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What Do You Think of the 'Hitman' Ad? 152

GamePolitics brings up a topic well worth discussion, the ad for Hitman currently making the rounds in gaming magazines. Their question is: Sexy or Sexist? From the article: "Her well-kept body lies on a bed of gold satin sheets; her pose is deliberately enticing -- until you realize there is a bullet hole in the middle of her forehead. Then you notice the pool of blood spreading around her pillow. At at first glance, however, the blood seems to be just more accessorizing; it matches her lingerie and high heels. Regardless of your reaction to the photo, one thing is abundantly clear. The ad itself has nothing to do with the game its pimping. Nada. Zippo. Just visit the site for Hitman: Blood Money, and you'll see what I mean." What do you think?
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What Do You Think of the 'Hitman' Ad?

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  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @08:46AM (#15135045) Journal
    It must be a good ad. It got lashdot and other news sites posting about it. Remember: "there is no such thing as bad publicity."
    • Remember: "there is no such thing as bad publicity."

      Tell that to Rockstar, after GTA: San Andreas.
      It is not good news when your product is pulled from the shelves at Walmart.

    • Definitely the case. And also Joystiq is whoring in on the media frenzy:

      Does this ad speak to you? Does it make you want to buy the game? Is it too edgy? Does it appear to be, in the words of one Joystiq reader, an ad selling a "rape/murder fantasy" type of game? Let's see how well we can deconstruct this ad.

      In other words: can we drum up some controversy and direct other sites to link to Joystiq? Is there some evil angle we can work here to drive up ad revenue? Let's see how well we can sensationalize w
    • Yes. The advert is stupid, as is discussing it :) Discussing advertising is like discussing excrement: Rarely a worthwhile endeavour.
  • Sexy or Sexist? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RonnyJ ( 651856 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @08:53AM (#15135059)
    Their question is: Sexy or Sexist?

    It's neither.

  • I went to and watched half of a trailer where a guy in a suit walks around looking like he's gonna shoot someone. Meanwhile, the ad in question is a person who was shot. Maybe I've been out of the gaming loop too long to understand why these things are not related.

    • You forgot to mention that no matter where he's walking and no matter who he's dressed as he's always moving at a painfully slow speed with his head tilted approximately 15 degrees to the left. If the bad guys just started shooting people who walked slowly with an off-centre head they'd have no more trouble with hitmen, I guarantee.
    • I saw a guy in a suit killing a lot of people. I have a hard time understanding that people like playing games like this.
    • Maybe I've been out of the gaming loop too long to understand why these things are not related.

      I was under the impression that calling them "not related" was a subtle way of saying that the Hitman game was not "beautifully executed".
    • by DesireCampbell ( 923687 ) <> on Saturday April 15, 2006 @12:44PM (#15135774) Homepage
      But you have to remember, it's a woman getting shot here. And that's a no-no.

      Sure, you can have all the violence you want, if it's directed towards men. It's actually seen as 'better' if a woman is attacking men. Remember that Madonna music video where she and an old woman drove around and ran over men? It was three minutes of Y-chromosome roadkill. No one said shit about it. But if it had been a man running down a woman (even just once) it would've made the news.

      I'm all for equal rights - and if you too think woman should be treated the same as men, do what I do: treat them the same as men.

      Violence against woman is as violence against men - there is no difference. And if you think there is you're sexist.
  • hrm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dance_Dance_Karnov ( 793804 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:04AM (#15135087) Homepage
    a game in which the player plays a hitman, someone who kills for money. An ad for this game feature someone killed execution style, with the words 'beautifly executed'...nope not related at all.
    • Perhaps the writers of the article failed to notice the entrance wound on her forehead...
    • Re:hrm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BoomerSooner ( 308737 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:25AM (#15135139) Homepage Journal
      People like to be shocked and outraged first. For some reason Americans (and people in general, but it seems more uptight here) tend to get all worked up over things that don't matter. 1980's it was "Eat my shorts" (in retrospect was Bart Simpson that bad?) in the 1990's we had the outrage over South Park and their social commentary (continuing through to today) and now we have people freaking out about some hacked nude scene in GTA.

