EB’s “Man’s Guide To Trading” Criticised For Sexism

EB’s “Man’s Guide To Trading” Criticised For Sexism

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.

Staff and opinion writer at Save Game Online and Level 3, Elizabeth DeLoria, raised the issue with EB Games over Twitter today.

“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.”

[Thanks Ben!]


      • To add more general meaning to my posts:

        Whether or not the ad is a “light hearted joke” or not, there are bigger issues that are of concern here.

        There’s a lot of criticism in the media at the moment and in the community in general regarding “sexism” in gaming.

        Look at the (often awesome) commentary on the various posts this week on the site to see a wide range of opinions of what the actual problem is, how to fix it, and how big an issue it is/isn’t.

        The fact is, it’s very easy to paint the games industry as “immature” or simply for boys looking at sexualised girls.

        While that argument is playing out, the *very last thing* we need is for a major games retailer to show those very aspects which attract criticism as part of a marketing push.

        As mentioned above, there’s a lot wrong with the way both the guy and girl are depicted here. I’m a gamer; I’m male; I don’t want to be depicted as only taking out my partner and spending money on them provided I can “sneak” a game under their nose and then – and only then – use that money on something other than games.

        That’s bullshit.

        Also, as if you’d go to EB.

      • This is looking more and more like a contrived PR/Marketing stunt to generate controversy and people’s hate.

        The Twitter response of “So, we’re not funny. Send us your own and we’ll make it an ad!” smacks of the Vegemite 2.0 debacle.

        AKA: Grow public resentment, get them engaged with your brand, get them dong your work for you.

      • There appears to be some disparity between what people consider “inappropriate” concerning retail advertisement. Take the recent GAME adverts as an example versus this new EB Games ad. Is it just that most people on here loathe EB that they’re more willing to get up in arms about their choice of marketing? I deem both adverts offensive in their own rights.

    • i agree, more proof that we are turning in yanks. to get upset at this when its clearing being light hearted i mean for fucks sakes listen to music) is just mind boggling. Hell the fucking discovery channel use to run a whole lot of ads in that exact style.

    • Seconded!

      If you think for a minute that my wife doesn’t a) groan at me going to ‘EB’ (or equivalent), and b) ‘reward me with game time’ (i.e. give me a bit of space) when I’ve earnt it, then think agian.

      Same for many many many husbands out there.

      PS sterotypes are often sterotypes for a reason….

      • Thirded?

        Relax, it was a crappy joke in a crappy ad that nobody would have seen if kotaku didn’t post it. As said above, “more proof that we are turning in(to) yanks”.

    • Anyone else notice that people cry “sexist” only when its directed at women?
      what about those directed at men? you don’t see us screaming when that happens.
      Remember the Carling beer ad where the wife makes the husband clean the entire house with his tongue? see here

      some people did complain about it…but not about it being sexist…it was about it being “obscene” and unsuitable for family viewing.

      and guess what? Going into technicalities of ‘sexism” the Old Spice ads are sexist against men too.

      you know women used to be oppressed and they fought their way to equality. good on them. but do you get the feeling that we have passed the tipping point and men are now on the losing end?

      cmon, we find all the sexist jokes against men funny, why can’t women do the same?

      • Its sexist to men too. As if we are so shit at communicating with women that we tune out when they speak, or that we’re happy to deceive them about why we have extra cash. Or that we’d be happy sitting on our asses while they clean up after us.

        Congratulations EB. You have engaged in equal opportunity sexism.

        • At what point is giving a cupboard/buffet/whatever a light dusting “cleaning up after us”?

          And hell, you’ve never in your life zoned out when a person (regardless of gender) is nagging you?

        • Hell I’m glad that we women have the old spice guy, bout time we had some sexism going the other way!
          And hey, if my man wants to go to EB and doesn’t take me along, I would get pretty shitty, some of us girls like games too!

        • “cmon, we find all the sexist jokes against men funny, why can’t women do the same?”

          Because up until about 40-50 years ago, women were only seen as baby-makers and property of men? Because they spent hundreds of years being victimized by men? And turning it into a punchline is offensive?

  • It’s a bloody outrage it is!

    How dare a company make a bad ad using lazy writing that resorts to stereotypes!

    Also, that man was clearly a criminal, the $100 note he used was obviously fake. Check the lack of see through panel doohickey.

    • I agree that it is a horrible portrayal of stereotypes, some that no doubt exist but horrible none the less. I do not however think it is sexist. Just horrible.

    • From memory, it went something like:


      FEMALE: “Why do you spend all your time on games…”

      Camera zooms into man’s face and woman’s voice turns into the teacher’s ‘wah-wah’ sound from Charlie Brown.

      Man goes into store, is about to drop $100 on a game, storekeeper suggests he trade in his games, instead. He does so (trades in three games for one, hilariously) and saves $100 [LOL]. Is later seen at dinner with the woman, saying: “I had some spare money so I thought I’d treat you.” Woman looks pleased.

      Flash forward to man playing games, the woman is dusting the house or something. He says: “Can I help?” and she says: “No, you’ve done so much already!” and he kind of grins and keeps playing.

        • It’s interesting because my gf doesn’t get mad at how much MONEY I spend on games, she gets annoyed that I spend so much more time with the xbox than I do with her. The nice thing the guy did in the ad wasn’t to buy her dinner, but to actually spend some time with her. That’s why she didn’t mind him gaming later in the ad, because he’d proven that he actually gave a damn about her. Trading in his games had pretty much nothing to do with that.

