It may not seem so at first, but this Subway ad is a brave new world of mainstream video game representation.
Sure, it has the modern "wakka-wakka" video game noises -- in accordance with federal law. It's got everyone's favorite modern method of video game control: The comically large joystick. The ad's fictional game, "Snakka" is based on Pac-Man, everyone's favorite modern game.
There's even the requisite, not-so-subtle implication that video games turn your kids into chubby zombies (the most adorable threat known to man). This sucker's got everything, but as gaming in the media goes, this is pretty standard.
But just as it's about to sink into the abyss of mediocrity, the ad wizards really go above and beyond and actually manage to misrepresent the basic idea of Pac-Man.
[See how after the break.]
It seems ridiculous, but it's true. Their inability (or possible refusal) to understand Pac-Man has turned the horizontal game board on its side and made its walls into platforms. It's a little like watching the feverish nightmares of Billy Mitchell circa July 1999. It's like watching the horrifying byproduct of K.C. Munchkin's whirlwind affair with Joseph Merrick. It's like ... well, it's depressing, let's leave it at that.
Congratulations, random advertising agency, not only did you use a 28-year-old game to represent the medium, but you managed to actually screw that up.