The internet has been filled with anger, anger and more anger ever since the world was exposed to the Hitman: Absolution E3 trailer and a few scantily clad nuns with guns on Wednesday. Every since the video went live, websites, bloggers and social networkers have been quick to attack the trailer, Square Enix and the game, but have they reacted in the correct way?
If you’ve not seen the trailer, then it’s embedded below, and it quite obviously does a lot wrong – It’s hard to deny that it glorifies violence against women to some degree and has an offensively obvious sexist tone to it, so it’s quite acceptable for people to get angered by the trailer, but I think that people have communicated their reaction in the wrong way.
The internet’s been hit with a mass of opinion articles about the video ever since it went live and whilst there’s no doubt that writers are going to feel the need to share their opinion, doing it in a way that’s so clear, so loud and so public, could ruin any chance of making an impact that they may have otherwise had.
Keza MacDonald of IGN was one of the first to the party, posting an opinion piece shortly after the trailer was released. It’s quite clear that she’s passionate about the topic at hand, but when you’re writing for a site as popular as IGN, getting your point across by writing a lengthy, frustrated opinion piece isn’t actually going to get your point across.
For every offended and disgusted person out there, there’s ten more who couldn’t care less about gratuitous violence in trailers and five more who couldn’t care less about gratuitous violence against women dressed in latex nun outfits in trailers. Posting an article that will be seen by the masses just exposes the trailer to this group of people, helping it to do what it was created to do; generate hype for an upcoming game and cause controversy by polarizing the audience.
It’s the same things that prevent plastering the words I’m boycotting it all over the internet from having any real affect on the situation. Yes, you’ve shown that you’re against the product and the ideologies that it conveys, but you can guarantee that the majority of the people who read your tweet or blog post will go out of their way to learn more about the game, watch the trailer and still not care about the sexism, about the violence or about the awful marketing decision one bit. If anything, they’re now more likely to purchase the game when it’s released. Well done, you’ve taken a sale from a publisher you now hate, but you’ve given them five more as a special present. How kind of you.
People will try and argue that writing opinion articles and ranting on social networking sites will help to get the message to the publisher responsible or, more specifically, to the marketing team themselves, but they’ll most likely just reject the criticism, knowing that there’s now more people talking about their game. And if, like Keza MacDonald, you write for one of the most popular gaming sites on the net, it’s all too easy for people to write off your opinion and claim that you’re “only doing it for the views” or something just as pathetic.
If you feel so passionately about something that you think is wrong, then try doing something else about it. Get in touch on a more personal level with the people responsible. From something as simple as tagging the company you’re ranting about in your Twitter rants, or sending an e-mail to an individual or company who you feel are in the wrong. You may not know these people personally, but their contact information will be out there somewhere, so find it. And don’t worry about seeming rude or inappropriate. Shaming them in front of the thousands of people who are going to read your article is much, much worse.
Instead of ranting off, why don’t you send a to send a message to the developer, Square, and let them know just how wrong you think it is for sexy nuns to be killed by a bald man and just how sick in the head you think they are for allowing it to happen? It’s probably too late for that now though, given that it’d look like you’re just jumping on a bandwagon that’s already been destroyed in a horrific wagon-based accident on the motorway of the internet.