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Shock Game Advertising 93

Lost Garden has a good look at some of the more tasteless media marketing that has been foisted on gamers, and what the willingness to shock for sales means to the industry as a whole. From the article: "When I look at many games and the sorry advertisements that reflect back their pitiful value, I see people mechanically spewing out 'more for the sake of more.' A game that only offers perfectly modeled bullet paths or the ability to murder beautiful women is a waste of talent and a blight upon our industry. I say this not because I'm morally opposed to such content, but because it doesn't accomplish anything worthy for the customer, the industry or our industry's wonderful developers." The ad that specifically caused him to write this was one for 'Hitman: Blood Money', in April's EGM. It's pretty darn tasteless; Why would a beautifully made up woman with a bullet in her brain make you want to buy a game?
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Shock Game Advertising

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  • My reaction.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:14AM (#14931631) Homepage
    When I saw that in PCGamer.. my first thought was "That looks like the chick from Sin City, I wonder what game this is?"

    If the ad makes you stop and look at it, they win.

    Weren't you the same people saying "Games aren't real"? Well, they're not. Stop bitching.

    And how is this any different than showing monsters being shot in the face area by our manly hero's giant gun?
    • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:16AM (#14931641) Journal
      And how is this any different than showing monsters being shot in the face area by our manly hero's giant gun?

      Showing "beautiful woman being shot in the face are a by our manly hero's giant gun" would fall astray of the anti-pr0n groups...
    • Re:My reaction.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Errtu76 ( 776778 )

      If the ad makes you stop and look at it, they win.

      I'm not so sure about that. Yes, it makes you stop and look. But then? If i see an ad, promoting a magazine by displaying it on a ton of fresh poop, i will stop and look as well because it stands out from the crowd. But that's not a guarantee that i'll buy it. In fact, if my line of thought goes something like this "Hm, nice magazine ... probably .. but wtf is up with that pile of poo? I'm not even going to check out the magazine, because this promises lit

    • Re:My reaction.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Half a dent ( 952274 )
      "If the ad makes you stop and look at it, they win."

      If you stop and look then the ad has fulfilled the first part of it's job - it has caught your attention. Now that you are looking the ad has to be able to increase your awareness of the brand/product in question - how many times have you thought "that was a cool advert, I wonder what it was for"? Thirdly it has to translate awareness into sales - you have to go and buy the thing.

      So the order of events of a successful ad should be, "WTF is that?", "Oh, i
    • Anyone can give a link to this shocking image? :)
    • Re:My reaction.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LarsWestergren ( 9033 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:37AM (#14931873) Homepage Journal
      If the ad makes you stop and look at it, they win.

      I'm beginning to think some ad agencies are populated by sociopaths...

      In Sweden 6 months ago or so, stickers with "free x" popped up in many places, they were similar to posters by for instance the Red Cross or Amnesty international calling for the humane treatment and release of political prisoners. Only this person x (forgot the name) on the stickers was the character in a PS2 game, it was a promo by the publishers using peoples concern about real issues of torture and imprisonment by dictatorships to draw attention to a fucking game. Real tasteful!

      I'm not calling for a ban here, I'm just wondering out loud if they are completely void of empathy and human feelings. Pretty timely article too, today news organizations in Europe are reporting that one ad agency used a convicted paedophile [] to jokingly advertise for childrens' theatre tickets...

    • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:09AM (#14932003)
      And how is this any different than showing monsters being shot in the face area by our manly hero's giant gun?

      Of course I can't speak for what it's like where you are from, but here on Earth, "monsters"=="teh Bad," and beautiful women are entities to be nurtured and protected. I'm no socio-anthropologist, but I seem to recall it having to do with primal instincts and survival of the species. And the whole evil monster thing has got legs deep into heroic mythology and race memories and such; I'd say that you and the rest of your "People for the Ethical Treatment of Monsters" troupe have your work cut out for you if you're really intent on having the image of a slain frost dragon register with the same impact as the depiction of a beautiful woman with a bullet in her head.

