Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Elsewhere: Hong Kong Atari 2600 TV Commercial

DigThatBoxRETRO has an excellent collection of retro videogame ads posted on YouTube.

This one is a reminder that American videogames earned some market share in the East during the pre-Nintendo era.  It's a Hong Kong TV ad for the Atari 2600 -- it features bouncy children, Mom and Dad playing Atari Basketball, Space Invaders, and Asteroids.

Note the patriarchal tone of the ad -- only the male characters are shown actually playing the games.  Little sister has nothing to do but cheer her big brother on.  Mom playfully tries to interfere with Dad's joystick; he pushes her away with an annoyed chuckle, in what one can only assume is a Freudian moment.

I like to think the final shot takes place after Mom has finally taken her daughter and left her sexist husband.  But it's the middle of the first-wave industry crash -- Dad has gone to the store looking for something new to play, and finds no such thing as a "videogame" for sale.  His son tries to console him, or perhaps sublimates his Oedipal aggression, by patting Dad on the back for a really long time.

I also like the name of the distribution company -- any company would feel confident with the backing of Kong King Trading Company.

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