Sep 29, 2009

Banned XBox 360 Commercial

Self-censorship sometimes takes some very strange forms, as indicated in the above 360 "ad" (if it never aired, could it really be advertising anything?) from 2007. Ostensibly, the commercial advocated violence and was stopped from being aired in the first place.

In a strictly business sense, I completely understand the reason for shelving the advertisement. Having people engage in fake gunplay makes the company more liable for unsavory outcomes attributed to video games, and it also simultaneously makes Microsoft look insensitive to those who lose family members and friends in violent situations.

However, it's a clever, essentially uncontroversial ad that pokes fun at adulthood and "play". And it contains a healthy dose of irony, something this country has been loathe to understand recently. It's a shame to me that the gaming industry need to walk on eggshells, due mostly to its perception in the eyes of parents and the media. Isn't stylized violence what gamers partake in every day? Do children not "play war" in neighborhoods across the country? Well, maybe not, but still...

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