Civilization V's E3 video pokes fun at the addictive nature of gaming

by: Nathan -
More On: Civilization V
At their booth at E3 this year 2K showed a video clip for the mock civilization addicts support group, called Civ Anon, to advertise the upcoming Civilization V. They put up the video for download and posting so those of us who didn't make it to the show this year could enjoy it. While they say that the video "...had a few chuckles" I wasn't laughing by the time the clip was over.

I've made jokes about addict support groups when I was younger. I used to introduce myself in group settings saying "Hi, my name is Nathan and I'm hooked on phonics". I stopped that after I was taken aside and explained how that comment, though funny, may be seen as disrespectful by someone who was/is in a group like Alcoholics Anonymous. Apparently no one in the 2K marketing department was given a similar talking to.

I have a high tolerance for irreverent humor, particularly when it's over the top and absurd. That said, I stopped thinking this video was humorous at the 1:57 mark. A man stands up and proudly declares to the rest of the Civ Anon members that he "...finally got [his] electricity turned back on". That's not funny, that's real. Videogame addiction is not a trivial thing to be taken lightly. It has real repercussions which, at their most severe, can be fatal. The problem is so prevalent in South Korea that their government has taken direct action to try and fight the problem. By representing videogame addicts as crazy delusional individuals this video is over the top, for the most part. There were just too many moments I found disturbing (like the one at the 2:40) because they hit way to close to the mark.

2K should take a lesson from big tobacco; don't flaunt the addictive nature of your product.