Jon Christensen

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Disney CEO Reviewing Its Violence Games; Is Marvel and LucasArts excluded?

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger is taking steps to prevent unwanted violence in his company’s video games, following the tragic school-shooting of Newtown, CT, according to Deadspin.

His quote was from a Q&A at HRTS Newsmakers Luncheon, which also included Hollywood-producer Brian Grazer. “Fortunately at Disney there’s very little [violent content], but I still want to make sure we’re asking ourselves the right questions in terms of that standard,” Iger said, “and also [ensure] we’re willing to be a part of a dialogue in today’s world that I think is pretty necessary in terms of what our role is and what our role should be.

While most seem to agree that Disney has very little violent content in their video-games, they do own a few video-game intellectual properties that could, in theory, be toned-down when it comes to violence.

First, I want to start off by saying I’m not completely sold on the idea that this could happen. I just thought it was striking to hear the Disney CEO admitting he’s rethinking what is considered over-the-line violence in a video-game.

Now when we think Disney, we think of the classic animation films like Cinderella or Pinocchio, and maybe even Pixar films or the newer stuff like 2012′s Wreck-It-Ralph, right? It’s a pretty safe bet when those are turned into a game, the violence is minimal, if any.

But let’s not forget that Disney is now the parent company of Marvel and LucasArts. Now I wouldn’t consider Disney, neither any company that had those rights, to make a violent game out of those I.P.’s, I just wonder what Iger defines as unnecessary violence.

An argument one could make is that Disney owns a bunch of media empires, especially in Hollywood. For instance, up until 2010 Disney was the parent company of Miramax Films. During that era, Disney had final say on what could and could not be released in theaters. And they did elect to distribute the NC-17 film Kids, and Dogma, which questioned the validity of the Catholic Church. And while I’m hopeful that Disney has the same kahunas to publish a video-game that might have violence, I’m not entirely sure they do…at the moment, anyways.

While there is an outcry for all media to tone down the “glorifying of violence,” video games still get the most blowback. It probably stems from the unwarranted public perception that video games are still played by mostly children. And while many of us known that’s false, there’s enough of the populous that believes it, and it becomes newsworthy.

And if Disney’s Iger wants to monitor it, he might want to — for now anyways — make all gaming titles less aggressive. Even if that’s a Star Wars game.

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One Response to “Disney CEO Reviewing Its Violence Games; Is Marvel and LucasArts excluded?”

  1. I doubt there will be much if any change to a Star Wars game. Even when Lucas Arts developed and/or published the Star Wars video games there didn’t seem to be very much violence to them. Certainly not on the level of violence in a modern shooter. Little or no blood when shot by a blaster. Lightsabers that could cut off body parts, but blood didn’t spurt out, etc.

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