Ian Bogost on Advertising in Games

Ok, so a billboard in a driving game may make sense — but what about games where it doesn't make sense? As Ian Bogost points out, "Would an orc order pizza? Does a dystopian planet from the future need a pacer drink?":

This untapped potential of games upsets the very foundation of advertising as we know it. Instead of surrounding us with images that reflect lives unlived, games can allow us to try out hypothetical lives with new products, people and ideas. To realise this potential, advertisers of both goods and viewpoints must stop blindly inserting their billboards into games or creating feeble copies of the cornerstones of videogame pop culture. Instead, they must start simulating the products, public policy positions, charitable interventions and other worldly ideas in new games - games worthy of our attention.

I'm not sure I want to see advergames all over the place, but if we have to put up with in-game advertising, a little more sophistication would be welcomed.

Advertisers have yet to unlock the power of play [The Guardian]


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