Violence Overshadows In-game Ads

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Violence Overshadows In-game Ads

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Gamers tend to focus on staying alive rather than memorizing brands.

In-game ads are either an immersive touch, a necessary evil, or a waste of space, depending on whom you ask. Whether you love them or hate them, though, you probably won't remember them in a violent game. A study conducted by the University of Texas suggests that gamers who view in-game ads during violent scenarios have worse brand recall and perception than those who view the ads in nonviolent situations.

The study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, tested its hypothesis by setting up two groups of gamers. One group controlled a gun-toting character making his way through a blood-spattered room, fighting with enemies. The other controlled an unarmed protagonist walking through the same room, but with water droplets and peaceful NPCs replacing the more violent imagery. Both rooms contained identical brand advertisements.

Players filled out surveys afterwards, and the results were telling: not only did violent-game participants have lower brand retention than nonviolent players, but they had more negative perceptions of the brands as well. Interestingly, women who played the violent scenario generally did worse than men on brand retention and perception. Researchers believe this might be due to increased male exposure or desensitization to virtual violence.

Especially now that the free-to-play model is on the rise, game developers will be looking for new ways to incorporate advertisements into games. This in and of itself is not a bad thing, but this study suggests that they should pay close attention to the kind of scenarios in which their ads appear.

Source: Gamespot

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So...

Apparently people are bad at memorizing things they saw while conentrating on something else?

Good to know.

Makes sense. When a grenade goes off in my face my attention is on the grenade and not the rest of the room, but slower situations I have loads of time to check out the scenery.

In game ads suck, they break immersion except in things like sports simulations when you would expect everything to be infested with advertisements anyway.

I don't mind in-game ads. I couldn't care less if, whilst I was going about my day, there was a sprite vending machine in the corner, or a billboard or whatever.

As for the brand recognition in violent scenarios, I'm not surprised to be honest, although I don't think I would notice the ads much if I am engaged with something else at the time.

I remember one. In Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, I overheard 2 guards talking about the new Prince of Persia game, and how great it was. In Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, there were posters for other Ubisoft games in the subway level.

If it is done in a non intrusive way, yes, fine. If it breaks the immersion, no.

redisforever:
I remember one. In Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, I overheard 2 guards talking about the new Prince of Persia game, and how great it was. In Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, there were posters for other Ubisoft games in the subway level.

If it is done in a non intrusive way, yes, fine. If it breaks the immersion, no.

I always considered those just cheeky self-references. What was really stupid in Chaos Theory was the inclusion of Airwaves gum in every fucking scene.

Woodsey:

redisforever:
I remember one. In Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, I overheard 2 guards talking about the new Prince of Persia game, and how great it was. In Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, there were posters for other Ubisoft games in the subway level.

If it is done in a non intrusive way, yes, fine. If it breaks the immersion, no.

I always considered those just cheeky self-references. What was really stupid in Chaos Theory was the inclusion of Airwaves gum in every fucking scene.

Strange, I never noticed any gum...

redisforever:

Woodsey:

redisforever:
I remember one. In Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, I overheard 2 guards talking about the new Prince of Persia game, and how great it was. In Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, there were posters for other Ubisoft games in the subway level.

If it is done in a non intrusive way, yes, fine. If it breaks the immersion, no.

I always considered those just cheeky self-references. What was really stupid in Chaos Theory was the inclusion of Airwaves gum in every fucking scene.

Strange, I never noticed any gum...

Play it again, you will.

Tupari - the taste Salarians have come to love!

redisforever:

Woodsey:

I always considered those just cheeky self-references. What was really stupid in Chaos Theory was the inclusion of Airwaves gum in every fucking scene.

Strange, I never noticed any gum...

It must of been because yu were paying a violent game lol.Not that you were actually concertating on something else.

So they've put money into a study that showed that people have a hard time remembering objects in the background while things in the foreground are shooting at them.
So what's next in these little studies that tell us the blindingly obvious? That people notice brighter colors more often then they notice darker colors?

No shit Sherlock. Even when i am not focusing on MY survival i focus on murdering enemies for the survival of others, and helping others survive directly.
Why? BECAUSE I HAVE MENTAL AD-BLOCKER! Also known as bull shit blocker made by the nice men that brought you efficiency vision.

Studies of the obvious; "people care less(see don't give a fuck) about the non threatening background while fighting swarms of enemies in a narrow corridor" whats next? Studies that shows most Americans don't understand the constitution? or one that reveals media to be full of misinformation? Or how about one that says "95% of religious people surveyed said they thought the founding fathers were catholic"?

Sorry; little spill over from grim Wednesday. Might not happen again.

while things were calm in deus ex human revolution I used a vending machine to block a door before triggering an elevator I knew was going to attract bad guys,

what ad was on the vending machine? ... no idea.

I wonder how well a developer could do if it laid off most of its marketing staff and relied just on trailers, reviews, and word of mouth. I've never been convinced to buy a game except by one of those three.

Im fine with in game ad's so long as they fit in the with general aesthetic and fit in with the game world.

Having said that a 2011 coke ad in a futuristic game doesn't work.

Nor does having glowing pop machines in a game that is trying to spook you with every other light flickering and broken.

Nor does Ad's that are placed on billboards and other out of the way sticking out like a sore thumb places break flow if they don't encorperate the game world. Want a pepsi ad on a bill board give it some in world flavor.

For the random number gods sake, make ad's destructable. Keeping them mint so you can always read them makes sense on their end, but Id gallop through An entire game on Double Insane difficulty if my armor was the thin plastic sheet that says sprite on a soda machine, rather then interlaced heavy kevlar.

Ad's don't work In general we are aware of what your drink is now piss off, It's like Doug Stanhope says about advertising.

