Friday, March 25, 2011

Half Accepted (Video Games)

I've been thinking lately about video games. More particularly, how they're viewed by mainstream culture. Pop back a few decades, and you've got the gamer nerd with the social skill of the pimples on his face. Nowadays, though, people seem a bit smarter, and someone's finally picked up on the fact that, if 103% of Western males play videogames, and a good chunk of females too, at least two or three percent of those guys must have, at some point in his life, had sex, or the human race would be about to atrophy. From this came the perception of gaming as a normal part of life, not a defining characteristic. Amusingly enough, though, both views are still around.

Which brings us, finally, to the point of this post. Go watch this (brief) Alienware ad, but pause the video at :07 and do your best to forget who Alienware is. Which stereotype is it going for? I sat through this thing a few times before my daily doses of Zero Punctuation the last couple days, and each time I failed completely to spot any real cues. On one hand, the waitress is smiling. On the other, he was just randomly gyrating in public, and she could just as likely be giving him a weirdo nerd smile as a let's go out on a date and make babies smile. Honestly, if I had to guess from just those first seven seconds, I would have gone with the latter interpretation, but I'm guessing that's not what the video game-affiliated company was going for. This is, I guess, what comes from having two stereotypes in effect and having them both be approached almost exactly the same way.

That's it. What, were you expecting some kind of insight? Go read a book or something.

1 comment:

  1. Right. Dell owns Alienware, so whatever they used to be is not what they are now. Whoever made the video hasn't a clue about the target audience - and the target audience was always hardcore PC gamers who were just enough behind the curve to NOT build their own rigs. Pfft. You want stereotypes, I'll give you a million of them.

    Have you seen this:

    I despair.