Is White PSP Ad Racist?


Both Kotaku and Joystiq are reporting on a new ad Sony is running for the new (if you live in North America) white PSP. Of course both of these upstanding social institutions started the FUD off right with well written headlines.

They say "offensive" (Kotaku) and "racially charged" (Joystiq) but I say "bull shit." Of course hundreds of commenters hash out why or why not the ad has racial connotations to it.

The dominance card just doesn't fly, considering the third image. Not to mention that the symbolism that black and white PSP equals black and white human being is so plane and simple -- and quite frankly, brilliant marketing.

The people who are racist here are the people writing the articles and commenting on them. If you cannot understand symbolism then I am not sure you would understand racism to begin with.

Of course these are the people who say that Loco Roco is racist, because it has black (OMFG!) bad guys in it.

Chill out people. If you go looking for a black eye, you will likely find one.

Comments (13)

Haha glad we're back on the samme side Ken. I to think the criticism the ad is reciving is pointless and i've been spending the better part of my slow morning at work commenting on Kotaku about it. If you read Florian's rebuttle it pretty much puts everthing is prespective.


Dude, we all need to take a chill pill here and take a step back. Let's start at the beginning. What is that dreaded racism everyone seems to be hollerin' about nowadays? Wikipedia says:

Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life

Does that definition apply the the ads? Maybe a bit. But barely. The images (yeah, all three) show the white person either in more positive light and/or in a more powerful position. Even so, it's not that clear-cut. The ad probably isn't racist, although it is very obvious that it could be interpreted that way.

Does it matter? Hell no. Whether the ad or the people who made it are racist doesn't matter one bit. Everyone agrees that it depends on the person looking at it (and no, labelling people "racist" who think the ad is racist is even more absurd and stupid than thinking it is racist in the first place).

Sony knew or should have known that people would interpret it like that. They should have known that people would be offended. They ran it anyway, knowing full well that it would cause a huge stir. Even if it isn't racist, it's obvious that it reminds people of a conflict between races. Sony knowingly made people angry to promote its crappy console. They knowingly offended their own customers again just to get them talking about the PSP. So fuck Sony, regardless of whether it's racist or not.

I would gladly if the frigging Read More link took me to the rest of the counterpoint.

Sony made these ads because they are racey, for lack of a better term. They did it for people to take notice. And it worked. Good for them -- they hired the right ad agency, that is clear. And Njiska has a great point: the race card has not been used in some time.

Read the counterpoint here. Pretty sad that Sony had to also go on record about it.


White or "pigment challenged" systems (like the Dreamcast, Nintendo DS Lite, Xbox 360, NES model 2, PSone) are cool in my book, but cosmetic changes like this don't count. The PSP is and always will be black as a moonless night at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. I wish Sony's PSP would just be pround of what it is, instead of trying to be something it isn't.

Marco you're still pushing the wwhole Whitey thing aren't you?

What the hell does Lee have to do with this? The ads aren't even in this country, let alone his state. Unbelieveable.

That's the same thing i have to say about the NAACP. And i did.

I always though the NAACP had other branches in other countries, and/or were called something else?

Well the word National should be a hint. Anyway here's what the wiki says:

The NAACP's headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland, with additional regional offices in California, New York, Michigan, Missouri, Georgia, Texas, and Maryland. Each regional office is responsible for coordinating the efforts of state conferences in the states included in that region. Local, youth, and college chapters organize activities for individual members.

The NAACP is run nationally by a 64-member board of directors led by a chairman. The board elects one person as the president and chief executive officer for the organization; Bruce S. Gordon was selected to fill this post in 2005 following the resignation of Kweisi Mfume, who had headed the organization for nine years. Civil Rights Movement activist and former Georgia state representative Julian Bond remains as chairman.

Departments within the NAACP govern areas of action. Local chapters are supported by the Branch and Field Services department and the Youth and College department. The Legal Department focuses on court cases of broad application to minorities, such as systematic discrimination in employment, government, or education. The Washington, D.C. bureau is responsible for lobbying the U.S. Government; and the Education Department works to improve public education at the local, state and federal levels. The goal of the Health Division is to advance healthcare for minorities through public policy initiatives and education. As of 2004, the NAACP had approximately 500,000 members.No mention of it being international which again given the name makes sense.

Incidentaly i can't find any info on their being racist issues in the Netherlands, depite the claims some people have made. It's an overly liberal country and the only problems seem to have been tension with Muslims in the early 2000s for obvious reasons.

fucked up the blockquote

Tim over at CAD has sumed it up pretty nicely.

Now at first glance, this stands to be a pretty offensive advertisement. That was my first reaction, definitely. However it's important to keep in mind that this advertisement isn't running in the US. It's a campaign over in Europe (Holland, if I recall correctly?) only. Why is that? Maybe because here in America we have such a history of racial tension, a history of slavery, an issue that divided our country in two in the face of war. So maybe it seems like a pretty harsh image to us, because we're extra sensitive to that sort of thing, perhaps out of shame, due to that part of our nation's history. (I'm not saying racism doesn't exist elsewhere around the world, but I'm not from elsewhere around the world, so I can't vouch for the feelings of different cultures.)

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