Online Ad Spend Up 29 Percent, Games Measured

- Zenith Optimedia sees a 29 percent growth to $33.5 billion in online ad budgets for 2007 and 23 percent to $41.2 billion in 2008. Over the four year period 2006-2009, the organization predict an overall 82 percent increase for online advertising to 47.4 billion while all media growth for the period nets out to 13 percent growth.

- Sony and Nielsen hammering out a metrics method for online console gaming.

- Nokia has given Wieden + Kennedy the thankless job of handling it $300 million account just at Apple's iPhone is set to take over the world.

- Following the July 12 One Show Design Awards, the winners will be on display at the Chelsea Art Museum from July 13 to July 21. Viewing is open to the public or a fee.

by Steve Hall    Jul- 3-07    
Topic: Games, Research, Tools

Candystand Nails Match Point Just in Time for Wimbledon


While Candystand never built the carwash game we so generously recommended, we have to say they've been on top of things since the day they decided to push brands via advergames (it's a tough commitment to make).

In time for Wimbledon they serve us up some Match Point, a tennis game that, for its simplicity, is good fun to play.

Users can choose between a male and female character. Two clicks make a serve, and the ball is automatically hustled across the net when the player hovers close to it.

Gameplay is characteristically lag-free and we're working our way up from our first embarrassing love set. Booooo.

Interestingly, we couldn't quite remember what candy Match Point was pushing afterward, so we had to go back and check. Ohhh. Orbit White. The brand with the tennis-player-looking chick.

We get it.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-29-07    
Topic: Games

Decapitation's Not Your Hype? Play Fatworld


Wired conducted coverage of a Web game called Fatworld, which aims - with the couch potato's favorite active medium - to lend insight on the "politics of nutrition."

Fatworld, which comes out this fall, was put together by Ian Bogost, a Georgia Tech professor who likes designing snarky little games that illuminate harsh realities. In Fatworld, gamers that make less-than-fantastic health choices can watch their characters bloom with food allergies, heart disease, diabetes and, predictably, death.

Other Bogost games sound equally awe-inspiring. In one called Disaffected!, which came out last year, players pose as Kinko's employees struggling to meet print orders while lazy colleagues make paper-filing errors.

Per a Bogost user review: "I could actually feel myself getting angry and depressed and my sense of self-worth going right through the floor."

Wow. Sounds suspiciously like life. We'll stick with collecting Sheeple blood, thanks.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-28-07    
Topic: Games, Online

Candystand Says 'Bend It' with New Soccer Game


Fresh off the heat of that spiffy Vector game they recently put together, Candystand hits us with this Free Kick game that challenges you to bend it like a certain Posh-loving soccer player we know.

It's simple and okay to play but just not as WoW as the previous offering. Plus we had to download a plug-in which is always annoying.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-27-07    
Topic: Games

Scion Woos Wee Deviants with Sheeple Death Warrant


After reluctance on our part and a helluva lot of persistence on theirs, Scion finally won us over with their Want 2 B Square thing. We even almost dig the cars. Almost.

But if we had a scrap of distaste left for the dumpster-esque vehicles, it's wiped away with this new Little Deviant effort they've launched for the xD, put together by the same guys who built Want 2 B Square.

The game could ride on the merit of its description alone:

"Send the sheeple from the streets and find them in the highrises. Knock the stuffing out of them and collect their blood. It can be used to your benefit. Turn that awful bleating into awesome bleeding."

Violence against sheep? Shameless bloodlust? We'd leap into a Scion right now but we'll be distracted with the Deviant site for awhile. The goth vibe and sadistic humor remind us of old-school computer games like The Seventh Guest - a nice little throwback.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-24-07    
Topic: Best, Games, Promotions, Strange

Get Big Love in Big Love Land


HBO's Big Love is back and what HBO series would make a return without being accompanied by some sort of online game? That's right. Check out Big Love Land, created by Deep Focus, and wallow in the land of multiple wives, angry relatives, seething doubters and overly curious co-workers. It's always fun to explore someone else's lifestyle, right?

by Steve Hall    Jun-13-07    
Topic: Games

Seventeen Launches Gofer Game for Mini Editors-in-the-Make


Seventeen Magazine is on some kind of Elf Quest to find (or just mold?) the perfect editor in the earliest possible stages of life. Toward that goal, Hearst and Arkadium have launched Editor's Assistant, an advergame that the fine folk of PR call an opportunity to step into the shoes of the magazine world's "unsung hero" - assistant to the editor-in-chief.

The game is comprised of bitchwork, which include managing schedules, booking shoots, hiring stylists, answering an ever-ringing phone, checking email, and watching the editor-in-chief's happiness meter. The object is to not be fired in a week, and maybe - just maybe - you'll win a cool treat, like a trip to Fashion Week.

We played for a couple of minutes and grew aggravated with the ringing phone and bored with staring at the virtual desk. The whole thing was a lot of fun until we had to do actual work. Then it was like, dude, this is a game, not our lives. After that happy conclusion, we said "fuck you" to the hope of our earnest little avatar hitting Fashion Week. She must be bummed - but that's okay, she was anorexic anyway.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-13-07    
Topic: Brands, Games

Candystand's Vector Makes Us Feel Strategic in a Non-WoW Way


Candystand, which, if nothing else, has begun addressing us on a first-name basis, just pointed us to Vector TD. The game takes a second to learn and is slightly more complicated than the meditative Awesome Blossom, but there's no laggage and you feel a little bit productive after blowing half your morning learning how to kill the malicious red asterisk things.

We also got to watch Steve-O during loading time, which primed us with a desperation to feel accomplished about something.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-07    
Topic: Games

It's Not So Easy to Get A Lion


Damn, damn, damn. This has been sitting in our "to be published" folder somehow unnoticed since May 30 collecting dust but we're still not too late in getting to it. Y&R Israel put together an online game called Lion Combat in which the player tries to get a lion using a selection of different weaponry. Closing with "it's not so simple to hunt a lion," the game then lets you bet which work you think will win a Lion at Cannes with a plasma TV as the prize.

You can go and get drunk or stay at home and win a TV. Your choice.

by Steve Hall    Jun-10-07    
Topic: Games, Industry Events

Orbitz Game Sucks. Can They Do Anything Right?


This Orbitz game, which involves some really weak shakram-like throwing, is amusing until you realize how much it sucks, which takes about 35 seconds.

It's also way too salesy. Why don't you give Wrigley's a call? They know how to throw together simple brand-oriented games that are actually fun.

Orbitz last disappointed us about a month ago.

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 5-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Games