Intel has "gamers inside", pulls advertising from Gamasutra

Intel has confirmed to Adland that they have pulled their advertising for their experimental RealSense platform from the website Gamasutra;

Intel has pulled its advertising from website Gamasutra. We take feedback from our customers very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and placements.

We can deduce from that statement that the promised boycott I wrote about in #gamergate - insulting consumers shrinks the market is very much on, and that Intel has listened to the consumers they are targeting. Called "operation disrespectful nod", those who self-identify as gamers are emailing gaming related companies to ask them to pull their ads from certain publications they feel have misrepresented who gamers are.

Why Gamasutra? Gamasutra published articles like Leigh Alexander's 'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over and Devin Wilson's A Guide to Ending "Gamers" which set their comment-boxes on fire.

This is what Leigh Alexander believes games culture is:

‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction and professional life works that they can concoct online ‘wars’ about social justice or ‘game journalism ethics,’ straight-faced, and cause genuine human consequences. Because of video games.

Leigh's article argues that games and the industry has largely been shaped by 'a generation of lonely basement kids had marketers whispering in their ears that they were the most important commercial demographic of all time', and this in turn has spawned 'shiny blouses and pinning bikini babes onto everything they made, started making games that sold the promise of high-octane masculinity to kids just like them.'

As someone who has played computer games since I got Stugan (The Cottage) on a literally "floppy", floppy disk, and who works in advertising, I think Leigh's observations are wrong. Games, and those playing them, have always been accused of being male-centric, sexist and only played by weirdo-dweeb-loners. While those who played games soon discover that there's no community in the world more accepting of everyone and anyone who plays games than players of games. Inside a video game it doesn't matter what religion you have, what body you have, what colour of skin, language, social status or amount of money you have - all that matters is how good you are. Gaming is both a social activity with D&D games played together, or couch-tournaments on your consoles - to giant LAN-parties that lasts for weekends and leave your computer full of sticky residue from Jolt Cola, as well a solo activity if you so choose. Marketing does not think adolescent boys are the worlds most important demographic. The "games are sexist" trope has been argued since long before Lara Croft wore shorts and a t-shirt. If you slammed her into a wall, she'd make a moaning sound which some people argued was "sexual". Those people really need to get laid more often. Not to mention, when media couldn't blame school shootings on rock and roll, any and all games had to take the blame.

Both Gamasutra and Leigh Alexander also confirmed Intel's departure in conversations on twitter.

Other companies that create games and related goods, such as Activision, Ubisoft, and EA can expect many emails in the days to come, and should sit down and figure out a course of action right now - smart PR companies might want to stay ahead of the game (pun intended) by contacting their clients now.

Some people have already begun emailing Intel to ask them to place ads on Gamasutra again, one example is Brett Douville, former game developer on Skyrim, who wrote this open letter to Intel today. Gentlemen and women, expect more ahead, this will not go away by being ignored it must be addressed. Advertising agencies - what's your strategy to present to your gaming clients on this?


Update Friday 3rd Oct 19:05 UTC. Statement from Bill calder at Intel:

We removed the ads based on customer feedback. We take feedback from our customers very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and placements.


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