But, Disney apparently feels it’s an effective way to advertise their new game “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Heavy TV ads during the Thanksgiving weekend featured a dramatic call for youngesters to go out to the site and download cheat codes. You can find the codes at their site – a bit of deep linking, but go to “The Game” and then check out the Cheat code link.
Disney Interactive – The Chronicles of Narnia
Now, cheat codes aren’t anything new – it’s a cultural aspect of many games to mod the game in various ways. Often the developers will hide features or elements that only a special code will unlock. Most notoriously, Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas got caught with their pants down on the Hot Coffee fiasco. ‘Easter Eggs’ are occasionally used as ingenious gaming devices (Animal Crossing used it’s continuously running calendar and clock to track the passing of real time, and would reveal seasonal goodies – snow men, ghosts, fireworks, etc. Their very existence helped create a vibrant Animal Crossing offline culture.)
So, maybe gamermom is simply nit picking on semantics here. (I am, after all, a mom.) But, I think our choice of words is important. If we are becoming a ‘gamernation’, do we want to be also a ‘cheaternation’?
To so blatantly use ‘cheating’ to market a game based on the work of one of our foremost moral thinkers just seems wrong. This should be a game taking the rich narrative of Narnia and turning it into an interactive experience for children to exercise their own courage and wisdom. That should be enough to provide a very compelling platform for a truly transformational experience.
“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”
I would argue that a brilliantly designed game might to do the same. That by drawing from a rich tapestry of mythology and cultural narative, games might in their own fasion enrich our lives.