Sony Online Enterprises
Sony online Enterprises (henceforth SoE) previously released an online game EverQuest I. Now it is planning to launch an advanced version namely Everquest II. Though SoE was anticipating high profits and favourable customer response with this new product, SoE had some possible legal issues looming against SoE. In the recent past, in Tampa Florida, the ever quest game was implicated in the death of a young child when the father threw the child into a closet after the child’s crying had interrupted his game playing. The report below analyses whether or not, SoE is justified in releasing it.
Detailed analysis :
Playing video games is a natural trend observed in people nowadays. The advanced graphics and latest technologies attract people of all age groups to this gaming world. Video games are easily blamed by the media and some experts as the reason why some young people become violent or commit extreme anti-social behavior. “Video games change your brain,” according to University of Wisconsin psychologist C. Shawn Green. Playing video games change the brain’s physical structure the same way as do learning to read, playing the piano, or navigating using a map. Much like exercise can build muscle, the powerful combination of concentration and rewarding surges of neurotransmitters like dopamine strengthen neural circuits that can build the brain.
Though it might seem like it is the person’s responsibility for whatever actions he/she does, the fact that SoE’s online game has a significant role and is responsible in part for death, abuse or other personal emotional damage to people.
The authorities should double check the situation and the role that SoE has in the current scenario. Proper investigation should be carried out as to which component of the game would have had huge involvement and impact on a person’s mental state. They should also analyse the impact of their upcoming decisions on the profits earned by the company.
The company should come forward taking up this responsibility of ensuring quality and certified products. Recent studies indicate that there are new ways of analyzing the mental impact caused by games. Company should find such laboratories or technicians who can analyse and give them necessary results.
Though the company directly has no involvement in the death/ damage of people, it should show customers that it is accountable for whatever has happened. This will strengthen the bond that company and customers share, increases the loyalty quotient and helps in strengthening the bondage.
Justice is about “making things right” and leaders must act justly whenever they notice injustice in the team, community, church or organization. If at all in investigation one gets to know that it is purely our fault, the company should be ready to accept this and be ready to face people to answer a few questions. Showing justice enhances the respect for the brand or company.
Make sound and timely decisions:
Use good problem solving, decision-making, and planning tools. Though we react in an appropriate manner, we might delay our decisions. It is important to make a note that decisions are valued when they are taken on time. Announcing deep gratitude one year after the person’s demise makes no sense. If we realize that there is some mistake from our side, it is necessary that we decide on what action to be taken as quickly as possible. It is also important that we dont not make bad decisions in haste. A proper thought must be given and sound decisions are to be taken
Set the example
Be a good role model for you employees in dealing things like this. They will believe what they see - not what they hear. Preaching doesn’t help in a corporate environment. An hour long speech might just turn completely irrelevant to people who have no intentions of paying attention. But definitely people will remember the way you behave and deal things. Be an example as leader with balanced thoughts and high levels of responsibility. One must know how to lead by example.
Measures to be taken :
1> Take a break in production, understand the new requirements to be done and then proceed.Understand if any changes are to be made to the software before coding. Avoid production of multiple copies without changes to reduce the losses. Take a break and then proceed accordingly.
2> Admit the mistake and take necessary action such as change in visuals to create lesser impact and involvement of brain. In this case the necessity of revised code with reduced intensity of graphics and game layout might help reducing the effect on players mind.
3> During allegations, handle media properly. The kind of behavior shown before media plays a very important role in determining the company’s future. Media is a very interesting field where the quest for interesting news always exists. Every player in this field aim for TRP ratings on television. Do not make damaging statements that would lead to bad headlines on a daily newspaper or television channel.
4> Peace agreements have to be made and compensation should be given to families affected by the game. Do not rage the anger among damaged family members. Try to solve things with discussion. Try and make them understand that it is not completely company’s fault. If there is a requirement of any compensation, try giving them that in order to avoid bad image.
5> Do not defend our stance bluntly. Back it up with reasons so that the brand image is maintained. Taking any side and staying strong will create problems either from people’s side or company’s side for sure. The ultimate goal should be to preserve the brand image that has got built up after years of effort.
6> Advertise the precaution of “High involvement or mentally intense ” game along with the gaming software. Also if possible mention the ideal conditions where and when this game has to be played. This might help people make planned choices and let them not blame company later.
7> Keep your people informed. Know how to communicate with your people, seniors, and other key people within the organization. Everyone should stand on the same opinion and report the same to outside people or media.
8> Ensure tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished. Communication is the key to this responsibility. This will always help in solving the problem in the best possible fashion.