Over the last year on Facebook, I’ve been seeing increasingly frequent ads for, and invitations to join, online browser games such as Mobsters, Mafia Wars, Vendetta, S.W.A.T., etc.
In addition to being able to join and play these games, Facebook also gives you the option to either “like” or “report” these ads/invites. These ads come emblazoned with taglines such as “crime pays big!”, “steal a car!”, “get your guns!”, etc. All are an obvious and extreme glorification of casual violence.
For several months now, whenever I see one of these ads/invites, I’ve taken a moment to report them to facebook. From facebook’s dropdown menu, I usually choose “offensive” as my reason for doing so, although when I’m feeling wordy, I choose “other” and then enter “disgusting glorification of violence” as my reason.
Yes, I’ve played violent video games before, and spent many many hours of my life playing at traditional fantasy RPG’s. However, I’ve never gone down to the local mall, stood on my soap-box, and encouraged passers-by to “Kill or be killed”, etc. I’m blindly hoping that Facebook somehow limits these ads to age-appropriate viewers. Even if so, I am offended, and will continue to resist this blatant glorification of violence, just as I vehemently support a nursing mother’s right to publish a photo of her feeding her baby. I hope you will too.