      But, hey, good luck with that, let us know how it works out...

    • What makes me look at games is a game that I actually haven't played already. I just beat Chibi-Robo. It's the first game I actually payed full price for and bought on opening week. I'm very happy with my purchase. $60 for 30 hours of entertainment. And I still have probably another 10 hours to play before I beat all the side quests. What made me buy it was the reviews, advertisements, all making me think this was actually a new game, and something that would be interesting. Another game that I found
    • Re:My reaction.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by exick ( 513823 )
      Weren't you the same people saying "Games aren't real"? Well, they're not. Stop bitching.

      The contexts of the "games aren't real" argument and that of the bitching in the article are different.

      When the industry is fighting the government over regulation of content and legislation of sales, they're defending their rights. Regardless of the tastelessness or immorality of game content, the industry has the right to make and publish that content without government interference. The "games aren't real" argu
  • customers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aichpvee ( 631243 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:15AM (#14931635) Journal
    I like how he actually called the customers "customers" instead of "consumers". That's right bitches, we're not just mindlessly consuming your bullshit. We're fucking PAYING for it!

    I don't know where this distinction got lost but it seems to be part of the problem we face of corporate executives feeling entitled to our money whether we want to pay for their products or not.
    • I'm curious where you picked this sentiment up. I've been in "consumer" marketing for a long time, and it means something very specific to us-- that the "customer" is not-for-profit and is the end-user of the product. It was never meant to be a derogatory term. Consumer Reports, Consumers Union, National Consumers League, etc are all examples of groups that embrace the rights of the household.

      If I were to guess, most people who get upset about the term consumer are equating it with consumerism/materialis
  • Confusing article... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaestroSartori ( 146297 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:33AM (#14931674) Homepage starts off talking about the marketing, yeah, but ends up saying the content of the games should be different so they can be marketed better.

    It really *is* just that games are often marketed very badly, in particularly tasteless ways. For instance, here in the UK: whoever was responsible for marketing the Burnout franchise pre-EA pulled off some stunts like a "Top Ten Celebrity Car Crashes" featuring Princess Diana and Mark Bolan. Public outcry, free publicity, and a lot of negative coverage in the press. Followed up by an offer to pay all speeding tickets on the day of the game's release, to even more outcry including from the police and government.
    • That masterstroke was by none other than Akklaim, the company that had some seriously depraved advertisments before they went bankrupt about a year or so ago. Case in point - they asked cemeteries if they would be willing to put advertisments on tombstones for "Shadow Man - 2nd Coming". And then they offered a $10,000 reward for one set of new parents to name their kid Turok. Oddly enough, they were very effective at advertisements a decade ago - one of the major reasons that game releases are now treated
  • Really (Score:2, Funny)

    by mgblst ( 80109 )
    I was flipping through my copy of EGM with my fiancé just the other day.

    Really, what is his name? Come on, outrage over gratuitous violence is one thing, but this is a little bit pansy isn't it. Along the same vein as the UK banning the Austrlian 'bloody' adds, a backlash by the over-sensitive crowd. Just what we need.

    The fact is that a lot of games are about violence, and shooting people. If it is the advertising that bothers you - then that is a problem for you. Perhaps it is the fact that you are
    • Re:Really (Score:3, Informative)

      Thing is, everyone is completely free to choose what games they expose themselves to. Exposure to ads, on the other hand, are more or less involuntary, and the fact remains, not everyone is thrilled by a picture of a woman with a bullet in her head.
      • Re:Really (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mgblst ( 80109 )
        I see this as not so much of a shock, but rather a steady and predictable progression of advertising. You can only really be shocked by something like this, if you come to it from outside our culture. Every year you could pick out an example of where "shocking" advertising has produced something "deplorable". Getting all excited about it right now is a little bit useless. Might as well complain about scantily clad women selling products - no, that is just because you are more used to it.
  • by djsmiley ( 752149 ) <> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:41AM (#14931701) Homepage Journal
    People play games because they then become powerful....

