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to feel uncomfortable at the UNICEF 'video game' advert (and not in a good way)?

(5 Posts)
IntrinsicFieldSubtractor Tue 16-Dec-14 14:20:15


I do think it's important that people know these things are happening, and on one level this is clearly contributing to that, given that I'm now sharing it here. But to me there's something really underhand about springing something like this on a group of ordinary members of the public who've paid money to go to a private event for their own enjoyment, then when some of them walk out - for reasons we can't know and before they're even aware that it's a charity pitch - putting their reactions online for everyone to criticise, while implying that they're walking out because they don't want to face the issues in the real world. It's like a more obnoxious version of the pushy charity collectors who stop you in the street, if they filmed people mumbling 'sorry I'm in a rush' and posted the footage online as evidence that their cause was so distressing that no-one was prepared to face it confused

Obviously that's a trivial issue compared to the things they're talking about, but I can't see it encouraging many people to donate, and given the importance of PR to an organisation like this I'm wondering if UNICEF haven't shot themselves in the foot here. Or am I completely overreacting?

TortoiseInAShell Tue 16-Dec-14 14:24:31

Why do you think they walked out?

IntrinsicFieldSubtractor Tue 16-Dec-14 14:34:05

Maybe they thought it was wrong for the 'company' to be exploiting things like this for commercial gain, maybe they didn't like the way he was talking about it in an enthusiastic 'hey, child prostitution, isn't this great!' way, maybe it wasn't the kind of game they were interested in, maybe they realised it wasn't a real game and were annoyed at being tricked into seeing something they currently had no interest in at a time-limited event they'd paid to attend... or maybe they were actually just upset at the idea of these things happening and didn't want to think about it right then. I still don't think it's right to put their reactions online in a 'these people can't face reality' way.

IntrinsicFieldSubtractor Tue 16-Dec-14 14:34:46

(This is all assuming everything happened as shown and wasn't staged, by the way.)

JCDenton Tue 16-Dec-14 17:12:11

I think it's the way it was presented, the guy was bright and breezy (Child prostitution! War crimes! Sounds like fun, right?), presented the game as a first person shooter where you play a 7 year old girl, which obviously implies that there's going to be a child as the protagonist, killing lots of people.

There are games like This War of Mine which show people in hopeless situations and convey the point of view of those suffering which get a very positive reception. I think a tastefully done game about a young girl struggling to survive in a war-torn country could garner a positive reaction and raise awareness.

I don't think the UNICEF guys did a terrible job, I don't think they presented the audience in a poor light at all and it is for a very worthy cause but a fair few people will be annoyed by a bait-and-switch presentation.

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