Dear EB Games,
“A Man’s Guide to Trading”? Featuring a nagging wife? Come on, guys. It’s 2011. It’s nearly 2012! The Mayans say we’re all doomed soon, so if ever there was a time to not be sexist douchebags, now would be it, yeah?
The “A Man’s Guide to Trading” is offensive, tired, and badly produced. But mostly it’s offensive. The woman nags the man about his videogames? All he hears is Charlie Brown’s teacher? He trades games, saves money, buys her a dinner and then she’s happy and dusting the house? What, precisely, the fuck, you guys?
Seriously. Mad Men is actually, literally set during the time when that kind of approach to women was standard, and even THEY aren’t as ham-fisted in their approach. You’ve got the female character dusting. DUSTING. I actually had to watch the video a second time to make sure this wasn’t a super-subtle Frontline style satire.
But it really isn’t; because now you’ve got your Twitter account on the defensive, claiming it can’t possibly be sexist because it was written by a woman. Is that how it works, EB Games? Really? Cool, because there’s this gay dude I’d really like to beat up, but I was worried I’d get accused of committing a hate crime. But I didn’t know about the escape clause! If you ARE the thing you’re being offensive towards, the one cancels the other out! Like sleeping on a long-haul flight or eating celery! Awesome!
Newsflash: ANYONE can be sexist. ANYONE can be dumb and offensive and wilfully defiant of common sense. Owning a vagina does not automatically grant the right to take a shitty attitude toward other vagina-owners any more than owning a penis should automatically grant the right to a larger salary in the workplace. Isn’t this the kind of reductive, puerile, genitalia-based-entitlement nonsense we’re trying to put an end to?
The worst part, EB Games, is there are so many ways you could have done it better, and avoided this bullshit. Ditch the “nagging wife” part altogether, for a start. Maybe the dude could have just saved himself some money and bought his wife something nice because he’s a good guy? Maybe he could have saved himself some money and bought A GAME for his wife? Or maybe THE WIFE could have traded in her games for a new game? Or maybe it was a parent and child? I feel slightly foolish for suggesting these blatantly obvious alternatives, but clearly nobody involved in the creative process of this video thought of any.
The world is rife with sexism in a way that just shouldn’t be, considering how much better we know, or should know. The world of videogaming is much, much worse, and anyone who works for, buys from, or has even walked past a games store would be aware of this. You should have known better. You should have done better. And “it was just a joke” or “but I’m a woman” aren’t justifiable arguments. You should have known that, too.
You’ve made yourselves look so bad. And you’ve made me, as a member of the gaming community, look bad by proximity. Not only is that aggravating, it’s also tremendously difficult: I’ve worn my dressing gown to work on more than one occasion. If you’ve succeeded in making me look bad with no actual input from me, you should be tremendously worried.
(If you liked this humourous opinion piece, you should head on over to JasperSchultz.com for more like it! Also, Jasper didn’t include the video as he’s a classy gent, but I’m not. Watch it below. -Steve)