Target: EA Games (Electronic Arts) CEO John Riccitiello
Goal: Applaud EA Games for removing the links to the gun shop from the Medal of Honor site and encourage EA and other game firms to make it a policy not to link to sites where players can purchase weapons from the game.
In the wake of any mass shooting, such as that which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in early December 2012, people search for answers as to why these monstrous acts happen. One of the theories is that Americans are desensitized to violence because we inundate ourselves with violent entertainment in movies, television, and video games. Another theory is that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the right of the American people to keep and bear arms, has been abused in recent years, and it has become too easy for people to acquire semi-automatic weapons which should be reserved for soldiers at war. Regardless of which political agenda you may find yourself leaning towards, one should question why it has become common practice for video game manufacturers to link their websites to sites where players can browse and purchase weapons from the game. In a bizarre twist of timing and questionable business practices, this is just what transpired with EA games in the weeks following the school shooting in Connecticut. And as odd as it may seem for a video game firm to admit any correlation between violent video games and random acts of violence, EA stepped up and removed the links to the gun shop from the Medal of Honor game site. Sign this petition and applaud EA games for removing the links.
It cannot be denied that video games are no longer just for children. The most popular video games and the ones most frequently advertised in the media are rated ‘M’ for Mature, which is the equivalent rating to that of a rated ‘R’ movie, ages 17 and up. And with graphic scenes of war and all that war entails, Medal of Honor is rated M for Mature. Even if we falsely assume that every player of Medal of Honor was in fact age 17 and above, somewhat-legal adults bonding over a group activity in which they release stress by playing at war, playing at shooting people, and playing at gaining an unfair advantage by unlocking the biggest and baddest guns, in what way is it appropriate for game manufacturers to then link to sites in which players can browse and buy the guns that they used in the game? Even in a strictly business sense, in a time when game manufacturers are constantly under attack by those looking to pin responsibility on the industry, why would they literally create a link between the game and real life?
EA Games rightly stepped up and took the links down. But we must continue to question why Medal of Honor has partnerships with weapons manufacturers, why a dozen logos for companies which produce combat equipment are still featured on the Medal of Honor site, and why Medal of Honor’s executive producer Greg Goodrich bids players to head over to the site of a Colorado-based weapons firm, Magpul, to gain an unfair advantage. We can no longer ask that video games remain games for children because the honest truth is that most video games are not suitable for the maturity level of most adults, let alone children, and it is up to parents to monitor what their children do, play, and see. But we can ask that game manufacturers do just that—create games and promote games, not the weapons industry.
Sign this petition and applaud EA Games for removing the links to the gun shop from the Medal of Honor site.
Dear John Riccitiello, CEO of EA Games,
We applaud your recent decision to remove the links to the gun shops from the Medal of Honor game site. Our hope is that you found these links inappropriate not just in the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut, but because a game manufacturer should create and promote games, not the weapons industry.
Additionally, we have to ask why, in a time when the nation is desperate to find a scapegoat for the random acts of violence that perpetrate our society, you would create an actual link between the guns that players have used to kill massive amounts of peers in a game to where they can purchase the guns in real life. Besides being void of any foresight, this seems a poor business practice.
Our hope is that EA’s decision to step up and remove these physical links will create a discussion about the correlation between fantasy violence affecting real life violence. Regardless of your intent, by admitting wrongdoing in linking to a gun site, you have admitted a correlation between the fantasy game world and the real world.
[Your Name Here]
-Photo credit: Pop Culture Geek via flickr