At night, after Patrick goes to bed, my wife and I enjoy watching some shows on Hulu.com (we do not own a TV). We tend to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report most nights during the week. For the last few nights, one commercial during these programs has really bothered me. It is for SONY’s new Playstation Vita. I don’t know much about video games – except that I don’t play them – but apparently this new system allows you to play the same game on your home device and on this new portable device. “Never stop playing,” they say in the commercial:
SONY wants you to think that the mere thought of having to leave your home and be outside for a short while is unbearable without playing a game, specifically, without their new product. This is sad. It is sad because their slogan “Never stop playing” encourages exactly the opposite in those whom the commerical is intended for. While it says “Never stop playing,” I hear “Stop playing.” Even worse, the wallpaper in the man’s home, shown behind the couch from where he is playing the video game, is of a forest. Intentional? I’m not sure, but it became obvious after seeing the commercial a few times.
The commercial continues in a second ad, which I found online. The man, walking the streets on his way to work, goes through a public park, full of trees and grass. It feels as if it is intentional that we as the viewer see green right before the man looks at his device and imagines the gaming action happenening in real time, right there in the park on some steps.
Shame on you, SONY. Have your games, fine. But to encourage youth to feel the need to be connected to their gaming like you show in these commercials is irresponsible. I agree, never stop playing. But I guess I have a different idea of what playing means. The first commercial says, “Who says you have to choose?” Well, I will choose. I choose not to introduce gaming to my son.
I’ll show him a forest, full of green.