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Apple ad teases gamers, annoys gamers

Apple's latest ad, in which Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon behave as you might expect gamers to, causes online ructions among some gaming devotees.

This seemingly innocent ad is being found guilty by some gamers. Apple/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"Won't you just look at yourself?" my mom used to say.

I didn't really want to do that. There was something faintly unpalatable about the idea. Yet a new Apple ad has caused some gamers to look at themselves -- at least the version emitted by Apple -- and rail against the injustice of it.

The whole thing began when Apple released its latest iPhone 6 ad featuring Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon. You'd imagine these two would never put their names to humor that might offend, say, gamers.

Yet this is what seems to have occurred, despite some wondering whether their depiction is, in fact, quite accurate.

In the ad, Fallon is playing Vainglory on the iPhone 6, while Timberlake is on the iPhone 6 Plus. (Well, he is bigger.) Thanks to Apple's A8 chip, multiplayer gaming is so much more pulsating. Which means that the two stars can behave like even-more-hard-core gamers.

Timberlake, for example, upgrades to a Serpent Mask. Fallon accuses Timberlake of "playing like a noob."

Some gamers didn't like the tone. On Reddit, there were perturbed comments such as: "It's Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon being kinda cheesy on purpose i think."

Or do gamers, when they talk in their covert language of war and fable, sound a little cheesy?

Other comments ranged from "embarrassing" to "the ugly part about this is that with a little bit of writing that could have been hilarious. Replace noob with feeder and that would have been a huge improvement."

Would it have been a huge improvement? Or would it have pleased only a few noobodies? One commenting gamer even seemed like his very being had been torn asunder: "Cringed myself into a black hole that destroyed the earth."

Well, that sounds like the sort of thing a hardcore gamer would say. (I think.)

Comments on Apple's YouTube posting of the video have been disabled. However, it has been down-thumbed more than 2,000 times already. This compares with just over 6,000 up-thumbs. It also compares unfavorably with at least some ads in this campaign, although another of the ads with a techie theme was similarly down-thumbed.

I contacted Apple to ask whether the company realized that it has upset some gaming fiends with its humor and will update should I hear.

Despite heavy use of my own parsing pincers, I cannot decide whether some gamers are more upset that someone would think they sounded a touch extraterrestrial, or whether they wish that the ad had been more accurate in making them sound perfectly extraterrestrial.

I wandered around the Vainglory site to soak in the atmosphere. There are characters called Petal, Saw and Dorkimus Maximus. (I made that last one up.)

There are also comments from deep enthusiasts, such as: "I saw this awesome looking game on the iPhone six keynote live and it looked awesome!"

Does Apple's ad really not make Vainglory awesome, even if it teases hard-core gamers a touch? Or does the vanity of a few gamers sink below the glorious sometimes? (This would, of course, make them oddly human.)

(Via Recode)