Gears 5 has blood and violence but no smoking
Published by Giselle
July 13, 2019 4:20 pm
Gears 5 will be the next game in the “Gears of War” saga. The third-person shooter comes on September 10 for PC and Xbox One.
It will receive an “M” rating and offer a lot of violence and blood. But smoking disappears completely from the game after a complaint from an anti-smoking organisation.
Why does smoking disappear? An anti-smoking organisation, the “Truth Initiative”, has approached the eSports League, which holds the broadcasting rights to Gears 5. The organisation wanted to ensure that everything to do with smoking and tobacco would disappear from the game. They got their way.
As Variety reports, there used to be scenes with tobacco in the titles of “Gears of War” from time to time where certain characters smoked cigarettes or cigars. That’s over now.
A representative of the eSports League says the decision to remove all tobacco allusions from Gears 5 has been in progress for months: “It took a lot of time and thorough thinking. It’s the right image for the ELeague and for the game.”
Studio boss says he’s always been against smoking
That’s what the studio says: The head of “The Coalition” Rod Fergusson says he experienced the destructive influences of smoking first hand.
For him, it was always important not to use smoking as a narrative tool, so the conscious decision was made to avoid glorifying smoking and to give it a stage. This applies to Gears 5 and everything else in the Gears of War universe.
Fergusson later stressed on Twitter that he was always in favour of keeping smoking out of Gears of War:
-friends of his had died of lung cancer.
-His father was a smoker and died at the age of 38.
From the Xbox Games Studios, it is said that the decision would be made solely by The Coalition.
Is violence also thrown out? No, there are no signs of that. The representative of the eSport-Liga says that removing smoking doesn’t change the actual game. This implies that lowering the level of violence would change something about the actual game.
First Netflix, now make video game smoke-free
This is what the anti-smoking organisation says: they hope that this example will set a precedent and that other videogame studios will declare that they will refrain from presenting smoking.
It is their declared goal to protect America’s youth from smoking. That’s why they want to ban smoking from pop culture.
The Truth Initiative had already advocated that Netflix, which is so popular with young people, should stop smoking from its series such as “Stranger Things” or “Orange is the New Black”.
They had published a study that smoking increased in the 15-24 age group in 2018.
A famous example where smoking has already disappeared: Starcraft II, the space marine Tychus.