"Hey kids! Wanna cheese off Mom? Then play an M-rated video game!”
In other words, EA is stereotyping an entire gender, class, political ideology, and region in order to sell a few more copies of the game. I guess news that women, moms, conservatives, and middle-Americans play games hasn’t yet reached Redwood City.
Who is the audience for this ad? Are there that many adults who still want to provoke their moms by their choice of video recreation, or is this just a direct appeal to underage gamers? Are game companies serious about keeping violent content out of the hands of minors, or just “serious” in a wink-wink, you-really-need-this-game-to-be-cool way?
This is just a trite way of reinforcing a generation’s sense of its own coolness, and rational adults should balk at such shameless manipulation. Attempting to exploit the generational divide in order to sell a few more copies of a game is crass marketing at its worst. The idea of “consumption as rebellion” is nauseating in itself.
Thomas L. McDonald is an editor at large for Games magazine and blogs at sopgaming.blogspot.com . You can follow him on Twitter at StateOfPlayBlog.