WARNING: Target showing violent video games for Holiday shoppers to enjoy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 11-20-2005, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I took my children to Target with me today as I shopped for some household necessities. If only I had realized what a mistake that was I would have left them home with a sitter. As we passed the video games, I noticed someone playing a new Xbox 360 game and I glanced over. I was shocked and horrified to see a war game that featured all first person shooting and dead men on the ground. This game was certainly not rated E for everyone. I have found out that this game is called Call of Duty and is rated T for Blood, mild language and violence. I watched for a minute not believing my eyes. I quickly walked over and mentioned my concern to the electronics staff and asked if they could put a different game on for the demo. I explained that I felt that the one currently playing was disturbing and completely inappropriate in a store that caters to families. I was informed that he had no control over the demos. I asked them to call a manager.

While I waited, I ran in to an acquaintance and asked her opinion. We were chatting and a young man around 19 who was playing the game suggested that if I did not like it I should not walk my children past it. Unfortunately it is in the middle of a main aisle and directly on the way to the diapers, and baby supplies as well as toiletries. Not something I can just skip if it is on my shopping list nor should I have to.

When the manager arrived I told her of my concerns. She informed me that it is not something they have any control over as the video game console comes loaded with the demo game. I asked her if she could just turn it off then so as not to offend more guests and she stated that she is incapable of doing so. I was told that since this game is in all 1300 Target stores, I would need to contact corporate headquarters. That will be done during business hours tomorrow.

At the same time I was speaking with the manager, the electronics worker I spoke to came over and told me that it is a history game as it is based on WWII. Apparently he feels that because it is history it is OK for everyone to see and can be considered educational. There are many of things that have happened in history that I do not feel the need to expose my children to at the ages of 2, 3, 5 and 6. Even if I did wish to teach them about the “history”, it should be my right to choose when I introduce such a topic.

I will be contacting local lawmakers and media in my area and ask you to do the same.

Target Headquarters contact info (as given by store manager):
Guest Relations
[email protected]
1-800-303-0308

I also found this phone number on the website: 1-800-440-0680

This incident happened at the store in Livonia, Michigan but it is my understanding, as stated before, that the game is running in Target stores nationwide.
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#2 of 37 Old 11-20-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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tnrsmom,
thx for posting this, especially contact info for easy reference. this stuff really gets me hot under the collar. and i DO shop there. and i DO NOT believe it is enough to just personally find alternative places to shop since the other families who shop there are raising the generation that, along with MY kids, will inherit our earth. and as the bumper sticker says, "if you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention!" why should we just turn a blind eye? who is that benefiting, aside from the video game execs?

i actually just saw this game advertised on one of the TV's at the gym (on a regular-broadcasting, NEWS channel, so yet another reason to be glad we have no TV in the home) and i was appalled! i told DH that i had to scrutinize it because i couldn't tell for quite a few seconds that it was a game and not some real footage of Iraq or something, as the graphics are so...well,... GRAPHIC!

peace begins at home....er....in the target aisles???? ugh...
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#3 of 37 Old 11-20-2005, 11:52 PM
 
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Mama: I am sorry you and other families and children are having to be exposed to this stuff so outright. The people,manager,worker who gave you all the reason they couldnt turn it off might be wondering about this situation I really hope. it drives me so mad that people can be deaf, mute and dumb about this all. It's sick. Every time i go in target and have to go near the video area I wil go quickly and have been known to make remarks simply about the noise level of the t.vs.
The rude teen telling you how you could stay away is point blank example of how spending time 'play-killing' affects a young mind and in the least numbs them to the fact that in reality there are REAL children and REAL moms who Have REAL Rights to be in stores without having to see that.
Now, If i send a letter to target headquarters what do i say? Im going to try to think of how to word it so it sounds valid, strong, and smart.
Thanks for letting us know about this.
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#4 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Kate, ITA about raising the next generation.

lauraess, I will post a reply I received from a friend. She sent the same letter to Target. Just waiting for the OK from her.
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#5 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 12:19 PM
 
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i saw this game the other day too at my local target. it made me a bit ill since we lost a friend in iraq only a few months ago.

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#6 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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They have a commercial for this game that is very violent. We were watching a show on the History channel the other day, and the commercial came on. My 6 yr old brother was there, and I wasn't paying attention, but he started crying! I can't believe they'd show that in the middle of the day. Thx for posting contact info.
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#7 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 01:51 PM
 
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That's ridiculous that they would show a game rated T in a public setting, whether it is in a main aisle or not. Thanks for the information.

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#8 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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Thanks for the info.

