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Your Mom Hates This Post
January 18, 2011 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Visceral Games launches a very innovative ad campaign for their upcoming game, "Dead Space 2". The second installment of the Dead Space series is set to come out January 25th of this year. In what seems to be a final ditch effort to build some last minute hype, the producers have started an interesting ad campaign.

They are under the premise that anything that mothers disapprove of is instantly cool, so they test in a series of semi-faux focus groups, whether or not mothers disapprove of footage of the game.

Their "Your Mom Hates This" campaign includes youtube videos of reactions of mothers. (Some of the better ones here - 1, 2,)

They have also started a Twitter campaign, with a promoted hashtag of #yourmomhatesthis, which seems to have caught on among the Twitterfolk. (perhaps not for the right reasons)
posted by MHPlost (77 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am not sure I like this.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on January 18, 2011


Fucking stupid ass horseshit, and that's coming from someone who played the fuck out of Dead Space 1. It is the worst possible marketing tactic.
posted by boo_radley at 3:58 PM on January 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


"It's actually based on a true story, some astronaut or something."

That is comedy gold right there.
posted by nzero at 4:01 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


They are under the premise that anything that mothers disapprove of is instantly cool

This mom (of one of UI designers) thinks it's hilarious, does that make it instantly uncool?
posted by juv3nal at 4:03 PM on January 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


Clearly, someone's manager handed out copies of "Being Edgy For Dummies".
posted by Malor at 4:03 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is exactly one thing that could have made this worthwhile: one lone mom at the end who thinks it's awesome and wants to play. Sadly, this didn't happen.

Actually, you know what poetic justice would be? If it turned out that the only people who bought Dead Space 1 were mothers, and therefore nobody bought Dead Space 2 because they unwittingly offended their entire market base. Stranger things have happened, I guess.
posted by koeselitz at 4:04 PM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like your mom.
posted by Mister_A at 4:04 PM on January 18, 2011


very innovative, eh? Is this the first time someone's marketed something to young consumers by promising it will offend the sensibilities of parents/authority figures?

(Is this question rhetorical?)
posted by LMGM at 4:04 PM on January 18, 2011


Meh. Maybe it's my age showing but I really don't like the campaign...it feels unnecessarily mean and cruel, on the order of Grandma's reaction to 2 girls one cup.

That said, I downloaded the demo last week - around midnight - and played it in the dark. It freaked me the fuck out. The next day I played it in the daytime. Still freaked me the fuck out. I can't wait to getthe full version.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:06 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, this game looks moderately retarded.
posted by nzero at 4:08 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ohh innovative marketing!! On the list of my least favorite things on the fucking planet, right next to regular marketing, diet soda and war.
posted by pwally at 4:09 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


the diet soda wars were especially hard for pwally.
posted by boo_radley at 4:11 PM on January 18, 2011 [12 favorites]


The main premise of the first game is that you had to shoot the limbs off the monsters. Just aiming for center of mass and plugging away wasted way too much ammo. You had to maintain your cool to be able to systematically target the limbs to dismember the monsters while they are jumping out and screaming BOO and doing all sorts of generally monstrous things. It also had some really nice parts where you had to go outside into the vacuum of space and in zero gravity. IMO, very well done, especially the audio in these sections where the only sounds you can hear are your own breathing and heartbeat and sounds transmitted through your character's bones. It wasn't a terrible game, really. Shame about the plot.

I didn't know there was a demo for this yet, I'll check it out.
posted by BeerFilter at 4:18 PM on January 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that's some bullshit. Plays right into the worst stereotypes of gaming culture. Doesn't bode well for the game.
posted by penduluum at 4:28 PM on January 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, and another thing? Fuck "cool".
posted by penduluum at 4:30 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


BeerFilter: "the only sounds you can hear are your own breathing and heartbeat and sounds transmitted through your character's bones."

