Critical Intel

Critical Intel
You Hear About That 47 Boy?

Augustus Deacon Pappy Rath | 6 Dec 2012 12:00
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Not that I'm implying anything, understand. But that 47 boy's always been about the job and only the job-struggling with his purpose, trying to align it with his principles, or using it to protect innocents. Amorous inclinations don't come into the picture.

Ah, thank you Angela. Can I refill your glass? Please, have another libation if you wish.

I blame the parent company, that's who I blame. That Square Enix was nice to take 47 in when he needed help, but they didn't raise him right. After all, look what they did to poor Ms. Croft this year, announcing at a press event that the scavengers would try to rape her, in her next game. Well, turns out that doesn't really happen in the game-a scavenger gropes her and gets a knee in the family jewels, and that's the grand extent of it-but it just goes to show how disconnected advertising and PR agents have become from the people they represent. After all, they don't need to give us Catholic damsels in leather or scandalous story announcements, do they? We've known Ms. Croft and Mr. 47 since they were knee-high, they're fine folks, show us something great about their new games and we'll gladly join the adventure. These repeated stunts are naught but self-injury.

Because the fact is this is a small place, friend, and people talk. Oh, how they talk. Our little community is full of gossips who will take any mistake Mr. 47 or Ms. Croft make and run it up the flag pole. They'll take it shop-to-shop, from Rock Paper Shotgun, to Kotaku, to the Penny Arcade Report, and run it out into the streets. Soon, everyone in town is atwitter, going tut tut and I never and shaking their manicured fingers-as anyone would, in a proper society. These gossips hunger for scandal, as gossips often do. (Unlike upright people like you and I, who have erudite conversations like this one.) But as these scandals mount, I've begun to believe in my heart of hearts that they are intentional, and that marketers are playing on these gossip networks because they're afraid to let that 47 boy stand on his own two feet.

Can you honestly watch those lewd nuns with blood running from their nostrils and believe no one raised an issue with it before launch? I can't believe it, and I don't believe it-just like I can't believe Square Enix was surprised at the reaction to its new Facebook app. Companies don't spend that much money developing advertising without approving and reviewing it at an early stage, just like how no one in the history of spoken language has unintentionally uttered the word "rape" when they meant something else. It's not accidental, it's provocation.

It's also bad business. Sure, our little town is crowded with sensation right now, what with Mr. Conner taking over from Mr. Auditore and Lieutenant Commander Mason's adventures abroad, but being shocking in the short term is liable to make you lose more than you gain. Yes, the gossips are talking about that 47 boy again, even after the lackluster release of Absolution (which is no mean feat), but they forget that gossips have long memories, and that this app is only the latest in a line of public outrages that are beginning to define 47's image. That kind of advertising doesn't draw attention to the game, it draws attention to other advertising. It's based on a grave misunderstanding of human nature: Just because you're on everyone's lips doesn't mean you're in their hearts as well, and it certainly doesn't mean you're in their pocketbooks.

But enough talk about sad things. Would you like another lemonade, or would you prefer something stronger?

Mint Julep, perhaps?

Oh, and have you heard about that article in the New Statesman? It's lovely, you'll be outraged. You know what I heard, from Brendon Keogh ...

Augustus Deacon "Pappy" Rath is a gentleman of leisure living in a small town outside Savannah, Georgia. He is an alderman and deacon in the Methodist Church, and contrary to slanderous rumors, his comfortable family estate was built through wise investments--not as a rumrunner during prohibition. His casual pursuits involve the local bridge club, whiskey tasting, Freemasons, and commenting on controversial issues involving interactive technology. He is currently seeking a donor for his third liver transplant. If interested, please contact his great-grandnephew Robert Rath at or on Twitter @RobWritesPulp .

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