March 17th, 2011
Leading up to the launch of the 3DS, Nintendo sent teams of women of varying levels of height and attractiveness to deliver 3DS units to several games journalism sites. The hired guns – in this case, I’m using “guns” as a thinly veiled euphemism – wore matching white pantsuits, which let everyone know that they’re professionals and, also, they are easily stained, so stay back weird game journalists. To top it off, each woman was strapped with a working 3DS. What is the point of them being strapped with playable demo units, when they’re delivering brand new 3DS systems, anyway? Much like a 3D picture of some journalist’s misshapen junk, it’s baffling.
But what’s really baffling is that no one came by the Slantmouth office to give us a free 3DS. I’m sure they had a few well thought out reasons, but I’d like to posit my own theory: racism. Also, maybe, sexism.
You may have noticed that all of the recipients in the videos and pictures are white. Well, I’ve got news for you; I’m not white. You may have also noticed that all of the delivery women, including those of various colors and ethnicities, were forced to wear all white, as if to cover up their multicolored heritage. Even the all-black 3DS’s being given are enclosed in plain white boxes, no doubt in an effort to stomp out what makes the 3DS unique and black [and proud]. This is a disturbing pattern.
I can already see someone arguing, “The games journalism field is made up almost entirely of white men. Also, you guys aren’t even games journalists.” To your first point hypothetical Internet-Man, I’m pretty sure that’s not my problem. I’m not here to dissect game journalism’s stance on affirmative action or whatever. I’m here to talk about people not giving me free things. To your second point, die in a fire, hypothetically.
Earlier, I mentioned sexism as a possible alternate theory and if you’re looking for me to back that up at some point you’re going to be waiting an awfully long time, like until after the point where you’re a pile of dust. I don’t really have a lot to back that up, but I do know that where there’s accusations of racism, sexism isn’t far behind. I just wanted to keep my bases covered. Though, if I really want to go to bat for the women of color forced to wear strap-on electronic devices, purely in the context of hyping videogames, I will say it seems a little strange to have all of these ladies marching around from place-to-place just to deliver 3DS hardware. I think we have UPS for this kind of thing. At least they let people proudly display their brown heritage right on their sleeve.
I’d like to close with one of my patented reviews where I change my opinion drastically in the course of a single sentence: the 3DS was pretty neat when I saw it at GDC, but, you know, it’s probably going to make us all go blind.