Saturday, July 13, 2013

Eyes on that motherboard.. XD

This week’s Media Log theme is Media and Gender. For this theme, we will focus more on the Female aspect of Gender (as seen on the video above). The video is a tutorial made by MSi, a Taipei-based gaming company. It shows how to assemble a MSi Z87-GD64 Gaming PC. From what I learned from the video, apparently, all you need on how to assemble a gaming PC is a bikini-clad female model with a Philips screwdriver and a bad English language dub, all the while a cheesy pop music blares in the background. If we look at this advertisement through a gamer’s point of view, we would see some factors that would make us ("us" term used since I  myself am a gamer) cringe at some segments of the video like the way she handled some of the parts oh-so-not-gently and touching some of the wires/components that are not meant to be touched at all since it would affect the computer’s performance. But we aren’t here to criticise the video itself but rather the model used in the video. To keep the logical flow in order, I have decide to divide my criticisms into these simple questions : 1) Why was a woman model used in the video? and 2) Why is she dressed like that?

In my opinion, a female model was used to obviously attract and target the male population of the gaming community. As of now, the male/female gamer ratio is around the 60/40 criteria. By using a female model, MSi aims to target that 60% male part of the gaming community and chooses to completely ignore the other 40% female part (unless they are lesbians or bisexuals). Of course, let us not forget that MSi is a gaming COMPANY, and companies need to attract buyers to get sales. And what better way to lure male gamers into buying a gaming PC than a female model in a bikini assembling one? This brings us to the answer of the next question.

One of the things that seemed strange was about the model’s apparel throughout the video. It was bearable at the start when she was clothed decently until the cheesy pop music started playing and she was suddenly transformed to that of a “gamer girl in a bright orange bikini”. I mean, she could’ve stayed clothed in that jacket and miniskirt throughout the course of the video, but why did they suddenly dress her in a bikini that is sexually provocative? Obviously this is a textbook case of sexism. This style of marketing wherein companies lure male buyers by sexualising women into buying their products is a very old marketing strategy. However, this is very effective as it produces the desired result. To be honest, most of the male gamers in the comments section of the video’s responses could be summarised as “ I don’t think any of us (the male gamers who have viewed the tutorial) here came for the tutorial” (referring to the fact that they are more interested in the scantily-clad model rather than the tutorial itself). In short: Sexualising women to attract male buyers: an age-old but very effective marketing strategy.

A fallacy that could evidently be seen in this video is an Appeal to Ignorance. The definition for an Appeal to Ignorance is that since something (in this case the video) has not been proven false, it is therefore true. This fallacy can be applied by saying that the way the model assembled the PC is correct, therefore the tutorial’s instructions are also correct. However some people who have had experience in assembling PCs are chastising the video. Commented by Youtube use Dawi Fourie:
"First of all you don't hold the CPU like that, and you don't touch the gold plates on the memory,"  Numerous other YouTube users pointed out that this was no way to hold a CPU.

This just shows that not every product marketed should involve women being sexualised just for the benefit and assurance that there will be male buyers.

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