The Electronic Arts Manifesto – Can Computer Make You Cry?

The following post is not of my own creation – it is from an old E.A. advertisement whose rarity make it impossible to find. Although I transcribed the text from one of Daniel Floyd’s lectures – An Open Letter to E.A. ( – the copyright of this advertisement belongs to Electronic Arts. I post it here to share it with all who might be interested, as I think it is one of the most influential, if not the most influential, gaming-related ad in gaming’s brief history. Consider it as raw data for those interested in doing research on the history of digital media. Although I don’t think that the fair use clause can ve invoked for sharing this ad, as this post does not consist of a brief portion of the full text and it’s not being used for critical purposes, I hope that E.A. will not mind my sharing one of their better ads and give them a bit of exposure – or at least as much exposure as I can give them with my 10 readers. Now, without further delay, the text for E.A.’s ad: Can Computers Make You Cry?

  Can a Computer Make You Cry?

Right now, no one knows. This is partly because many would consider the very idea frivolous. But it’s also because whoever successfully answers this question must first have answered several others.

Why do we cry? Why do we laugh, or love, or smile? What are the touchstones of our emotions?

Until now, the people who asked such questions tended not to be the same people who ran software companies. Instead, they were writers, filmmakers, painters, musicians. They were, in the traditional sense, artists.

We’re about to change that tradition. The name of our company is Electronic Arts.

Software worthy of the minds that use it.

We are a new association of electronic artists united by a common goal—to fulfill the enormous potential of the personal computer.

In the short term, this means transcending its present use as a facilitator of unimaginative tasks and a medium for blasting aliens. In the long term, however, we can expect a great deal more.

These are wondrous machines we have created, and in them can be seen a bit of their makers. It is as if we had invested them with the image of our minds. And through them, we are learning more and more about ourselves.

We learn, for instance, that we are more entertained by the involvement of our imaginations than by passive viewing and listening. We learn that we are better taught by experiences than by memorization. And we learn that the traditional distinctions—the ones that are made between art and entertainment and education—don’t always apply.

Towards a language of dreams.

In short, we are finding that the computer can be more than just a processor of data.

It is a communications medium: an interactive tool that can bring people’s thoughts and feelings closer together, perhaps closer than ever before. And while fifty years from now, its creation may seem no more important than the advent of motion pictures or television, there is a chance it will mean something more.

Something along the lines of a universal language of ideas and emotions. Something like a smile.

The first publications of Electronic Arts are now available. We suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about them. Some of them are games like you’ve never seen before, that get more out of your computer than other games ever have. Others are harder to categorize—and we like that.

Watch us.

We’re providing a special environment for talented, independent software artists. It’s a supportive environment, in which big ideas are given room to grow. And some of America’s most respected software artists are beginning to take notice.

We think our current work reflects this very special commitment. And though we are few in number today and apart from the mainstream of the mass software marketplace, we are confident that both time and vision are on our side.

Join us. We see farther.


For a list of EA’s early games, go here:

For a list of all EA games, go here:

For EA’s page, go here:


About Quijano

Johansen Quijano is a professor of English in The University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development focusing on TESOL, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature. He has published and presented on a variety of topics including video game studies, popular culture studies, education, teaching methodology, language acquisition, romantic poetry, and victorian literature. His research interests include the above-mentioned topics, narrative, interactivity, simulation, new media in general, and 18th century literature. He also enjoys creative writing (fiction, historical fiction, and poetry), and reading all kinds of epic literary works - from the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

Posted on March 16, 2011, in Video Game Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Fantastic ad. I wish they still put that much thought and heart into how they present their games.

  1. Pingback: Angespielt: Unravel | GamezGeneration

  2. Pingback: EA Originals: Fe erster Titel in EAs neuem Publishing-Programm | GamezGeneration

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