letter from Playstation Pro Magazine (cut and pasted for easier reading) from a woman asking for help with her husband having a gaming addiction and the editors responding by saying it's her fault for looking unattractive and to leave her husband alone

The Worst Letter Response Ever

From Jess Morrissette on Twitter:

"Firstly, spruce yourself up a bit. Perhaps your boyfriend's addiction to his PlayStation is a result of you letting yourself go." Cringe levels are off the charts for the "Stand By Your Man" and "Stop Whinging" letters from the June 1999 issue of PlayStation Pro magazine.

I just... what.  I can't.  Even.  I don't... I just... WHAT

Transcribing this hammered home even more just how... bizarre the thought process behind answering this letter must have been?  Like, that they published the response at all when they clearly don't take her seriously.  They didn't have to.  If they didn't want to give her a helpful response, they could have just ignored the letter.  But they chose to devote magazine space to... mocking her letter?  And they made it all about her wanting sex... even though she doesn't mention that as a concern in her letter... she's a woman, she must just want sexual attention, and that's her problem, not... all the other things she said in her letter that's a concern.  And also the assumption that if her boyfriend is playing video games it's her fault for turning him off by being unattractive is just the icing on the horribad cake (way to talk down to your audience too, we all know gamers only game because they don't have a more attractive option of entertainment).  Nowhere in her letter did she make it about gender or sex, but they decided to use magazine space to do both.  It's amazing.

Also, please do not pack undies into somebody's lunch unless they explicitly ask for it, that does not sound erotic at all.

Due to the way it was formatted in the original, I edited the letter and response into a single image that was easier to read, transcription included below.  Click on the link to Jess' Twitter if you want to see the original page.  The text itself is unchanged.

(Excerpt from Letters section of Playstation Pro magazine, June 1999)


Stand By Your Man (Title of letter and response given by Editorial on the page)

Letter text:

I am writing for some help and advice... My boyfriend has had a PlayStation for about 18 months and recently also bought an N64.  He lives with my family and for the last few months, we, and our friends, have noticed a considerable difference in his behaviour.

Every spare minute of the day he has, he spends playing games, sometimes for nine hours at a time without a break.  He even went to the extreme of taking a week off work when Metal Gear Solid was released so he could play it constantly.  He admits that he is addicted, and most of the people who know him think he is mentally confused, as most of the time he doesn't appear to know what he is doing and seems to be in a spaced out, confused state.

Are there any reports which might help me and, if so, could you give me some advice?  I know you don't answer letters personally, but perhaps you could make an exception as I am very concerned about my boyfriend's health.  I would be very grateful for any help.

Yours thankfully,

Annie Miles, Bognor Regis.

Response text:

It's unbearably tempting to take the piss out of letters such as this, but since you obviously write in all seriousness Anne, we'll help in any way we can.

Firstly, spruce yourself up a bit.  Perhaps your boyfriend's addiction is a result of you letting yourself go.  Buy a nice dress and some lipstick and brush your hair all nice.  Pack your knickers in with his sandwiches when you send him off to work so he knows what to expect when he gets home.  Tell him how you feel.  Tell him you're a woman and you have a woman's needs - that you need a man and not just any man, but a man who can make you feel whole again like he used to do, a man who can set your thighs on fire with a single smouldering glance from his vibrant piercing eyes.

Bathe together.  Take a holiday to Rome or Paris and revel in the erotic juxtaposition of sublime art and sweeping practicality of the architecture of a lost age.  Dine on the foods of love, like oysters and spam.  And if that fails, let him get on with it, get yourself some pornos and have a good diddle.