative rights Penalties: $150,000 per + Damages Scne faire: elements that are almost obligatory for the genre
  • 24. Trade Secrets Any idea or process that conveys business advantage Length: Immortal Process: Cost of Practice Rights: Negative rights Penalties: Damages
  • 25. Trademark Any Word, Name, Symbol, Graphic or Short Phrase Length: Immortal Process: $3,000 - $4,000 Federal registration Rights: Negative Rights Penalties: Damages and/or seizure or destruction of infringing items
  • 26. Patents Any new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter (but not something found in nature) Length: 20 Years (with renewals) Process: 2-3 years, $10,000 - $30,000 Rights: Negative Rights Penalties: Damages Cost of Protection: $1,000,000+
  • 27. Examples of IP Copyright Trade Secret Trademark Patents Music Customer Mailing Lists Company Name Inventive Gameplay Story Publisher Contacts Company Logo Inventive Game Design Characters Middleware contacts Game Title Tech Innovations Art In-House Development Costs Game Sub-Title Hardware Innovations Box Design In-House Development Tools Identifiable "catch phrases" Source Code Deal Terms
  • 28. Different Forms of IP IP in the Game Industry Patents Trademark Trade Secret Copyright Length 20 years Immortal Immortal 95/120 Years Cost High Medium Medium Low Ease of Obtaining Tough Medium Medium Easy Use Rare Often Often Often Registration? Yes Recommended No Recommended Coverage Medium Narrow Large Large
  • 29. Rights of Publicity Comme