I received an intriguing email last week:
“Hi ET Games Team!
I really like your games and think they would be a great fit for our site, *****.com . *****.com is an online shopping site for guys where all the products are modeled by beautiful women…We would like to feature the Pucket or another game on our site and know they would make great photos.”
Wondering whether this was some sort of joke, I checked the site out myself (without lingering!). I can confirm that it features photos of attractive women, and things to buy.
Without wishing to be too soap-boxy, I believe it’s good to publish the Et Games stance on this sort of thing, so I’ve pasted my reply to ****.com below.
Thanks for your kind words about our games and your suggestion about featuring them.
I’ve had a quick look at your website. I hope what I’m going to say doesn’t come across as harshly judgemental – I am aware that what you’re doing is no different to what lots of other people are doing – but to my mind that’s actually what makes it a problem.
The first qualm I have is that I believe that advertising should be about the product – not about who is posing next to it. We need to give consumers an authentic reason to buy – not play positive association mind games with them.
Second, and more significantly, I worry about where our culture is going with regard to the image of women. I grant that your site is not porn, and that compared to what many people are doing it’s very mild. But when everybody is doing it, the net effect adds up. How should we value young women? For being sexy, sure, but not to the exclusion of being creative, funny, intelligent, or whatever else. I believe that in the end, the massive over emphasis on images of sexy women takes away our enjoyment of sex, because women are made to feel ugly and ashamed of their bodies, and men end up having fake fantasy relationships with airbrushed images.
This TED talk puts the case more persuasively than I can:
So, for these reasons we won’t be promoting our games through your site. I hope nonetheless that you’ll find my email constructive and challenging.
David Harvey – Managing Director, Et Games Limited
tel. 020 7193 1286
mob. 07799 197345