  • Seriously, what a weak excuse to get pissy. There’s plenty of mainstream adverts on TV where the woman is exploiting the (stereotypical) stupidity of her husband.

    Who gives a fuck, really.

    • Yeah there is a lot of negative portrayals of men in advertisements aimed at women. Generally men are portrayed as bumbling idiots especially in the kitchen and around the home, and it’s up to the woman to save the day.

      There are two reasons why it’s “not a problem”:

      A) Because men generally really don’t care about this sort of stuff, and seem to have the common sense to realise that fiction =/= reality. And even if they did find it offensive, they would only bring it up when women complain the second an ad negatively portrays them to illustrate that it’s everywhere about everyone.

      B) There’s a bit of a “so what?” attitude when men bring up sexism towards them. Many angry minorities tend to think “we’ve had our run of superiority” and that if we take a few “hits” as a gender once and a while it’s really a non-issue, and the subtext in their words says “we deserve it”.

      But you don’t have to take rights away from one group to afford them to another, everyone can win.

      Yeah it’s a terrible ad. But it’s hardly anything new. And anyone with a shred of awareness can see it was written in jest.

  • I went to EB yesterday to pick up my Uncharted 3, and was served by a really nice girl behind the counter. Happy, friendly, all the stuff you want from people working at counters. Surely EB wouldn’t be OK with saying that she wasn’t a gamer just because she’s a girl, would they?

    • I have noticed a general increase in the number of females working in EB. Is it sexist to say that the majority of retail workers are female?

      • Yes and no. I’ve noticed the trend for years. More women at EB counters who don’t know jack about what they are selling.

        • Makes up for the men at EB counters who don’t know jack (or should that be jill) about what they’re selling.

      • No. Facts cannot be sexist. Assumptions, even when based on these facts, can and are.

        Saying the majority of people working in retail are female is not sexist. Saying that women are better at retail, because more women than men work in the sector, is sexist.

  • Saddest excuse to whinge about ‘sexism’ EVER.

    There is literally nothing that offence can be taken at? If anything, it’s a negative portrayal of a man, rather than a woman.

    Sometimes, I want to slap people upside the head when they go insanely Politically-Correct.

      • Oh crap, I was meant to, eh?
        We’ll have to rain-check lunch for next week some time.

        As to the Betty Draper comment, can’t you really say that the guy seems like more of a dick than the girl?
        Honestly, I take offence at the video! Do they think ALL MALE GAMERS act his way?! PROPOSTEROUS!

    • You could always just point out the “clueless boyfriend” character that pops up in every tampon commercial ever. Maybe not as satisfying as a slap upside the head but could lead to some potential hilarity if they try to justify why that is okay and this isn’t.

      In my eyes, they’re both equally dumb and equally inoffensive.

  • This just seems to depend on lazy cliches, not ‘harmful’ stereotypes. Really, men tuning out their wives is harmful? I thought that was just part of marriage or relationships.

    If he slapped his girlfriend/wife around because she interrupted his game play then I would be complaining. This I just rolled my eyes at. It didn’t encourage me to go trade any games.

  • There are TOO many soap boxes in the world for anyone to jump on and scream the ‘sexism’ catch cry – LIGHTEN UP!!! Soon we’ll be censoring our farts as they ARE really offensive…

    • I often save my most offense of farts for when I’m leaving EB, leave them a floating present in the doorway.

      Yes, it’s not a smart ad, or anywhere near a good one but it is EB and they’re dickheads, trust me I used to work there. Don’t let it go to heart.

    • What’s with gaming blogs all these manufactured controverisies over really trivial instances lately.

      Like, sure sexism is a Big Deal, but this instance is so trite it undermines genuine cases.

      Its no worse than yet another Feminine Hygiene Product ad feat. The Dumb But Good Looking Boyfriend. Which tbh is insulting to both genders.

      • I agree completely. Pad/tampon ads are generally insulting to both genders. I did like the super hero ad, because that guy wasn’t stupid he was just bored and incredibly inventive!

        I don’t find this offensive, I just think it goes out of it’s way to try and tell us we’ll save money by trading which is incredibly pointless. Any gamer (male or female) knows that trading in is a waste of money, especially at EBGames. =/

  • oh I would like to point out that EB admits that there games are SO expensive that you can afford to take someone out for a nice dinner.

    Also when did EB lower there prices to 100??????, should he say 110 dollars.

  • Watched. It totally WAS sexist. Terrible ad.

    Who the heck came up with this idea for an ad?

    Plus, if you go to any other store, Batman is $70 instead of 100.

    • Now, now, there was no mention that he wasn’t expecting change

      Although at EB you’d probably be mad to expect it…

  • I’m sorry but you just gave a lot of unwarranted publicity/attention to an advertisement that is quite frankly…..


    (Forget the perceived sexism, only an idiot would think he’d still have $100 after trading in at EB)

  • EB was already a joke charging $100 – $120 for new release console games and this just tops it off. They should probably stop pretending to be our friends and tick off already.

  • Can I just remind everyone to be constructive in their criticism? We’ve had to remove a few comments that have been downright abusive — come on people, we’re better than this.

  • it’s offensive to both women and men- the stereotypes are ridiculous.
    Not to mention just being a shit ad.

