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  In-Game Ad Fallacies Invite Gamer Backlash  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
In-game ad network Massive Inc. has partnered up with a pair of new companies recently, issuing with each press release [1,2] variations on its now-standard themes:
  • "...deliver value to publishers, advertisers and gamers."
  • "...greater innovations in development that will ultimately benefit our gaming audience."
  • "...enhance the game environment with more realism."
It's a basic but effective persuasion strategy: If you say something often enough, it will eventually become true. At least, that's what seems to be happening in major media reporting on in-game advertising--most outlets parrot Massive's assertions as if they were canon--and gamers haven't seemed to care much.

Today I discovered a cluster of intelligent criticism relating to in-game ads and realism (in isolation and in combination) that compliment my own opinions on the topic:
  • reBang: Caressing the Greenback
    "Sensitivity to game play? Who do they think they’re kidding here? Oh wait. Maybe forcing gamers to watch things like ads for feminine hygiene products will make both them and the game play more sensitive."
  • Ars Technica: In-game advertising has new ally in THQ
    "...game publishers and developers had better be prepared for a backlash against their products if the advertising proves to be unreasonable. While few gamers would object to a sports arena having ad banners along the walls (mimicking a real stadium), long load screens peppered with advertising—or worse yet—game play integrated with advertiser-related tasks and adventures will not go over so well."
  • Utopian Hell: Realism and Games
    "I don’t play games for reality. I play games so that I can suspend reality. After all, this is the realm where we have the power to make worlds that are vastly different from our own. Why are we struggling to make them identical?"
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
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I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
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Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
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@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
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...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
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The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
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