Are video games glamorizing tobacco use?
New Truth Initiative® research underscores concern about the glamorization of smoking in video games with a survey that shows tobacco use is rarely portrayed negatively in video games.
Participants in a Truth Initiative study of video game players said that they felt tobacco, or nicotine, was portrayed negatively in only 6.5 percent of games where tobacco use appeared. The survey respondents — 200 video game players aged 18 and over — reported that 93.5 percent of video games showing tobacco use portrayed it in a positive or neutral light.
This research supplements the annual Truth Initiative report “Played: Smoking and Video Games,” which details why smoking in video games is a public health problem.
truth® partnered with WWE on the release of its WWE2K18 game, which contains no tobacco use.
Not all games include tobacco imagery. Earlier this year, truth® partnered with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. on the release of the newest game in its popular wrestling series, WWE 2K18, which debuted on Twitch, a community gaming platform with three famous gamers.
"Anyone in the public eye, whether a Twitch streamer or a professional wrestler, needs to understand that people look up to them and that their actions have both consequences and influence,” said one of the gamers involved in the launch, who goes by the name Fairlight Excaliber. “It was great to work with truth in an atmosphere where we can show people that being as tough or as cool as a WWE superstar doesn't require smoking."