Madworld vs NIMF! Interview with GameTrailer’s Shane Shatterfield

Recently, the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) stated their concerns with the release of the game MadWorld for Wii. NIMF stated that Nintendo has "shed its 'family friendly' reputation with MadWorld's release." The President of NIMF, Dr. David Walsh, also stated, "In the past, the Wii has successfully sold itself as being the gaming console for the entire family and a way to bring family-game nights back into people's living rooms. Unfortunately, Nintendo opened its doors to the violent videogame genre. The National Institute on Media and the Family hopes that Nintendo does not lose sight of its initial audience and continues to offer quality, family-friendly games."

We were fortunate enough to receive comments from Shane Satterfield, Editor and Chief of GameTrailers, who provided his comments on the subject. Shane and GT have been covering MadWorld since its announcement last year.

Why do you think NIMF is targeting MadWorld as damaging Nintendo's
reputation when clearly other violent games have appeared on the system,
i.e. Manhunt 2, Resident Evil 4, Red Steel.

It's simply a matter of a lack of knowledge. Dr. David Walsh just
doesn't realize that games just as violent as MadWorld have been
released for Nintendo consoles for years now. You'd think he'd do a
little research before making such damning statements about a
corporation. It also appears he's holding Nintendo to a different
standard than Sony or Microsoft, which isn't particularly fair. Where
does it say on the Wii's packaging that it's only made for kids?

Do you personally think Nintendo is ruining their reputation with the
release of MadWorld?

On the contrary, Nintendo is maximizing its earnings potential for the
Wii. It has a bit of a reputation for not having as many adult-themed
games as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Slowly but surely it's changing
that perception with games like Manhunt, Resident Evil, No More Heroes,
and MadWorld.

Do you believe Nintendo should continue expanding all types of games
on the Wii, from E to Mature?

As a company, it's your objective and responsibility to your stock
holders to become as profitable as possible. Therefore, Nintendo should
always strive to make games that appeal to everyone. It's the
responsibility of the ESRB and parents to make sure mature-rated games
don't end up being played by kids. Watchdog groups like the NIMF always
try to use the creators as scapegoats for things like this, even though
all the systems are in place to make sure M-rated games are only played
by adults.

What do you think it is about this game that makes it so appealing to
a more hardcore audience?

A lot of things make MadWorld appealing to the hardcore player. For one,
it's not a mini-game collection like a lot of Wii games. It's an action
game, and action games almost always resonate with the hardcore. It has
an incredible art style and looks like nothing else on the market.
People who play a lot of games are always looking for something
different. It's also unrelenting in its content, which is pretty rare in
the medium, and again, the hardcore players always gravitate to
something different.

Do you think the concerns NIMF have are valid?

I do not think that the NIMF has a leg to stand on here. Why single out
Nintendo when Microsoft and Sony have been making billions of dollars
off games like MadWorld for years? It's just another case of passing the
responsibility of raising children onto someone else. If parents really
care about their kids, they'll monitor what they play and refuse to buy
them M-rated games. Or better yet, they'll use the parental controls
installed on the Wii console to make sure it's impossible.

What advice can you give to parents that are concerned with MadWorld
being released on Wii?

I can't imagine why any parent would be any more concerned with MadWorld
being released for the Wii than they were for Gears of War 2 being
released for the Xbox 360 or Resident Evil 5 being released for the
PlayStation 3. Nintendo should not be held to different standard simply
because it's more successful at creating quality family entertainment
than its competitors.

A special thanks to Shane Satterfield for taking the time out to answer our questions!

(and thanks to our own Nikole for throwing me some questions of her own!)