Let’s face it, most of us (almost all of us) have played video games at some point in our lives. Some we loved and some we didn’t but we played them nevertheless. The passion of getting to the next stage, winning a football match online or beating your baby brother in an arcade game always gives us Goosebumps. But have we ever wondered that the companies producing these games have to go through many procedures to present us with a final version. Due to some ethical violations, many companies have to face lawsuits and visit the court. Let’s shed some light on what these ethical issues are.
A Bigger Brand Clones Your Game Design
Now before you all jump straight to the factor of copyrights, you should know that copyrights only protects the particular manner of a game writer’s expression in literary or musical form. And it protects the logo of a developer. Copyrights can’t protect copying the same gameplay with advanced features, naming of some characters with changed appearances and etc. The big developers can clone a successful game from a smaller company and by spending the big bucks, make it into a top-notch 4k action game. There is nothing Copyrights can do there because the other company is operating under its own banner.
Unequal Treatment Of Female Characters
You might claim that in the contemporary era, this is not an issue but sadly, it is. Majority of the main characters of the best-selling video games are men (Lara Croft being an exception). Female characters are mostly famous for their stunning looks and being the love interest of the main protagonist which again, is a male character. Now this might not be illegal or unlawful, but it does hurt the sentiments of women who would like a main role in the game. For example, in games like GTA, Mafia and The Witcher, the main characters are always men and women tend to be their partners or love interests.
Conflict Between Game Developers & Arms Manufacturers
If you love first-person shooters like Call of Duty, Battlefield or Counter Strike, you’ll love all the amazing cache of weapons at your disposal. While you might love them, the weapon manufacturers might not. The difference between a 9mm handgun in a video game and in real life is something that doesn’t please the arms producers that much and they might sue the game developers for this. Furthermore, if the game developers ignore to take the license for portraying a specific weapon from its real manufactures, the situation might get worse and both parties end up in the courtroom. Therefore, game developers are ready with their attorneys to offer settlement.
Use Of Violence In Video Games
The title is self-explanatory and talked about a lot. Especially for kids under a specific age, some games tend to be a bit too much. Studies in the US and other parts of the worlds have shown a tendency in kids to be angry and violent who play more aggressive video games as compared to those who don’t. This might not be a hard and fast rule but it’s certainly something to ponder about. Parents are also concerned when their 8 year old is playing gangs based games and beating other characters. Again, this is not officially illegal or against the law but ethically and morally, it’s certainly in the grey area.
The Perennial Issue Of Piracy & Ownership
This issue has been there for as long as video games have existed. Hacking games, making cheaper versions of console games and playing a game without actually buying it all falls under the category of ethical violations. Especially in the USA, there is a strict policy against hacking and piracy. On platforms like Stream, EA Sports, Android and ITunes store, the customers have to buy the games in order to play them (games which are not free). But this has not stopped users and professional hackers from doing their job and providing cheaper alternatives to the customers. Even the game developers have been making tougher policies on piracy and ownership but there is only as much one can do about it. It’s high time other countries start implementing strict rules against game hacking and cloning like the US has done and provide genuine game developers with incentives to produce better and original content.