    Have you EVER, EVER played a game where the world DIDN'T revolve around you? Where you wern't the guy that had to pull the trigger.... Where you wen't the guy that if you didn't deliver this scroll to the dragon knight by the first full moon the entire world will die?

    Even teh sim games (sim city, etc) do this, if you fail, the people blame you, not the rest of the goverment, or other gods whom they could worship.

    Games make us feel like we make a difference.
    • by AlXtreme ( 223728 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:12AM (#14931789) Homepage Journal
      Games make us feel like we make a difference.
      Except maybe MMORPG's? In games like EQ, UO and WoW you are just one cog of the machine. In these games, the world doesn't revolve around you any more than the real world does.

      Maybe that also explains the addictiveness of MMOG's: everyone is trying to make a difference, yet only few can actually accomplish something new. Quests et al are nothing more than synthetic sugar: they eventually reset anyway, so others can accomplish exactly the same.

      • Except maybe MMORPG's?

        No, they're pretty much the same. In World of Warcraft, everyone does the same life/village/city/world saving quests. It adds a new level of absurdity to the "world revolves around you" level of play because it happens in the same game world.

        "Hey, I just killed the evil Sir Killsalot and saved the town of Redwood!"

        "Me, too! I did that last week!"

    • Actually Planetside (and any other team-based, PvP, mutliplayer game, to a lesser extent) is a really good example of a game that doesn't revolve around you. Your actions may, or may not, make a difference to the world.

      Of course this makes those occasions where you *do* change the course of the battle especially worthwhile, not least because of the potential to receive recognition of your contribution from your peers.
    • There is a reason that in computer games the world revolves around you. It would be a waste of computing power and memory if it didn't. :)
      Ofcourse exceptions are multiplayer games.

      Ok the statement i said is false, the computing may revolve round you but the perceived game doesnt need to follow.
    • by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:03AM (#14931980) Homepage


      No matter what you do, the bricks just keep falling.

      And nothing you can do can ever change that. NOTHING.
    • How can you consider it to be about power over something when the game doesn't really give you power because power is something a little mre arbitrary in real life, whereas games have clearly defined rules that you work with/around. It's not about power.
  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:43AM (#14931709) Homepage Journal
    I'm still waiting for John Romero to make me his bitch.
  • link to the ad? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hakubi_Washu ( 594267 ) < minus berry> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @07:59AM (#14931749)
    I would prefer having a look at it, so I can understand what the ruckus is about :-)
  • Not just Games (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:36AM (#14931868) Homepage
    ... but the entertainment industry in general.

    Anyone else notice that movie previews are becoming less and less reflective of the actual movie?

    For example, take the recent film Jarhead. Anyone who saw the preview of that, with it's thumping "Jesus Walks" soundtrack and huge explosions, would probably be expecting to see a Blackhawk Down style action-oriented war film. Anyone who saw it knows this is *far from the truth*. While it was a great movie, it was absolutely nothing like it was portrayed in the preview.

    This is just one example. I can think of other times where the same film was made to look like an action movie in one preview, and a romantic comedy in another.

    It's kind of sad that nowadays you really have no idea what the premise of the film is until you go see it, or look it up on a trusted review site. All it takes is for you to be burned once this way before you become cynical about films at the theatre altogether.
    • I can think of other times where the same film was made to look like an action movie in one preview, and a romantic comedy in another.

      See here [] for a wonderful example of that :)
    • The previews for "Fight Club" made me completely write it off. The only reason I watched it was that an online rating system said it was certain I would love it, and I found that so unlikely I had to test it out.
    • I think you misinterpreted that preview, and horribly at that. Just off the top of my head, the main focus of the 'exploding stuff' shot wasn't the explosion. It was the character not flinching. After seeing the preview for the first time, my best friend and I both added it to our lists of 'must-see' movies, knowing - just from seeing the preview which you so horribly misunderstood - that it was going to be Desert Storm's answer to Vietnam's "Full Metal Jacket." Whether it met the challenge is up for de
    • Like fucking Pearl Harbor []. I remember thinking, 'Oh sweet, war movie about Pearl Harbor!' after seeing the previews, but got some shitty love story instead.

