Obama burnout paradise

Quite whether voters are drawn toward high-speed road-races is unclear, but the Obama campaign has o

There was a period a few years ago when it was impossible to attend any games industry conference without someone delivering a presentation on the potential of in-game advertising. Not content with selling the game itself, seemingly every asset within the game world appeared to be up for auction. Realistic 3d models of high-level cars were sold in as objects into racing games and curiously, the street environments started to contain more and more billboards…

For an advertiser of course, videogames offer a particularly unique proposition. With the advent of a more ubiquitous and robust online content delivery system, advertising locations within games were able to change and respond to whatever media the buyer might wish to present. Campaign changes? No problem, simply push the new content to the players console via a transparent game update. As well as being an ideal way to reach the generation of young folk who have apparently stopped watching television advertising because they are online or playing games, this dynamic proposition also offers a way in which to serve advertising that is not just relevant to the game, but responsive to the players actions within it.

Quite whether Democratic-leaning voters are drawn toward high-speed road-races is unclear, but the Obama campaign decided to explore their viability as potential supporters anyway.

This week, Electronic Arts has confirmed that Obama ‘08 has purchased a number of advertisements within ten titles, including the Xbox 360 version of ‘Burnout Paradise’, the most recent iteration of the very successful racing/crashing franchise. In a model demonstration of the flexibility of in-game advertising, these ads are only running in Xbox’s being played in ten swing states.

GigaOm managed to get confirmation of the buy, after GamePolitics broke the story following a series of images posted by a Roosterteeth forum member known as ‘Jeffson’ last week.

This both is an interesting next-step for an advertising platform previously only really used for selling soft-drinks and lifestyle products, and another reason to watch what your kids are playing really carefully.

Image credit: 360 gamer “Jeffson”

Iain Simons writes, talks and tweets about videogames and technology. His new book, Play Britannia, is to be published in 2009. He is the director of the GameCity festival at Nottingham Trent University.
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The snowflake Daily Mail cries over free market capitalism taking our blue passports

UK, hun?

The poor old whining snowflakes at the Daily Mail have discovered that maybe it’s better to put the state above private companies after all.

They’ve run a ranty yet doleful lament on their front page about Britain’s “ruling class” (which they are definitely, definitely not part of, of course) showing its “hate” for “our country” by letting a Franco-Dutch firm make our post-Brexit blue passports:

“Today the Mail has a question for Britain’s ruling class: Why DO you hate our country, its history, culture and the people’s sense of identity?”

In a beautiful bit of irony, the £490m contract to make our grim new tickets to bigotry was awarded to Gemalto, a Franco-Dutch firm that beat the British-based De La Rue (lol) that also tried bidding for the contract.

The Mail’s complaint seems to be that the bloody Frogs shouldn’t be making our passports – the UK should be doing it instead. So, according to this logic, either the state should make them, or, to guarantee a private British firm winning the contract, the state should ignore free market forces?

Neither seem particularly in tune with the Mail’s usual preferences. Nor those of the Tory Brexiteers, for that matter.

Yes, this is part of European competition law – big public contracts like this have to be open to bids from across the EU. But right-wingers in this country don’t seem to mind when foreign companies run our railways (Greater Anglia, West Midlands and ScotRail franchises are majority-owned by the Dutch state company Abellio).

Looks like these over-sensitive social justice warriors want to have their cake and eat it. Political correctness gone mad.

I'm a mole, innit.