    And the idea of trading three games for a new one at EB…well……..HAHAHA

  • I don’t think it’s sexist (both genders are terribly stereotyped and insulted here), I just think it’s terrible. The voice acting is just talking, the animation is ick, and the script feels like a generic cancelled 80’s or 90’s sitcom.

    Also, I’d like to say that I giggled at mchaza’s comment.

    • It’s worth noting that there’s a “Woman’s Guide to Trading” planned, which does, I think, alleviate some of the sexism (the notion that all gamer’s are male is a little offensive). I also have to congratulate the fact that it doesn’t have that creepy rabbit.

      • i hate to think what EB’s idea of a ‘woman’s guide’ is…. is that where she steals her boyfriend’s games and trades them for nintendogs and a wii fit?

      • Making a “mens guide” or a “womens guide” to anything that isn’t tied to their biology is be definition sexist.

    • It’s worth noting that there’s a “Woman’s Guide to Trading” planned, which does, I think, alleviate some of the sexism (the notion that all gamer’s are male is a little offensive). I also have to congratulate the fact that it doesn’t have that creepy rabbit.

      Also, EB’s Twitter notes that a woman wrote the ad, which I think again goes against the sexism claims. I’m going to hold off on calling it sexist until after the sister video.

      • Mate, going to have to call you on that.

        The fact that a woman writes, directs, or publishes an advertisement that discriminates, stereotypes, or engaged in sexism against women does not mean it does not discriminate, stereotype, or engage in sexism towards women.

        Who wrote isn’t important, is either sexists, etc, or not on it’s own merits.

        • Sorry, the last bit cut off, didn’t know it’d read my tags.

          Who wrote *whatever media* isn’t important. *Whatever media* is sexist, offensive, etc, on it’s own merits and independently of who was involved with it.

          • Ignorance is no excuse for that. Just because a woman is being sexist against her own gender. Remember both aspects of the video are over generalised stereotypes, no matter what was intended, the video has been viewed by people as sexist and EB Games are not willing to stand down against it. I think that part of the hype will work in their favour but at the same time it is just a pretty poor representation of the company *especially the quality of the ad, content, dialogue, writing visuals and undertones of sexism* I wouldn’t be trying to sell this puppy.

          • I don’t think ignorance is the best description, I think it’s just someone writing a terrible script which is meant to be like 90’s Simpsons or Married with Children and they put in stereotypes like all shows used to.

            But you’re completely write about bad quality, dialogue and writing.

  • I understand EB Games trying to appeal to what they perceive as their marketing base and trying to be a bit silly/funny in that swing but the fact is the ad is clichéd and sort of in poor taste in both sense. It is denigrating to women and men as well, as people have said we don’t all get nagged by our partners for playing games or need to bribe our girlfriends to play games, stereotypes offend, for the most part.

    It just seems a step in the wrong direction; it shows how out of touch the marketing team behind this campaign are in not only the community as a whole but their target market.

  • Oh come on.

    There is nothing wrong with this video, besides being crappy.

    So she is cleaning? So what? We’re meant to ignore the fact a woman cleans (in real life), but if we mention it in a conversation or show it in a video it’s counted as being sexist?

    Please, Elizabeth getting worked up over it is just stupid as well.

    • ‘a woman cleans in real life’?…………jesus christ, dude. i don’t even know where to start with what’s wrong with that

      • The assumption that “a woman cleans” translates to “only women clean” is what’s wrong with that.

        Cleaning is an activity that women do, it’s also an activity that men do. To show a woman cleaning does not mean anything other than a woman is being shown on screen, doing some cleaning.

        I see a green frog, my immediate thought should not be “all green things are frogs” but “that’s a green thing that is a frog”.

      • Well, don’t they?
        He didn’t say it’s their role in life, or that it’s a passtime exclusive to the female gender. He said that such a phenomenon occurs in real life.

      • I think he’s pointing out that women have from time to time been known to pick up a duster and clean things, not that it’s a woman’s job in life to clean or anything sexist…

      • Trijn, etc – just to jump in, I think it’d be an awesome idea to split the two statements in Seth’s post – I think everyone is at cross purposes.

        I agree that you should be able to show whoever the hell you like cleaning or doing *stereotypical activity A* without having to fear that them doing it is stereotyping. There’s a big distinction there.

        The secondary point would be: “Please, Elizabeth getting worked up over it is just stupid as well.” – simply because I think there’s been a misunderstanding along the line and everyone’s just going to snowball that (through no fault of their own).

        Seth – I don’t think the issue people are raising is so much to do with a woman being shown cleaning. It’s more than the general representation of the woman in the ad buys into a whole lot of stereotypes, and implies women are a certain stereotypical way, etc etc.

        That’s the part that some people are finding, and getting annoyed at. It’s not just showing a girl with a brush.

        Some people can read the thing as saying “Hey, guys, you’ll get this right. Aren’t all women just nagging you about games, you tune out, they sound like honks etc cos you don’t listen. But if you buy them dinner they’ll be sweet on you and let you play games lol they’re easy to fool and buy off”.

        Its this generalisation (which it seems is not terribly common) that people seem to be objecting to.

        Two different points, I’d say.

        • I’d say it’s actually pretty common. Not so much the buying dinner part but the being nagged about spending money on games? Happened to me with my ex, several people here have stated it happens with them and their wives. Lady I work with often mentions how her husband just went out and bought ANOTHER game for his playstation…

          It’s something that happens in real life, it’s something that happens enough for it to become a stereotype, it’s something that happens that is so ridiculously inoffensive that calling it out for being “sexist” is a waste of time and detracts from ACTUAL sexism issues that people should focus on.