The ones that got to me were the ones where he was dying. That scraping, rattling gasp as he limped along.
posted by boo_radley at 4:31 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


And then the gaming industry has the gall to be all, "We don't know why women aren't playing our games" with one hand while actively driving a potential female customer base away with the other, and gamer culture gets even a little bit more sexist and insular, and
the world
keeps
on
spinnin'.
posted by ErikaB at 4:41 PM on January 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


Don't really know what to think. On the one hand, yeah, it DOES play right into stupid gaming stereotypes—specifically the "we shoot high school kids and listen to Marilyn Manson in our spare time" stereotypes. Plus, it seems oddly aimed at the sorts of people who wouldn't be able to buy these games on their own: teenagers. Teenagers who would have to convince their moms to buy it for them. I'm a firm believer that even if I'm okay with teens occasionally playing M-rated games, marketing directly to them is a step too far.

On the other hand, Dead Space 2 IS violent and gory. It's a horror action game. It's supposed to scare the shit out of you and creep you out with disgusting imagery. To me, this is roughly equivalent to the Saw movies running a YouTube campaign where they show moms asking why on earth anyone would make this sort of stuff. Like, well, duh.

The question of whether Dead Space 2 itself is overly gratuitous might be a more interesting discussion. But this marketing campaign? Not particularly innovative, but not particularly offensive.

Full disclosure: I pre-ordered the game because I thought Dead Space 1 was awesome.
posted by chrominance at 4:41 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting monsters, though.

And then there's the Unitologists.
posted by gottabefunky at 4:55 PM on January 18, 2011




There is exactly one thing that could have made this worthwhile: one lone mom at the end who thinks it's awesome and wants to play. Sadly, this didn't happen.


That's my mom! She plays way more recent games then me and seriously, the gorier the better. I've had more then one phone conversation where she went "And Ryan is going well at, one second, headshot, *HORRIBLE SCREAMING NOISE* anyway he wants to run a food truck or something..."
posted by The Whelk at 4:57 PM on January 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Hate this, and hate that this kind of ultra-contrived, utterly cynical, corporate-funded fake "viral marketing" has found an undeserved place here. Hey serious gamers, are you unhappy that your chosen hobby automatically associates you with the worst kind of dumbass teenage cliché? It's "cool" because "your mom hates it?" For fucks sake.
posted by nanojath at 5:05 PM on January 18, 2011


Pretty sure there are plenty of gamers and gaming industry types who think this is a pile of shit too, TBH.
posted by Artw at 5:06 PM on January 18, 2011


Pretty sure there are plenty of gamers and gaming industry types who think this is a pile of shit too, TBH.

Then they must pay their five dollars, come here and RAGE!
posted by nanojath at 5:11 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


there is this really strange backlash in the "serious gamer" world against the growth of casual games, which are super-popular with groups not normally into games (Like your Mom) which I don't get at all cause

A) How does your grandma really liking Angry Birds effect you and your console/PC market, which is still big and established

B)People tend to freak out less when they have some experience with said object. I seriously think the VIDEO GAMEZ ARE HURTING CHILDRENS cause suffered a huge blow when everyone's uncle and sister got into The Sims.
posted by The Whelk at 5:14 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I rather like first person sci-fi shooters, but I'm sick to death of hideous aliens that look like Francis Bacon cast-offs. Why do game publishers think sci-fi and horror fans are the same? How come I hardly ever see a game where I have to fight off hordes of killer robots, or insectoids, or vicious plasmoids launching electrical attacks? Yes, there is a place for technological horror, but I don't actually care to be grossed out all the time, and this sort of marketing doesn't help any. I buy fewer games as a result and feel less and less interested in opposing game censorship because of the shooter genre's predominant gore/war fixation.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:19 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am apparently now too old for big-budget mainstream action games, because just watching this filled me with shame and self-loathing.
posted by IjonTichy at 5:20 PM on January 18, 2011


Also the entire kingdom of Mammalia is excluded from horror. C'mon people, we can make some pretty scary stuff in our own branch!
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on January 18, 2011


Why do game publishers think sci-fi and horror fans are the same?
It's not my cup of tea either, but the dead space series is explicitly trying to be sci-fi horror rather than just sci-fi. Mass Effect, for instance, has loads of robots and humans/basically non-hideous humanoid aliens to shoot at.
posted by juv3nal at 5:27 PM on January 18, 2011


The more I think about it, the more they should have run with the one clip I linked earlier and let that be their whole campaign: "Your mom is going to think Dead Space 2 is hilarious" as a tag line. I mean the gore sells itself, really, to anyone for whom gore is a selling point.
posted by juv3nal at 5:31 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This could be the next bedroom intruder.

