It’s all fun and games, and no one gets hurt

This Sony PSP ad by British ad agency Mike & Blake puts a twist on a schoolyard "fight" with the confrontation revealed as being almost entirely digital. On one level, the spot is clever, if unremarkable. But I think it (no doubt unintentionally) brings the schisms of our virtual media age into focus. One can easily picture real-life kids actually settling disputes this way, using their thumbs to play games instead of their fists to throw punches. On the plus side, no one gets hurt. And yet, learning to cope with emotional and physical pain is an essential part of growing up and a hallmark of the human experience. This scenario shown in this clip, and video games themselves, create a stimulating yet safe realm in which bruises bloom via electronic palettes and vanish with the flip of a switch. Emotions like pain, courage, fear and shame become stylized, stripped of meaning—and forgotten. Until real stress or peril appear. Then those emotions tend to explode. Bottom line: I probably took too many blows to the head on the playground in third grade. Via Ads of the World.

—Posted by David Gianatasio