Our local Fred Meyer has game "videos" (ads) playing outside their electronics area. The screens directly face the area you make returns at, so there is no way to avoid them if you need to make a return (or buy a gift card, cigarettes, rent a carpet cleaner, etc...). When I complained, though, they *immediately* started working to correct it (contacting the manager of electronics, turning the tvs off, etc...).

 

 

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#9 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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Please let us know what kind of response you get from Target. I'm going there today and if I see the same thing at my local Target I will write a letter as well.

I used to manufacture garments for Target and I have to say the head offices in Minneapolis were very very concerned with customer being happy and they really worked hard on the idea that every shopper should have a positive experience while shopping at Target. That's what brings in repeat customers.

So I'm really interested in what response you get from contacting them.
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#10 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 02:17 PM
 
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I wonder about the numbers of children who are raised at daddy's feet watching this crap from day 1 laying on the living room floor.
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#11 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Just to let you know, pretty much every store that sells the Xbox 360 has this game playing on a display somewhere. Sadly, this is much bigger than just Target.

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#12 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 02:25 PM
 
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Perhaps we need to write to Xbox?
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#13 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 03:53 PM
 
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That is rediculous. Good thing we all watch what our kids play with huh? My son will not play it, thank you mamas

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#14 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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the electronics section of the Target near me is on the far left side of the store. We never go over there and never see anything that is over there. They *do* show videos over by the kids clothes though, which is next to dressing rooms. Usually its some "family movie" like last year I think they showed Elf or something. We didn't watch it or really notice. We can't afford Target very often anyway
I'd be pretty unhappyif some uber violent game was out in some main aisle though.

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#15 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I called Target and was told that they will send the info on to the executives. However, when I asked when I could expect a reply or response, I was told that the execs would not call me. They said that no one would call me and the only way I would know if it was resolved would be by seeing it in the store. Apparently he did not understand me when i said I would not step foot in Target until it has been resolved.
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#16 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Foxxymama, unfortunately it was not just a matter of letting the kids play it. I have a problem with my children seeing it and all the violence could be seen walking by.


Like nova said, the issue is the simple fact that they are showing a video game rated T. Had it been rated E, I would have no problems at all. I do not like all E rated games but obviously this is something much more than an E rating.
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#17 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 05:17 PM
 
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[QUOTE=lilsishomemade]They have a commercial for this game that is very violent. We were watching a show on the History channel the other day, and the commercial came on. [QUOTE]

great, i was afraid this was the case. no TV at home, but DS gets to see it at my mothers and i guess this could mean things like discovery and animal planet channel are not exempt. i have been so pleased with my folks for at least meeting us on the issue of WHAT he watches, since they like to "spoil" (what a word choice, eh?) him by letting him watch things like animal planet with them. and i thought animal planet would only be harmful with all the stinking commercials for toys. who knew that these damn video games were advertised on the otherwise "harmless" channels.
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#18 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lauress, here is the e-mail I said I would post.

A friend replied to my e-mail and CCed Target as well.

Quote:
I was distressed to hear your story. As far as I'm concerned, I will take my Holiday Shopping somewhere else until I hear that this display has been removed. There is nothing more frustrating than a group of "management" letting you know that nothing is within their control. For that reason I am sending a copy of my response to Target headquarters where the decisions are apparently being made. You would think they would know better.

Thanks for the warning. I would be sick to my stomach if my children had seen those images (as would they). Can you even imagine the holiday nightmares they are doling out? My father fought in WWII. How nice that they made his horrific, life-altering experience into a video game which Target chooses to use to promote the holidays. Ugh.
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#19 of 37 Old 11-21-2005, 11:04 PM
 
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I have seen the advertisements for this game and I am completely outraged that they would put that game on a demo machine in a family store such as Target.

Its unfortunate that there are to many people out there that are ignorant to how inappropriate showing this game in a family oriented store is.
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#20 of 37 Old 11-22-2005, 02:22 AM
 
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Thanks tnrsmom

today i went in Target and avoided as much as i could the "area". Just as we were walking through the divider-wall I glanced back to see these huge screens facing out to much of the store in that entire corner and on them were violent games of which I know nothing about as to names.
My dd was within the walkway of the divider so she couldnt see. I really wanted to go over and say something but that would mean my dd would see all of it.

it appalls me that this goes on and everyone is so numb to it.
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#21 of 37 Old 11-22-2005, 10:49 AM
 
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Wow. I wandered over here from browsing the forums, and I am shocked. I guess I never really paid attention before. Someone else had posted that their Target has the electronics to the far left, and that's how ours is, so I don't have to go over there. But just because I don't expose my son to that area doesn't mean that I shouldn't care if other children are, you know?

Thanks for this thread. You sure did open my eyes today.

