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  • 01Nov

    French Sony Vita ad shows woman with four breasts

    We at GamingAngels are not usually ones to have our feathers easily ruffled. With sexism in the gaming industry being a current hot topic, we’ve taken most things in stride because, when it comes down to it, we’re just here for the games. But Sony France’s latest PS Vita commercial has rubbed us the wrong way…no inappropriate puns intended.

    Sony France’s approach was to highlight both the rear and front touch screens saying, “Touch both sides, twice the sensations.” How better to illustrate how totally awesome this is than be showing a headless woman with four breasts. Holy crap.

    First, lemme address some of the arguments addressing cultural differences, including that Europeans are not as sensitive as we excitable Americans. To that I say: pul-eeze. European tastes/sensibilities or no, this advertisement is repugnant on a number of levels.

    For one thing, the ad assumes that the only PS Vita customers are men. I mean, duh, obviously, those women folk don’t comprehend vidya-games so here ya go, boys! And I do use the word “boys,” because this is the type of fratboy mentality (“OMG TITS!”) that I thought the video game industry abandoned years ago. Seriously.

    Secondly, the image is a textbook definition of “objectification of women.” Not only does it suggest that the only thing better than a woman’s breasts is a woman with four breasts, it also shows that that’s the only thing worth noticing on a woman. The whole woman-shown-without-head technique has been played out for years.

    Third, and most important, what the hell is the ad selling? The front and rear touch screens of the PS Vita? Really? That’s its best feature?

    In a year crammed full of sexist allegations and examples, this French ad manages to overshoot the mark by a mile. Sure it’s only run in France, thereby only intended for French men, but we’re not accepting that as an excuse. We’re not angry, Sony Europe, we’re just wildly disappointed–and disgusted.

    [via Kotaku and MCV]

12 comments
Oriane
Oriane

Hello I'm French ,

 NO there is no cultural difference in sensitivity , I'm a women and I want to throw up . I find this disgusting and shocking , and I'm going to have to see this everyday maybe 5 or 6 times when going to work, among other horrible sexist commercials that we have absolutely everywhere here . And French women are fed up. The main difference between France and  USA about stereotypes is that  we don't teach how they  work at school. You need to be a bachelor student in social psychology to start talking about this . So people are not used to decode those commercials and explain why they're wrong . We just quietly feel weirdly uncomfortable , and anyway if you try to speak up , you are ridiculised.

mini
mini

Do people actually bring up the "Europeans are different" argument? Sidestepping the monstrous generalizations in bunching wildly different countries like Sweden, France, Ukraine and Greece together, whan on earth possesses these people to think that feminism doesn't exist here - in the country that started modern feminist debate back in the 18th century no less!

ellan
ellan

The argument that Europeans is "not as sensitive" is just stupid, and it gets the concepts of sex and sexism all mixed up. Sure I think Americans have a rather tense and judgemental approach to sex, but this is not about sex. It is about SEXISM. And OBJECTIFICATION of women. See? Different things. I could easily make an argument that the more open and non-judgemental you are about sex, the more you will notice and denounce sexism and objectification. If you are comfortable with the human body, if you are comfortable with yours and other people's sexuality, why would you need to turn women into objects? The human body is a beautiful thing and we should not be offended by it.. Sex is a dialogue between sentient beings and we all have our freedom of speech. A picture of a headless four-breasted woman as a metaphor for a plaything you can buy is cheap and misogynistic in whatever country it is shown.

krystman
krystman

I agree with Chris - the backside touch is a pretty important USP for that specific game system. I think it's quite reasonable for Sony to highlight it.That being said, that the ad is indeed quite tasteless and objectifying.The irony is that it's actually insulting to men and women. Women for the obvious objectification. But also the male gamer audience for being mindlessly obsessed by cheap titillation. Subconsciously it fuels the "gamers are sad nerds who don't get any and play videogames as a substitute for real relationships"-cliché.Pretty short-sighted for Sony to greenlight that kind of message. I wonder what Ad agency produced this brain fart.

Katherine
Katherine

 @krystman I definitely agree, but also, wow! Krystman! Is it you? Wonderful work with the podcast and Trauma.

krystman
krystman

 @krystman Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Also, funny thing: I was actually also wondering the same about Chris Remo above - are you the real Chris Remo from Indle Thumbs?

krystman
krystman

Amazing coincidence. I was just catching up with my Idle Thumbs backlog. I'm really glad to see you back. You guys are a valuable resource and powerful inspiration.

Chris Remo
Chris Remo like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @krystman I don't even care what features they're promoting. They could be promoting the best feature or the worst feature or whatever. The (totally reasonable) complaint levied by the article is that poor taste and exclusionary messaging were exercised in this advertising, and it seems to be that it totally undermines that point to then say, "But ACTUALLY the most important thing is that they're promoting the wrong feature."

Chris Remo
Chris Remo like.author.displayName 1 Like

Why is the most important thing that the ad is selling a feature you don't think is the best feature to sell? That's seriously more important than the other charges you're making?

davidmoffitt
davidmoffitt

@GamingAngels IMHO, it would have been fine with better copy, and if we saw her head.

ProdigiousJ
ProdigiousJ

As a man in the gaming industry, I have always been worried about selling the idea of Sexism in my articles or maybe in my business enterprises.Seeing this makes me cringe. It also makes me feel as if the ad departments haven't evolved, they have just become mildly hidde n waiting for a weak moment in France. I am saddened by this display. I sure hope they feel the sting of this one.

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