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woodstock pic

Last month marked the 40th anniversay of Woodstock, 3 days of peace & music. Historical acts that are engraved in our minds such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Janis Joplin. People in their late teens and 20s flocked to the scene to practice peace and unity through music. So what does the anniversay of Woodstock have to do with Video Games?

Video games much like music is a form of entertainment media. In fact, the video game industry made an estimated 21.3 billion in 2008, compare that to Universal Music Group at 6.78 billion and Hollywood’s 9.76 billion. Video games have the numbers, and the popularity, but the reputation of the industry and its players is in question. 

Reputation as geeks who escape their everyday lives by engulfing themselves in a virtual reality. But, you say, thats what media is for; People turn on their favorite records to tune out, or they watch a film to release. The difference between music and film compared to video games, is cultural relevance.   There are bands that write songs of protest, and there are movies that portray injustice, but video games hardly take the same stand.

Its time for video game players and companies like Sony, Microsoft, and EA to make gamers aware. EA has held tournaments that raise money, Microsoft gives away money like its old clothes, and Sony also does its part, and DOESN’T. But thats not the point. 


Players engage in tournaments, and buy irrelevant games that send revenue to major companies that inturn give to charities. What we need are the players and companies coming together for a common cause. PSN or XBOX live should release game content in support of protest. For example, something simple as new skins for characters. What if the Zombies in Left 4 Dead were all wearing shirts that said “Hunger,” or “Racism.” We could be slaying zombies to stop suffering. It may sound silly but there are 17 million users on xbox live. Those numbers get people’s attention. More importantly it would entice players to think, “why the hell are zombies wearing T shirts? People are starving? Whats racism?” (I hope everyone knows what racism is, and that it still exists). We need to show as gamers we care because if we stop caring then nothing matters, which includes pwning.