Advertising through computer games has been around longer then most people realise. From McDonald’s commissioning their own game in 1992 (McDonald Land), all the way through to DunderMifflinInfinity.com (created solely by NBC to generate sponsorship revenue and word-of-mouth buzz for the hit TV show ‘The Office’), advertising and gaming are intertwined more closely then the casual or hardcore gamer realises. This strand of marketing has become known as ‘Gamification’ and is being used widely by companies and organisations old and new. The use of game-design techniques to solve problems, motivate, and engage people is not new, but what is new is the technology allowing these elements to be applied to pretty much anything.
Good or Bad?
With computer games and online gaming in particular receiving a lot of bad press (mainly from ill informed tabloid journalism), the role of gaming in advertising could be seen as just another step toward brainwashing a vulnerable and naive young generation. However advertising has been around for centuries and has yet to cause the collapse of civilisation as we know it. Whilst it will always be true that there are certain sections of society more susceptible to addiction and being easily led, the majority of the populace know the difference between manipulation and advertising. More