Skip to main content

Life is short

I am having a work meltdown what with beginning of term and impending book deadline. There will be more of the book up for comment shortly.

In the meantime here is a short video that I think should be shown to every teenager in the land (without the XBox plugs). As a matter of fact, the ad was banned. I am not sure why.

Incidentally, I cannot think of a worse ad for computer games. Life's short, so I should go and sod about on a computer console for a few hours?

POSTSCRIPT. Here is why it was banned. Actually I am not sure it should have been banned. I am not sure the reasons given are good reasons, or even the real reasons people complained. My guess is, this very short film manages to present a rather horrific aspect of the human condition in a way that many people would prefer not to have to think about. I am not sure they have a right to be protected from having to think about it.


Joril said…
To be fair, the ad says, "play more" not "play all the time, for an entire lifetime".
So it might be a reminder to have fun once in a while (before your demise).

But I do think that the ad is really pointing people, especially parents, to the fact that their new born baby will ultimatly age and die.

Also, let's not forget that videogames can have value by teaching and telling. By being social and interactive.
Just like other media, really.
Mike said…
Projectile babies...Naked old men crashing into their graves in a cloud of dust...What's the problem?

Actually I loved the ad, but I'm not sure it's such a bad thing to live in a society where the sensitivities of certain delicate people are taken into account. The very nature of TV commercials is that they can be seen by anyone (not just adolescents in need of a lesson) and that they kind of sneak up and grab your attention, whether you want them to or not. (Certainly this ad grabs your attention and doesn't let go.) For people who have recently lost, or are in the process of losing, an elderly family member, or for the old and infirm themselves, the final moment of this ad might be a bit too much. As a thought experiment, imagine a situation involving someone you love who may be close to death now (or think back to when someone you loved was still alive but on their way out) and then imagine pulling out a DVD of this ad and saying, "Hey Grandpa, wait'll you see this!" Would you do that?

It's a great ad, but I think it should be directed toward a more carefully focused audience.
dobson said…
I'm very sure that the sort of people who complained were not in the Xbox demographic.
Christopher said…
Are you sure this advert was banned? As one of your younger, self confessed xbox playing readers, I have to point out that this advert ran almost non stop on all the primetime t.v slots in the UK for a good six months or so. Around the time of the Xbox 360's European release I think. I remember the rabid impatience awoken in my soul by this advert as a kid. Ah the joy of being a teenager. The only time you can legitimately play computer games without feeling like a twat...

If you want to see one of the strangest and most disturbing adverts of all time, check out Microsoft's latest advert for Windows seven. The fake comraderie gets me the most, its truely sickening... Link below, Party!
Mike said…
Yes, I didn't notice before but I see that the BBC article is dated June 2002.
Stephen Law said…
oh yes it is old. definitely banned according to the Beeb link. Just happened to come across it the other day and was reminded how good it was.
Greg O said…
How bizarre. It says 'life is short' so simply and directly, banning it almost seems tantamount to banning someone from pointing that out!

On the other hand, I suppose if it was causing people real distress for no better reason than to flog some Xboxes... hmm. Not sure.

Incidentally, curious as to why you think sodding about on a computer console is such a waste of time - in particular, I mean? (I suppose you could take the view that anything done just for the pleasure and/or sense of achievement involved is a waste of time in a sense, but I don't imagine that's where you're coming from?)
MH said…
Honestly, I think humans need to toughen up a bit. Taking offense at every little thing is ridiculously self indulgent, self centred and emotionally immature.

We do not live in a utopia and people should not be mollycoddled – the world can be very harsh and perhaps people need to be stronger minded about how they go about understanding and therefore dealing with life, the world and everything.

Incidentally, being offended by this advert because it brought back memories of having lost a baby during childbirth, while sad, is not at all a reason to complain, since any scene showing a woman giving birth would then trigger that memory. The same applies to recently bereaved/major illness sufferers etc.

So what to do – ban everything that might trigger sad memories or uncomfortable thoughts for people? What nonsense – people need to grow up and get over themselves.

Popular posts from this blog


(Published in Faith and Philosophy 2011. Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2011. Stephen Law. Pages 129-151) EVIDENCE, MIRACLES AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS Stephen Law Abstract The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed – a principle I call the contamination principle – entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of indepen

What is Humanism?

What is Humanism? “Humanism” is a word that has had and continues to have a number of meanings. The focus here is on kind of atheistic world-view espoused by those who organize and campaign under that banner in the UK and abroad. We should acknowledge that there remain other uses of term. In one of the loosest senses of the expression, a “Humanist” is someone whose world-view gives special importance to human concerns, values and dignity. If that is what a Humanist is, then of course most of us qualify as Humanists, including many religious theists. But the fact remains that, around the world, those who organize under the label “Humanism” tend to sign up to a narrower, atheistic view. What does Humanism, understood in this narrower way, involve? The boundaries of the concept remain somewhat vague and ambiguous. However, most of those who organize under the banner of Humanism would accept the following minimal seven-point characterization of their world-view.

Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism refuted

Here's my central criticism of Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN). It's novel and was published in Analysis last year. Here's the gist. Plantinga argues that if naturalism and evolution are true, then semantic epiphenomenalism is very probably true - that's to say, the content of our beliefs does not causally impinge on our behaviour. And if semantic properties such as having such-and-such content or being true cannot causally impinge on behaviour, then they cannot be selected for by unguided evolution. Plantinga's argument requires, crucially, that there be no conceptual links between belief content and behaviour of a sort that it's actually very plausible to suppose exist (note that to suppose there are such conceptual links is not necessarily to suppose that content can be exhaustively captured in terms of behaviour or functional role, etc. in the way logical behaviourists or functionalists suppose). It turns o