While attending a recent Microsoft Kinect event in Australia, Atomic MPC editor David Hollingworth was offended when Microsoft regional manager David McLean cracked wise at the expense of gamers to a crowd packed with fashion and lifestyle magazine journalists.
Here's an account of the offending comments, according to Atomic MPC:
"Gaming's not just for sweaty thirty year olds in Metallica t-shirts," quipped Microsoft's regional entertainment tzar at yesterday's lifestyle event, David McLean. The audience of fashion editors and lifestyle doyens yukked it up appreciatively, but we couldn't believe our ears. That's it? That's what you're reducing a huge percentage of your audience to now - a one-liner gag to make the cheap-seats feel it's okay to waddle about in front of their television sets?
And it didn't end there - the presentation featured constant allusions to basement dwelling nerds and impenetrable control schemes. Which is fine if Microsoft's courting vacuous fashionistas now, but does the company have to do it at our expense?
I'm not sure if it is funnier that someone at Microsoft allegedly said this stuff or that someone took offense to what was a series of one-liners about core gamers to a bunch of "beautiful people" who know as much about video games as Paris Hilton knows about the geography of Australia. Microsoft knows that core gamers don't think that much of Kinect to begin with - other than that it is kind of neat if you are too lazy to navigate those Xbox Live menus using a controller.
On the other hand, Microsoft might want to take note of who will be there to pick up the pieces should this little casual experiment of theirs fail: those same sweaty 30-somethings rocking those Metallica t-shirts. For the record, I like Metallica t-shirts, I don't mind being sweaty, and my last sports injury was while playing Wii Fit.