        • With the secondary point, people are simply reading into something that isn’t there. Considering how lazy this commercial is, to think that anyone put any thought into communicating a message beyond “save money by trading in games” is really just a bit silly.

          Also, the honks are a reference to the Peanuts cartoons. The teacher made those exact same noises.

  • Every story EB customers will submit though will involve trading in a game and find people buying it for twice as much on eBay. Buying a ‘new’ DS game and finding someones save data on the cartridge. I might make one up about having to provide so much ID that my identity was stolen by burgers who broke into EB that night. It’s. Or any more outlandish than EB’s ad.

  • It’s just bloody awful in general. Who does EB’s marketing? Everything they have released lately has treated their customer as being a complete moron. The carrot rewards program and now this?

    Glad I abandoned them long, long ago.

  • This is funny as shit because this EXACT SITUATION HAPPENED TO ME.

    My gf started getting irritated when I was buying games. I was spending too much. New Vegas came out so I traded 5 games at EB instead of spending 110 on it. I took that 110 and treated her to dinner at Mt Cootha restaraunt in Brisbane! LOL. The next day, seriously, a saturday, after some AWESOME morning shagging, shes cleaning the house as per usual and tells me to relax and play my game as she’s happy she got to go to a fine restaraunt (it cost me 230 or so all up but was oh so worth it). So what the HELL is the problem with this video?


  • Yeah look this is no worse than any other ad for Feminine Hygiene Product ad feat. The Dumb But Good Looking Boyfriend.

    Which tbh is insulting to both genders.

    Just another bad ad.

    • Mind you I did like they went with “but it was written by a woman!”, seeimginly unable to grasp that you can be sexist towards your own gender.

  • Who recently has a “sexisim in gaming” stick up their arse? I dont come to Kotaku to listen to the latest whinge from people who have way to much time on their hands to analyse every commercial out there. For goodness sake is this where the “new sexism ” activists are hanging out now? Gaming is under attack and from my own experience i was under the impression that most male gamers treat women with respect and actually normally put them up on a petistal? Whats is in this advert to complain against? Its a funny take on a modern day situation. Toughen up princesses.

  • All I hear is “whinge whinge whinge”
    DeLoria is doing little to combat the stereotype of women portrayed in this video. Just sayin’…
    I also know this kind of ‘stereotype’ is completely accurate in the case of two of my close friends. So, people need to stop getting so worked up about how they, themselves, perceive an article of media. Have an open mind, and for f**ks sake, find your sense of humour again Australia.

    But for what it’s worth, lame ad was lame. But yeah, so are tampon ads. And air freshener ads. and pretty much every goddamn ad. FFS..

  • I have to say guys. I’m a little bit disappointed in some of the comments. I don’t think anyone has a right to tell anyone what they can and can’t be offended by. As a male I don’t get to tell a minority that they should stop being offended by something like this, and that goes for any minority — that’s not our call to make in this situation.

    I’d like you guys to tone things down a little. We added instant comments here because the community here is awesome and we have hardly any problems with comments, but all this “toughen up princess” stuff is getting a little out of hand here. If we could reign things in that would be great.

    • People can be offended if they like but it seems like an incredibly weird battle to choose to fight seeing as there are innumerable examples of equally (in)offensives stereotypes used in advertising every single day.

      Deodorant ads, tampon ads, fast food ads, selling Diet Coke as a female product and Coke Zero as a male product, pick your poison there’s no end of lazy writing in advertisements that relies on tired old tropes.

      I wasn’t offended with GAME used negative stereotypes of male gamers in their GAMEtv nonsense, I was annoyed that they put so little effort and produced something that was simply dumb. That’s pretty much the case here. It’s just a lazily written ad.

      Sort of like King of Queens or anything else that Kevin James has ever been involved in.

    • Mark, weren’t they getting upset at the fact that people were getting upset? By asking them to tone it down doesn’t that equate to you doing the same thing as what they were?

      I’m all for gender equality, most of these posts aren’t so much as “toughen up princess” as they are “we’re insulted as a gender just as much as women are” which I think has merit. Men as insulted in media as the butt of jokes way more than women, mostly because we’re ok with it.

      It’s more offensive to jump to the defense of a gender because a few people get upset that their gender is being portrayed in a negative light, even if it’s done humorously(or at least an attempt to)

      I believe that unless it’s a gross over simplification of a class or gender then there’s no need to protest. Measuring something on a scale of how offensive it is should be looked at more than “A female was upset by the negative portrayal” when majority of the female gamers I know and women in general won’t give two s**ts about it.

      They’ll realize the add was crap and disregard it. Therefor the campaign has no impact, won’t reach a large enough audience and therefor due to the process of win/fail marketing will end up being scrapped and likely not see any follow ups unless the company is truly brain-dead.

      It’s a marketing campaign, if you truly don’t want it to succeed don’t buy it. Don’t pay it any attention. Then it will fail and nothing will come of it, they’ll have to try harder and create a campaign with effort.

      Make a media sh*t storm about the fact that some women were upset, campaign wins. Company is discussed, awareness created, marketing has worked.

      Rather than write up your story with it’s meat being based on the fact that a female gamer is upset at EB, why not create one about how pathetic EB Games AU is? How about writing this up as the second strike since & including EB Games expo?

