Sticking To Their Guns

spinstickinggunsfinalSPIN, 2004

With an upcoming onslaught of first-person shooters, including the hotly anticipated Halo 2 and Doom 3, the controversial videogame genre is back- and bloodier than ever. But is it only a matter of time before this ultraviolent entertainment comes under fire again?

Though some adolescent players go unnoticed, it’s largely the young adults and parents who are buying mature games for themselves. “The older audience has discretionary income,” says Gartenberg. “And they don’t have to be driven to the mall to pick something up.” According to an NPD study, 35 percent of all video game players are older than 17, which guarantees a significant audience for M-rated titles, no matter how gruesome or antisocial. “We’re not too interested in popularity,” says Valve’s Lombardi. “If we were, we’d make a Beyoncé game instead of Half-Life 2.”

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