Oh, and this reminds me, a few months ago we were in Best Buy shopping for something computer related, near all of the televisions. On each set they had the same movie, this nasty, graphic monster type movie. I guess they are just marketing to men? Tsk tsk.

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#22 of 37 Old 11-22-2005, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bex80
But just because I don't expose my son to that area doesn't mean that I shouldn't care if other children are, you know?

Thanks for this thread. You sure did open my eyes today.
Exactly!! Please write a letter to Target regarding your feelings. The only way we will be heard is if enough of us make our feelings known. Thanks mama.

Whether it affects you directly or not, if you believe this kind of marketing is wrong, let someone know!!
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#23 of 37 Old 11-22-2005, 12:10 PM
 
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Grrr, I can't violent stuff...Especially when it's showing in public for everyone to see.

I will write a letter (better in writing) and I may even write to HELP ME HANK (Boston) or other media people that will actually take camera's/tape recorders INTO headquarters to talk to them about it.

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#24 of 37 Old 11-22-2005, 01:08 PM
 
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It is true though that local and regional management can't do anything about it. The people to take it up with are the marketers of x-box and the Target corporate HQ. The reason for this is that that kind of display doesn't usually actually 'belong' to the store. The space is rented out by the vendor and what is done with it is governed by contracts made at the corporate level.

The only people who have either the authorization or in some cases the ability to turn the game off is probably a regional rep for x-box (who doesn't actually work for x-box, but rather for a local repping company).

I worked in an electronics store for a while and either we weren;t allowed to interfere with displays like that or they were password protected sot hey could only be changed or turned off by the reps.
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#25 of 37 Old 11-22-2005, 04:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intentfulady
I wonder about the numbers of children who are raised at daddy's feet watching this crap from day 1 laying on the living room floor.
Agreed... and how much worse is it for those of us who's dh's are the ones playing them and don't see a problem with it It has been a losing argument for me for years... fortunately my dh doesn't play all that often but even a little is too much. I just gently reinforce with my kiddos that violence is not ok.

Shame about the game in Target... poor judgment on the part of the upper management. There are so many other games they could be displaying for a demo. Just goes to show though that everything and anything is always about the almighty dollar. They advertise what's selling and unfortunately that game is hot stuff right now.

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#26 of 37 Old 11-23-2005, 12:20 AM
 
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I'm already boycotting target for other reasons. This just adds more to my conscience reasons of NOT shopping there.
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#27 of 37 Old 11-27-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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I came around a corner at my local Target on Saturday only to find my son about to get on a very bad shoot 'em style game. I have no doubt that this is what the rest of you are experiencing and I will be calling Target to complain. My son knows he's not allowed to play games like this, but it was there and free and the temptation was too much for him. He and I had a long talk going home in the car about our family values.
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#28 of 37 Old 11-28-2005, 09:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milkymommi
Agreed... and how much worse is it for those of us who's dh's are the ones playing them and don't see a problem with it .
I saw that game playing at our local Target, and I said something to DH about how I was surprised how violent it was (the new xbox has realistic graphics). He said "Call of duty, its about World War 2!"

I told him, hey, its in a middle of a Family store (10ft away from the baby food), and don't you think its violent to see someone get shot. He FINALLY got it.

Then again, we don't have kids yet, and he hasn't had to calm down a child after seeing something terrifying. :

FWIW, I once worked at a big box store, and we had to shut off the tv monitor if someone complained about the title that was playing. Im shocked that Target didn't turn off the monitor, but then again it would be cutting into profits.
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#29 of 37 Old 11-29-2005, 03:04 PM
 
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it is so sad, people just dont care. i always get the response"well you cant shelter them forever" it really pisses me off. i dont know where im going to shop for xmas this year! thanks for the heads up though. i think we should write xbox or who ever makes it. they should know we arent happy with them.
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#30 of 37 Old 12-09-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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"But just because I don't expose my son to that area doesn't mean that I shouldn't care if other children are, you know?"


I am sorry-but, since when is it your duty to decide what my children or other people's children should and should not see? If you CHOOSE to not let your child see or play video games such as this, that is your perogative. But, do not dare think that you have the right to speak for the rest of the world and how they view things. That is censorship and last time I looked, this was America where we make our own choices. You choose what you feel is best, I choose what I feel is best. That is what makes this country great. if we start censorship on any level at all, what is to stop it from going further? Should we burn books also because some people might find them offensive?

Again, this is America. If you don't like it, well, then don't look at it, don't buy it or don't use it. But, don't dare think that you have the right to tell the rest of the world how to live or how to raise their children.

Sometimes I can't believe the mind set of people.
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