Apologies in advance, but this isn’t about WoW. It’s also not about me failing to pull either, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief about that.
Spinks recently drew my attention to EA’s latest marketingfail, in which attendees at this year’s Comicon were invited to take pictures of themselves committing “acts of lust” with the booth babes as part of a promotion for the forthcoming Dante’s Inferno (I mean, a game spuriously connected to Dante’s Inferno, the original having already, err, come). As far as publicity goes, it’s certainly a winner in the “get lots of attention” respect but it is, of course, profoundly offensive on every conceivable level. They have since issued an apology which is so hilariously point-missing that I feel obliged to quote a large chunk of it:
We created this promotion as part of our marketing efforts around the circle of Lust (one of the nine sins/circles of Hell). Each month we will be focusing on a new Circle of Hell. This month is Lust. Costumed reps are a tradition at Comic-Con. In the spirit of both the Circle of Lust and Comic-Con, we are encouraging attendees to Tweet photos of themselves with any of the costumed reps at Comic-Con here, find us on Facebook or via e-mail. “Commit acts of lust” is simply a tongue-in-cheek way to say take pictures with costumed reps. Also, a “Night of Lust” means only that the winner will receive a chaperoned VIP night on the town with the Dante’s Inferno reps, all expenses paid, as well as other prizes.
Again, I could go into why this is still mind-bogglingly offensive but this gives it too much credit. Let’s concentrate, instead, on the STUPID, which is present in equally generous quantities.
Basically what jumps out at me is this: so you’re doing a series of competitions based on the circles of the Inferno, one per month in fact. You do realise, don’t you EA marketing department, that the circles of Dante’s hell do not quite correspond to the seven deadly sins in the way I suspect you think they do? Um, do you think maybe you should have, perhaps, just perhaps, read The Inferno before you embarked on this doomed endeavour?
With this in mind, M’Pocket Tank and I hereby present our own take on the Sin to Win competition which we hope compensates to some degree for EA with its fidelity to the original text.
Circle 1: Limbo
In order to win, invitees must wear togas and compose epic poetry in dead languages.
Circle 2: Lust
Attendees are invited to perform such SINful acts as marrying for love, getting divorced or fancying someone against their parent’s approval.
Circle 3: Gluttony
Attendees are invited to send photographs of themselves eating in a manner which serves as a metaphor for the politics of 13th century Florence.
Circle 4: The Avaricious and Prodigal
Attendees will be encouraged to waste as much money as possible on useless crap they don’t need. We are currently re-thinking this promotion as it is functionally identical to the normal behaviour of punters at a convention.
Circle 5: The Wrathful and the Sullen
Attendees are invited to perform acts of violence on other members of the convention. We apologise for any misunderstanding this description may have caused. “Acts of violence” is just a tongue-in-cheek way of saying “have your photograph taken with.”
Circle 6: Heretics
Attendees are invited to tweet in support of interpretations of Christian doctrine which deviate from Catholic orthodoxy.
Circle 7: The Violent
Attendees are invited to commit suicide.
Circle 8: Malebolge
In order to win the Malebolge prize, attendees are invited to submit a photograph of themselves engaged in acts of pandering, seduction, flattery, simony, fortune telling, grafting, hypocrisy, theft, evil counselling, sowing of discord and falsification with other convention goers.
Circle 9: Cocytus
Attendees are invited to commit acts of treason.
In the event of fire, attendees are reminded that there is an emergency exit situated between Satan’s buttocks.