Video Game Makers Under Fire

Video games are gunning for the top spot in entertainment. And this year, the industry is expected to win, beating out movies to as the top moneymaker with sales of $7 billion, CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports.

But that doesn't mean they're celebrating at the electronic entertainment expo, the annual industry event to unveil new video games. This year's expo could not have come at a worse time for video makers, who now find themselves the target of public and government scrutiny because of the violent video games they create.

The creators of Quake, one of the violent games played by the teen killers in Colorado, are already being sued by families in another school shooting.

"I think it's always tough when the events of the day put such a focus on a successful part of the business," said video game maker Dave Grenewetzki. "But I think it gives us chance to rethink how we approach this."

But are they? Grenewetzki's game is called Half-Life. The goal is to kill mutant scientists and it's tame compared to other games. The goal of Armageddon is to run over innocent pedestrians.

An industry spokesman says only six percent of video and computer games are the so-called first person shooter games, but the account for almost 20 percent of sales.

"I don't think the makers of video games are being responsible. But quite honestly, there s no motivation in this economy for someone to be responsible," said psychologist Kathy Pezdek.

Nolan Bushell, the father of video games and the creator of Pong, says they've come a long way and serve a useful purpose. "People want to act out, and it's much more beneficial for them to act out in a video game structure than in society," Bush said.

Much more beneficial and lucrative for the video game makers, as well.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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