      It’s more insulting to me to think that this will work on men.

      Motocross + 1980’s Stereotypical Aussie bloke response to female complaint.

      How stupid do they think the men of Australia are? How about employing some smart individuals instead of pandering to the lowest common denominator?

      You could have written this up as a dissection of EB AU’s failure towards gamers in the past year rather than a grasp at being a knight in shining armor to female gamers strong enough to not need defending.

      • I’m not white knighting at all, just stating that really we have no right to say ‘toughen up princess’ etc. Women are a minority in gaming, and I think people forget the shit they usually have to put up with. Check this website: http://fatuglyorslutty.com/

        Have we ever really had to deal with that level of abuse? I just don’t think we should reinforce these stereotypes. And I don’t think we have a right to tell women not to be offended by it.

        And yeah, I get that it’s just a stupid ad, and I also get that men get the same deal in other ads — but we’re men. We’re in the position of power. It’s kinda like the way minorities get to call white people honky, but we don’t get to use slurs back. In a sense there is some element of hypocrisy, but at the same time I understand it.

        Also – thanks to all replying to my comment (trjn, mooseking) for disagreeing with me so politely — and I hope that doesn’t sound patronising. It’s just that these things can get out of hand at times, so I appreciate the restraint!

        • I’ve already mentioned my bit about the right not to be offended being absurd below. I’d just like to also mention that being in a position of power like white males tend to be does not allow those who are not in the same position to treat us differently because of it.

          That’s not equality. Equality is treating everyone the same. If someone calls me a racial slur then they have no reason to be offended by me calling them a racial slur (I wouldn’t but that’s not the point). To elevate someone’s complaint because they are in a position that is considered lesser simply makes no sense to me as it just promotes this idea that they need to be protected from things that are not actually harmful.

          I get that there are times where women (and gays, and racial minorities) are being treated poorly, like they’re outsiders, like they are different and to be treated differently. That’s a serious problem that I have no adequate idea of how to address because all I can see is the endgame where nobody gives a flying fuck if you’re man, woman, gay, straight or monkey from a genetics experiment gone wrong, not how to get there.

          This is not one of those times where women are being treated differently. Being treated differently is saying that you cannot allow for that sort of person to be put in that sort of situation because it’s demeaning but it’s perfectly fine to put a different person in that situation. Either that situation is acceptable to show someone in, or it is not.

          It’s Friday afternoon, I know I’m not going to be remarkably persuasive with this rambliness (totally a real work) but I simply cannot agree with elevating complaints like this when the reasoning behind the complaints is (as far as I can see) completely emotional.

          It’s not a rational position that can be argued for or against, that’s the main problem here. That’s why all of the arguments are basically tangential, because the initial point is not logical, it’s emotional.

          • It’s Friday and I wish I could buy this man a drink.
            You saved me a lot of typing earlier today, sir. Thank you.

        • No restraint on my part Mark, I’m just not into flaming. I juat happen to take an opposite stance to this being newsworthy to the point of gender issue being the backbone of an article.

          I’m not denying that there are still D’bags out there that give women a hard time, but as for men being in the position of power there’s also a growing amount of women with power in the Video Game industry, to the point where it’s more beneficial for them to be women than it would be for a man. (IGN, G4. ABC and more) Hire women because they are women who are also gamers. It sells and is a bonus to them to do so.

          In fact most media networks and large companies in general will have a certain ratio they need to have of employees based on gender, ethnicy etc. Moreso in the states but it’s here in AU as well. Being a minority isn’t all doom and gloom, minorities have advantages where others don’t. Women don’t have it anywhere near as rough as once apon a time, at least not here in Australia.

          So I feel that there should be more emphasis on equality when something as bad as this add offends on so many levels and not simply because another female gamer has issue with a major company.

          I believe that we’re approaching equal ground in the battle for jobs. Certain genders have it over each other in different areas. But it seems every two days I’m reading new articles written up by women dealing with sexism or negative stereotyping and it’s getting less and less reasonable where it feels like it’s broadening on being a literature trend, there has to be a point where you can draw the line on levels of whether something is worth building a sexism article around it.

          It’s PC when you’re in a position in power to take the side of a “minority” but by what degree are women in gaming minorities now? more and more women are gaming with each generation, and while previously this was a male dominated environment it is now a diverse and rich culture composing of every type of socio economic class.

          The stronger way of approaching this isn’t by looking at the mistakes along the lines of gender discrimination, EB has done more than it’s fair share to alienate itself from the core gaming group and this is the bigger issue here.

          As much as I can appreciate the thought behind this article, there’s so much more to explore give me a week and I’ll look into it.

    • Thanks Mark, the many “get over it princess” type remarks were getting to me a bit.

      It’s not even that the stereotyping in this is shit, it’s also that it’s unnecessary to get their point across…

    • +1 for the lynx remark. Why aren’t upstanding women kicking and screaming about being depicted as superficial bimbos in nearly every ad like that? I don’t know one woman that acts like that, yet the scenario in this ad is somewhat common. From teen relationships to my parents, this does happen, and is relateable. Stupid, yes, but real nonetheless.

      Mind = blown

  • Seeing the twitter traffic and then the ad, I must say its a lazy and stupid advert. Offensive though? Only if you’re sensitive to the content. Outside of gaming, some people are offended by Ford/Holden bogan-themed ute ads too. I get offended by Bieber.

