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Stupid Things [12 November 2012]

12 Nov

If you know me in real life – which hopefully no one reading my blog does – you know that one of my favorite activities is ranting about stupid shit. Or more specifically, things that I find to be pretty stupid.

And the thing that has been the subject of many a rant that I have gone on alone in my room is Nintendo’s new “But I’m not a gamer!” marketing campaign. I have always been fascinated by ads and different advertising techniques and I am aware of the fact that I do look too far into commercials. I mean, that’s why we have Tivo and DVRs – so we don’t have to watch the commercials.

Anyway, I seem to be getting distracted from my original point. Those Nintendo “I’m not a gamer” ads are stupid as hell. I understand why they are being made, but as a gamer, I pretty much hate them. The understanding comes from the fact that I am aware that handheld gaming is pretty much dying out. I – as well as my gamer friends – were not particularly excited or jumping up and down over Sony’s PlayStation Vita or Nintendo’s 3DS (and this was especially the case with the 3Ds). So, if the gamers aren’t responding to the product, what can you do? Reach out to the non-gamers! Yes, brilliant! And thus pretty faces like Glee‘s Diana Agron (I don’t know if that’s how her name is spelled, and right now opening a new tab is way too much work) have been enlisted to proclaim “hey, I’m not a gamer, but I bought this 3DS so that I can play [insert random puzzle game here]! It’s so fun!”.

This is where my problem[s] with these ads comes in. First of all, to someone like me – who is in fact a life-longer gamer – I hear something far…meaner when I hear those ads. What I hear is “hey, listen! video games aren’t just for nerds anymore! I bought this gaming device, but I’m pretty and not a loser at all! I only play it when I’m super bored! Us cool people don’t need to be embarrassed about playing video games, we’re just totally caje* about it!” *That’s meant to be pronounced like the first syllable in the word “casual”, by the way. I don’t know if this is me reading too far into things, as per usual, but there does seem to be something intangibly mean about having pretty girls holding up video games and making sure to loudly proclaim that they are “not gamers” before they endorse it. I feel like they would have to feel like there is something wrong with being a gamer to even feel the need to declare that they are not gamers. I don’t know, I just don’t like it.

And the second, more minor offense that this commercial commits in my eyes is that the message that it’s trying to convey is stupid, in my opinion. I don’t think “counter-productive” is the right term, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind. I mean, if you’re not a gamer and you only want to play fun little time waster games in between shooting your wildly successful television program…you probably already have games like that on your smart phone and/or tablet. So by that logic, why would you pay for a handheld gaming device and games when you are not a gamer and already have devices that you can play the types of games you want on. Not only that, but many games on cell phones and tablets are completely free to download and would be much more convenient for the type of person these commercials are trying to sell to. It just seems like Nintendo has been focusing too much on the non-gamer or casual gamer recently…but hey, maybe it’s working for them. Sony and Microsoft seem to have the hardcore gamer market cornered. Not to mention, that for many gamers my age, the path to waiting in line at midnight for Assassin’s Creed III has been paved with playing Tetris as a little kid or playing Mario Kart with your cousins in-between games of kickball.

I don’t know, maybe these ads will work out for Nintendo or boost their sales in some way (haha yeah, right). But at this moment, I just have to add these “I’m Not a Gamer” ads to my list of Stupid Things.

– Kai xxx