Thanks to GamerLeak for the heads up:
Apparently, a UK GameStation (just like Gamestop, lol) is so “edgy” that they violate their own rules.
The store recently launched an in-store ad campaign that stated that a used copy of Black Ops was “cheaper than your girlfriend.”
Do I even need to go there? I mean, MAYBE they meant it like “cheaper than a date with your girlfriend” or “cheaper than your girlfriend’s mani-pedi that you bought her,” but even then, we have a problem. You know, let me list these problems in convenient bullet format:
Reasons this ad campaign is all kinds of wrong:
- “Cheaper than your girlfriend” can be taken more than one way. One way is that the store is suggesting that your girlfriend is cheap. Imagine a girlfriend going into the store to buy a used copy of Black Ops for her boyfriend. And then reading the suggestion that she might be “cheap.”
- It can also be taken as a suggestion that men have to spend a lot of money on their girlfriends. This also implies that video games are preferable over girlfriends. And that all girlfriends are expensive. Overall, this highly-negative connotation is not only unhealthy for relationships in general, but especially hurtful when both the male and female in the couple play video games. Why was she targeted?
- Ummmm, all of the women gamers I interviewed for an upcoming post play Black Ops. ALL of them. 100%. So how about we go alienate a bunch of gamers? That sounds fun. And edgy. (Note the heavy sarcasm). Why do they persist in suggesting that only men play video games?
- Oh, and so what if only men play video games, what about all the gay men? I know a lot of gay male gamers, and how dare the industry continue to suggest they don’t exist or that they are off playing Imagine Babysitter? Any of my gay male friends can whoop your butt in Mortal Kombat, so don’t get me started!
Overall, I just think they could have said this, and been mildly funny, by saying “cheaper than your date,” or “cheaper than your beau,” or some other word that could be used for male or female.
The whistle blower
So, who let us know about this? A female employee who found it sexist. She contacted GamesIndustry.biz to spread the word, saying:
“It is pretty openly sexist – girls being cheap, obviously, but it’s also pandering to the old stereotype that gamers are guys,” she told the site, also noting that, “Any discrimination is banned by GAME’s own employee regulations, so I don’t see why the company itself should be able to get away with it.”
And now, for the bad PR
Head of PR Gamestation Neil Ashurst released a statement, saying that “GameStation has always been slightly edgy and occasionally controversial.” Summing up as that this is just part of the brand’s image, that they want to show.
So they want to show that they are immature jerks who don’t believe in girl gamers? Nice.
If this had been any other minority targeted, they would have had to apologize and fix it. Can you imagine them getting away with “Cheaper than a Jew” or “Cheaper than black people?”
But no, insulting women is just “slightly edgy.”