"I do believe that there's other planets out there, that we're not the only ones"

"That's pretty gooey"

Love it!
posted by ianhattwick at 5:38 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is no doubt the marketing department that brought you Harassing Women for Fun and Prizes.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:02 PM on January 18, 2011


How come I hardly ever see a game where I have to fight off hordes of killer robots, or insectoids, or vicious plasmoids launching electrical attacks?

As juv3nal says, you're playing the wrong games. There are plenty of examples of the kind of games you're asking for. Well, I'm not sure about plasmoids per se, but weird critters.
posted by Justinian at 6:03 PM on January 18, 2011


More generally, this discussion is (I think) missing the point in the same way that Metafilter discussions of cover art on books misses the point. They aren't trying to appeal to us. Gamers who are likely to play Dead Space 2 are gonna buy Dead Space 2 no matter what kind of shitty ad they make. Why make an ad targeted to people who are already going to buy your game?

Just as with cover art, this ad is meant to get people who wouldn't otherwise buy your game to buy your game. And it may well do that. I mean, no ad exists which is going to convince your Aunt Flo to buy a game whose primary appeal is using a horizontal buzz saw kind of thingie to cut the legs off of mutated people so they have to crawl at you, at which time you can double tap them in the face. In microgravity.

So you make an ad like this.
posted by Justinian at 6:07 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got the first Dead Space because it was dirt cheap at a Half Price Books. The PC controls were horrible, such that my main emotion while playing the game was anger rather than fear.

I found the STALKER pc games much more scary, especially the sections where you had to navigate underground compounds filled with supernatural things and dark corridors. Fear in the games is knowing that something will attack you, but you don't know when or where.

After a while, the scares in Dead Space became almost predictable. I would roll my eyes as another tentacled creature suddenly grasped my leg and dragged me down a hallway. In stalker I was more freaked out by a crate suddenly being pulled to the ceiling by an unseen force and then getting dropped.

And then, you got to crawl around Pripryat, which was cool as hell.
posted by hellojed at 6:36 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The PC controls were horrible

You know that since it was a PC game you could, um, remap the keys to anything you wanted?
posted by Justinian at 6:44 PM on January 18, 2011


Dad Space 2: No Moms Allowed
posted by rollick at 6:46 PM on January 18, 2011


Yeah I think the "odd Mom out" idea is a good one. No matter what they say or do, kids really do want parental approval. No matter how crappy their parents are, too. Having one approving Mom plants a seed deep in the psyche of every kid who sees it. Maybe my Mom will be the cool one.

I am pretty sure the marketing idea is more of a meta-campaign. It's being discussed here, isn't it? We aren't discussing the game, but the advertising.

Funny, I just saw an ad at Blockbuster last night for Dead Space 2, and hadn't heard of it before. I am not a big FPS guy. But I am still wondering, really, is there really a market for so many horror shooters? I guess there is.
posted by Xoebe at 6:49 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know that since it was a PC game you could, um, remap the keys to anything you wanted?

It was pretty apparent the game was meant to play with a controller and not a keyboard + Mouse, which is what I'm accustomed to using when I shoot at things in any PC game. The mouse cursor in the game did not match up to the movements I gave it (reacted slower in game than my movements, which made navigating the menus difficult, not to mention any kind of aiming in the game)
posted by hellojed at 6:51 PM on January 18, 2011


Along the lines of what The Whelk said, but refined somewhat, there should be a horror game involving primates! Primates biting your fingers off, ripping your testes off, removing your face, etc. That's what primates do! Way more horrible than tigers, for instance, which will, it would seem, kill you relatively quickly with tooth and fang. We could call the game Monkey Business, but write it in a scary typeface.
posted by Mister_A at 6:54 PM on January 18, 2011


This doesn't make much sense considering the average game player is 34 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.

