Gamestation’s Sexist Advertisement

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 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.”

8 thoughts on “Gamestation’s Sexist Advertisement

  1. Heh, it really depends how you read it I guess. A girlfriend obviously is more valuable, but it’s quite bold to make this comparison.
    On the contrary you could actually state that some male gamers are discriminated if they fall for such a deal, by “prefering” the game over their girlfriend. What can I say, some of us male gamers really take their hobby serious.
    But well, stating the obvious is probably not the best PR (just reading the logic out of it), but not sure if I’d see it as insulting.

    • Probably because you are a man. If I saw that advertisement I would have walked right out and told my friends to boycott. And some of you male gamers who take your hobby that seriously dont have girlfriends because of it. Just saying. Sex>videogames any day.

      • I’m pretty sure there are girls aswell, who read between the lines. By that I don’t mean those who present themselves as a pile of flesh to nerds. Speaking of promotion girls, aren’t these actually discriminated in some way?
        I mean take a stroll through any games convention, or pretty much any e-sport event… what do these events offer to you in that regard (apart from gaming of course, but that’s not the point)? =P

        It’s not that that this gamestation thing stated “Better than your Girlfriend”, that’s just up to your imagination (which actually gets exploited when it comes to some gamers).

      • I don’t really understand what you’re saying here. When a gaming convention hires promotional girls, that is just as sexist yes. But at the same time, that is not them directly telling you that something is cheaper than your girlfriend, which is a messed up thing to say, but simply showing a hot girl. Those are two completely different kinds of situations. Also, it is against Gamestation’s store rules to be discriminatory, and I am pretty sure it is not against any rules when organizations hire promo girls.

        The statement “Better than your girlfriend” is a stupid, sexist thing to say about a videogame. What possible positive connotation do you have for that statement? Perhaps you are one of those boys this advertisement was aimed at.

        My boyfriend would know better.

      • Oh yes indeed, your assumption is well thought out, and totally not a result of defying any sense.
        Just because I don’t see a wench in every girlfriend, and relate “cheaper” to monetary cost it doesn’t make me sexist.
        But enough of this, I’m fine if you don’t understand someone else’s opinion, but I refuse to waste any time on poorly hidden insults, there are enough forums for this already.

      • It was not a hidden insult hun. It was quite open. And suggesting I don’t have sense when you cant even form a proper sentence is kind of funny to me. I am guessing what you are saying half the time.

        Feel free to feel insulted though. I sure do 🙂 But that’s pretty normal for us women.

        And the monetary cost association was also insulting. Assuming that the gamer is male with a female girlfriend and assuming that girlfriend is expensive or a gold digger. That is insulting. And so you just proved my point: you were the kind of guy that ad was aimed at.


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