vcg_logo_gsw.jpg['Game Ads A-Go-Go' is a bi-weekly column by Vintage Computing and Gaming's RedWolf that showcases good, bad, strange, funny, and interesting classic video game-related advertisements, most of which are taken from his massive classic game magazine collection.]

Welcome back, ad-fans, to Game Ads A-Go-Go! This week I have collected for you three ads that I personally find disturbing for various different reasons. That doesn't mean that you'll find them disturbing, but hopefully you can at least laugh at the nervous paranoia and general mental instability that is manifested in my reaction to certain game magazine ads. In each case, I've presented the ad itself, why it disturbs me, and some psychoanalytical and physiological musings over why it is disturbing. So pull out your therapists' couch and kick back for a strange and wonderful journey deep within the human psyche.


Case #1

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Product Featured in Ad: Handy Boy, Handy Gear

What Disturbs Me About the Ad: The implication that this kid/man is not properly returning the affections of his girlfriend/mother, choosing instead to focus them on a hyper-accesorized handheld video game system.

Underlying Psychological Cause for Disturbance: Inbreeding is not only taboo in nearly every civilization on Earth, but it is also bad for the genetic diversity of a species. Also, immature males over the age of twenty are commonly frowned upon in today's productivity-driven, creativity-deprived adult American work culture.

Comments: "Sometimes life can be complicated..." No shit. Especially when you're an overgrown man-child who's cheating on your mom with a Game Boy.

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Case #2

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Product Featured in Ad: CYBERPad

What Disturbs Me About the Ad: Passively positioned skeletal human forearm jutting forth from TV screen, ready to spring to life at any moment and strangle you. Glowing sparks from broken CRT could set fire to nearby polyester-blend stuffed Mario collection.

Underlying Psychological Cause for Disturbance: Skeletons typically symbolize death because they are usually covered in certain biological materials conducive to the state of being alive. If found uncovered, death has likely occurred in the organism. Death itself is disturbing because it implies an end to existence. And death emerging from a common household TV set is just not supposed to @$%*ing happen.

Comments: The tagline for this controller should be "Makes your worst nightmares come true." Scary ads like this are why religion was invented (*ahem*, I mean, bestowed upon humanity by God).

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Case #3

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Product Featured in Ad: Panic (Sega CD)

What Disturbs Me About the Ad: I really don't care for the font used in the tagline.

Underlying Psychological Cause for Disturbance: Fonts can be extremely disturbing if used improperly. This phenomenon has been demonstrated numerous times by several prominent Dutch experimental psychologists (Devenpeck, 1997). Fanciful lettering observed by the eye is transmuted and processed by the scripticile command center of the brain, also known as the fontainebleau nodule. (Onderdonk, 1967). This all-important nervous center overloads and shuts down when bombarded with too much lateral fontitude, causing serious mental disturbance (also see Greki, 1989, and Vanderveergul, 1995).

Comments: If you're going to parody the "Got Milk" ad campaign, then at least get it right and use the proper post-modern Gravadia Sans-Serif Semi-Bold 104 instead of the cheap Spanish font sweatshop wood-carved imitation, Grasazda Extra Smooth 72!

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[RedWolf is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vintage Computing and Gaming, a regularly updated "blogazine" that covers collecting, playing, and hacking vintage computing and gaming devices. He has been collecting vintage computers and game systems for over 13 years.]