I find myself drawing comparisons between two promotional videos I’ve watched recently—one for Mass Effect 3:
And one for the experiment called Kony 2012:
I have no problem admitting that I’m a sucker for good advertising. I find the ME3 promo exciting. It makes me want to take part, though the game would cost me time and money and its primary offering is mere recreation. The promo’s creators have done a very good job of manipulating me by exploiting my capacity to be moved emotionally.
Now it seems to me that those who feel compelled by the Kony video to take part in its experiment have likewise been manipulated and I wonder how many of them realise that.
So I think the creators of both videos have done their jobs very well, but I also think that the intentions of the creators of the former video are more justifiable than the intentions of the creators of the latter. Many people—many Christians in particular—wouldn’t easily accept the proposition that the marketing activities of a for-profit company whose product is video games should be considered more righteous than those of a charity whose mission is to promote justice in third world countries, but I intend to make that case. I’ll begin in part two.