Persuasive “Anti-Advergames”?


With the growing disgust circulating among gamers weary of non-relevant advertising being forcefully injected into the videogames they play, is it any surprise that an “anti-advergame” offering would show up on the scene? If you saw the recent story on Subway’s efforts (Link), you know the answer to that is “No”.

Now from Persuasive Games comes “Disaffected“, a game taking direct aim at the trend in general, and Federal Express in particular. Here’s one especially interesting bit from the game site that got my attention (Link):

While examples of branded games go as far back as the Atari 2600, “advergames” have become very popular in the last ten years, first as web-based games and now as both casual games and product/ad placement in commercial games. Advertising in games is a growing yet little questioned area of gaming. Are games only capable of carrying positive advertising messages? Or can they also enact dissatisfaction and criticism against corporations? Anti-advergames are to detract from or call into question a set of products or services for expressive, cathartic, social, or political purposes.

Apparently FedEx fits the profile of an institution worthy of Persuasive’s mission: to “design, build, and distribute electronic games for persuasion, instruction, and activism”. I guess. But I’d rather see them tackle more games like their “Airport Insecurity” (Link) which seems more important; more in keeping with their mission. If they want to target advertising in games, why not go after the game companies that allow their games to be used in that way? Don’t blame FedEx or Chrysler or Subway. It’s companies like Massive and Engage selling the streaming advertising technology and game companies (like Sony) that allow it to be included in their products who are at fault here. Instead, maybe make a game showing the people behind the scenes making decisions and selling out their products to increase profits at the expense of fans.

via We Make Money Not Art

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