ScattershotsShawn Drotar

Posted on July 27th, 2009 in Gaming, Xbox 360, News, Opinion by Shawn Drotar

It’s Monday already? This weekend went by too quickly…

Anyway, here’s what caught my attention lately:

  • Remember the game-changing Rock Band Network that I discussed last week? It didn’t take long for the reverberations throughout the music industry to materialize. Record label Sub Pop, which owns the rights to early Nirvana recordings, among others, intends to convert its entire catalog for play on Rock Band, and will use that as a lure for new artists. “This’ll be a ‘release’ as far as I’m concerned,” says Sub Pop’s Tony Kiewel. “This’ll be another format alongside vinyl and CD.”
  • “Advertars”. For most massive-multiplayer online (MMO) titles, there’s a monthly fee of some sort. One would hope that might preclude you from having to watch advertisements within your games. But the Xbox 360 Dashboard’s already covered in ads - and there are more on the way, and Microsoft isn’t going to stop there. They’ve patented in-game avatars that are designed to - not to put too fine a point on it - harass gamers into listening to in-game ads that may have little or nothing to do with their in-game world. Ugh.
  • Of course, in-game advertising might be preferable to the promotion of Electronic Arts’ upcoming God of War: 1300s Dante’s Inferno, which not only seems to be struggling with adequately translating its source material to game form (as would be expected given the 700-year old and introspective nature of The Divine Comedy) but also appears to be running an ad campaign designed by feces-flinging chimpanzees or a bunch of boozy frat boys. First, EA ran an obviously fake protest at the E3 expo in a effort to raise awareness about the game, but instead offended reactionary Christians (which, admittedly, isn’t that hard to do) and anybody with a functioning brain. But EA even topped that idiocy with a mind-bendingly sexist campaign at Comic-Con. Witness:
  • I don’t even know where to begin here - it’s all 31 flavors of wrong. Objectifying women, assuring that ladies all over the convention (whether they’re working there or not) get pestered by the lowest common denominator… it’s just vile. Of course, the very sexist nature of “booth babes” needs to be addressed as well, but that’s an entirely different ball of wax. At this point, I have no idea to whom Dante’s Inferno is supposed to appeal to, but I suppose it’s safe to assume that the team doesn’t think it’s women (or gay men), eh? EA has since apologized for their latest advertising train-wreck, but this time, too much damage might have been done. The game’s really gotten nothing but bad publicity, and almost all of it’s self-inflicted. If it’s to succeed, EA’s going to have to come out with one hell of a game… and it’s probably better if they just stopped talking about it until then.

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Photo credit: Kotaku.com

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