This sexist Asus ad has gamers fuming

What’s the best way to advertise to gamers? Step 1: Try not to insult your target audience. 

 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Published Oct 6, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 11:22 am CDT

What’s the best way to advertise to gamers? Step 1: Try not to insult your target audience. 

Tech manufacturer Asus published a Twitter ad that read, “What type of gamer are you? A hardcore gamer, or a casual gamer?” With an impressive lack of awareness for the issues of sexism and fake geek girl stereotypes in gaming, the “casual gamer” column was illustrated by a blonde woman who plays The Sims. Meanwhile, the “hardcore gamer” is, of course, an unshaven white dude wearing a headset and crushing a can in one fist. Two idiotic stereotypes for the price of one!

So @ASUSUK deleted the offending image. Here it is again, because I saved it. pic.twitter.com/C4SdFRur6j

— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 6, 2014

The ad was met with a near-instantaneous backlash. It couldn’t have come at a worse time: Many members of the gaming community have had it up to here with sexist industry microaggressions. It’s been only four days since Intel removed all its ads from Gamasutra after receiving complaints about a feminist article on the site.

Asus U.K. quickly deleted the offending tweet and apologized, but it was too late. The Internet is forever, and it’s never too early on a Monday morning for gamers to complain about something—or make fun of it.

That @ASUSUK image implies that TRUE GAMERS would pay more than $5 for games. Clearly they haven’t met TRUE PC GAMERS.

— Steven Impson (@StevenImpson) October 6, 2014

First @intel, now @ASUSUK. The list of PC hardware I can buy is rapidly dwindling. https://t.co/cnYh7NsKbG

— NotInventedHere (@NotInventedHere) October 6, 2014

See @ASUSUK, it’s shit like this that means when I spent £1,200 on a gaming rig I went to @ScanComputers instead. pic.twitter.com/ZF8iFkurPL

— Bethany Black (@BethanyBlack) October 6, 2014

Corporations like @ASUSUK should know better than to perpetuate the idea that women who play video games are ‘casuals’, diminishing them.

— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 6, 2014

And so begins another week post-GamerGate.

Photo via Sergey Galyonkin/Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA 2.0

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*First Published: Oct 6, 2014, 1:43 pm CDT