If your product is good, people will buy it. How many of you buy drugs? how many ads for them do you see? my point exactly.

redisforever:
I remember one. In Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, I overheard 2 guards talking about the new Prince of Persia game, and how great it was. In Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, there were posters for other Ubisoft games in the subway level.

If it is done in a non intrusive way, yes, fine. If it breaks the immersion, no.

In Crysis 2, there were adverts for Crytek.

I actually quite like in-game ads. Lets the devs get some more cash, and adds some realism into the game. I barely notice them, so why not put them in?

I doubt it's to do with violence and more to do with concentration. The description of the non-violent alternative sounds less like a game, and more like Google street view. If they'd made the non-violent alternative a puzzler with a time limit, they might have had different results.

Anecdotal evidence confirms this.

In other words: the first time I noticed there was in-game advertising in Deus:Ex was after I finished the game.

What kind of sheep would buy a product because s/he saw it advertised in a game, anyway?

The-Epicly-Named-Man:
I doubt it's to do with violence and more to do with concentration. The description of the non-violent alternative sounds less like a game, and more like Google street view. If they'd made the non-violent alternative a puzzler with a time limit, they might have had different results.

Or even better, a high speed racing game, where you're avoiding crashing into various stuff, maybe including billboards with said ads on them.

vehystrix:

The-Epicly-Named-Man:
I doubt it's to do with violence and more to do with concentration. The description of the non-violent alternative sounds less like a game, and more like Google street view. If they'd made the non-violent alternative a puzzler with a time limit, they might have had different results.

Or even better, a high speed racing game, where you're avoiding crashing into various stuff, maybe including billboards with said ads on them.

That may invalidate the study though, as it doesn't use the same environment as the shooter, and racing itself may be considered an aggressive sport.

Woodsey:

redisforever:
I remember one. In Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, I overheard 2 guards talking about the new Prince of Persia game, and how great it was. In Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow, there were posters for other Ubisoft games in the subway level.

If it is done in a non intrusive way, yes, fine. If it breaks the immersion, no.

I always considered those just cheeky self-references. What was really stupid in Chaos Theory was the inclusion of Airwaves gum in every fucking scene.

Oh good grief, that gum was everywhere, it wouldn't have been so bad, but it was centre stage of every. single. cutscene. The camera would focus on it instead of the people talking *Sam, I need to tell you about this important plot point, while the player stares at a pack of gum on the table*
But I laughed at the Prince of Persia reference, everyone I know who played the game remembers it fondly, that's the answer to in-game marketing. A brief third-wall breaking cheeky reference at a lull point in the game.

I'm fine with this sort of advertising. At least it doesn't pause the game to show you a 30 second ad for a shitty American hatchback every 15 minutes. At that point, I would quite the game, and uninstall it, Defrag my computer, and make a list of all known people to be in the marketing and advertising industry and destroy them with a form of radiation that humanity has not yet discovered.

similar.squirrel:
What kind of sheep would buy a product because s/he saw it advertised in a game, anyway?

Someone thinks they're special. Don't worry, ads affect you just as much as anyone else.

They honestly needed a study for that?

Hell, they could've paid me that money for me to tell them that when I'm playing a violent I'm too busy focusing on not being murdered.

At first I was a little annoyed that there were in game ads, but after a while I've just ignored them. The only time I'll ever be pissed at one is if it breaks immersion.

Dead Nation has Banners and Signs advertising Super Stardust HD all over the place but I never really stopped to smell the roses while a hoard of zombies were still on screen but during the low points searching for stuff you notice the ads and I didn't hate them myself.

Infamous does it as well with Nods to Sly Cooper and Uncharted games here and there,but I'd be crazy to try to take in the scenery while I'm being attacked if I can't "Use" the scenery to actually beat the enemy with like Final Fantasy's "Titan".

So that study tells me that it's harder to remember ads when I'm concentrating on enemies and trying to stay alive? Shocking...

I like ads when they make sense, for example in a sport game and even a sport-themed shooter, like Quake Live.

I don't mind them either in other games, but only if they make sense.

Marshall Honorof:
Gamers tend to focus on staying alive rather than memorizing brands.

I think that is kind of the point. A sort of "Subliminal Messaging" style. You won't remember it later but you might just crave that sweet sweet doctor pepper with its 23 original flavours.

So this study found out that people don't notice things they're not concentrating on...

The fact that these were adverts is beside the point when considering how well the too sets remembered them. If you asked about mundane background details (number of windows, colour of walls etc.) you would find exactly the same spread of results.

OT: Ad's don't generally work on people that aren't interested in said products. I think its less a case of we don't notice, more of a case of we don't care.

Edit: To clarify my point, they should really work on where they advertise and not just on anything and everything. Want to market to gamers? Start marketing games and we might actually remember it.

Might, of course, most games I play i'm far to busy shooting things.

I mean, sprite on a machine? I'll notice it, I just won't care. Makes me no more likely to buy it. The very most it does it constantly shove its name in my face, which while effective at making me remember said brand, it's also going to piss me off to the point of I won't buy it.

Ironic Pirate:

similar.squirrel:
What kind of sheep would buy a product because s/he saw it advertised in a game, anyway?

Someone thinks they're special. Don't worry, ads affect you just as much as anyone else.

Dude, no need to be condescending about it.

I like it when product placement/ads in other people's works actually have a sense of humour, sure you could just slap a few vending machines in the background but good ads can make an impression without making you want to break the disk in rage.

I'm reminded of Pizza Hut's hilarious product placement in Code Geass (Pizza Hut supports the rebellion!) I'd like to see someone pull something similar off in a game

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