Advergames - Advertising into your subconsciousness
This paper investigates how advergames and anti- advergames have made a ground in our culture. I will explore how the anti- advergame movement utilizes the procedural rhetoric in order to create awareness. Furthermore I will come to a conclusion about why or if we need the anti – advergame movement.
What exactly is advergames?
Advergames is a great way to reach out to the consumers in a subconscious manner. – Advergames are video games which contains advertisement for a product, service, or company. – Advergames are created to fill out a purpose – often to promote the company or one of the products. These games are often distributed freely as the game is a marketing tool. – Advergames can also be less obvious in their advertisement with product placement in the game. The video games is an alternative form of advertising with some advantages: they are cheap, fast, and have an extraordinary peer-to-peer marketing ability. “Advertising within a video game allows for more exposures to the product than traditional ads because, according to Ellen Ratchye-- Foster, a trend analyst for Fallon, "anyone who buys these games devotes weeks and weeks to getting through their levels." This means that the consumer will see the advertisements over and over while they play, thus it may resonate with them.”1
– “Product placement in-game-advertising is most commonly found in sports titles and simulation games. – For advertisers an add may be displayed multiple times and a game may provide an opportunity to ally a product's brand image with the image of the game. – Such examples include the use Sobe drink in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent – While product placement in film and television is fairly common, this type of in-game advertising has only recently become common in games. “2
1 http://advergamingtoday.blogspot.com/2006/02/just-product-placement.html 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advergaming
What is anti – advergames?
Anti- advergames are games that challenge players to rethink their relationship with consumption and encourage corporate critique. "Advertisers, governments and organizations mount huge campaigns to show us what they want us to see, and we want to expose what they're hiding," 3 In order to create awareness for the consumer (or more precisely the player) molleindustria.org and others create anti – advergames. The video games satirize big companies and question corporate polices ranging from how cattle are raised (The McDonald’s Videogame) to low pay for workers (Disaffected!). "I've always had a complicated relationship with advertising," Bogost said. "It's everywhere, and it's becoming more and more parasitic. Yet, because it's everywhere it has the power to influence people positively as well as negatively." 4
When attempting to sell games as a persuasive medium, those in the business early on found it useful to refer to this class of games as serious games. Ian Bogost wrote the book ”Persuasive games” where he analysed the rhetoric these games used in their attempt to share information.
Persuasive games – Ian Bogost
”A book about how videogames make arguments: rhetoric, computing, politics, advertising, learning. In Persuasive Games, Ian Bogost explains how companies with the video game as a medium can make arguments and influence players. The games represent how the real and artificial/imagined systems work, and the players are invited to an interaction with the system to form an opinion about them. Bogost analyses the unique functions of rhetoric in software and especially in videogames. He argues that videogames because of their representation of procedurality open a whole new domain for persuasion, a new form for rhetoric.5 3 http://www.molleindustria.org/node/149 4 http://www.molleindustria.org/node/149 5 http://www.bogost.com/books/persuasive_games.shtml
This new form is called...