20 Of The Most Sexist Video Gaming Adverts

Once upon a time, not too long ago, playing video games was a MAN thing that MEN did. Successful, manly men who came home to play their Neo Geo after a tough day making millions on the Stock Exchange or fighting goblins.

Women, on the other hand, could have nothing to do with them. Well, almost nothing. Much of the time they were a distraction. Generally, the more attractive and fewer clothes they were wearing, the most of an obstruction they were likely to be to your precious gaming time. Unless they are the prize, in which case you will be awarded them as a symbol of your prowess. Who you can then go on to ignore. Curse you pesky women with your insatiable sexual needs – we’re playing Tetris, dammit!

As has been the way in advertising since any of us can remember, sex sells and most frequently women in the gaming adverts of yore were as seductively-dressed eye candy. Or to be directly compared to the game itself by the way of a chuckle-some double entendre. Or as ‘sleek’. Because nothing sells a product better than by making it sound slippery.

In the rare occasion where girls were allowed to been seen playing the game, it is normally under the following circumstances: at least one erogenous must be exposed. Or, in an outfit (fighter pilot, amazonian pilot, sleek and futuristic space babe). Or, she needs to be seen playing the game ‘wrong’. Better still, having broken it. Many of these adverts have skilfully combined all of the above.

Of course, things are different these days. The video games industry isn’t in the slightest bit obsessed with ladies in skimpy outfits and girls around the world are pulling up their knee-high socks and adjusting their nerd glasses to re-address the gender balance. Wait, what? Ah, never mind…

No list would be complete without this legendary advert for Barbarian. Famous for featuring not only Wolf from TV entertainment show Gladiators but 1980’s phwoar blimey glamour model Maria Whitaker – star of The Sun’s Page 3 and Maria Whitaker’s X Mas Strip Poker for the Commodore 64.

No list would be complete without this legendary advert for Barbarian. Famous for featuring not only Wolf from TV entertainment show Gladiators but 1980’s phwoar blimey glamour model Maria Whitaker – star of The Sun’s Page 3 and Maria Whitaker’s X Mas Strip Poker for the Commodore 64.

 

Is she fishing while wearing heels? Perhaps, but this particular lady is too shocked by the size of your penis…er… fish. Yup, she’s gawping at your fishpenis.

bassfishing

Okay, so it’s not an advert but this is too good not to include. Look closely and you can see that this guy isn’t completely ignoring the woman trying to physically wrestle him away from his Commodore. He’s still romantically placing a hand on her butt. Playa…


There are many issues we could raise with this ad for Deathtrap Dungeon. Is it wrong that we are wondering how the telly is working without being plugged in? Bonus nerd fact: Model and actress Kelly Brook was employed to promote the game as a real-life version of the games female protagonist, Red Lotus.

deathtrap

Actual Atari ST screen! Actual Macintosh Screen! Actual Commodore 64 Screen! * Busty medieval princess lady not included.

Actual Atari ST screen! Actual Macintosh Screen! Actual Commodore 64 Screen! * Busty medieval princess lady not included.

Apparently, this advert received a number of complaints, owing to the expression on the poor girl’s face. After all, rather than this particular chap being ‘seriously distracted’ from enjoying time with his girlfriend, it looks more like she has been tied up so she cannot interrupt his gaming.

gameboy

Not sure what’s going on here. Why is she a bit see-through? Is she a ghost? Is he imagining her? Or, has his mind gone wandering because controlling the game required you to squish the machine’s pink ‘breast peripherals’? No, we’re not making this up.

gotcha

What the hell is Interlude, I hear you ask? Is it a game? Some sort of lover’s guide? From what we can gather from a few ‘gameplay’ trailers, it was basically a sex quiz, followed by a series of instructions for sexy things to do to your partner. Shame. We were hoping for a text adventure like Zork:
“You are lying on silk sheets next to a beautiful woman”

GO EAST
“You are in the bathroom. Your wife is calling you back into the bedroom”
GO DOWNSTAIRS
“You have died of dysentery”

interlude

Jungle King was obviously so awesome, you didn’t need to know any details about. It’s called Jungle King and there is a Tarzan babe stood next to it. Problem?

jungleking

Yes, will you look at it? Isn’t it lovely? Pretty sure you can’t get away with referring to women as things these days.

knockout

Concluding this glorious ‘big hair girl’ collection is Missing In Action. If those guys took two seconds to stop perving at the Rambo girl, they would notice that their cage is made out of fricking bamboo.

mia

“Excuse me, ma’am. Would you mind moving your caboose out of the way? I can’t see what Moon Wars looks like.”

moonshot

There is a subtle play on words being used here. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I think there might be some double meaning in it somewhere.

narc

I have no words. This might be the most 1990’s picture you’ll see today (the Spice Girls and Macaulay Culkin are just out of shot)

neogeoad

In the future, we will all wear sparkly lycra and no underwear, said Sega. Well, I know that I am.

odyssey

I find that you can enjoy this much more if you imagine Don Draper smoking a cigarette during a brainstorming session with this advert propped up on an easel in the background.

roadrunner

“She’s got blonde hair, blue eyes and the best body her money can buy. SO WHAT?” Anyone else want to go and watch American Beauty?

saturn

A street machine? When the hell did my SNES turn into a motorbike?

spellbound

Can you hear the Top Gun music in your head right now? I can.

viper

Sports gloves? T-Shirts? Sportswear? What the hell do any of these have to do with playing videogames? More importantly, what is so debauched that EGM felt the need to censor it? Is there too much detail? Is she really a man? What the hell is going on behind that black sticker? Well, scroll down to see the shocking, uncensored version…

sports-accessories1-565x1024

Yep. Just a pair of bikini bottoms. No wayward pubic hair. No hidden scrotum. You’ve made perverts of us all, EGM…

ad-uncensored

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  • GladysOver

    “Sexist”….. or merely sexy?

    In the vast majority of the examples piously (and unjustly) denounced above, arguably the latter.

    The salient fact is (and contrary to a highly contentious, blatantly agenda-driven yet widely publicised study from 2017!) sex sells – as demonstrably crappy yet commercially successful games like the aforementioned Barbarian attest to.

    Indeed I’m pretty sure it wasn’t blind optimism pertaining to Barbarian’s quality that convinced legions of horny teenage boys to buy the game by the truckload back in the 80’s but rather something else! 😉

    Hmm, food for thought then assuming one can overcome insufferable addiction to vainglorious posturing and/or vacuous retrospective puritanism for long enough that is…

    • Christopher Dutton

      What do ‘sexy’ models have to with games ffs, why do they need to be there at all?

      • The Triangle

        Sex sells. You know this. While I personally don’t care to see half naked girls on advertisements, having nothing to do with half naked girls…I very much understand the psychology behind it. Back in the old days of gaming, these things were being directed towards males, since mostly males, were the ones who took part in such hobbies. Today, it’s different. You have both sexes involved in the hobby and because of this, advertisers have to keep it in mind as well.

        Still, despite people nitpicking this apart, there’s still plenty of skin flaunting, all over the web, including from the very people who complain about it (instagram users). We live in a crazy world where nothing make sense anymore. Full of hypocrisy and nonsensical debates. It’s a good time for that meteorite to pay us a visit.

      • GladysOver

        Sex sells Chris (in spite of what a recent’ish, speculatively motivated/compiled study claims)!

        Don’t be such a puritan.