I am a casual gamer in my early 20s and this ad does more to turn me off to this game than to make me want to buy it. Maybe they assume, though, that the people that are my age are already going to buy it for it's game play merit anyway. I know that some of my more frequent game-playing friends will definitely be getting this after really enjoying the first one. Might as well focus on the kids?
posted by Defenestrator at 7:21 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


The headline in the ad they're running in Game Informer states that this game "Pokes Your Eyes Out and Fucks You in the Eyehole!"

Also, Game Informer gave it a rating of 12/10.
posted by Mister_A at 7:39 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Along the lines of what The Whelk said, but refined somewhat, there should be a horror game involving primates! Primates biting your fingers off, ripping your testes off, removing your face, etc. That's what primates do!

If I recall correctly, there were telekinetic monkeys in System Shock 2. I think they were kinda scary?
posted by IjonTichy at 7:44 PM on January 18, 2011


These are the same geniuses whose marketing campaign for Dante's Inferno was almost as puerile (5min36sec) and offensive as the game itself.
posted by straight at 8:42 PM on January 18, 2011


No, Justinian - the controls were horrible.

Sure, the controls controls could be made ok, but the camera angles and mouse point-of-view were just ever so "off" such that the artificial "difficulty" and "horror" and "scary" part of the game came out so very contrived. "In real life" I'm reasonably dexterous. While I can intellectually understand the value-add of playing a character who couldn't touch the tip of their nose while sober, it really detracted from the gameplay. I'd rather have inaccurate weapons (or the choice of accurate but less damaging weapons) than have my hand-eye taken away. To be fair, if I had given the game more time/effort, I might have managed to reroute my nervous system to accommodate that particular input interface.

I *did* like the arrows that showed you where you were supposed to go next instead of wandering around lost in an undifferentiated maze although I normally dislike that kind of thing. Wouldn't a ship of that size have floor maps or "fire exit"/escape pod maps scattered around every so often?

--

The first of the "some of the better ones" video reactions is great! I think that having videos like that would be a much better ad campaign. "This game is sooo great that even your mom will be converted into getting into the gore and horror!" Maybe follow up with the "mom" playing a demo/alpha of the game and chortle over slaughtering a roomful of the "baby things" with a flamethrower and gloat, "muwahahahahaha, take that evil baby things! muwahaha!" (Although this might take it a little too far) Then pan to a 16yo daughter and 13yo son standing around looking exasperated... "Mom. You bought this for *US*. When do *WE* get a turn to play?" (Yeah, that's too hokey... needs to be reworded/worked on).
posted by porpoise at 8:53 PM on January 18, 2011


Yeah, hellojed - I agree, but only with the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game; everything seemed so normal, until it subtly wasn't and then things got weirder and then went right to shit.

The subsequent games weren't nearly as scary - I already knew what to expect, although the "blowout" mechanism was interesting, if only you weren't warned ahead of time and you weren't given as much time to find shelter (and a specific one marked on your map), and if the effects were more gradual creating more tension when the actual blowout was at hand and you still hadn't found someplace to hunker down in. Or maybe it was an effect of becoming a "veteran" stalker and knowing how to navigate the landscape. I hate hate hate arbitrary save game points (rather than being able to save anytime anywhere), I think that maybe once a blowout started that save games were disabled until they were over. Say, it interfered with your memory management gear or something. It'd be an annoying mechanic, though.

The one time I was truly scared (can't remember if it was Clear Sky or Call of Pripyat) was when I somehow entered a highly irradiated compound filled with "zombies," short on anti-rad drugs, and couldn't find my way out - turns out I had broken the game and went into an area that I shouldn't have been able to get in at that point in the game before a scripted event.

