Pop Attention Span

Trying to keep up with the zeitgeist

Today in “Is it really that hard to see?”

As a marketing geek, I’ve got experience in how branding guidelines can mix frustrating and hilarious in the ways they switch from sensible to totally nonsensical. However, in looking at what Kotaku finds “odd” about Microsoft’s guidelines for using XBox Live avatars, I’m left wondering if someone missed the “Amateur Marketers 101” lecture. Among the guidelines Kotaku finds odd are:

When Avatars are used in a group of three or more, at least one Avatar must be female.

When Avatars are used in a group of three or more, consider including different ethnicities.

Is it that hard to understand that Microsoft wants potential customers to look at XBox Live avatars (which are supposed to represent actual XBox Live members) and potentially see themselves?  That when you portray a group of your customers as all-male or all-white, potential female and POC get a subtle message that they’re intruding on a club that’s not for them. And considering that Kotaku found this strange, video game marketers definitely need to have this explained to them.

And, of course, a clueless Kotaku post wouldn’t be complete without a more clueless comment:

I like how if you have 3 people, at least one must be female, but no rule about one must be male is provided.
3 girls playing games together = Totally cool.
3 guys playing games together = Sexist

Is it really so bad to show some bros gaming together without a girl in the group?

Sigh. Is it really so hard to understand that the feeling of alienation that the idea of including a woman in the group is the overall rule, not the exception, for female gamers?


December 2, 2009 - Posted by | video games | ,

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