Game news Mario Strikers, Duke Nukem… 10 Video Game Ads That Would Be Censored Today
If today video game advertisements are becoming more and more rare, preferring Twitch and Youtube channels to TV spots and magazine pages, they were legion until a short time ago. And the least we can say is that it was a completely different era… Here are 10 ads that could never see the light of day today.
You probably already have a small idea of the kind of pubs that could be found at that time. So we get to the heart of the matter an ad that highlights the female body in a rather suggestive way. As you can imagine, they are particularly numerous (Game Boy, BMX XXX, Davis Cup World Tour…), and in order not to repeat too much, we have chosen only one: that of Battlecruiser 3000 Ad. Of course, the game by Take Two/GameTek and Derek Smart, released in 1998, did not allow you to cross paths with this young woman who seems very eager to play the game. We just wonder why she has to be almost naked to show us.
Burnout 3: Takedown
We change the register, but not necessarily for the better. It’s the early 2000s, and publishers have apparently decided to abandon naked bodies for shock ad campaigns. For his racing game Burnout 3: Takedown, Electronic Arts has therefore seen fit to focus one of its ad pages on… traffic accidents. This is no joke and today it is hard to see where the publisher wanted to take us with such publicity. Still, it’s pretty bad taste, and it’s hard to imagine it being possible today. Especially since even the prevention spots that can be seen on TV today are less direct than this supposed site sell Burnout 3: Takedown.
Do you know Cheesy? This game released in 1996 invited you to embody a mouse trying to escape from a castle. It took the form of a platform game aimed at very young teenagers. Suffice to say, with this core objective, one can only be surprised by the ad below. The latter actually compares the game to a venereal disease that you would be happy to get. A choice for the less daring, especially since this ad was born in the full period of awakening and explosion of the cases of HIV (7,710,000 deaths associated with AIDS from 1990 to 1999). We are still entitled today to rather dubious advertising on the subject, but there is still little chance that anyone will be able to validate such advertising.
Daikatana is one of those games that has gone down in history for the wrong reasons. Announced for Christmas 1997, the game was finally pushed back to summer 2000, underwent many changes within the development team, left the latter scrambling, and cost a small fortune. Suffice it to say that even before its release, the general public expected a failure. A few months before the fateful date, the teams therefore decided to go all out with an outrageous campaign in rather bad taste. Based on the reputation of its creator John Romero (Doom, Wolfenstein 3D), it simply invited you to stay “his little whore”… Charming…
Donkey Kong land
After sexism, we’re on another slippery slope with Donkey Kong Land. This time it’s 1995, and it has to be said that at this point it’s pretty rare to see people of color in commercials. So when you opened your favorite magazine and suddenly came across this man named Yamiga Kanawi, there was something to be surprised about. Especially when you see a member of an African tribe proudly holding a Game Boy, it’s hard to understand the logic. And sadly, the only connection that can be found between the two is that advertising sinks into racism. Donkey Kong Land makes you play a monkey… In light of all the racist images surrounding this animal, the ad seems more disturbing at first.
Duke Nukem 3D
Sexism is over! Also racism! To complete this unhealthy advertising trilogy, all that is missing is … homophobia. And Duke Nukem 3D takes care of that. For once, if there’s one license that couldn’t be released as it is today, it’s Duke Nukem. It must be said that it is difficult to imagine a scene like the opening of Duke Nukem Forever possible in our time. And the same goes for some ads, like the one shown below, that confirm it If you don’t like Duke Nukem 3D, you must be gay. Given the lack of concrete connection between these two statements, one suspects a good deal of well-dated judgment that would be difficult to make today.
We will continue our momentum if you wish with a new layer of sexism. This time no naked women, though a particularly clichéd and sexist portrayal of an F1 Racing Championship player’s girlfriend. Besides the fact that the ad once again doesn’t really make sense, it’s no longer true to the zeitgeist to show a woman kindly doing the housework while her companion lives his great career (or plays video games). At a time when we are slowly starting to have men in advertisements for household products, it is hard to imagine such a possible representation.
Nintendo has always controlled its image down to the millimeter…or so we tend to think. But between the commercials inviting you to “turn on” Luigi and the one for Mario Sunshine introducing you to Mario “wetter than ever,” the Big N hasn’t always been so wimpy. The best example of this is the Mario Strikers license, the soccer game that brings together our plumber and his friends. For the first time in the Nintendo universe, shamelessly smash your enemies or watch Toads reduced to slavery. And of course we find it in this irreverent side the communication surrounding Mario Smash Football and this famous advertisement which invites you to forge a few neat balls before starting the game. Suffice to say, it’s hard for Nintendo to validate such an ad today.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
The case of Microsoft Flight Simulator is a bit special. Advertising is not actually problematic in itself, but has unfortunately aged badly since a certain event. If you don’t recognize the monument on the screen, the short text accompanying it should help you understand the problem: “Remember, when you’re streaking past the 42nd floor of the Twin Towers and maneuvering a spin recovery over Times Square, safety is the pilot’s primary concern.” In 1982 there was no problem with this ad. But almost twenty years later, the Twin Towers were marked by a catastrophic event: the attack on September 11, 2001. Suffice it to say that it is now impossible to imagine such an advertisement.
Sega Mega Drive Arcade Power Stick
At the time, Sega was particularly prolific when it came to crappy commercials. We now remember the slogan “Sega is stronger than you” and Segata Sanshiro, but we forgot all those that would no longer be possible today. This is the case with the Sega Saturn, which shows (still) a naked female body, but also that of the Sega Mega Drive Arcade Power Stick. This peripheral for the Megadrive allowed gaming with a large stick, which naturally gave some inappropriate ideas to the members of the marketing team. That’s how we ended up an ad aimed at a relatively young audience and demands “the more you play with it, the harder it gets”. Considering the society of the time, one even wonders how this could have happened.