There Are Butts and Farts Galore in This Virtual League Baseball Ad

Virtual League Baseball Ad

“You know the number-one thing people associate baseball with?” asked someone in the marketing department for Virtual League Baseball. “Chili dog farts.” At least, that’s the impression you might get from this ad.

We’ve covered some weird ads before at Retrovolve, from Crash Bandicoot’s trip to Nintendo HQ in Seattle, Washington, to the Game Boy Pocket ad that was too saucy for its own good. Bewildering 1990s video game ads seem to emerge from a well that never runs dry.

The Virtual League Baseball ad below, however, is more akin to EarthBound‘s “This Game Stinks” ad campaign, which seems to actively drive people away instead of building positive buzz. (We discovered this ad in the November of 1995 issue of GamePro magazine.)

Virtual League Baseball Ad

The add shows two dudes from behind with butt-cracks exposed, and the text reads: “Finally, baseball without the chili dog farts.” No, really. Someone actually approved an entire ad about the flatulent dangers of chili dogs, featuring phrases like “blasting you out of the park” and “those long, foul floaters they get from stadium food.”

For contxt, keep in mind that the 1990s was a decade of being edgy and outrageous. This was the decade in which Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine gave out the URL to a Nude Tomb Raider website and a hero named Boogerman appeared (star of Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure). And don’t forget that Earthworm Jim included a stage called Buttville (which, in the Genesis version of the game, followed a level called Intestinal Distress).

Butts and farts aside, Virtual League Baseball released for Nintendo’s doomed Virtual Boy console, which was an early attempt at creating a virtual reality gaming console. Unfortunately, technology simply wasn’t ready for VR in the 1990s (though that wouldn’t prevent several companies from attempting to make it work). The Virtual Boy gave the illusion of 3D if you looked into its awkward viewport, but it rendered everything in a single color: dark red.

So this is what Virtual League Baseball looked like:

Virtual League Baseball

The 3D effect did actually work, and it was even kind of neat in short bursts. However, the all-red look was quick to induce headaches, and the Virtual Boy failed to take off. The ambitious VR console launched in 1995 and was discontinued the following year.

The Virtual Boy was doomed from the start, but marketing materials like this Virtual League Baseball ad certainly didn’t make things any better for Nintendo’s little VR machine.

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