Microsoft Xbox One marketing prompts sexism allegations

Microsoft has come under fire for publishing an open letter designed for male gamers to send to their girlfriends convincing them of reasons to buy an Xbox One while they would “rather knit”, prompting allegations of outright sexism. 

The fury erupted after the console manufacturer published the open letter on the Xbox One website that was designed to let gamers customise the wording and then email it to their other halves, with the presumption that it would be males sending it to their girlfriends.

The letter read: “Not Sure if you’ve heard but Xbox One is now available… I know you’d rather knit than watch me slay zombies but hear me out on this. Xbox One is actually for the both of us.”

The letter then prompted a social media backlash with criticisms on Twitter ranging from “lame” to “cringe-worthy”.

The official Twitter account of influential gaming site Den of Geek comments: “Er, this isn’t a spoof. Staggering, Microsoft’s designed a letter to send to your other half if you want an Xbox One.”

Microsoft is reported to have eventually yielded to the weight of public opinion and eventually altered the text of the open letter yesterday (27 November) from “I know you’d rather knit…” to “I know you’d rather do your taxes early…”.

Xbox has since apologised publicly for the “oversight”. 

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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