Re: Play

We have seen that instant replay has become an integral part of professional sport, not only of the game's representation, but of the actual game itself, which has led to a non-linear experience of time during the contest. Now, Rogers Wireless is using this idea in a new commercial to hawk videocamera-enabled cell phones.

A bunch of guys are temporarily at a pause during a game of road hockey, when all of sudden the impartial third-party observer dramatically comes out after consultation with his buddies, holds out his Rogers phone, and invokes what is now becoming an old chestnut in sports: "Upon further review, the goal has been … DISALLOWED!" As the commercial closes, cheers and groans are heard in the background while we see the indisputable evidence on the screen — the goalie kept the ball out.

So what is the problem with this spot (besides the fact that it's further proof the only way advertisers can sell a product to men in Canada is through hockey)? The problem is that it normalizes the use of instant replay technologies during our non-structured play. Instead of the beauty of creative and unscripted shinny with its messy rules and rule interpretations, we are taught that participation in the surveillance society is the only legitimate path to truth. And that Rogers can bring this complicity to your local neighbourhood.

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One response to Re: Play

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  1. Vanessa Neto says:

    With the never-ending emergence of new technologies it is no surprise that we now have cameras in our phones. Our society is constantly changing to adapt these new technologies in our everyday lives. The initiation of instant replay was almost necessary in professional sport. We are changing the way sports are played and watched. There is no longer room for error. We are a consumer society and we feel a need to possess the newest technological fashions. A random game of road hockey (play) has been transformed into a serious game where winning is everything.