    Back to the point, both genders are insulted equally here and so are quality marketing departments that don’t do such sloppy work. Maybe if advertising is regulated so that the portrayal of people altogether is removed from marketing only the nanny-state haters will be in uproar. And who cares about nanny-state haters anyway.

    I have to ask, are individuals in a same sex relationship offended by EB ostracising them in this advert with the portrayal of a gaming male and a non-gaming female partner?

  • I understand that some people are calling for us to take it lightly and that it was only a joke, but it doesn’t matter, people are offended and they old “can’t take a joke?” or “I was just kidding” doesn’t fly from a corporation intent on marketing themselves. The only thing universally agreed upon by both camps is that the advertisement is of poor quality across its many faces, therefore it has failed. If EB Games continue with this with a girls guide to trading games it is being sexist, customers are customers, they shouldn’t be segregated by gender lines. I know many men who wouldn’t know the first thing about games and others who constantly thrash me in anything I put them in front of. Why does one trade in experience differ because of gender, does she get more back because she is prettier or less back because she obviously doesn’t play games and is probably buying them for her partner?


  • I’ll throw in my 2 cents. I don’t think anyone in marketing at EB set out or make this ad offensive to women (or anyone). It’s just a bad joke. We have seen a lot worse depictions of women in advertising and video games.

  • I know this is off topic, but I laughed at the fact that he was able to trade Skate 3, Grand Slam Tennis and Need for Speed Undercover for Arkham City. Speaking as a videogame store manager, those wouldn’t equal $20 as a trade.

  • If you’re trying to defend it as light hearted, then can you explain why it is necessary at all?

    Trading in video games has NOTHING to do with relationship dynamics, gender roles, or stereotypes, yet this video clearly thinks it needs to include them.

    It doesn’t matter if “it happens in real life” or “the guy is picked on too”, it has no place in this video.

    No EB, you do not need a “women’s guide” as well, that is further proving my point.

    • Ads always have a small story or some sort of context in which the product or service is introduced…that’s kinda how advertising works…

      • 1. It’s not an advertisement, it’s an instructional video
        2. Just because an advertisement has a small story or context does not mean it is a requirement.
        3. That’s not how advertising works, advertising is about connecting those who are selling a product or service with those who buy that product or service.
        4. Defending something by saying that it happens elsewhere therefore it must be ok is a fallacy.
        5. Ellipsis for patronisation…

        • 1. “A promotional EB Games video” sounds like a fancy way of saying ad to me since they’re using it to promote a service they offer…something kind of like what an ad does.
          2. You’re definitely making a mountain out of a molehill
          3. You’re trying to be antagonistic
          4. Good day, sir!

  • Personally I think people are starting to react with a more harsh “get over it” response because the whole “right to be offended” thing is getting ridiculously out of hand. It’s as if some people are going out of their way to find something to be offended by no matter how small and it’s just plain silly. Instead of dealing/talking about real issues, people are debating a minute long ad that does nothing that hasn’t been standard sitcom fare for over 50 years.

    This isn’t some crass over-the-top skit like the Chaser’s Make-A-Wish foundation thing and I think Trjn nailed it when he said “considering how lazy this commercial is, to think that anyone put any thought into communicating a message beyond “save money by trading in games” is really just a bit silly.”

    It is lighthearted and presents a situation that I’m sure plenty of people can actually relate to. Hell, men have been presented in far worse light for years in ads for products aimed at women and last I checked you don’t see any outrage about that because we as people should all understand the difference between a lighthearted look at situations in life and something that actually promotes sexist stereotypes. It’d be nice if people like Elizabeth DeLoria could also learn that difference.

    • +1 Well said.

      People are entitled to take offense believing the ad to be sexist.
      By the same logic, while people don’t have the right to, as Mark said, “tell anyone what they can and can’t be offended by,” they do have the right to be critical of the reasons why people are taking offense.

      Hence I would contribute to the discussion, as Chazz said, “It’s as if some people are going out of their way to find something to be offended by.”

    • I agree whole heartedly with something you said there:

      Everyone has a right to be offended (by anything). No-one has a right to *not* be offended (by anything).

      • You have misinterpreted my statement.
        Yes, everyone has the right to be offended (by anything).
        Everyone also has the right to not be offended (by anything).
        But people do not have the right to tell others that they can or can’t, or, must or must not, be offended (by anything).

        Those expressing offense at the ad have every right to share this view – I am not, have no desire to, and have no right to, label this as an invalid opinion.
        However, I have every right to be critical of why they are taking offense – “It’s as if some people are going out of their way to find something to be offended by.”

        • Actually, people do not have the right to not be offended.

          You could make the argument for things similar to libel and slander but in reality the right not to be offended is a patently ridiculous idea.

          I could easily argue that I’m offended by evangelical Christians who say that people are condemned to hell for this and that. It’s an easy argument to make but that doesn’t mean I can demand that they shut up and stop offending me because they have the right to believe what they want and say what they want.

          The right that I do have, and often choose to use in situations like that, is to present an argument as to why they should shut up. I have the right to say my piece, just as they can say theirs. They can in turn present their own counter arguments or simply ignore me.

          Here’s the fun thing about freedom of speech, popular speech doesn’t need defending. It’s the unpopular speech that needs to be defended because there are people who feel like they should have the right not to be offended.

          I’m aware that we don’t have free speech here, but we have something resembling it and the obvious contradictions between free speech and freedom from being offended stand.