      Who gives a fuck?

      In a world with famine, disease, tyranny, rape, murder, etcetera, we have people concerned more with TV, Video games and their own righteousness, than with the actual suffering of others. If the Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, or whatever the fuck god[s] one believes in takes more comfort in his/her/it/their followers indignation at make believe situations than real ones, I would be quite shocked.

      Focus on reality and there is no need for the acrimony toward fantasy land.

      [/end rant]
      • Your worldview is sophmoric as it is common, and you'll grow out of it. Ideas have consequences.
        • Guns kill people(more precisely:they get operated in such manner and intent as to cause death by a human.Accidents with guns are insignificant in comparision).
          But who pulls the trigger? Are people such zombies so when they see murder on television they all take guns and start a Batlle Royale FFA elimination game.
          Counterstrike would make teenagers bloodthirsty becuase it inhibits moral values?
          Why don't you talk about stopping wars?
          (Which are murder of enemy soldiers/combatants/civilians)
          Don't the Idea of War
        • Yes, if people don't see harmless activities as being bad, they won't go to church out of shame and fear of hell. The horror!
          • Re:hrm... (Score:3, Insightful)

            Russian television interviewed an old man a few years back. He had executed thousands of civilians during one of Stalins purges. One by one he shot them in the back of the head as they were brought to him.

            The interviewer asked him "how could you kill all those people?"

            He replied, "Well, there's a trick to it. You have to hold your elbow like this otherwise it gets sore."

            Most of your neighbors have the potential to be concentration camp guards under the right circumstances. There is tremendous pleasure
            • Well, unless the guy was playing GTA:Stalingrad, I don't see how you can take an old man who likely went through WW2 and actually had violence around him is an example of mankind being only one step above total beasts. While we may well be not far removed from our savage roots, it would make more sense to express our roots on 3d animations, rather than other human beings.
        • It's very true that ideas have consequences- I don't think anyone would argue that. But what you seem to be saying, based on your wholesale dismissal of the parent's point, is that we should be offended, all the time. Here's the thing: Most things about which people get offended are stupid and should be offensive to no reasonable person.

          Bart Simpson, South Park, this ad- they're all just little bits of outrage that distract people from the real outrages, that keep people from focusing on the real problem
          • There has been a massive shift in behavior and values in the last few decades, and little of that has been for the good. People are more violent and less happy. (But at least we're less racist, woot!—too bad that the black family and community has collapsed entirely since civil rights, and we're locking up 1/3rd of black males in the US.)

            Pop culture is one of the things at the leading edge of the cultural shift. Its defenders always concentrate on the "just a little bit more won't hurt" aspect. But
            • What I see in the cultural shift is a movement away from Christianity and toward whatever's going to replace it- check out the end of the Roman Empire for similar. It's a good thing. Also, don't be fooled into believing the "The 1950's were a golden age" nonsense that floats about, elements of which I think I see in your posting. We live in a better world than we've lived in for a long time.
              • The pre-Christian world was not a nice place for anybody but the strong.

                And the 1950s were a hell of a lot better in a hell of a lot of ways than today. But if I had my wish, it would probably be for the social structure of the 1890s.
                • Ah, yes, the good old 1890s. The memories you must have.
                • The pre-Christian world was not a nice place for anybody but the strong.

                  And that differes from the post-christian world... how, again?

                • And the 1950s were a hell of a lot better in a hell of a lot of ways than today.

                  Which part of the 1950's were a that much better better than today? The 50's saw an unprecedented rise in crime (until the 60's), and many Americans did not enjoy much in the way of civil rights. Americans were far less tolerant of other races and religions. This is nice if you're white and Christian, but the rest of America endured conditions which could be considered quite oppressive by today's standards. Over the past

                • And the 1950s were a hell of a lot better in a hell of a lot of ways than today

                  Could you be more specific...