F.E.A.R. was also successful early in the game, but iirc, the "phenomena" didn't evolve/change enough to continue to instill the "things aren't normal" feeling. The paranormal became normal.
posted by porpoise at 9:11 PM on January 18, 2011


I would venture to guess that most of the people who actually made Dead Space 2 are disappointed in this ad campaign as well.

I really enjoyed the first Dead Space, but will have to pass on this, because instead of experiencing an intense sci-fi horror experience I will now only be able to associate this game with a bunch of advertising execs huddled over a monitor, watching a youtube hit counter increment and high-fiving each other.
posted by Durhey at 9:43 PM on January 18, 2011


Note: I loved the first Dead Space, and was really excited about the second installment until they released a revamped site (the one prior to the current "Your Mom Hates Dead Space" site), at which point I was quickly turned off. I was under the impression that much of the game would deal with Isaac's extreme psychological problems thanks to being around the Marker for so long, but it seems that much of the game has just turned into new displays of gore, which is so disappointing. The original development posts confirmed my former assumption, but as of late they have turned more towards the latter. I don't approve. I have a friend who I know will buy the game, and perhaps I'll play it at his house sometime, but I doubt I'll buy this game.
posted by MHPlost at 9:54 PM on January 18, 2011


EA's marketing department is *shit*. Completely awful.

They tried to sell Dragon Age with hard rock. They tried to sell Mass Effect 2 with a 'bad ass biotic bitch'. The previously mentioned Dante's Inferno was drowned in bad marketing.
posted by graventy at 10:17 PM on January 18, 2011


  • ...Hey serious gamers, are you unhappy that your chosen hobby automatically associates you with the worst kind of dumbass teenage cliché?
  • ...Gamers who are likely to play Dead Space 2 are gonna buy Dead Space 2 no matter what kind of shitty ad they make.


Hi. Real live grown-up here. Feminist. Parent. Someone who, as boo_radley said, played the fuck out of the first Dead Space. And seriously considering not buying the sequel, based entirely on that ad.

If it makes it that much harder to admit to new acquaintances that I own a gaming laptop because members of one of my peer groups are perceived to be sexist man-children, then fuck it, and fuck everyone in the industry who thinks that kind of shit still makes sense at this point in gaming's development.

If I do play it, I'll probably end up pirating it. Which isn't something I do. I was going to quite happily give my money to the people who made this game because they'd already made one of the best games I'd played in years, and I thought they deserved it. Maybe they still do, but now that's something they're just going to have to take up with the folks in marketing - because as far as I know, they're all assholes.
posted by regicide is good for you at 10:20 PM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: It's a dangerous, mind-numbing, mind-altering, demonic weapon.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 11:02 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just a quick off-topic tip for anyone considering playing the PC version of Dead Space - apparently turning off Vsync in the graphics options vastly improves the responsiveness of the controls. I did this and was very satisfied with the gameplay experience.

I'll probably be getting Dead Space 2 a while after it releases, cause I figure this dumb campaign was probably cooked up by a bunch of marketing types with little or no creative investment in the actual game. Presumably the same people who thought it was a good idea for EA Redwood Shores to rename itself Visceral Games...
posted by fearthehat at 12:06 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I do play it, I'll probably end up pirating it.

Huh. I'm not sure that "pirate game because the ad people annoyed me" ranks above "made shitty ad" on the ol' ethics-o-meter, but whaddya gonna do I guess.
posted by Justinian at 12:26 AM on January 19, 2011


Fucking stupid ass horseshit

Indeed. But it probably rocks the pants off the 12-year-olds.

I hate 12 year olds only slightly less than I hate the cynical fuckers chasing their parents' dollars.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:04 AM on January 19, 2011


This (genuinely) viral video of a guy freaking out over voice-comm while playing Amenesia the Dark Descent (NSFW for language and man screaming like a little girl) is more the direction I wished they had gone with Dead Space 2.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:45 AM on January 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lots of MeFites all bent out of shape on this one.

