Monday, March 28, 2016

Remove Mobile Strike Video Advertisements

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PTSD Foundation of America: The Statistics
While I was recently relaxing, playing a cartoonish game on my IPad called "Plunder Pirates," my game was interrupted by a video advertisement for another game called "Mobile Strike."  It was a very disturbing video, to say the least.  The video included exploding tanks and jets, assassination by snapping another person's neck, and moment after moment of the sights and sounds of combat violence.  After the video ended, I was prompted with the option of purchasing the game.  I declined, and my silly little pirates on their silly little pirate island returned to the screen.

That this advertisement runs as an interruption within a non-violent simulation game is beyond reprehensible: It is irresponsible.  For the sake of all combat veterans and their families, I urge game makers and promotional companies to immediately cease creating games and promotional videos that cold potentially trigger dangerous symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans.  War, assassination, and combat violence are not "games" that should ever be advertised, unannounced, to unsuspecting players of very different game genres.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, through the National Center for PTSD, reports that "about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime," "about 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year," and "about 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF [Operations Iraqi Freedom] or OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] have PTSD in a given year" (2016).  Furthermore, and more to the point, they also report that "veterans with PTSD may be even more likely to see their PTSD symptoms get worse if they are exposed to reminders that are similar to their experiences in the military" (2016).  In other words, because of the sheer numbers of Americans combat veterans currently coping with combat-related PTSD, there is a distinct and probable possibility that veterans with combat-related PTSD are not only seeing these advertisements, unannounced, but also being affected negatively by those advertisements, which contain realistic reminders of combat moments that may have contributed to their PTSD.

Just as undeniable as the effect the Mobile Strike videos are having on veterans is that these videos are having an effect on their families, especially spouses and children.  According to the Family of a Vet Web site (2007), "Thirty-nine percent of those who live with a veteran who is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder will develop Secondary PTSD (also known as STS or Secondary Traumatic Stress)." Specifically, children might take on the stressors and triggers of a parent with PTSD, might take on the role of caretaker, or might withdraw and begin exhibiting stressful behaviors in school (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 2016). 

When taken into consideration that Plunder Pirates was named one of the best games in 2014 (Midoki, 2015), it stands to reason that combat veterans, spouses of combat veterans, and children of combat veterans are probably playing that game, and they are probably unexpectedly being faced with Mobile Strike videos, a potential combat PTSD trigger.  When taken into consideration that Plunder Pirates in only one game and that Mobile Strike was featured as an advertisement during the Super Bowl, it is more than probably: It is an undeniable certainty that veterans who suffer from PTSD and their families have unwittingly been subject to Mobile Strike's videos, a combat PTST trigger.

The Mobile Strike game makers and promoters cannot deny the numbers of former soldiers and American families their realistic, violent, and dangerous videos are affecting.  Each and every time these videos play, it is possibly a trigger for serious symptoms of combat PTSD.


References


  • Family of a Vet (2007). Secondary PTSD in Children. Retrieved from http://www.familyofavet.com/secondary_ptsd_children.html
  • Midoki (2015). Plunder Pirates.  Retrieved from Plunderpirates.com
  • PTSD Foundation of America (n.d. ). The Statistics. Retrieved from http://ptsdusa.org/what-is-ptsd/the-statistics/
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2016). PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp


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