Posted on Friday 14 April 2006
For those of you who have noticed, over the past few weeks I’ve been refocusing this blog. While advertising inside games was once new and interesting, it is – to me – now mostly old hat. I have no interest in blogging the latest moves of that industry; the technology is in place and the word is out. Let others worry about which brand signs what deal with which intermediary to stream ad content into which games on what platforms. There might be something on occasion that I find of special interest, but generally that’s not what this blog is really about. Recognition of this sort is only the first hurdle afaic. There are other areas to watch.
What you should have noticed was an increased number of posts dealing with those other elements that are part of the overall equation – especially fabbing technologies. Of course news in that field is less dynamic, so overall anyone who bothers to read this blog should expect a decrease in the number of posts … at least until the technology adoption rate really kicks into gear.
Furthermore, in the future, among other things I’ll be watching the PLM market with greater attention than I have in the past. This should come as no surprise. And with any luck I’ll find enough information and source material to make that area something of interest to everyone and not just myself. As PLM software merges with videogames (my obvious prediction), there should be some fun things happening. And those Web 2.0 developments that appear to feed into the overall scheme of things – like MyPickList and Zlio (reviewed recently over on Mashable) – will also be covered with greater interest. This is where I expect much of my niche product/brand interest will start to focus.
On the industrial design side, I have to admit to finding less and less worth discussing. New designs look like old designs (as I’ve shown) and don’t really seem to have that much additional functionality. The profession appears to have continuing difficulty resolving the schizophrenic split between Style and Function; IDers being more likely in my opinion to get excited over the former rather than the latter. How else to explain the general lack of interest in areas such as ubiquitous computing? Designers spend more time ooo’ing and ahhh’ing over the curves of a cell phone than they do discussing if it’s the right shape. No surprise really. In a profession where it’s commonplace for the “sensitive” tech school-trained CAD person to be promoted to Manager of Industrial Design, is it any wonder that critical thinking has taken a back seat to pretty shapes? No.
I personally find the most interesting design challenges wrapped up in the global issues of our day. Hence my interest in sites like WorldChanging and Inhabitat. And since I don’t see enough interest from the industrial design community, I intend to push my own interests in that direction. I’ll still mention the occasional “cool” thing. To not do so would be to ignore the fact that consumers purchase things they don’t need and which don’t always work simply because they are attracted to it for aesthetic reasons. Understanding provides leverage. But as I believe I’ve mostly done in the past, I’ll be selective. This isn’t design*sponge.
So anyway, if you’ve been wondering why I’m not posting more entries about brands and advertising going into videogames, that’s why. It’s time to start looking at brands and advertising (both corporate and independent) as integral to and sometimes springing from these virtual spaces. Right now what I mostly see are old companies trying to move old business practices over to new media. Not only do I think that approach is largely destined to failure, I don’t think it’s very interesting given the cutting edge opportunities emerging.