The Sexist and Inappropriate Mobile Game Advertisements

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If you are a regular at mobile games, you know how annoying it is when an advertisement pops up. Most of these advertisements have no relation whatsoever with the game. It is simply made to entice the players to download the game. But sometimes these advertisements are so sexist and inappropriate that even the players get offended.

We often find that the women shown in the advertisements are inhumanly voluptuous, scantily dressed, and often found in compromising positions that accentuate the heterosexual male fantasy. The game this advertisement belongs to may not have a character exactly as that is there in the advertisement. Yet the advertisements show extremely sexualised game characters.

An example is the advertisements for a game named ‘The Game of Khans’. One advertisement of this game shows the male character peeking on a bathing woman. Another advertisement is that you are partially undressing a woman, and the latest advertisement even shows cutting the garment of the woman with some scissors. This inappropriate stuff is being shown on your mobile screens, without a warning when you are simply playing another innocent game.

Even the sensible adult in you is offended by these kinds of ads. But just imagine if your kid or adolescent is the one playing a game on your mobile and this kind of content comes up as an advertisement. These are sure to put a negative effect on them. Their idea about a female would be drastically affected by the voluptuous game characters with bouncy boobs. What are we even putting up with through these advertisements?

Another problematic one is the advertisements for choice games. It is mostly women who play these kinds of games and hence instead of voluptuous women, we get shirt-less hunk guys in the advertisements. And again, it is all about the looks. These advertisements usually have scandalous and inappropriate situations in the game, for example, a boss hitting on their employee and other scenes with a whole lot of sexual tension.

The bottom line is that sex sells. And the advertisement companies know that very well. These companies are able to catch the attention of the players with this kind of inappropriate, borderline pornography type advertisements. And will continue to do so until and unless someone puts a stop to them. 

Then there are the other kinds of advertisements where we are asked to help an ugly female to get a makeover so as she can get revenge on her ex who left her because of her looks. One of the advertisements even goes as far as showing a husband cheating on his ugly wife, and the wife begging him to take her back. And the player’s goal is to make the wife beautiful so that the husband takes her back. These kinds of toxic advertisements propagate the idea that women are inferior to men and always need a man in their life. And that beauty is her ultimate virtue. It puts forward the idea that without her beauty, a woman is nothing in society and is bound to get disrespected and treated badly.

Since it is usually a younger generation that plays mobile games mostly, they are getting fed this kind of content under the table in the form of mobile game advertisements. Although there are many innocent advertisements, and most advertisements are targeted to you based on your online activity, or the type of games you have played in the past… the existence of these kinds of inappropriate advertisements will do no good to anyone that is watching them. There is always a chance for you to stumble into an inappropriate advertisement once in a while.

But we cannot expect these advertisements to disappear in a day either without a global uproar against them, which is highly unlikely.  The best thing we can do is to monitor not just the mobile games the kids are playing but also to the advertisements they come across or only allow them to play offline games without any ads. 

-Poorna Krishnan

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