Game developers today seek to immerse players in the game worlds they create, emotionally, visually, and intellectually. Marketers, when choosing how to present their brands in-game, can help or harm the level of immersion, which will have an enormous effect on how their messages are received.
The revelation that the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas contained within it locked, hard-core sex scenes, which were unlocked by a Dutch gamer--a scandal dubbed "Hot Coffee"--surely gave some advertisers pause about putting their brands in a video game. After all, if a game could have hidden content that would associate their brands with all manner of immorality, how could a brand retain control of its image, its message?
Whenever the Olympics roll around, so too do debates about whether figure skating, the ski jump, or that gymnastics event with the ribbons--who knows what it's called--are, in fact, sports. This year, the team at NBC-Universal that produced the Turin games is producing another event whose sports cred is somewhat debatable--Major League Gaming's pro circuit event at the Meadowlands in Secaucus, N.J.
This month, the popular online role-playing game "World of Warcraft" passed the 50 percent mark in market share among MMOs (massively multiplayer online games), claiming over six million subscribers worldwide--the most popular MMO ever made.
As proof that video games are rapidly penetrating every aspect of world culture, the Defense Department last month revealed to Congress that Islamic terrorists were using a modified video game--Battlefield 2--to recruit and train Jihadis.