Video games, lately, have taken something of a bad rap. With recent events making video games look like the fuel of massacres like Sandy Hook
, and even the vice president taking potshots at the medium, it's not a bad time for video games to get a little extra polish. In the court of public opinion, many people have already made up their minds about games. To that end, the Entertainment Software Association has set out to put that extra polish on games by starting up something of a charm offensive, with a new public education campaign.
The Entertainment Software Association's new public information campaign
is multifaceted in nature, with plans to unleash a set of new public service announcements to call better attention to gaming issues. The campaign is also set to improve the display of ESRB
materials, bring ESRB ratings to things like mobile and social gaming, and work with a set of not-for-profit entities to bring video games into "educational and other pro-social purposes."
The good side of something like this is that it's looking to take advantage of older, more traditional media like television in conjunction with casual gaming systems--mobile and social are mostly geared to the casual market--to better connect with those users who aren't already interested or commonly using games. The whole point of an image campaign like this one is to better get the word out to users who didn't already know about whatever the target of the campaign is, and in this case, using television and casual gaming is a good way to get the word out to non-core gamers.
But will this work? Will it ultimately provide a better understanding of games, gaming, and a voluntary industry rating system to those who don't already have it? Will a greater commitment to making sure the right games get in the right hands improve the overall perception of gaming in the United States, take away its power as a scapegoat, and maybe get a few new people gaming who wouldn't otherwise have joined in?
Only time will tell, ultimately, just how well this works out, but it's a safe bet that it will do better than some may expect.