            • Re:hrm... (Score:4, Interesting)

              by goofyheadedpunk ( 807517 ) <(goofyheadedpunk) (at) (> on Saturday April 15, 2006 @11:35AM (#15135548)
              One of my hobbies happens to be ancient writings. More specifically, one of my hobbies happens to be the translation of personal writtings very akin to what we now call essays or diaries. I find it more than humorous that men have been noting the massive shift in behavior and values, with emphasis on this being a bad thing, since writing became cheap enough to be a viable method for recording one's thoughts.

              Long term societies change though time and there's nothing that can be done about that. (Societies that do not change are stagnate, and tend to die out quickly.) None is any more justifiably worse than another, just different. Hell, I'm sure if I looked I'd find people in 1890 bemoaning the sad state of affairs as compared to their own childhood.

              So, in closing, keep up the good work. It has a long, proud (myopic) tradition!
              • None is any more justifiably worse than another, just different.

                You came off as intelligent until that line.
                • Judging by your past posts you're either a very pissed off jerk, or a troll. Honestly, it's hard to tell.

                  Anyway, assuming you're just rude and not a troll and in the interests of discussion, what's your justification? Why is your pet era of history the one to which we should all strive?
            • There has been a massive shift in behavior and values in the last few decades, and little of that has been for the good. People are more violent and less happy.

              You need to study some history. Human behavior has not changed one iota in the "behavior and values" department for 10,000 years. Of course, that includes the fact that there is always some Chicken Little running around telling everyone that life is getting worse.

              Living for 70+ years and having far more leisure time than our ancestors could dream a
        • I'd rather have ideas, with "consequences", than no ideas at all.
        • I'm a super senior not a sophomore! I already grew out of it.

          How to make a proper reply:
          Take my comments, refute them 1 by 1, reference your beliefs or ideals to support your disagreement, conclude with your own idea, vetted better than Ideas have consequences.
        • Ideas have consequences.

          The three ideas called Religion, Rascism, and Nationalism have killed more people than any form of entertainment has ever done.
      • Re:hrm... (Score:3, Insightful)

        False dichotomy. We can stop wars, rapes, etc. in the world, while at the same time stopping disreputable art from poisoning the social sphere. Time is not so limited that doing one prevents doing the other. In fact, counter to your argument, most of those who object to such things in "fantasy land" do so out of fear that allowing base fantasies to be paraded in public will result in more suffering in the real world, once those fantasies affect people's minds.

        Now, I do not, in fact, agree that a complicated
        • I'm not saying you cannot have both. I'm saying does one of those really matter? An advertisement for a video game will be in the consciousness for mere minutes. Carla Bruscha (sp?) will be in my prayers forever.

          Simplifying the situation was not my intent. My belief is people feel helpless to cause change in their world so they attack things that make them feel like they have done something to improve society. For example, the moronic belief that "Fight the terrorists over there so they don't come over here
      • People getting worked up by things like the above mentioned happens because that's what is supposed to happen . It helps to divert your attention from the REAL things we should be getting upset about.

        Solving famine, disease, tyranny, rape and murder are all impossible. However, bringing down a video game is within the realm of possibility. It makes people feel better.

        Is it stupid? Yes. Does it make sense? No.
    • a game in which the player plays a hitman, someone who kills for money.

      That's right

      An ad for this game feature someone killed execution style, with the words 'beautifly executed'...nope not related at all.

      You "missed the boat" on this one. It says "beautifully executed" while showing a picture of a woman dressed in skimpy clothing with a bullet through her head. It's a pun, but also a bit sexist. I doubt you could put a man in the same clothes and position and have it mean the same thing.

      • Seen ambercrombie add lately?

        You couldn't put a man in the _same_ clothes, but you could create an image with the same impact, in the same pun. The catch 22 to "sexist" ( which usually just means mysogynist ) is that men are constatly objectified, which is A-OK, apparently.
  • article? (Score:3, Informative)

    by zdzichu ( 100333 ) <zdzichu AT irc DOT pl> on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:13AM (#15135111) Homepage Journal
    Great, linking to article requiring registration. Link to ad in question would be much better.
    • Link to ad in question would be much better.

