LAST month's Electron User carried a letter from J. Clark of Wolverhampton complaining about the advertisement for Barbarian that has been carried on the back cover of recent issues.

Mr Clark, secretary of the West Midlands Assemblies of God Churches, said the advert was "offensive and particularly insulting to women".

We asked for your opinions and were deluged with letters - pro and con - regarding the way this sword-fighting game from Superior Software has been advertised.

Here is a selection of your views.

MAY l as a lay preacher point out to the secretary of the West Midland Assemblies of God Churches (August 1988 Micro Messages) that it is Christian belief that God created human beings in his own image.

Furthermore He did not clothe them and was very annoyed to find them using fig leaves in lieu of clothing. Surely to object to the unclothed body is closely akin to blasphemy.

To descend to a less exalted plain, as an amateur photographer l see nothing titillating or erotic about the Barbarian illustration. Compare it if you will with what is shown daily in certain very popular newspapers or the photographs outside your local striptease club.

Lastly, I'm sure if Mr Clarke re-considers he will realise the reference to Michael Hesaltine, a highly cultured and intelligent politician, is unjust to all parties. The gentleman portrayed is surely one of Wagner's heroes. The lady however, must be one of the chorus - she's never one of the superb Wagnerian heroines. Definitely a Purcell type.

R.H. Hill, Essex.

l HAVE received the August 1988 issue of Electron User. This is the third copy ! have received through the post in a transparent envelope displaying the most ugly pornographic advertisement by Superior Software. Who knows what my postman thinks - Dirty old man?

L.H. Everith, Seaton, Devon.

I HAVE recently bought Barbarian, and l think that it is an excellent game. I also think that a lot of people are making a big fuss about nothing. The adverts simply show a half-naked woman with her arms round a man. And hasn't anyone noticed that HE isn't wearing very much either?

And while people are complaining about all this, they have all forgotten about the game itself. It features two massive men, armed with swords, chopping each other to bits. Don't you think that this is what everyone should be worrying about?

Pak Charoenkul, Chelsea

I WOULD like to support Mr Clark's letter concerning the Superior Software ad. I do not hide the fact that l too am a Christian and find the picture disturbing.
l realise that for those who do not believe in a loving but righteous God that this girl has every right to use her body as she pleases, but l would just ask that people consider that behind the curves and contours there is a human being with feelings, joys and sorrows and I just wonder how any father would feel if he looked and saw his daughter there.

Such a father would know inside how wrong it is to use a person in such a superficial manner.

We are surrounded these days by the top two per cent of most beautiful young women displayed in all their glory. It must sow seeds of discontent in the minds of men when they go home to their wives who occupy the other 98 per cent of the female population.

I just wonder if this could be one reason why the divorce rate is so high.

S.N. Allen, Leamington Spa

l WAS not the only one disgusted by the back cover of your June and July issues of Electron User. The packaging for the cassette is even worse.

Every time I go to school with either issue to try out programs on its BBC Micro l have to hide the back cover because it is embarrassing. Electron User is not just an adult magazine, it is supposed to be for all ages.

It is a brilliant magazine but you spoiled it by putting this sexy advert in it. l am eight years old and know that I have to become aware of sexy things eventually, but why must I have to do that just because Superior Software is paying you lots of money to advertise Barbarian in a cheap noticeable way?

I bet there are lots of other children that find it yukky. Please don't put this advert in the September issue.

Robert Rountree, Great Bardfield, Essex

I AM surprised that the letter from J. Clark is the only complaint you have had about the Barbarian advert.

I wrote to the Advertising Standards Authority immediately after we received our June issue about the totally unnecessary use of the semi-nude female pictured in the advert.

! have received a lengthy reply which explained to me that the code of advertising was not being broken but that they would, however, be notifying the advertisers and publishers about my complaint.

Having now seen the picture on the cover of the game in your review section - which l consider even worse than the one on the back cover - l am writing direct to you to protest.

Mrs C.A. Walton, Wolverhampton

Richard Hanson, managing director of Superior Software commented: "it is interesting to note that about half the comments complain about the advert, while the other half support our use of it.

"This fits with the feedback we have had from other sources and shows that it is very much a matter of opinion as to whether the advert is in bad taste - or, as we believe, an eye-catching but harmless and amusing picture that captures the fantasy-epic style of the game.

"An important point in our decision to use the same advertising photograph as Palace was that it enabled people to readily distinguish this Barbarian name from other similar titles around at the time.

"Our view that the advert is not in bad taste has been supported by the Advertising Standards Authority".

These letters appeared in the September 1988 edition of the "Electron User", published by Database Publications.

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