Mega-Vid, like other video game manufacturers, confronts a significant issue in marketing and sales. Namely, and despite evidence that violent games do not promote violence in the young people playing them, there remains a strong perception that these games motivate undue aggression in children and teens. While some research affirms that violent games encourage violent behavior, the greater reality is that the association has been largely discredited. More precisely, the violent games are where players, mostly male adolescents, go to express violence (Stafford, 2014). The attraction alone, nonetheless, is more than enough to generate public concerns and consequently adversely affect Mega-Vid sales. The following then examines ways in which this problem may be addressed, and presents a strategy to that end.

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As the noted social perception of video games as leading to violent behaviors continues to challenge the industry, a number of companies have adopted different tactics to minimize the impact of the disapproval. The most common is the relatively obvious one of shifting the way violence occurs in the games. Novato, for example, developed “Spec Ops: The Line” in 2012 as a template for a new kind of game, and one which emphasized the emotional repercussions of killing and violence instead of glamorizing these elements (Evangelista, 2013). Other tactics are employed regarding interactive, online games. Jeffrey Lynn of Riot Games was responsible for introducing a new feature in Riot’s videos, in which chat functionality is denied to players who generate excessive negative feedback from others playing (Stafford, 2014). Generally speaking, video makers are uniformly confronting how the parental and social unease is impacting on sales, as the strategies also encompass, if indirectly, corporate social responsibility. As will be shortly seen, Mega-Vid should incorporate such tactics in its own strategy.

To begin with, Mega-Vid marketing should alter its promotional efforts, and for practical as well as ethical reasons. Parents either purchase the games for their children and/or provide the money with which children do the buying. In the past, marketing has usually centered on appealing to the young players, based on the assumption that they will convince their parents to buy the games for them. While this approach is not invalid, more is needed today, and Mega-Vid should add content in its advertising that acknowledges responsibility for modifying any excess violence. The goal is to significantly lessen the stigma attached to the games, and direct concerns expressed by the company will help to address parental and community concerns.

Then, it is also strongly recommended that Mega-Vid video development experiment with the variations on violent gaming as represented by Novato. What is needed here is less of reliance and graphic violence, and more of an emphasis on creativity. A child or teen, for example, will likely be drawn to the game wherein the violence is heroic and protective of vulnerable characters, as opposed to random brutality for is own sake. It is as well understood that these proposals will not completely counter the problem, given the pervasive quality of public perceptions. Nonetheless, the dual strategy of enhancing marketing and creating less gratuitously violent games must help to secure Mega-Vid’s standing in the industry.

The twin strategy proposed should commence with a management involvement with the creative team. That team should be encouraged to exercise greater creativity, and move away from standardized war and combat games. Video developers are not unlike other creative employees, in that they enjoy greater freedom in expanding what they produce. Then, Mega-Vid should offer tangible benefits for developers who devise the most original and appealing games. Violence is not prohibited, by any means, but there is a distinct encouraging of presenting violence that conforms to norms of when and how it is acceptable.

Regarding marketing, it is recommended that Mega-Vid greatly revise its Web presence to emphasize both its commitment to public concerns and the reality of the effects of gaming, in order to educate both parents and children. In plain terms, the idea that violent games invariably promote violence likely persists only because the public is unaware of the realities, as in: “New evidence is emerging that playing any kind of video game, regardless of whether it is violent, enhances children’s creative capacities” (Granic, Lobel, & Engels, 2014, p. 69). Additionally, the Mega-Vid website would feature the new games altering traditional play as only gratuitously graphic, just as these games would still appeal to players seeking action and excitement. It is important that these tactics not be “overdone,” as well; a complete change in the Mega-Vid presence would probably be perceived as an admission of earlier weaknesses. Great care must then be exercised, in that the history of Mega-Vid’s quality and success be in place with its awareness of the need to alter its products.

It is likely that even vast new research supporting no connection between violence and video game violence would have minimal effect on the negative perception of violent games in the society. In plain terms, the association is virtually inevitable, if only because parents and adults witness how eagerly young people turn to violent games. As this reality threatens the industry, and as rival companies develop strategies to address it, so too must Mega-Vid make the efforts necessary to lessen the damage. On one level, the online – and store – presence of the company must work to inform the public of the facts of video game influences. On another, Mega-Vid must emphasize the need for developers to devise new games reflecting violence in more positive and justifiable forms.