Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Sonic. All game-characters from way back. But all made for kid’s games. Even Link from Zelda wasn’t exactly a badass. And let’s not even speak about Kirby. Games used to be cute. We’d rescue princesses from castles or return baby monkies to their mommies.
Well, thanks to Playstation, that changed. The adult market was finally spoken too.
Ever since Playstation launched their brilliant 1995 commercial called “Double Life”, they’ve build on ‘escapism’. The Playstation markets itself as a sort of third place. Not home, not work. Nope, it’s “The Third Place”. A bit like Starbucks. But for Playstation, the third place means a decent into a virtual land, far away from our boring lives. To play and experience places we could only dream of. Places where we can release our frustration, freed from our constraining physical boundaries and our fear of the unknown.
We play, because we can’t – or don’t know how to – experience life in full. We crave for Carpe Diem without even knowing how it really tastes like.
“Live in your world, play in ours”
Ad after ad, the PlayStation campaign astutely blurred the lines between the virtual and the real, via an eerily believable artistic direction. Advertisers might not be true artists, but remove the logo from most of these ads and it would certainly qualify as such, in a Picasso/Dali/Bosch/Brueghel way.
Judge for yourself. I’ll leave you with some imagery and their epic 1995 commercial “Double Life“, which heralded a whole new section within the gaming market.
“For years, I’ve lived a double life.
In the day, I do my job
I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi polloi.
But at night, I live a life of exhilaration,
of missed heartbeats and adrenalin.
And, if the truth be known, a life of dubious virtue.
I won’??t deny it I’ve been engaged in violence, even indulged in it.
I’ve maimed and killed adversaries?? and not merely in self-defence.
I’ve exhibited disregard for life, limb and property,
and savoured every moment.
You may not think it, to look at me,
but I have commanded armies and conquered worlds.
And though in achieving these things I’ve set morality aside,
I have no regrets.
For though I’ve led a double life, at least I can say: