Teen-rated video game with smoking set for wider distribution
A video game rated suitable for teens that allows gamers to customize their characters with tobacco products will receive widespread distribution when XCOM 2 is released for PlayStation PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One consoles today.
A 2015 survey from the University of California, San Francisco verified tobacco content in 42 percent of the video games that participants reported playing
XCOM 2 allows players to design how they want their character to look before they set out to defend the Earth from an alien invasion. Players have several options to accessorize their character, including the option to have their soldier smoke a cigar or cigarette.
The game’s creative director said that console game players “have been clamoring to play the game,” according to the Express.
The use of tobacco in XCOM 2 is part of a trend in video games rated suitable for or popular with teenagers. In June, the blockbuster game “Overwatch,” hailed as a possible e-sports phenomenon, came out, featuring a character who smokes cigars.
Last year Truth Initiative documented the widespread use of tobacco in video games popular with youth, and the perception young gamers had of tobacco use in video games. A 2015 survey from the University of California, San Francisco verified tobacco content in 42 percent of the video games that participants reported playing, but only eight percent of those games had warnings from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board indicating tobacco use.