      I hate that movie.
    • What about Galaxy Quest which was made to look like a cheesy kid's movie and turned out to be one of the most intelligent sci-fi spoofs ever made? How many people never gave the movie the chance because the advertising for it was so terrible?

      • After seeing a couple recent Tim Allen movies, I'm thinking that Galaxy Quest is probably his best movie by far. And by far, I mean like a parsec...or four.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:38AM (#14931875)
    Just that simple.

    The target audience for those games is quite easy to spot. It's for one the young, pimple-faced not-yet teenager who wants to show off that he can stomach it when he's ripping some guts out of someone's body (well, virtually at least). And that he gets away with playing a game that's 18+.

    The other target audience is the gamer that doesn't care about content as long as there's enough blood dripping out of his screen. He enjoys the shock elements. To a point, so do I, but for example Doom 3 (or was it 4? They start to get blurry when they're essentially all the same) was no shocker. Yes, it was dark, yes, it was jumping me, but it was PREDICTABLY doing that. Open the door and yes, a monster WILL jump you.

    It's no suspense and shock when you KNOW it happens.

    But making guts sputter out realistically is easier than making a good game with content. Flying guts "only" need a good graphics artist (not wanting to belittle you guys, good artists are rare, but once they know their trade, they're really good at creating freakingly real effects).

    For good and exciting gameplay, you'd have to invest more work. You need someone who designs the balance. Is (thing A) in balance with (thing B), comparing their strengths, weaknesses, availability and hardships in aquiring them? You have to spend time playtesting, you have to double and triple check for bugs, loopholes, cheats and exploits.

    No such thing if all you concentrate on is eye candy. Worst thing that could happen is a pixel error, a faulty texture or a blur where there should be none. But nothing that disrupts gameplay altogether. And all that without lengthy testing.

    Or worse, risking creating something REALLY new and having it bomb. Game studios rely on tested, well selling genres. Shooters and strategy, strategy and shooters. Mix in a handful of sports game (one per year from a well known sweatshop in western USA) and you have the current lineup of computer games.

    Adventures? Take massive time for scripting and making an actual adventure.
    Turn based strategy? No market and incredibly hard to make interesting and balanced.
    Flightsim? Try to hold a candle to MS-FlightSim and INCREDIBLY risky while you need a ton of GOOD and physics-savvy proggers to make it fly (literally).

    So face it, we're stuck with shooting things and building stuff up to bomb it down. With the occasional gem, which invariably gets bought up by EA and milked 'til you can't stand it anymore.

    Or does anyone still play The Sims?
    • All wrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:55AM (#14931954) Journal
      This is Hitman. Have you ever played any of the Hitman series? For people who like stealth games there's nothing wrong with "more of the same" and they aren't really interested in the brain splatter and visual effects. All the ad needs to tell them is "New Hitman is to be out really soon." All the rest is a filler.

      The specifics of stealth-based games is that they have pretty low replayablity factor but are really one of a kind experience the first time you play. Thing is each mission is unique, but there are only so many ways to solve it and once you learn them all there's no reason to try again. So simply the more missions the better. The improvements to previous Hitman series are moot. A good mission pack would do.

      These games are great in the way they provide thrill, fear. They require finese, not power, caution, not speed, thinking, not shooting. They are puzzle games, not FPS/3PS. So we all already know and love Hitman and we don't give a shit about a beautiful bitch killed. We know the gore is not real, the bitch is just a bunch of polygons and it's all a game. But we don't give a shit, it's a challenge of wits between us and the level designers, following small hints, trying to solve their puzzles, timing actions, acting responsibly and cautiously. The challenge is everything, and each level is a new one. Shocker factor? We don't give a shit. Maybe some kids will get attracted, maybe some journalists will get repulsed. For us, hardcore stealth games players one thing is important in the ad: new Hitman is out.
      • Splinter Cell 3 is pretty replayable. It does a great job of making its missions solvable with a wide variety of techniques.

