Sunday, June 27, 2010

ASCII Entertainment and the Dress Code from Hell

During the 16-bit era, ASCII Entertainment Software produced enhanced game controllers for the Sega Genesis and Super NES consoles, promoted with very similar magazine ads:

Both take the "crazy gamer" motif into bold new biological territory, implying that once a kid picks up this controller, his DNA is instantly altered, causing one side of his body to adopt weird new mutant texture and coloration.  The Power Clutch SG for the Genesis apparently gives kids a Mephistopheles/Freddy Krueger makeover, while the SNES ASCIIPad induces a Frankenstein's monster vibe a la vintage Ozzy.

I'm sure the ad was meant to appeal to kids, not parents, whose nightmare images of teenage rebellion manifest here in the starkest visual terms.

But there's also a bit of a Lampwick vibe haunting these images -- to my mind, the kids willing to buy into the ad's message of coolness conferred would likely be deeply disturbed by its apparent irrevocability. 

I call B.S.

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