Your Mom Sells Dead Space 2

EA/Visceral Games' recent viral ad campaign for Dead Space 2 has been popping up on various video game news outlets since its debut over the weekend. For those of you who are not familiar, it's essentially an attempt to make Dead Space appealing solely based on the idea that middle-aged (conservative) mothers think it's gory and violent. Take a look at some of the videos here.

Apparently, everyone (excluding their mothers) thinks this is "brilliant". I'm not sure that I'd call it that, but I see what they might be going for with this campaign. The argument for why it's "brilliant" is because it uses the idea of the disapproving mom to sell video games. But if your target audience is over 18, how does parental disapproval have anything to do with making them want to buy the game? If it really is trying to sell mature game to minors, then is reducing your industry to the child-corrupting stereotypes really the way to help your bottom line?

An interesting thing to note is how they tested mothers from "the heart of conservative America". As if liberal mothers would have been too busy demanding that there should be more educational content to make entertaining reaction shots.

Maybe EA believes that its games won't sell well enough based on their own merits or reputation with people who have played the first game (which people seem to like). And yes, I realize that this was done largely for the sake of humor, but that doesn't mean that can't be critical of it, damn it!
I'll admit, the videos are good for laugh or two at the participants’ expense, but if you're running out to buy a game simply because it has a cool marketing campaign, then maybe you should rethink your purchase criteria.

UPDATE: Even the fine minds at Extra Credits (The Escapist) made this point here.


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