        Frex: I made it through the game without killing anyone that the mission didn't require, and I never used the sniper rifle. Often this required a great deal of trickery and luck to pull off.
      • Re:All wrong. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 )
        Yes, and I loved it. I also loved IGI.

        FPS games are so much more fun when your goal isn't to go Rambo-style through the level and wade to the heels in blood, but actually try to find your way past, sneak, disguise, hide, wait. And all of that AFTER you spent the time necessary to figure out the hole in their security path and the dead angles of surveillance cams.

        But in such a game, I don't care about blood. It's not like I see his guts spill anyway when I shot him from a mile away with the SVD. What matters
      • for us, hardcore stealth games players one thing is important in the ad: new Hitman is out.

        Hah, I scoff in your general direction! REAL stealth-game players play only Thief, a series of games that does stealth gameplay and level design better. They dared to make a more mature game that doesn't try to titilate with tits and gore. On harder levels, you are requred NOT to kill, knock out or even get spotted by anyone to succeed.
        • I was thinking this. Thief is a superior stealth game, and it doesn't resort to pandering like the Hitman series. Thief has a level of maturity that has earned my respect, so I'm sold on it. Hitman always seems like it's been marketted to 12 year-olds, so I couldn't care less about it.
        • Oh, but I agree. Thief is superior. But there's only so much of Thief. Once you mastered it, you start other stealth games and Hitman isn't all that bad :) There are very few decent stealth games on the market and if you like the genre you're likely to have them all and await any new title impatiently. Sure next Thief or something would be even better, but if we get new Hitman, so be it, we'll enjoy Hitman (and not killing anyone outside those you need to kill is scored too).

          Generally, in Thief the idea is
      • Might I just point out that Hitman 2 (the last one I've played) was incredibly replayable. When I wasn't doing the missions over and over taking the many different paths in said levels, I was collecting all the weapons. Other than that, everything you said I agree with. There is definitely a heart-stopping thrill connected to the stealth games that I find keeps them fresh. It reminds me of one time when I was playing Splinter Cell 1 and had pissed away all of my ammo and was reduced to trying to headshot p
        • Nope, it's not "incredibly replayable", it has a moderate, fixed replayablity level. (unlike, say, Half-Life 2 which has about none, or Counter-Strike which has huge one.) You replay just enough to collect all weapons, and not really much more. You may try some new tactic if you design any, and at least once try the 'texas chainsaw massacre' approach to each level, but usually once you did all there was to be done you don't return.
    • Does anyone stillplay the sims? Yes, 10's of thousands of people. many of whom you'll find here: [] Just becuase the game has moved on doesn't mean people have. Many of the people who play it cannot afford the rather steeo upagrade path required to make Sim2 run smoothly. not to mendtion the fact that you can't take your families with you. I realise you were just being facetious, but in reality, many people play both. I still have both installed on my PC, and still flit from one t
  • staying far, far away from gaming magazines. Except "Computer Games Magazine," since they tend to be tasteful, and the articles are very competently written.

    As for everything else, I've even stopped buying PC gaming magazines to read during long flights. It's EMBARASSING to be reading something with 'hawt decaying undead chix' splayed lewdly across the front and back covers, especially in a crowded airport.
  • (continues screaming, see above)
  • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:06AM (#14932389) Homepage Journal
    I was flipping through an early 90s game magazine the other day and saw a doozy. The ad was for a pinball game called Balls of Steel. It showed a woman's arm holding 2 large steel balls and the caption said "You need these to play". That one spawned a lot of complaints.

