10 Outrageous Video Game Adverts That Caused Major Controversy
2. Xbox - "Life Is Short, Play More"
One of the all-time best video game adverts is Microsoft's genius "Life is short, play more" ad, which featured a baby being born, flying out of his mother's vagina and shooting through the air, rapidly aging before reaching old age and smashing into his own grave, just as the above tagline appears. The ad received 136 complaints in the UK, causing it to be pulled by advertising regulator the ITC. Complaints reportedly came from the regular line-up of middle-minded offendees; a pregnant woman, a new mother, and a woman who recently lost a baby in childbirth. Microsoft argued that they were trying to convey a "positive statement about life", but that rather flaky claim was promptly shot down, and the ban was upheld. Microsoft, however, did continue to show the advert in cinemas and online, and given how Sony were at the time known for their shocking, boundary-pushing ads, this was a great way for Microsoft to throw the gauntlet down at their feet.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.