[Dtoid community blogger crackedbat shares his thoughts on the Nintendo "I'm Not A Gamer" ad controversy and the term "gamer" in general. Want to see your own words appear on the front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon]
One of the great things about living in the age of the Internet is that everyone has a chance to bring their opinions to the masses. Hell, I’m writing on a blog right now that might be read by 30 people and I don’t even know 30 people. It’s a wonderful time to be alive and opinionated, and opinionated is something people around the world have had no problem being. Though it’s great that you can get your voice out, many times you’ll find yourself silenced by the hateful rants of complete strangers just because you wanted to speak up. I should know; I’ve done it myself, and it takes thick skin to be on the receiving end of such scorn.
I honestly try not to, but there are just some instances where the stupidity overwhelms my conscience and I have to refute what they are arguing. For me, this is divided 50/50 between two topics: politics and videogames. I’m sure the political rage will die down after the election, but the angry gaming rhetoric is a 365 kind of deal. So I’m always exposed to the anger, the hate, the frothing at the mouth over the most innocent of statements; the most recent example of which rests in the new “I’m Not A Gamer” ads from Nintendo.
If you haven’t seen these ads, they feature famous females who are advertising Nintendo products using the (unorthodox to some) statement: “I not a gamer. With my 3DS, I’m...” For the first ad that aired, Gabby Douglas says she’s not a gamer, she’s a coin collecting champion. The game she is advertising is New Super Mario Bros. 2, a game where the goal is to collect the most coins. The second ad has Dianna Agron saying she’s not a gamer, she’s an artist; she’s advertising the new Art Academy game for the 3DS. (In fact, Dianna Agron has run a somewhat popular blog on art for several years. She has some great photographs on there.) Finally, a third ad starring Sarah Hyland from Modern Family will air later this month. It will feature Style Savvy: Trendsetters; she’ll probably be a fashion designer/fashionista instead of a gamer.
I have nothing against Mr. Schreier, and in fact applaud the piece he wrote about developers and publishers thinking we’re all out to get them (though his comparison to the film industry is dead wrong). But no rational person would watch one of those ads and think, “Nintendo is treating ‘gamer’ as a dirty word.” Certainly not the people the ad is aimed at. My guess is that a young girl who watched Gabby Douglas win two gold medals probably saw someone she looks up to playing videogames. Said girl doesn’t see herself as a gamer, but knowing that Gabby Douglas enjoys playing games maybe she would, too. That’s who this ad is aimed at: the young girl who may look up to Gabby Douglas as a role model. Same goes for the Dianna ad. A young girl who likes art might watch that ad and think that would be a great program for her. (It should be noted that Art Academy is in fact an art program, not a "game". So we should really have no problem with Dianna saying she is not a gamer.)
Offended by an ad where Gabby Douglas says she’s not a gamer, but is playing a videogame.