    You have to apprciate the reasoning of such ads, though. They're placed in magazines and they know people just flip right past them so they have to put something engaging enough to make them stop flipping for 3 extra seconds. That Hitman ad is indeed pretty bad though. Their previous ads just showed the bald monkey protagonist looking placid. I guess you need sex in ads even if it's, er, dead sex.
  • It's pretty darn tasteless; Why would a beautifully made up woman with a bullet in her brain make you want to buy a game?

    What a mornoic statement. I keep thinking more and more that except for Taco, its the editors that hold slashdot back. If it weren't for the great user base and the comments, I'd be on digg all the time.

    And why is this statement moronic? Because its just a throw away. Why would you want to buy a game where you put a bullet in ANYONE's head? This is simulated murder. Once you get past tha
    • People that play these love to kill. Even casual users love to play these sorts of games from time to time. And first person shooters, and lets be blunt here, is mostly about murder.

      I usually don't respond to blatant trolls, but I can't let this horseshit slide. First, I love to play FPS and 3PS, yet I don't love to kill. I have never killed anything higher up the foodchain than a fish in real life, certainly not a person or even a warm-blooded organism. In fact, I'm repulsed by actual killing and viole

      • I usually don't respond to blatant trolls, but I can't let this horseshit slide.

        I'll ignore this.

        First, I love to play FPS and 3PS, yet I don't love to kill. I have never killed anything higher up the foodchain than a fish in real life, certainly not a person or even a warm-blooded organism.

        Well but this is EXACTLY the point I'm making. None of us would ever do these things in real life. But obviously when it comes to gaming many of us do. Lets start with your definition of murder:

        the unlawful killing
        • I've played every incarnation of GTA (except the handheld ones) and I just have to point out that women were never targeted in them, and I have yet to see a part where a woman gets beaten/raped/killed/robbed/murdered/run over/brutally maimed/set on fire/or shot. so what's all that hullabaloo about?
    • "A game that only offers perfectly modeled bullet paths or the ability to murder beautiful women is a waste of talent and a blight upon our industry." I find the implication that it'd be ok to kill an ugly woman a little strange.
  • by DesireCampbell ( 923687 ) <> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:11AM (#14933062) Homepage
    "Finally, we happened about a vivid image of a violated female corpse with a bloody bullet hole gaping in her forehead. Ah, the delightfully rank odor of publicly condoned misogyny"

    And you wouldn't bat an eye if it was a man. Ah, the repugnant stench of publicly condoned hypocrisy.

    Just because a woman is killed doesn't mean the murderer is misogynistic. Maybe her sex had nothing to do with it.
  • Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @12:23PM (#14933924) Homepage
    As an ad exec, I'd like to comment on this story and some of the posts I've seen.

    First, I have in my hand the ad in question. As to its content...well, anybody who thinks that they're trying to sell sex in this game is an idiot. The image of the woman is to play off the headline which is "Beautifully Executed". Yes, the woman is their to catch your eye, but in reality the goal is to make you see the bullethole and read the headline. The sex appeal is merely a side-effect. The reason this ad does not go deeper than that is because this ad is CLEARLY targeting existing fans of the game. Otherwise you would see your typical release ad which has screenshots and nicely rendered images that try to trick the gamer into thinking "Holy crap it looks that good?!".

    Forgive the lack of a link to the post, but somewhere in the story thread someone posted that people who are fans of the series just want to know when the next one is coming out, which this ad does very well. for the issue of gamer advertising as a whole...yes, it sucks big fat donkey balls and I will be the first to admit it. I have a folder on my desk for all of the bad advertisements I come across and a good portion of them are for gamers. Just leafing through here for a couple examples will find the one for Magic: The Gathering where the headline was "The geek billionaire lifestyle begins with Magic: The Gathering"...and while it was probably made to look intentionally really just falls flat and plain out sucks.

    The next two crappy ads stink of some copywriter who knows nothing about gamers playing a couple online games to pick up jargon and making it sound like it couldn't be more canned if they tried. The recent ads for Sound Blaster have the copy: "You with Sound Blaster X-Fi. Them with Motherboard Audio. Them...PWNED!". The other example is for BF2: Special Forces...and while I love the BF series (aside from the horrendous glitches and bugs and EA) this ad just just made me laugh at how horrible the copy was...."Zipline, flashbang, teargas, grappling hook. So many n00bs, so little time."

