A Danish public-service campaign is facing widespread criticism for attempting to raise awareness of domestic violence with an online video game called "Hit the Bitch." The deliberately provocative game lets players "beat" an image of woman by manipulating their mouses, earning extra points for "hitting" her extra-aggressively. Can any good come from this, or does "Hit the Bitch" just glorify the violence it's supposed to prevent? (Watch a demonstration of the "Hit the Bitch" video game. Warning: Violent content; may be disturbing to some)
What were they thinking?: It's "pretty extreme" to encourage people to punch a woman in the face, even virtually, says Tim Nudd at AdFreak. How exactly does this gimmick raise consciousness? After obediently knocking out the woman, players are told they're "100 percent stupid." Not "much of a rebuke," is it?
"Anti-violence site urges you to 'hit the bitch'"
Hey, it got people talking about domestic violence: "Hit the Bitch" is "tone deaf" and "horrifying," says Tana Ganeva at AlterNet. But the mainstream media never talks about domestic violence — "and lots of people are talking about this ad." So maybe "Hit the Bitch" is "on the right track."
"'Hit the Bitch': Domestic violence PSA goes very, very wrong"
Any ad this baffling is a loser: Yes, "finding new, exciting, and creative ways to tell men that they shouldn’t hit women is tough," says Amelia McDonell-Parry at TheFrisky.com. But it's hard to figure out what "Hit the Bitch" is supposed to achieve. It doesn't take an advertising genius to know that when you leave everybody confused you have "totally...failed."
"'Hit the Bitch' web campaign is actually anti-domestic violence, got it?"
UPDATE: The Danish organization in question has restricted access to the website, posting this message:
"Dear non-danish visitor. Due to an extremely high amount of traffic "Hit the Bitch" has been limited to only allow users from Denmark. However, domestic violence is a global problem, so please support the fight against it in your local country. Thanks for your interest. Kind regards, Children exposed to Violence at Home"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The next pandemic
- The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
Subscribe to the Week