A promotional EB Games video that aims to explain the retailer’s trade-in process has come under attack for using gender stereotypes and making negative generalisations about women.
The animated video, which EB Games’ Twitter account has defended as being a light-hearted joke, shows a husband being nagged by his wife after he expresses interest in going into EB. Inside the store, an EB store clerk suggests that he trade-in games in exchange for the games he wants to buy, which saves him money that he then spends on dinner with his wife. The closing scene shows his wife doing housework and rewarding him with gaming time because he paid for dinner.
A number of tweets from men and women have called out EB for perpetuating a negative stereotype and making women feel uncomfortable.
“It’s hard to just point at one thing in the video and call it offensive, because so much of it is, from [the man] tuning out his wife’s concerns as ‘nagging’ to basically buying her over with dinner,” DeLoria told Kotaku.
“As if that wasn’t bad enough, the husband buying her nice things is considered him ‘doing so much.’ It’s full of some really harmful negative stereotypes which, considering how many issues female gamers face at the moment in the gaming community, is the last thing the gaming community needs.”
DeLoria also found EB Games’ responses to her criticisms over Twitter unsatisfactory.
“As for it being a light-hearted joke, it almost seems as though EB is so out of touch with their own customers that they fail to realise that it offensively stereotypes not only women but gamers in general. I feel that EB’s defence of the ad after such an outcry was possibly more offensive than the ad itself.”
An EB Games spokesperson said that the company prides itself on being a diverse and equal opportunity organisation and that no offence was intended.
“EB Games’ intention was to show an exaggerated dramatisation of comical trade stories and did not intend to offend viewers,” the spokesperson said.
“In light of today’s feedback we will be giving our customers the opportunity to tell us their trade stories which will form the content for future trade videos moving forward.”
The official EB Twitter account says that the ad was written by a woman and that there is a woman’s guide to trading on its way.”