Watching video games evolve over the years is certainly a trip. What was once a niche hobby for "kids" and "geeks" has blossomed into a billion dollar entertainment industry that is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, with games that span dozens of genres and interests.
As you might imagine, then, video game advertisements have come a long way since those early years. Take this Legend of Zelda-themed Nintendo Entertainment System commercial from the 1980s, for example.
It opens with two boys sitting on a couch, as the "nerd" with glasses shows his friend the latest issue of the "Nintendo Newsletter." That's sign number one that this is one old ad, but it gets better. The kids quickly find images of the Legend of Zelda in the magazine, causing one of the boys to exclaim, "Whoa! Nice graphics! I'd like to get my hands on that game."
That's only the first five seconds of the 30-second ad. Already, it's cringe-worthy, but it's about to get much worse. From there, the boys boot up Legend of Zelda on the NES and start having a good time as a painful rap that names some of the various enemies seen in the game plays over the footage.
Once the rap ends, an announcer tells kids "The Nintendo Entertainment System, your parents help you hook it up."
The ad has it all: rap, stereotypical nerdy boys, the implication that the console is a toy for kids, "cool" graphics, etc., etc. Still, it's not nearly as bad (or as creepy) as this advertisement for the original Pokemon games.
If you're wondering how far we've come, today, ads for video games regularly play during major television events and occasionally even in front of movies. Nintendo itself ran a Pokemon ad during the Super Bowl this year. No longer is gaming just for kids. Video games have come a long way, but it's still fun to look back and see just how far they've come. Let's just hope we never go back to the age of terrible, terrible video game raps.