“Just Because They’re Called Games Doesn’t Mean They’re for Children,” Says Haris Orkin, Co-writer of Call of Juarez: The Cartel

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According to the Entertainment Software Association’s most recent statistics, the average video game player is 37 years old and doesn’t live in his parent’s basement.

Ben McCall

Should video game content be judged any differently than films or television when the average video game player is clearly an adult?

“Video games make a convenient scapegoat for social ills just as comic books and rock music did in the 60’s and Hip-Hop did in the 90’s,” claims Call of Juarez and Dead Island co-writer Haris Orkin. “Certain politicians use video games as a political football to distract their constituents from the real issues. They want to make it appear that they are doing something to protect children, but the truth is the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) has a strong rating system in place that gives parents all the information they need and already prevents retail stores from selling children games rated M.”

The U.S. Supreme Court just recently ruled that video games should be afforded the same First Amendment protections as any other form of media. Justice Scalia, who delivered the majority opinion, pointed out that “Like the protected books, plays, and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas – and even social messages—through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot, and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world).”

“Apparently many of these politicians don’t understand who buys video games,” says Orkin. “According to the ESA’s most recent statistics, 82% of video game players are over 18 and 29% are over 50. Some Mexican politicians have called for a ban on Call of Juarez: The Cartel even though it’s rated M for mature and is clearly not for children. Should video game content be judged any differently than films or television when the average video game player is clearly an adult? Maybe it’s the nomenclature that’s the problem. Maybe they shouldn’t be called games, but interactive movies. Whatever you want to call them they are becoming the preferred entertainment medium for a large percentage of the population and those consumers want their games to be just as gritty and dramatic and exciting as any movie or television show. I suppose, eventually, today’s generation will become the politicians of tomorrow and, as video game consumers, they’ll understand that not all video games are made for kids.”

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the third entry in the hit series of video games developed by Techland. Like the previous two titles in the series it was co-written, cast, and voice directed by Radio Ranch Creative Director Haris Orkin and recorded at the Ranch’s own Double R Studios.    

Haris Orkin was nominated for a WGA Award in 2009 for Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is scheduled for release July 19th, 2011.

Double R Studios, located at The Famous Radio Ranch in Sherman Oaks, California, is a full service recording facility specializing in audio for video games, radio, and TV.

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Haris Orkin
Double R Studios
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