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Ender's Game: Exploitation of Children as a Marketing Strategy?

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posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:42 PM
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So I’m driving down the street, and I see a sign that says, ‘HAIRCUTS $2. I need a haircut, and I happen to have two dollars, so I stop. As I walk in, I recognize that I’m in a cosmetology school, so now I can understand why the haircuts are so cheap.

I sit down in the chair and the young lady asks me how I would like my hair cut. I tell her to picture a soldier and make it look like that. She tells me she doesn’t know what a soldier looks like. I asked her if she’d never seen a soldier on TV or in a movie, she tells me that she doesn’t watch those kinds of things. I tell her that she could use her imagination, to which I received silence and a blank stare.

After some minutes of silence, as she's butchering what is left of my hair, she initiates what turned out to be a very interesting conversation, which went something like this:

"Have you seen Ender's game?"

Now I'm interested. "No, but I don't think I'll like the movie because I've read the book twice. That was the problem with Starship Troopers. Have you seen that movie?"

"No." She replied, "I've read Ender's game too and the movie wasn't as good."

Surprised, I ask, "You've actually read Ender's game?!"

"Yeah, we had to read it this year in school. I'm in high school."

She seemed to volunteer the fact that she was a high school student, I assume as a deflection to what has to be multiple times daily advances and inappropriate comments from some of the clientele that I'd seen in this place on the way in.

So I ask her, "Ender's game is required reading in high school?"

She confirms with a yep, and I just start laughing. At this point I'm just assuming that it's just required reading where I am, which is Utah, and that is probably because Orson Scott Card is a Mormon in good standing with the Church. I didn't think much more of it until later that night when I went to work and related the story to my boss.

He told me that it was a marketing ploy - that the owners of the franchise had made a deal with schools to buy the books at a great discount as a ramp up to the movie release, in order to drum up ticket sales. I was skeptical when I heard him say that, and I still am a bit, although this concept is not one that I would put past an aggressive marketing team.

That said, it does beg the question:

Are marketers exploiting children in order to sell to them a franchise based on a story that deals with the exploitation of children? Not to mention that this kid just kills some folks, both bullies. Is it not also important to note that this is recommended reading for military commanders and junior leaders? What's the real message being sent to these kids?




posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 05:49 PM
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It wasn't required reading when I went to High School (In Salt Lake City) and I graduated in 2008.
Probably just a marketing ploy. I think they approached O.S.C. a couple times for a movie deal, but I heard he always turned them down until recently. I guess he wanted to wait for technology or something.

At any rate I haven't seen the movie, but I know the book is better. It always is.


PS
Personally Starship Troopers (the movie) is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. My parents watched it when I was very little and I wasn't allowed to. My dad let me watch it about a year later. I know the book is better, but the movie just has that nostalgia for me.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 06:08 PM
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I like Starship Troopers the movie for what it is, and I like the book for what it is also, I think they stand alone as their own pieces of creation. I'll probably feel the same way about Ender's Game, but it's been so long since I read it, I don't even know if I really remember correctly how I felt about it. If I read it now, it surely would be a different book. I first read it in high school.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by Mon1k3r
 





Are marketers exploiting children in order to sell to them a franchise based on a story that deals with the exploitation of children? Not to mention that this kid just kills some folks, both bullies. Is it not also important to note that this is recommended reading for military commanders and junior leaders? What's the real message being sent to these kids?


Where have you been for the last x amount of years.

Of course they are. Anything for a dollar.

The message? It's varied.

Smart shy kid can use his brain to defeat any odds?



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by grey580
 


OH YEAH! I remember The Last Starfighter!!!



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:52 PM
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I have every ender saga book orson scott card has, twice. the first enders game around 15 times. I can tel you I thoroughly enjoyed the cerebral tone of the characters mind and motive. Orson is a genius. I have enjoyed his series and most likely will enjoy the movie. I question everything. I havent noticed any "side effects" at all from this. I would, however, suggest reading the book first. Its an estremely good story and way ahead of its time. Its what I would consider to be the best sci fi book coming to life.
edit on 5-11-2013 by mactheaxe because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by Mon1k3r
 


Well, wouldn't you know it, but I did some checking and Ender's Game is required reading in some high schools. Card even hosts an article on the value of Ender's Game as required reading on his site: hatrack.com...

Go figure. I'm not sure how I feel about that because, as much as I enjoy the book, it is quite frankly about child exploitation, sanctioned abuse, and essentially governmental kidnapping. The themes are really actually kind of disturbing when one really thinks about it but then again, I'm kind of an old school type of person who thinks children should be children. It's not being forced on 6 year olds and plenty of teens have read the book over the years so in that case, no harm/no foul. However, making it required reading by an entity of the government. That just kind of chafes me the wrong way. Well, seriously in the wrong way because Ender takes all the abuse and comes out on top. While it's a great tale of strength about Ender, it still doesn't take away the fact that really the government was his ultimate kidnapper and abuser in a messed up world who felt like they needed to put children through hell to save them all. I really am wondering what the heck is up with some of the "kid's stories" these days. Like Hunger Games. That makes Ender's Game look more like Candyland. Kind of vile when you think about it. Interesting for adults but this book was churned out to "young adults" (teenagers).

Marketing exploiting children? They have been for years. That's why they hire child psychologists for their firms. I sure hope that they didn't stick Ender's Game in the classrooms to promote their movie. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time some corporation's charity to our continuously short-funded schools hasn't been used as a marketing ploy (I'm looking at you, Apple.).



posted on Nov, 21 2013 @ 11:23 AM
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WhiteAlice
I'm not sure how I feel about that because, as much as I enjoy the book, it is quite frankly about child exploitation, sanctioned abuse, and essentially governmental kidnapping.


It also supposes that the reason for the exploitation is some inevitable calamity, which is something you can't avoid hearing about every time you watch the news.

Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?



posted on Nov, 23 2013 @ 02:44 PM
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Mon1k3r

WhiteAlice
I'm not sure how I feel about that because, as much as I enjoy the book, it is quite frankly about child exploitation, sanctioned abuse, and essentially governmental kidnapping.


It also supposes that the reason for the exploitation is some inevitable calamity, which is something you can't avoid hearing about every time you watch the news.

Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?


Could be a mixture of the two. The media loves the sensational and fear inducing headlines that promote the sense of chaos and impending calamity. That's how they get our interest. While we are always at risk for some sort of catastrophe, whether it be man made or natural, humanity has this natural inclination towards survival. Iow, our ancestors have probably been through worse.
Rarely does it seem that the media discusses the more likely calamity that we may be facing. They keep relatively quiet about the stories of thousands of dead *insert animal here* and if there was anything of concern on the horizon, well, it would be what is happening to our climate and the effects of those changes, which very, very rarely make headlines unless its "SUPER TYPHOON IMMINENT".

I have little doubt that the government may exploit and groom some children like Ender. Heck, just last year my 11 year old was learning cryptography and number theory. However, in reality, there is no bugger threat. Just *insert current national security threat here*.




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