      How are you going to get the server to reply with the ad without sending a cookie proving that you have registered? (Didn't you try BugMeNot?)

  • by earthbound kid ( 859282 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:16AM (#15135118) Homepage
    Danc at Lost Garden covered this pretty thoroughly a while back [].

    Shock advertising comes into play when someone always increases the viciousness of their ads in an attempt to compete in a market where the emotional rawness of your product is a major selling factor. Customers have two reactions. They can either leave gaming behind in disgust or they can learn to ignore the shock ads. Over time, the shock ads have increased in potency in order to reach an increasingly jaded, distrustful and hardcore audience.

    Of course, non-gamers see gaming ads as well. They assume that the highly prevalent shock ads display the true nature of gaming. There are massive generation issues at work here, but gaming ads are structured in a way that deliberately and intentionally provokes an intense negative response from outsiders. A gamer would retort, "They are meant to be shocking, duh."

    The result is the individual game does OK, but the market as a whole stagnates because normal people don't want to be associated with such violent games.
  • And even make me curius, so it is a good ad.

    The pun is somewhat silly though.

    The person who wrote the article must be sarcatsic, a picture of a hitman victim having nothing to de with a game about a hitman?

    And I'm seriously worried about the guy who though "Sexy or Sexist" is a relevant question. The victim is not pushing any borders for ad standards in terms of being undressed, so the only "sexy" or "sexist" connotation would be for necrophilia.
    • We're assuming this has nothing to do with the game, but trying to kill someone while leaving their lover in bed unharmed and unnaware is tough and exactly the kind of thing that the hitman series is known for.
  • by Chemisor ( 97276 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:23AM (#15135133)
    From The Romantic Manifesto []:

    If one saw, in real life, a beautiful woman wearing an exquisite evening gown, with a cold sore on her lips, the blemish would mean nothing but a minor affliction and one would ignore it. But a painting of such a woman would be a corrupt, obscenely vicious attack on man, on beauty, on all values -- and one would experience a feeling of immense disgust and indignation at the artist. (There are also those who would feel something like approval and who would belong to the same moral category as the artist)

    And on the purpose of such art:

    Since man lives by reshaping his physical background to serve his purpose, since he must first define and then create his values -- a rational man needs a concretized projection of these values, an image in whose likeness he will reshape the world and himself. Art gives him that image; it gives him the experience of seeing the full, immediate, concrete reality of his distant goals.

    I'll finish with a definition of art according to the author:

    Art is a selective recreation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgements.

    Once you understand these things, seeing the purpose and the nature of the Hitman ad is trivial.
  • Doesn't Sell Me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @09:29AM (#15135150) Homepage Journal
    I think the ad is a nice piece of art, artistic in the same way as the beautifully choreographed gunplay ballets in John Woo's Better Tomorrow action films. But, the crucial but, is that it doesn't make me want to go out and buy the game. Why? Because it drives home the point that Hitman is a violent, murderous game in too realistic a fashion. I know some people go for that, and I do like the occasional shooter, but this goes too far for my taste. Even if, the ingame situation doesn't not present such realism, the ad has instilled that idea in me and thus turned me off from the game. So in conclusion, I would say it's great art, but a bad ad because it may be turning chasing away potential customers.
    • Actually, if the advertising is an accurate representation of the internals of the game, I'd say the ad is doing you a favor. If you don't like the ad, you won't like the game, and shouldn't be a customer anyway because you'll probably feel deceived, return the game, and never buy another product from that company.

      But I agree ... that ad doesn't do anything for me either.
  • Interesting progression anyway. We have tons of movies that sensationalize ideas like this so it's natural to make it more interactive I guess.

