Dead Space 2 – Your Mum Hates It…

Look at the Promoted Trend today on Twitter and you will see #yourmomhatesthis . Any children seeing that would probably be tempted to click on it wouldn’t they? I mean, part of growing up is wanting to rebel against your parents. If Mum says no, you do the opposite. So using that as a way to sell something is a pretty clever idea.

Head over to www.yourmomhatesthis.com and you will see that it is in fact a site promoting the sale of a highly violent and bloody video game called Dead Space 2. As some of you may be aware I am a pretty keen gamer and usually I don’t have a problem with violent / bloody video games because they are aimed at the correct target audience (over 18’s usually) and while younger people will always get hold of these games at least the advertisers have been responsible by not actively aiming it at younger children.

The campaign is not something that is being aimed at the UK as the game does have a 18 certificate and in the US the game is rated as M. Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

The campaign is a few videos of a focus group that consists of middle aged and older women being asked to sit and watch some clips of Dead Space 2.Their reactions are filmed and then they do a little closing bit at the end saying how horrid the game is and why people shouldn’t play the game.

Dead Space 2 Artwork EA

Dead Space 2 Artwork

With the game being intended for over 17’s in the US is marketing it to them saying “your Mom hates this” the best route to go? They have the power to go in and buy it if they wanted to and their “Mom” couldn’t stop them. But if anyone under the age of 17 sees the ads then do you not think they would pressure their parents into buying the game for them? I know what it was like for me when the original Grand Theft Auto came out and I kept badgering my parents to get it for me, eventually they buckle and I’m playing a game that is not intended for me.

“It’s Revolting, It’s Violent, It’s everything you want in a game…And your Moms going to hate it” Is the line that is spoken in the trailer on the web page…That opens up a whole other issue that I could talk about for hours. That is not everything I want in a video game, innovation anyone!?

I have always been someone that has said it’s up to the parents to decide whether they want their children to watch films, play games or listen to music that is aimed at a higher age groups but I just feel that EA using this specific strapline just pushes it towards people who the game is not intended for and it’s a little irresponsible. No doubt it will make money for EA and all publicity is good publicity and at the end of the day that’s what counts but should their marketing campaign not be directed at the age of the people that the game is supposed to be for?

Do you have any thoughts on this campaign? Or do you know of any similar campaigns? Sound off below.

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5 comments

  1. i actually agree with what you’re saying entirely Joe. EA have made a game that is of 18 rating knowing that it will appeal to the younger audience, and that tag line on the advert is sure to get most adolescents interested, I know when I was younger I wanted to watch 18 films, and play 18 rated games just like GTA etc, but then I disagree that games and films can influence children to go and commit crimes and basically copycat what they have seen, now I know this will probably get some feedback, but I genuinely believe it, how can a game influence somebody?!?! Its fictional, its not real, and I think people use games as a scape goat when a parents child has gone off and done something wrong, now I know in some cases this can be true, but there are more underlying issues than “my son played the game MANHUNT” for example and went on a killing spree.

    1. On the Games / Films lead to real life violence debate I, like you, feel that there isn’t a connection in 99% of people. The one who go on kiling sprees or commit violent acts were going to do it anyway regardless of what they played / watched.

      But thanks for your comments Rich, much appreciated.

  2. I do find myself agreeing with you advertising campaigns should definitely not be aimed at the non-target audience its a little underhanded and you would not expect it from a company like EA. I do believe that the parents hold a responsibility to ensure their children are able to process what they are seeing appropriately I see certification as more of a guideline rather than a set in stone kinda thing. There are 18 yr olds that shouldn’t be playing or watching 18 films in the same way there a children who are mature enough at 14 to watch 15/18 rated movies/games. What I will say is that Dead Space was one of the sleeper hits of 2008 fantastically capturing the feeling of great films like Alien and Event Horizon and scaring the shit out of me plus being extremely playable and providing some of the best visuals, gameplay and probably the best game for sound EVER!!! and Dead Space 2 is looking just as good if not better.

  3. I do agree with Joe, this was definitely very clever and very irresponsible. Or am i an old fuddy-duddy at the grand age of 26? I remember when i was in primary school and Jurassic Park came out and my mum wouldn’t let me go to the cinema to see it! Oh my how things have changed, I don’t think blood even existed in computer games at that time – although when Mortal Kombat i LOVED it for the gore. But how ridiculous does that sound now in comparison? Generations before me would be playing with toy Lancaster bombers sticking it to the Jerries – as well now you blast them to pieces in COD Black Ops Zombies.

    I am interested where else this slogan is being used to promote the game – is it the same on facebook? From my understanding of twitter demographics most under-17s still prefer facebook but that is changing day by day.

    I would be interested to know how a body such as the ASA or IAB would handle complaints about promoted hasntags. I may have to find out.

    1. Just had a quick check – http://www.facebook.com/deadspace is the official Dead Space Facebook page, one of the wall posts is promoting the “Your Mum Hates This” campaign and actually asking people to upload their own videos of their Mums reactions to Dead Space 2. I think this is where we would find out exactly who is buying the game and taking notice of the campaign, if a 12 year old is seen on camera and then gets shoddy iPhone footage of their Mum throwing up watching their dear little son/daughter playing then we know it’s being picked up by under age people.

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