At the recent SXSW conference in Austin, Will Wright, the famed game designer behind SimCity, The Sims and the yet to be released and highly anticipated Spore, flipped through pages of storytelling to an audience of all ears. Linking stories with the shift from passive to interactive media, Wright outlined the social and biological differences between games and film. While games utilize our basic instincts within the brain, film typically provides a rich emotional palette. Rather than push for the complete adoption of one or the other, Wright integrated the two into a cohesive experience.
In its ongoing effort to deluge us with distractions, Wrigley's Candystand pulls yet another promotion out of its candy ... self.
After a brief registration process you, yes you, can take part in a sweepstakes for a Pontiac Solstice. The Wrigley/GM contest is heavily branded with information on the Big E Pack, which contains an inordinate illogical amount of Eclipse gum (over 60 pieces!!!). Its unique packaging and the way it's hocked on the short sweepstakes introduction ("Keep one on the counter ... in a desk...") brings baby wipes to mind.
While we're here we might as well tell you about Candystand's sequel to Flash Element TD, lamely titled Flash Circle TD.
David Scott of the original Flash Element assisted in creating the Wrigley-fied remix. It's doing nicely on Digg, whose community doesn't seem to mind that the game is swathed in LifeSavers ads. It did spark an interesting conversation on idea-ripping though.
Who'd have guessed candy would mesh well with cars or even consoles, for that matter. What is the point of candy anyway?
Just because you have a job doesn't mean you should miss out on the fun and games of March Madness. With the wilting white collar worker in mind, Tribal DDB throws together a March Madness tourney toolkit on behalf of State Farm.
It makes one feel pathetic in its all-encompassing office splendour. Users hungry for the rush can download March Madness propaganda, create a little bobble-headed friend and play office hoops.
That's almost like being at a March Madness game ... except not.
Curiouser and curiouser. Australia-based graphic artist Jason Nelson throws together an odd piece of work called Hermeticon, which uses bits of '80's toy and candy ads to create sound and video collages that spark to life when you type things out into a grid. He calls the results "ad-driven spells."
It reminds us a lot of all the ad generators already flying around except less coherent than usual. That's okay though, we dig it.
It might just be because our childhood connection to Rainbow Brite sparked back to life when she appeared for a moment - just a moment! - on the grid. We can't help but admire the emotional range of a good nostalgic mash-up. That's why we sit on in the dark watching "I Love the 80's" reruns at 2 AM.
If you ever saw the movie, Goonies, and just couldn't get enough of it, now, courtesy of Jeep, BBDO Detroit and Fuel Industries, you can relive all that eighties adventure goodness in the form on an online game called Return to Astoria. There's even a trailer for the game. We're told Goonies are timeless. We wouldn't know. We can't even remember watching the movie.
We're always open to a time-waster. TAMBA gets all competitive by hopping in on Comic Relief's Digital Challenge, where they launched a new game called Red Lead in honour of Red Nose Day 2007.
The idea is to get the Red Noses from one side of your monitor to the other without getting stabbed by a sharp pencil. Different sorts of noses, like the golden ones, are magical. In case you wondered, there is a cause attached to this.
Note image to the left. Then consider what we said here. The game is cool and all, but are we destined for one sensory violation after another today?
If you went to the movies this past weekend, you might have seen what initially appeared to be a trailer for Saw IV but turned out to be a Scion promotion directing people to, by far, the weirdest site we've ever seen called Want2BSquare. The trailer, the site and wild posting are all part of an ATTIK-created promotion for the car maker's 2008 xB. Accompanying the campaign over the next two months will be virally-intentioned videos, events and guerrilla marketing (watch out Boston).
At the site, which creates a square universe, we are told, "visitors are encouraged to explore an expansive world, play games against other visitors, view a wealth of video content celebrating the xB's boxy shape, and discover other quirky experiences. These actions lead to the accumulation of points that can be redeemed for an array of prizes ranging from Scion key chains to DJ turntables." If the Internet were around when the "This is your brain on drugs" campaign first launched, this would have been the site leading the campaign. Truly kooky stuff. And fun. We especially like the Urban Zoo.
Because our lives won't be complete without that next filet-o-fish, and because pesky dolphins always seem to be snatching them away from us right before our consummate bite, McDonald's brings us Dolphin vs. Man.
Dallas-based Moroch Partners are to blame for this follow-up to last year's "Sharkbait" game. This campaign features two new games that we actually kind of like: "Ocean Commotion" and "Aquatic Tennis."
It never occurred to us that the zany hijinks of dolphins may get in the way of our one goal: ongoing consumption of an undersized, occasionally stiff filet, the lukewarm bun that falls apart in our hands, delightfully soggy lettuce, and - lest we forget - that tartar-ish sauce.
Heaven help. If we weren't so busy suiting up to destroy dolphins at tennis, we'd serenade.
If somehow the filet-o-fish just ain't intense enough, we'll fast remind you that there's also a limited-edition double filet-o-fish available, which this promo also highlights. Try not to cream yourself at this very moment.
Proof positive people have way too much time on their hands, last week, the virtual stores of American Apparel and Reebok has suffered a terrorist attack inside Second Life. Yes, you heard right. Some people actually went to the trouble of "bombing" the two stores. The group behind the attack (we can barely write we are laughing so hard right now) calls themselves Second Life Liberation Army and the purpose of their actions is said to be a call for democratic decision-making inside the virtual world (oh for fuck's sake, it's a game!).
The bombing follows several "attacks" made by the group over the past six months and follows the famed flying penis attack (video here) made by another group during an in-world CNET interview with wealthy Second Life Resident Anshe Chung. Seriously, people. Grow up and get a real life.
Online community Stardoll unrolls a virtual red carpet for the Academy Awards. For the teeny bopper demo (or girls at heart like Mariah), Stardoll is a candy-sweet space for creating Oscars-themed scenes with - wait for it - virtual paparazzi and Joan Rivers avatars. It ain't the Oscars without invasive camera angles and loud blondes straddling perpetual midlife crises so we smile upon the stab at authenticity.
"We hope to usher in a new generation of kids who want to try their hand at fashion in a way that is fun, creative and a bit friendlier than an internship at Vogue," says CEO Mattias Miksche. After seeing The Devil Wears Prada, we find this noble indeed.
In addition to playing with Oscar nominee avatars and making adamant suggestions about who should win (most favor Kate over Penelope!), girls make their own avatars and craft campaigns to become the next Stardoll cover girl, an honour doled out by the community.
Stardoll stikes us as an awesome resource. While we'd like to suggest it as such, the imagined execution (admen trolling the Pretty in Pink section) is not cute. Resist the urge to channel dormant XX chromosomes. We're sure you know a little girl you can foist this job upon.