    • It’d be nice if people like YOU could learn that difference, and stop slagging off people who are genuinely offended.

  • Seriously, is that all??? Get a life, this is the tame compared to 90% of the ads on TV.

    Stop fueling attention seekers

  • Call me a cynic if you like but I have a feeling that EB’s sole intended communication was something like this:

    “Give us 3 of your slightly older games (that we’ll resell for 95% RRP) and you can have one new game FOR FREEEEEEEE!!”

  • 380 eb stores times an average of 6 geeks per store means that guaranteed anyone here defending this ad is probably an employee. I think eb should apologize for that rabbit

  • The ad is bad. Not ‘bad’ as in evil, just ‘bad’ as in stupid. I’m sorry people are upset by it, but there are so many awful ads around that I don’t think it needs to be singled out over others. Yes, it’s a little insulting to women, advertising in general is insulting to its consumers.
    As for what I feel about this ad: it makes me feel like a bad wife for never dusting, no wait, it makes me feel like a bad gamer for never dusting my games or consoles! 😛

    • I wait until they get really dusty, and then write “CLEAN ME” in them with my finger.
      That’s kind of like dusting them, right?

  • Was it just me or did the ‘man’ character sound like he was an American doing an Aussie accent?
    “Hun-ey I’ll meet you at the super-mar-ket”
    The ad is sexist but it only really crosses the line for me when the man’s partner has to clean the house as payment for her dinner. The house is already clean so the man’s offer to help is only a token one, I mean TWO people dusting that’s ridiculous!

  • You accuse me of making a mountain out of a molehill and then in the next sentence tell me that refuting an argument is antagonising to you?

    Now I remember why I shouldn’t bother with comments.

          • -_- guys… really?
            accept difference in opinion?
            okay can we just agree on “yes, that is a shit ad” and move on?
            it exists, this is how it is… why all the discussions?

          • What are you, like 10?

            You guys aren’t discussing anything, it’s just inane arguing.

            Call it a day.

          • Sorry, I’m confused.

            Your first comment and subsequent arguments reeked of someone who thinks of themselves as intellectual. (Justified or not, OH!)

            Why then would you want to ‘lower’ yourself to the level of the comments on this page if you have such disdain for them?

            Come closer, I wanna unwrap your secrets.

          • Because at first, I was foolish and thought this was a place for a intellectual discussion on the reasons why someone would be offended with something, but then my excitement turned to abject disdain after I realised the comments section were dominated by people trying to reject and dismiss the original article, rather than discuss the point of it.

            After that I just didn’t care any more, so I stopped putting thought into my comments. Does that satisfy your request for information?

          • Aren’t you, by your own hand, now part of the very problem?

            If you were truly here for discussion there are ways to get it, and ways to just get an innernette argument. Your black & white list, was an amazing example of how to look like a tool on a comment thread. Just like my incessant jokery and phallic references is another.

            Maybe relax a little and if you’re here for discussion, don’t get involved in an argument.

            Or, you know, do whatever. S’not my call.

  • The only thing wrong in this video, was the man getting $100 trade in value for NFS:U, Skate3 & Grand slam tennis.. You’d be lucky to get $30 if that, for those 3 games.

  • Oh and im pretty sure if i tried to trade in Grand Slam Tennis, EB would tell me i would need to trade in my Wii to get on of their full priced games.

  • How about these for a title

    “EB Games Australia continues to prove it’s lost touch with gamers”

    “Reasons to not buy at EB Games growing larger by the second”

    “Fallout inspired art can’t help EB Games AU create a decent advertising campaign”

    “There’s no Motocross in this Advert but….”

    “Motocross and dated sexist humor, the EB Games Marketing strategy”

    “EB promotes games being worth 100 bucks, until traded in 3 weeks later”

  • Fucking laughed during the honks.

    Man gets to play Laggy Batman, woman gets shouted a $100 dinner…

    Seems win-win to me.

  • OOOOO~

    Mark Serrels to Women “Has Feather Duster is Betty Draper”

    Sorry been amused by that way too much 😀 <3 ya mark.

    BTW when did Betty Draper clean? She had a servant to do that, all she did was sit around, yell at her kids for not being proper and worry about her status rather than trying to be a decent parent.

    I'll give her points though, classy as fainting couch. I want me one of those.

  • I’ve experienced hateful racism and negative stereotypes from the media and this in comparison is laughable. Listen I hate any form of discrimination but this was so mild, call it dumb but it was really nothing.
    Miss DeLoria may be offended by this and I would really like to tell her that you are too sensitive but like Mr Serrels said I have no right. Yet I still cannot shake off the fact that this is even an article.

    I mean if I said women are more dexterous than men would that be a sexist comment? I just asked my sister and she says she would take that as a compliment for women. Then she went on to ask me if she said men were all a little stupid would I be offended? No I said. Men are a little stupid (in terms of risk taking) and women are better at being dexterous. Of course it’s a generalization but that is part of life.

    As being a victim of racial taunts I know how generalizations can negatively affect minorities but we also have to have thicker skin or else how are we all going to survive the world with all the bad people everywhere?

  • Pretty sure this is a pretty standard joke and not just related to games or games culture. Seen it in plenty of sitcoms.

