Playstation "Gamefaces" not really a new idea.

As Creativereview noticed the playface commercial isn't the first one to do photographs of peoples faces as they react to stuff. Not sure if the Playstation ads were meant to look like sex, but some of the expressions do. (And IMHO the whole sex-angle makes it funnier, to me) Creative review reckons it reminds them of Coco De Mer & Trojan campaign that we badlanded here previously.
The photographs are based on portraits of men taken at the moment of climax.

But wait.. there's more!

Advertising imitates art a lot, (actually so does art, imitate art, that is - check out the pre-Britart campaign Art ideas here) the Coco De Mer campaign looks like it was quite inspired by Aura Rosenberg's photographs of men having orgasms called "Head Shots". Edit note that Beautiful Agony also mentioned in the Coco vs Trojan post as possible video inspiration for the commercials.

Phil Toledano did a photo series back in 2002 called Videogamers, photographing their best game faces - and he has said about the PS3 campaign "It pretty much looks like they happily ripped me off...".
But there's also a cool video installation called We will destroy you by Chris Evans, where people got to play an old Space Invaders game, and the video camera in the machine beamed their best game faces onto a wall in a bar, where customers had to cope with the giant evil gamefaces staring down at them with evil grins. Sounds good.

Immersion might be the most similar to the PS3 idea, as photographer Robbie Cooper filmed young gamers deeply concentrated in kicking ass.

This young boy has a single tear running down his cheek as he napalms something. I wonder what game he's playing?

Conclusion: advertising inspiration is often found in art galleries and photographic art created free of client restraints. Film at 11.

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phon's picture

But wait, there's even more still...

Dabitch's picture

Aha! I bet there's even more out there. Are those people watching TV or playing video games?

arrella's picture

These kids are watching TV.

Dabitch's picture

Yeah, Creativereview had that as well. Not sure if I feel like it should count as "dupliclaim" then, as the similarities end in "portraits of people reaction to something" - Little kids watching TV, people watching pornography (also done by the previously mentioned Robbie Cooper). If we stick to "video-portraits of people playing computer games" Immersion kinda wins, with still photography portraits of the same idea created by Phil Toledano a close second. IMHO, YMMV etc.

(still, I think pushing the "sex face" angle would have made it all so much funnier, in a "playstation is better than sex" kind of way.)

Dabitch's picture

But wait, there's even more...! AdFreak are on the same kick and mention older art photography - Tim Writes:

Toledano's insight—that people let their guard down when they're focused intently on something (like gaming), and that you can see "a hidden part of their character" in those moments—itself wasn't so new. Philippe Halsman did similar stuff in the pre-video-game 1950s, when he began taking pictures of people while they were jumping—and had to focus on that, rather than on posing for the camera.