Resident Evil: The Lengths Companies Go To Get Your Attention
Shop Attendant: "Calling all zombies! Has chasing humans just to get your breakfast getting to become redundant and irritatingly tiresome lately? Well moan no more! The Smithfield Meat Market in East London can now take care of all your undead hunger needs!"
When Resident Evil 6 was being released, Capcom sponsored this once and a lifetime event for the zombie community. Veteran resident Zombies had a moment to give their legs a rest and take this opportunity to purchase human hands, feet, and even a head.
Gamers at the time could also purchase 'Peppered Human & Lemon Sausages' and 'J’avo Caught Human Thigh Steaks' directly from the shop.
The exhibit, for they certainly were putting on a display, featured some pretty stomach churning images. It's true that gamers in particular can become slightly desensitized by all the violence, blood, and behavior that they see on a regular basis from games (among other outlets). But I hope that most of us agree seeing something on a TV screen, and seeing a tangible version of something (even if it's not really human meat) is still quite different. Growing up with a father who hunts I have had the experience of seeing deers strung up in the back yard slit open on the underside, and even I don't really feel a need to want to see what a cannibal's butcher shop looks like.
Not shy on creating graphic and slightly disturbing advertisements, Capcom has also now created a pool of blood for it's Resident Evil Revelations which launches May 24th.
Zombies now have the chance after working hard for Capcom for so long to soak up the sun and pretend to get a tan they no longer have the ability to acquire. If they feel a little peckish they can just dive into the pool and nibble on an intestine or two.
The pool will hold 55,000 gallons of water, which according to MCV news is "the equivalent to the blood of 11,327 people." It will also sport Zombie life guards, and human remains floating around nonchalantly as if the apocalypse is already upon us (and I suppose to Capcom it is).
Free tickets are available to humans if they are looking for that sort of adventure seeking thrill their plain boring living has denied them.
Adam Merret, Capcom's manager, stated:
“To non-zombies, the swimming pool will be shocking, gory and an incredibly disturbing experience – the perfect way to show that survival horror is back with a bang for Resident Evil Revelations”.
This sort of begs the question though: Do game developers push the line too far with these PR stunts?
In the case of the meat market, Capcom did donate proceeds from sales to Limbless Association which provides support and information to those who have lost limbs. This is a nice thought, of course. What decent person on this planet would say they don't want to give back to charity, after all. Yet it's a rather fitting charity, isn't it? Almost like another PR campaign in and of itself. In fact, in a small way the charity they chose is slightly disturbing too. Here is a game about zombies chewing on arms and legs created by a company showing off an event that sells them as meat. Then they want to bank on all those poor individuals who don't take their limbs for granted as most of us do, because they have to go through life living with less of them. Maybe I just have too righteous of a personality sometimes (probably from playing the hero in too many games), but to me that just has an appearance of wrong.
On the other hand, it does create a deeper real life connection to video games and their virtual reality.
Which is exactly what Capcom (and others) wants you to feel, since it will sell more video games for them and create a deeper fan base.
As a gamer fan, I always am excited about connecting any real world medium to a game. That's why I want to play Ingress, why I think Defiance seems so rad, and why I ran the Zombie obstacle race back in October 2012. I like that connectivity. I like being immersed into a storyline and role, and quite frankly I would bet all my zombie killing arsenal that most people do too.
Regardless of your opinion, you certainly can't deny that it grabs people's attentions.