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Helping GEnie Predict Our Future
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 29, 2006   |   Episode 42 (Show Archive)  

   
Normally when we talk about video game advertisements we keep it in the Commercial Break section, that's our show dedicated to all of the bad game commercials we have had to put up with in game magazines over the years. But sometimes a commercial isn't bad at all. Sometimes an old commercial is downright poetic, to the point where it accurately predicts the future. This is the case with GEnie's advertisements from the early 1990s. They were one of the first services to offer online gaming, and believe it or not, they managed to show you the average jerk that you will meet online.

Take a look at GEnie's advertisement, it shows you the difference between a computer-controlled player and the type of person you will meet online. While I'm sure they were trying to be funny by showing you the scariest child molester ever to be featured in a game advertisement, there's little doubt that this is the type of person you end up running into when you're playing online games these days. It doesn't matter what system you're using to access the internet, if you play online chances are good you've run into somebody who looks just as scary as this guy.

But looking back at this advertisement I can't help but think that GEnie failed to predict some of the biggest problems with online gaming. Sure they show you a guy who "wants to rip your lungs out," but that's the least of your worries when you play Gears of War, SOCOM, Halo or Rainbow Six online. Defunct Games decided to help GEnie out by offering a few variations on the advertisement that would better explain the problems with modern online video games. I doubt GEnie had the foresight to predict these crimes against humanity, but as far as I'm concerned they are still worth bringing up. Ah the innocence of 1992 advertising.













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