Non-Political Ad For Political Game Banned For Being Political
from the selling-democracy dept
In these highly divided political times, where everyone seems to have mistaken parties for street gangs to which your undying loyalty and support must be levied, it’s understandable that there has been some controversy surrounding online political advertisements. We saw this during the last presidential election cycle, where many people reported their unhappiness with the application of social media political ads. Beyond that, we’ve also seen some groups abusing the takedown process to censor parody ads of their preferred candidates. The point being that, now that our once-proud political system has coagulated to the point where you’re going to piss off roughly 47% of the population no matter what you do, the companies charged with placing these online ads can be rather sensitive about exactly what they’re putting out there.
That said, I’m quite confused as to how this online ad for Democracy 3, a game produced by Positech Games, somehow tripped whatever alarms were in place with whoever was tasked with placing the advertisement.
This was apparently enough for the ad company to tell the developer that they couldn’t place the ad because they “can not promote any politics as this is a sensitive subject.” Now, if one were to copy the URL for that image from the link provided, you’ll notice that it’s labeled as “Gamestop_rect.jpg”. That doesn’t mean for sure that Gamestop, or the people in charge of their online ads, is refusing this, but it seems somewhat likely.
Likely, yet irrelevant, because what the hell is in that advertisement that could possibly be construed as a political statement? The folks at Positech Games seem equally confused.
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?
Even if it was the content of the game itself that tripped off the warning bells, we’re really living in a country where a game about politics can no longer be sold through online ads because too many of our fellow countrymen are mouth-breathing fanatics? No, that’s stupid. That kind of pussyfooting needs to be exposed, highlighted, and summarily done away with, because if we can’t have that kind of speech due to corporate cowardice, we’re all in for a world of dumb when it comes to political thought in this country.