Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

June 05, 2005

Workplace Violence For Fun and Profit

Workplace shootings are a singularly ghastly aspect of corporate life in America, and I know few people who think they are amusing or entertaining enough to be turned into games. Toshiba - a gigantic Japanese company that manufacturers many of the personal computers now used by Americans, may believe otherwise. Examine the banner ad above (click on it to see a larger version), which entices users to "splat the co-worker and get a free Toshiba Satellite (notebook computer)." I screen-captured this Flash-animated ad when I first saw it begin to rotate onto the Web on Friday.

Have our hypermediated memories grown so short that the name Michael McDermott means nothing? In light of this ad, the only credible answer to this question is "yes." What's next? Columbine - the action game - from Activision?

Toshiba's official corporate motto is "Committed to People Committed to the Future." It's a shame this company knows so little about our recent, bloody past that it would have approved this ad for widespread circulation.

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