55 comments and counting on a MeFi. Hundreds of comments on other blogs that I've seen. Hundreds of thousands of comments on YouTube. Add to that, a load stellar game reviews.

Yeah... I'm sure the marketing team considers the campaign an massive failure.
posted by En0rm0 at 6:05 AM on January 19, 2011


Dead Space was what Doom3 was supposed to be.

It's a shame they've decided to cheapen it in such a dopey and ineffectual way.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:07 AM on January 19, 2011


Oh god... the endless Mass Effect 2 ads in EVERY comic... you could not help but hate the fucking thing for interrupting you every 3 pages.
posted by Artw at 6:10 AM on January 19, 2011


Dead Space 1 was a shameless Resident Evil 4-in-space knockoff, but a surprisingly good one. And it had some excellent ideas - the button to draw a path to remind you where your next objective is? Brilliant. Every game needs that.

2 looks like a money-grab, with obligatory multiplayer tacked on, but I'll give it a try anyway.

That said, I fucking hate this campaign. It's mean-spirited, and insulting to the very people they want to buy the game.
posted by Sibrax at 10:06 AM on January 19, 2011


At least John Carmack no longer wishes to make you his bitch.
posted by Justinian at 10:30 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


No opinion on the silly ad campaign, but I cannot wait to play Dead Space 2. The first one is probably in my top 10 favorite games of all time. Everything about the game seemed very well-thought-out to me. The total lack of HUD, the holographic pop-up menus, the freaky ambient sounds. Can't wait.

Some of the mothers in these videos look like Rambo compared to me playing the first game. I was screaming, I was shaking, my eyes may have welled up once or twice. It was intense.
posted by kryptondog at 10:32 AM on January 19, 2011


At least John Carmack no longer wishes to make you his bitch.

As hilarious as it might be to imagine John Carmack saying that, it was, of course John Romero whose Daikatana utterly failed to make anyone but the Ion Storm dev team its bitch.
posted by straight at 10:55 AM on January 19, 2011


Yeahhh, if John Carmack wanted to make you his bitch, you'd be wearing hooker heels and a tube top before you could blink.

But he doesn't, because Carmack's more or less a giant boy scout.
posted by boo_radley at 12:02 PM on January 19, 2011


Yeah, if you want to see the polar opposite of the VISCERAL GAMES!!! approach to game development and marketing, just check out John Carmack's twitter feed, or listen to this winsome interview on the Bethesda podcast. What a great guy.
posted by straight at 12:32 PM on January 19, 2011


Closed myself in a 1600 gallon tank for an hour. CO2 rose to 3430 ppm, humidity rose to 71%. No discomfort. 9 Nov
posted by straight at 12:38 PM on January 19, 2011




This mom (of one of UI designers) thinks it's hilarious, does that make it instantly uncool?

Old Asian women are real hard-asses and can often have rather violent tastes. Anecdotal case in point: my grandmother is a huge pro-wrestling fan.
posted by PsychoKick at 1:38 PM on January 19, 2011


Why would the guy who made the Living Dead stuff want to make you his bitch?
posted by Justinian at 2:12 PM on January 19, 2011


Related: yourInvestorsHateBacklash.com is still available as I type this.
posted by spock at 2:30 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


While I was waiting for the tube today, I noticed a huge advertisement for Dead Space 2 in front of me (this is the same space* that has hosted brilliant ads like The Economist's "Should we bomb Iran?" or "Hotmail has pictures!"). I was looking at it mechanically and wondered if there was a pc version before remembering Justinian's comment about remapping keys.

That billboard occupied more space* than my living room and didn't have an icon to let prospective consumers know that the game is available for Windows. The marketing department can't design a billboard, let alone a "viral" campaign.