  • What’s wrong with that ad:

    1. No one bought that Wii Tennis game 🙂
    2. You wouldn’t get anywhere near $100 Trade value for those three titles
    3. Any gamer in their right mind would have pre-ordered Batman AC
    4. If they did pre-order they would have gotten the Ltd Ed anyway
    5. If she really loved him she would have bought it for him herself….. dang, did I really type that?
    6. Those two actually looked like brother and sister, so that ad made me feel a little uncomfortable

  • Seriously? No, seriously? I find it offensive that someone states this is offensive – this must’ve happened plenty of times, in plenty of situations. To say this is offensive on the basis that the woman is cleaning is to say that housewives and the duties they perform are offensive. Um, what do you think people who take care of a household do? Is what I do worthless? Do you think I’m worthless? Elizabeth, you must really have way too much time on your hands and a serious inferiority complex. I find you’re finding this offensive, offensive. But what do I do now? NOT pay any attention to you because I don’t want to read the tripe you spout. I suggest you do the same with this ad. If anything it’s just a boring, lazy ad. The only thing I find offensive about it is the lack of imagination it demonstrates on behalf of the creator. There is actual sexism out there, why don’t you go see to that? Oh, because that would require actually doing something other than sitting on Twitter all day. I come to Kotaku for news and useful game related information, this is neither of the above. Tracey, you’ve written some great stuff but this is fluffy BS.

  • Oh god. Can people just get a life and lighten tge he’ll up? It’s just harmless humour. I’m so sick of all this PC crap.
    Everyones so serious about not offending people.

    It might just be me, but I’m pretty sure that situation has happened MANY times in real life.

  • Like the poster above said. Is being a housewife now considered worthless and beneath people?
    I’m pretty sure that the majority of women still perform this role, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s like people think if a woman (or man) wants to be that, that it’s not good enough.

    If we continue to worry about offending some people, then it’s going to be a boring world. Any movie, game, song, ad, ect can be found offensive by someone. We better stop making them all together.

    Nobody says anything about all the ads that potray men in a negative, stupid way. And who cares. It’s just humour.

    I’m all for fighting sexism, aimed at BOTH men and women. But please, let’s focus on the real sexism.

  • Storm In A Teacup.

    One silly, stupid and cliche-ridden ad for one game company isn’t exactly going to be “socially constructing the discourse of gender” any time soon. No one is going to look at this ad and think that it is either realistic or accurate.

    Indeed, the entire HUMOR potential of this ad is PREDICATED on the audience NOT taking it as a serious portrait of “correct” maleness and femaleness.

    The innacuracies of the stereotypes on display in this ad are basically self-evident going by the comments.

    Yes, stereotypes can offend. But this ad seems to be parodying stereotypes rather than actually endorsing them.

    • Dude, I’m glad you chimed in.

      You’re one of the very few people around here with the brains and patience to say and explain things properly and logically without being rude or insulting, a skill I lack at the best (read: sober) of times.

      And so to +1 your comment further, I quote what I found to be your key sentence;

      “Yes, stereotypes can offend. But this ad seems to be parodying stereotypes rather than actually endorsing them.”

  • Calling the whole thing sexist is beside the point. There are millions of things on the Internet that are far more offensive and still hilarious. The thing is, the ad clearly isn’t funny. It’s boring and patronizing. The rabbit missed the point. This missed the point. Maybe they should have stuck with “we take games seriously” Or go for self deprecating humor cause no one is laughing with them

  • I don’t think it was stereotyping anyone. People just take what they will from it.

    I do think it’s a pretty close representation of the community. The majority of women still perform the housewife roles. And more men than women enjoy gaming. I have no doubt that situations like this happen in real life. It’s obviously not saying that all women should be a housewife and all men are gamers. So what’s the problem?

    Also, what I don’t get is why the fact that women are a minority of gamers, a big deal? Who cares? Why do some people think that it’s because the gaming industry is sexist and immature?
    Maybe it’s simply because less women enjoy gaming compared to men? I believe men and women generally like different things (not all the time)
    Are the industries and professions that are dominated by women ever questioned? Is it ever made a big deal of. No.

  • I work in an eb games, and i must say, the first time i heard this i was quite amazed at how sexist that ad was. i’m not surprised that this has caused controversy. i hope that they get rid of it. or at least make a women’s one too on the same loop. so there can at least be *some sort* of justification.

  • Company staffed by bogans in ties with too much hair gel create advertisement that is designed to appeal to other bogans?


  • I’m an entitled middle-class white male and I think you people should all just GEDDOVERIDD, everyone is so POLLIDICLY INCORRECD these days. In all seriousness though, this ad is meant to be a light hearted send-up of 50s/60s product commercials, but just comes across as amateur and definitely offensive to some groups. Maybe it’s just because I’m a bleeding heart liberal or something… yeah that’s probably it. It’s nothing to do with the clear issues at hand here. This article is perhaps a ‘mountain out of a molehill’, but it is the tip of the iceberg of crap.

  • What the fuck am I reading? Seems like you can’t do anything these days without the Political Correctness crowd dropping the hammer

  • I work at an EB Games and the first time I saw this ad my jaw almost dropped to the ground. I have been very happy working there, my colleagues are great people and I have never experienced any discrimination from the company, even if the same could not be said of the customers. However, this ad is everything I hate about gender stereotypes. I have to listen to it about once every half hour while at work. It makes me feel angry and sad every time. I’m so glad that there are other people offended by this and that there is someone taking action – I was considering making at the very least an angry blog post and probably contacting the company about it, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

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