Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pepperoni and Green Peppers, Mushrooms, Olive, Chives

Advertising's got me on the run. If you'd like to read something that should make you sick, check out this study which found that "82% of Consumers React Positively to Receiving Contextual In-Game Ads During Game Play." Bad, yes, but this was a survey designed to prove the effectiveness of desecrating video games for money. There was a certain bias, and there are so many factors in "research" like this that may skew the results. No, what got me was the way people have responded to these findings. People, ordinary people, people who spend huge amounts of time and money on video games agree that an increase of in-game advertising is okay. I've seen Websites where people have, of their own will, commented that they don't mind buying interactive commercials. How can this be?

This bothers me enough from the perspective of someone who plays games, but as someone who wants to make games, I must say that I do not like the idea of selling out becoming the norm. Then again, this isn't a matter of my industry. Auctioning off our integrity is apparently such a fundamental part of human existence that we're advertising it to the stars.

The aliens won't need death-rays or shape-shifting when they come to conquer Earth. We'll happily take them to our leaders for a couple bucks.


Nor said...

what do you think of the hollywood writers' lobbying for it to be a law that if they are paid to write in a product into their script, there has to be a crawl going across the bottom of the screen letting viewers know that it is a paid advertisement (this is mainly a tv writers thing)? so at least people will be conscious of it, although it won't make it happen any less.

Jake said...

I don't like the idea of making this filth even more obtrusive, but that's an overly simple answer. There is some good in the concept.

If these creeps are going to sell their shows anyway, then bring on the crawl. The people who silently accept having product placement propaganda subconsciously stuck into every corner of their lives might finally see what's annoying the rest of us, though if such a law ever passed (don't expect it), we'd get used to it soon enough.

I see it as less of a warning to consumers and more of a Scarlet Letter for TV producers. From that perspective, great. Let's bring these money-grubbing philistines all the shame they deserve.