Thursday, March 08, 2007

You're gonna play POLE POSITION!!!!!

While doing some research on YouTube, I found this commercial from the 1980s for Atari's Pole Position.

What strikes me about this ad is how nasty it is. Video game commercials, even back the the 1980s, appealed to a demographic that loved pushing buttons to blow things up...and Pole Position is a racing game where you are supposed to avoid causing destruction.

While this ad might not be as brutal as a session of Quake or Doom III, Atari's marketers seemed to think the way to get the MTV generation (back when MTV used to PLAY music) to open up their (or mom and dad's) wallet to buy a video game was to put a family of stereotype preppies in the the middle of a flaming car crash. Appealing to American kids' thirst for anarchy did not start with Grand Theft Auto.

The family in their Volkswagen looks "nerdy", with the dad and kids wearing big glasses. Ironically, 20 years later geek chic has now become a fashion trend, while the Volkswagen Rabbit has returned as a car aimed at hipsters.

I guess if this ad were made today, the dad would be a trendy looking baby boomer with his kids out for a drive to the local Starbucks in their hybrid SUV.

Considering how much bloodshed goes on in modern video games, I fear that family would wind up someplace very bad if the giant hand came to get them. They would be pursued and devoured by toothy demons or riddled with bullets by feuding urban warlords.

They would not last five minutes on the mean streets of Liberty City.


AngryMan said...

I had a knock-off version of Pole Position for my TI video game console.

Charles G said...

Nothing beats the real arcade game, especially the sit-down version. that is a game I loved.

Joey Polanski said...

Fer some reasn, Pole Position dint put me in mind o auto racin.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a interesting game!! Mostly, I prefer to play Real Arcade games...