    There are also tons of movies that show what can happen when we have absolute freedom. Look at how much uncivilized crap gets posted on places like Slashdot and it just gets worse the more anonymous it becomes (eg. Freenet). Indulging in this type of play can't be good for the mind. I feel sick just watching that video for the game.
  • Remember the Ion Storm ad proclaiming that John Romero was going to make everyone his bitch? That had little to do with any game that was being made (Daikatana at the time). Fact is, shock advertising works... period.
  • by sesshomaru ( 173381 ) on Saturday April 15, 2006 @10:30AM (#15135304) Journal
    In the new issue of PC Gamer, they have the second AD in this series "Classically Executed" showing a chellist (a male chellist) sitting in a concert hall, the main indication that he's dead is the rope burn around his neck. You can view the image here "Classically Executed" []. (Oh, and another one with a male victim, Coldly Executed [].) The whole gallery is here, Hitman Gallery. []

    In the Hitman games, you play a stealthy killer. Now, so far, I've only played part two (it's the one that is out for Gamecube). The point of the game is that you have a target, you get to the target a sneakily as possible, kill him/her and then sneak out again as sneakily as possible. In part two, you even have the option of knocking people out with cloroform if you need them out of the way and they aren't your target. In other words, unlike a lot of action games, where your goal is to rack up kills, you purpose is just to take out one target without anyone knowing you did it. (I found the second level of part two to be very tough, any pointers?) You get scored on this, the more sneakily efficient you are, the better you do. (In other words, heading in with guns blazing is a way to get a bad score.)

    Anyway, the AD isn't intended to be sexist, indeed I think the argument against the AD that I'm seeing is that it should have been sexist.

    I.e. if it was a male character, dead in some museum in front of some spectacular work of art and they used "Beautifully Executed," there would have been no controversy for this effective AD campaign. So, the problem is, the AD campaign was insufficiently sexist, not that it was too sexist. Or do people think anyone would have raised such controversy about the other two ADs?

    • No fair bringing context into the discussion! ;)

    • "Assassin?...That sounds so exotic... I was just a murderer."

      --Richard Kulinksi, The Iceman

      If you've ever watched "The Iceman and the Psychiatrist" on HBO, where Richard Kulinksi is interviewed in prison, and the video game approaches this in its "stealth", then it's a pretty seriously fucked game.

      One of Kulinksi's favorite ways to off someone was to take them up into a cave in the hills that had rats in it, tie them to a chair, set up a video camera, and watch the rats eat the victim... How's that for ste
      • Jonathan Brewster: Tonight, we are taking care of Mortimer. And just for him we'll have something special. I plan on using the Melbourne method.

        Dr. Einstein: Not the Melbourne Method!! Please!! Chonny--no--not dat. Two hours! And ven it was all over, vat? Da fellow in London vas chust as dead as da fellow in Melbourne.

        ---- Raymond Massey, Peter Lorrey, Arsenic and Old Lace []

        Yeah, well, the guy in Hitman is more like Don Corleone. In the game I played, he was living the life of a pauper in a Cath

      • Assuming you have a Windows PC, you could always just download the demo and see for yourself; the demo of Hitman 2 is only about a 50MB download.
    • I.e. if it was a male character, dead in some museum in front of some spectacular work of art and they used "Beautifully Executed," there would have been no controversy for this effective AD campaign.

      You say that and then somehow conclude that thus the ad (why the capital letters?) isn't sexist? That's so strange. Of course the scantily clad woman is the reason why the ad may be perceived to be sexist. If you remove the woman, then no, it's not sexist anymore. The ad campaign was insufficiently sexist - wha
      • Oh, when I say the ad campaign (Sorry, I'm never sure how to write ad, so I used the sort of spelling I'd use for an acronym. I wasn't intending to "shout.") is "Insufficiently sexist" I mean that the creators of the ad didn't take into account the fact that people are OK with all manner of mayhem against healthy, adult males but we, as a society, still expect a certain amount of chivalry towards woman. Of course, for all I know, the woman in the picture is a monster akin to some of the women you see in f
    • I.e. if it was a male character, dead in some museum in front of some spectacular work of art and they used "Beautifully Executed," there would have been no controversy for this effective AD campaign.

      Well, no, because the controversy isn't that it's a picture of dead woman, it's that they sexualized it, making the ad about necrophilia and even implying a rape/murder fantasy to some people.

      A picture of a dead person in front of a painting just isn't the same. A better parallel would be a dead male charac
      • People don't mind seeing men killed.