*Insert dead space joke.

posted by ersatz at 4:19 PM on January 19, 2011


It's going to take me a while to process and articulate the exact reasons why I think this campaign is silly, but I think it mostly comes down to the campaign being a reminder of the fact that -- regardless of the quality of the game, the UI, game mechanics, graphics, story etc. -- all of these executives think anyone who plays games is either an adolescent or an idiot.

It reminds me of the 2006 Zipatoni campaign for Sony, "All I Want For Christmas Is My PSP", which had a fake blog written in l33t sp34k, fake glossy pages "to slip into your parents' mags", YouTube videos of songs, etc. That one would have been a ridiculous campaign even if they hadn't tried to claim it was legitimately written by a person and not a marketing firm, when it was so, so obviously not.

And I know, this isn't exactly news to anyone who's been in and grown out of the supposed target gamer demographic (or those who, perhaps by female, weren't included in it to begin with). I've grown cynical and hardened to the exact same thing happening in the movie arena, where the entire purpose of so many films released today has been reduced to little more than a numbers game (cost of production vs. box office intake). (Though it makes you appreciate even more the films that avoid this.)

Maybe it's because I know the stereotype to be mostly wrong, and I'm frustrated by how persistent it is. I genuinely think it turns people off of playing games, or at least from talking about doing so because it's not seen as a legitimate pastime for adults. Maybe I'm just sick of dealing with inauthenticity and don't have time to waste on stuff that's trying to trick me. Maybe it just pisses me off because it's so damn lazy to fall back on this idea of pimply teenage dorks, again and again.
posted by lhall at 7:29 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


<>all of these executives think anyone who plays games is either an adolescent or an idiot.

But this just isn't true. They know with a high degree of certainty exactly who their demographic is. High-information gamers already know whether they want Dead Space 2. This ad campaign doesn't mean they think most people who would play DS2 would be tempted by this ad, it says one thing and one thing only: The marketing people think that this ad will produce the most bang for the buck sales-wise. They aren't going to spend their money marketing to people who already know whether they want DS2.

Whether this ad campaign is effective or not I can't say. But the objection you're making is not true. Plenty of high-quality products have what you or I might consider terrible, terrible advertisement.

Perfect example: Book blurbs. Patrick Rothfuss' fantasy The Name of the Wind is quite highly regarded as first novels go. You know who the blurbs on the back are from? Tad "Bloaty McBloaterson" Williams. Terry "Tolkien for Dummies" Brooks. Robert "I'M CANADIAN! DID I MENTION I'M CANADIAN?" Sawyer. And Kevin J. "Will Rape the Corpse Of Dead Authors For Food" Anderson.

Does that mean that DAW thinks that Rothfuss appeals only or even mostly to brain-dead assholes with bad taste? No, no it doesn't. It means that high-information readers aren't going to look at the blurbs, but that blurbs from those people have a chance of bringing in way more sales than blurbs from more relevant authors.

I'm not sure what the disconnect is.
posted by Justinian at 11:34 PM on January 19, 2011


KEVIN J. ANDERSON. GOD HELP US.
posted by Justinian at 11:35 PM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really did not get on with Dead Space. Really not at all. Thought it wasn't a patch on things like HL or even Bioshock. I never finished it.
posted by Decani at 6:21 AM on January 20, 2011


High-information gamers already know whether they want Dead Space 2.

I'd like to think there exist low-information gamers who might be interested in this game but are as put-off by this advertising as I am. That it's possible EA could grab both the people who like this and the people who don't like this by marketing the actual virtues of the game instead of creating stupid stunts like this. That the number of people who would actually get Dead Space 2 just because their mom would hate it is tiny or even zero.
posted by straight at 9:13 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


and the game's gonna cost $60. And the chief environment in the trailer is a generic evil cathedral. Eat a dick, EA. Eat it raw.
posted by boo_radley at 9:23 PM on January 20, 2011


Dead Space 2 is pretty dang good as it turns out. But haters gonna hate.
posted by Justinian at 7:47 PM on January 29, 2011


Whether the game is good or not is immaterial to the discussion at hand.

But triters gonna trite, amirite?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 AM on January 31, 2011


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