    Honestly...if these people had done any research they would know how corporate and idiotic they sound. This doesn't encourage gamers to buy your game, it encourages them to mock the hell out of you. If a company doesn't know how to communicate with its customers, how can the customer think that they'll be able to make a product they'll like? Thats the entire point of advertising.

    If any game companies or agencies of those companies are reading this, I'd love to discuss it with you in more detail and invite you to email me at (yes...AOL...but its an old account, cry me a river). Seriously, gamers are not idiots. Many of them are young and impressionable, but this new generation has become acutely aware of how companies try to "be like one of them" and they can spot this garbage a mile away. In the end, they might still buy the game, but it sure as hell won't be in any part due to the current advertising out there.

  • Marketing in general can be very despicable. But it really is all about shock value.

    In college I had a classmate in my design class who lived by this. His point was that he wanted people to notice his work. If you've got a magazine crammed full of ads your want yours to stand out. It takes far less effort to create something graphic and shocking than it does to create something compelling and attractive.

    I've also dealt with ad agencies who are exceedingly arrogant. It's like they think they're the rock star
  • Early in the history of games, developers realized that the emotional impact of the games feedback can be easily magnified by using visually rich and shocking imagery. The introduction of faked dangerous stimuli makes your reptile brain react in a physical manner is not so different than the thrills of a rollercoaster ride. You are never in any danger, but critical portions of your brain react as if you are. The brain evolved to deal with real threats, not 3D video cards pumping out super realistic explosio
  • The ad in question (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hwaguy ( 253509 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @03:30PM (#14935989) Journal
    • I think any post that i actually grep for should be modded up. Ad in question, thanks parent.

      ++ good.

      My opinion is people don't like the idea of female form depicted in a violent way. I say get your finger out of your ass! People are overly sensitive. If it was just an issue of violent imagery, the bullet hole, how many people would complain?

      People should stop having a biased sensitivity to violence and women, I don't mind sensitivity but not if is it misdirected in that way.

      Also the advert has a great play
      • 26 times in this article. Twenty Six times. Here are twenty six less academic and more common words for visceral.

        Wikpedia: Visceral literally refers to the viscus - the internal organs of an animal.

        The term is now often used in a more metophorical sense; a visceral response is one that arises more from instinct or emotion than from rational thought.

        10 other ways to express the concept of a physiological response.

        So here goes: Emotional, subconscious [is the subconscious tied to visceral ticks?], gut-feeling
  • This isn't new (Score:2, Informative)

    by amuro98 ( 461673 )
    The whole shock-ad thing started years ago. I can remember seeing awfully gory ads in game mags back in the early 90s. Once things like DOOM and Mortal Kombat came out, which had (for the time) rather realistic violence in them, it seemed that game advertisers seemed to be on a mission to out-shock the other.

    There was an ad that featured a 2-page spread of a bloody, severed human arm. I don't remember what game it was for, or even what the ad-copy was (if there was any) there just this centerfold-esque c
  • Having now seen the advert in question I think it was an incredibly poor choice to make his point. (Although from his over the top description you wouldnt think so.) It would appear his only grievance is with the fact it is a woman. While it is true that its possible to play on the fairly hypocritical impulse for most men I know (including myself) to be shocked by any woman being killed, this advert was perfectly suited to the game it was connected to.

    It was not gratuitous, the blood was subtle, the damage
    • You are right on the money. The article reads like some psuedo intellectual garbage that the writer thinks is smarter than it is. Clueless is the best description I can come up with. Why do all these articles talk as if violence has only been glorified since they decided to dribble their bullshit about it.

      The layout and the title perfectly matched the style that the Hitman games have oozed since day 1.

      I have to agree totally with this. I only just got a look at the ad (I didn't see a link for it until

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