        Depicting the killing of a woman, however, is worse than blaspheming God.
      • It wasn't sexualized to me. A woman has been shot in her sleep, that's what I saw. At no point did I think about rape either before or after the killing. I don't even see it now that people say it; her clothes appear undisturbed and by all appearances there hasn't been a hand on her or the bed.

        Quite frankly, the people who are seeing that in this picture are the ones who worry me.
        • A woman has been shot in her sleep

          Yeah, I always wear sexy lingerie to sleep it. It's just so comfortable. Not.

          The picture shows sex (a woman dressed up for sex) and violence/death. I think the people who add sex+violence and get rape, or sex+death and get necrophilia are not the ones with issues. The ad is rather disturbing.
  • It's an average looking broad, white as a sheet (she's supposed to be DEAD afterall), with a bullet hole in her head. What the is supposed to be sexy about that?
  • Why this ad? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Naradak ( 964260 )
    I don't think this ad is nearly as bad as the other one I've seen: A cello player is sitting in a chair with his throat slit, and blood draining down his neck. "Classically executed."
  • by Tom ( 822 )
    There really are more important things in modern advertisement to worry about than this. How about the utter lies advertisement spreads? I don't mean painting the product in the best possible light, but actual proveably false statements, often known to be false by those ordering and designing the advertisement.
    Then the encroachment of ads into everyday space. Where formerly advertisement was clearly visible as such we have product placement, paid-for reviews and other mixing with actual content nowadays. In
  • hw is the ad not related you're a hitman and someone is dead on the bed with a bullet throught their skull what isn't there to get i do agree that there needs to be some indication on why she was dead
  • Please, dead God, don't let them use Starforce.

  • "sexy or sexist?"

    Apparently the version [] discussed on adcritic wasn't sexy enough, because the version [] of the same ad up now on the hitmanforums website is much more explicit.

  • ... if the woman was ugly. People like to get others attention by provoking non-sense debates.
  • "Have you seen Duke Fame's current album?"
    "Um... yes, yes."
    "Have you seen the cover?"
    "Um... no, no, I don't think I have."
    "It's a rather lurid cover, I mean...ah, it's, it's like naked women, and, uh...."
    "He's tied down to this table, and he's got these whips and they're all...semi-nude.
    "Knockin' on 'im and it's like much worse..."
    "What's the point?"
    "Well the point is it's much worse than 'Smell the Glove' ...he releases that he's number three."
    "Because he's the victim. Their objections were that she was th
  • by mqduck ( 232646 )
    Is it sexy? That's subjective, but I happen to be fond of trying to find attraction to things that one shouldn't be attracted to. I'm probably an extremely dangerous member of society.

    Is it sexist? In a neutral context, not at all. But it's not in a neutral context, it's in the context of the world that exists today. This society is a sexist society that objectifies women. So to be pragmatic, let's say it is and it isn't.
  • If the art in the game is that good, it's OK. If not, it's false advertising.

    There's no technical reason for the game art not to be as good as the box art. Today's graphics cards can do the job. Game reviews should downgrade games where the game art is worse than the box art, because there just isn't an excuse for that any more.

  • GamePro [] has an article about the ads from a few days ago. No registration here. I posted this on my my site [].
  • "No Women, No Kids"

    Leon would not be pleased...
  • I played Hitman 2 on the Xbox and absolutly loved it. The AI needed work, the execution needed work, the graphics needed work - needed the kind of Splinter Cell quality added to it. But the CONCEPT just rocks the socks. This is the kind of game you really hope they can get just right.
  • Kinda bad that I can say that, I am only 32. I remember the year clearly, it was 86 or 87. During my "Formative" stage, a nice little game called Babysitter.

    Now you would think this game would have your nice teeny bopper looking after a group of well groomed kids in suburbia, right!...

    Nope. Basically the game started off with "the babysitter" spread over a sofa. She apparently has her boyfriend over. Guess what, you play the boyfriend.

    Now what could the point of the game be. Yep, you guessed it. You

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?