The best thing to come out of E3, aside from The Division and Adam Sessler’s public deterioration, was this commercial by Sony. There’s an obvious Pro Wrestling nod when the protagonist hits a picture perfect springboard swan dive onto some luchadores at the end. But before that, the commercial’s monologue defining the Playstation brand taps into a concept that fans of either video games or Pro Wrestling can equally identify with.
Playstation has been selling this idea for years: video games aren’t just a way to temporarily escape the mundanity of modern life, they are a means for man to ascend to some ethereal divine plane, one filled with danger, intrigue, combat, tragedy, and all the things we dream about but don’t get to experience in the real world.
Pro Wrestling makes the same promises. It seduces people into the art with fame and fortune, sure, but also opportunities to portray larger than life versions of themselves for worshipful audiences. It brings in fans with promises that they, through sheer will and passion, can influence the outcome of climatic battles and epic story lines.
Both video games and Pro Wrestling provide direct interaction to fantasy, something books or film can only hope to simulate.
Sony Japan is in on it too. Last winter they used the images of Antonio Inoki and Shinya Hashimoto in huge subway ads. No, there weren’t any Pro Wrestling games being released, but the iconography of the sport has cultural relevance in Japan outside of marketing synergy. Loose translation: The time to buy is now.