The Gender Replacer
Sometimes the games industry doesn’t do itself any favours. In a world where we’re supposed to be progressing past the attitude that ‘girls don’t play games’, Activision release a vaguely misogynistic commercial for the new Call of Duty DLC pack, Revolution. The most worrying part of it, though, is how entertaining I find it.
It’s clear that Activision have labelled their target audience as responsibility-averse cavemen, but I’m cool with that. You see, as a guy who takes constant care that the amount of time he spends playing games does not infringe on his day-to-day responsibilities, I would love a “replacer”. I find the very idea of one frankly hilarious – especially if that replacer is none other than Bad Boys 2’s Peter Storemare. But I am also aware that I am not the only type of person who plays on Call of Duty; my friends list comprises of all kinds of people – many of whom would find this commercial at best uninteresting, and at worst offensive. I personally have no issue with it, although I do think that sexism in games will continue to walk in circles as long as commercials like this exist, and booth babes will keep degrading themselves and everyone around them at conventions.
The one problem I do have with this video is that it is unnecessary. I am the target audience, and you can be damn sure that I’d have bought this DLC whether the commercial existed or not. The same is true of the vast majority of the Call of Duty audience. It’s as if Activision are going out of their way to seek out the remaining pockets of vaguely intelligent life to coerce them to buy more content. Only when I think of the commercial in this light do I start to see it’s content as slightly inappropriate, maybe even insulting.
I can only imagine what it would be like to see this advert as a non alpha-male (because obviously I am alpha as they come); I imagine I would feel excluded, finding the scanty sections of gameplay footage to be as intriguing as the long sections of male-oriented humour are frustrating.
In the end, there’s no point to this rant. Things will never change until we change them. As long as there are ubiquitously stupid booth babes, childish and shallow males, and girls with a prejudiced and condescending attitude towards being girl gamers, the world will keep spinning and Activision will keep shitting out over-the-top commercials aimed at that audience. The only real point here is that we shouldn’t let this detract from the DLC itself. Call of Duty is still as much fun as being tickled by a Tellytubby made of jelly-beans, and this DLC will only add to that fun. So whatever your opinion of Call of Duty, sexism, or other people, don’t let this put off of video games.