The Game Initiative has announced game industry veteran Brenda Brathwaite will deliver an adults-only talk on sexual content and video games at the October 26 - 27, 2005 in Austin, Texas. From flirting in MUDs to hardcore sexual simulators to the emerging field of teledildonics, sex in games is, for sure, a topic of much interest. The talk won't be limited to sex in games but will touch on the infamous E3 booth babes who are as much a part of sex in games as the characters that walk through game worlds. Now that's a conference session worth attending.
Last week, Miller Brewing Company launched an online game, Miller Beer Runner, which mirrors an ad campaign that kicked off this past weekend. The game has players face the usual problems when on a beer run from running through the streets and avoiding obstacles, to dodging ongoing football games and resisting bar temptations to avoiding hard objects like fire hydrants - all with the goal of getting to the store, making a Miller beer purchase and returning home before the halftime clock runs out. Given all the money Miller spends on TV commercials, the video introduction to the game is quite humorous as one of the guys tells his friend he has plenty of time to get the beer because "Hey, it's a commercial. Don't worry about it." In the first four days of the game's release, 360,000 games were played by 165,000 unique users.
Once again, Zugara has created an engaging, compelling, promotional site for Sony PlayStation. It's to promote Sony PlayStation's Socom 3 U.S. Navy SEALs game. The site itself is pretty in-depth with information on the game, real-life footage and interviews shot on set with actual Navy SEALs and a first person stealth game where you take on the role of a Navy SEAL to infiltrate a bunker and rescue a captured pilot. Zugara used other elements for the experience as well including AOL Instant Messenger where players can retrieve a code to unlock things on the site as well as an 800# to call into to get a code to gain access to the bunker where the first person game starts. Zugara's Matthew Szymczyk told us it was a "very cool experience putting the site together because of all the access we had to real-life Navy Seals at various army bases where the site's video's were shot.
To garner attention for its new season of sex talk show Talk Sex, Oxygen has launched an online match game where players must match the name of a fetish with its definitions while show host Sex Grandma Sue Johnson looks on. We have no idea if these are actual fetishes but Eproctophilia, or sexual arousal from farting and Agalmatophilia or sexual arousal from looking at mannequins sound plausible. While we don't think any of these fetishes apply to us, we'll certainly admit to Octogenariophobia or the fear of playing a sexual fetish game while grandma looks on.
For some inexplicable reason, some marketers and their agencies still think it's OK to create a website, in this case, an advergame, that only works with Internet Explorer on a PC. Given the horrid user experience Internet Explorer provides with it's gaping holes through which scumware of all forms permeates to the proliferation of far superior browsers such as Firefox, let alone a cadre of Mac users, it's just plain shortsighted idiocy to create anything limited only to IE.
This time the idiocy comes courtesy of VISA and its agency Wild Tangent who created some kind of promotional advergame for the Torino 2006 Olympic Games. That's all we can tell you about the game because, yes, we gave up IE years ago and have avidly used Firefox ever since. And this time, we aren't even going to fire up our stale copy of IE so we can perform our journalistic duty and describe the game's merits or demerits to you. Suffice to say, based on the marketer's ignorance of a huge audience segment, it's safe to say all the effort is worthy of is a giant pile of demerits.
Promoting a the Australian men's magazine Explode, Soap Creative has launched a "customize your ride" game, called Bling My Bomb, in which visitors choose their vehicle and customize it selecting color, wheels, graphics, engine, plates, horn, your street scene and yes, the hottie that will ride with you. Sorry, ladies, this one's for the guys. Besides, you probably don't want to visit a site that treats women like hood ornaments. Oh please. After all, it's all just fun and fantasy for single-minded guys. That said, Explode will be happy to know we actually spent a significant amount of time on the site crafting our ride.
To help marketers and agencies understand and take advantage of gaming as a medium, has launched a series of Gaming 101 sessions. IGA hopes to educate the marketplace about the current and future videogaming landscape, the changing demographics of gamers, how the hardware platforms differ from each other, and how to run in-game advertising campaigns that get results.
Advertising agencies that have held or are scheduled to hold IGA Partners Gaming 101 sessions include Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, SS+K, Manning Gottlieb OMD, Avenue A | Razorfish.
A typical IGA Gaming 101 session provides an overview of the gaming space and gaming ad formats such as advergaming, product placement/plot-integration, dynamic in-game advertising, and casual gaming. Along with any form of consultant comes buzzwords and IGA's "Metrification," a proprietary in-game advertising quantitative and qualitative measurement and analysis framework.
So this has been around for a while but it's always fun to engage a bit in Microsoft-bashing. In Helvetica vs. Arial, this game lets you stamp out Microsoft's very-similar-to-Helvetica Arial because like, ya know, Helvetica was here first and why should Microsoft get all the glory just for copying Helvetica, calling it a different name and making it the default typeface on everyone's computer?
Created by Swivel Media, Wells Fargo has launched a pilot multi-player, online role-playing game, called Stagecoach Island, designed to educate young adults about the importance of knowing your finances. Currently the game is being deployed in San Diego and Austin and will role out nationally later this year. We have a video preview here.
The game allows players to select a virtual character and participate in an "island adventure." Participants can choose to explore the virtual island -- lush parks, hip cafes, dance clubs, trendy shops, amusement parks, hair salons and more. They can also interact in dozens of virtual, social situations -- like skydiving, riding jets-skis, or playing games like paintball with other participants. Many activities on the island are "free," but participants gain access to other experiences, such as dancing in a club or purchasing new clothes, by spending, saving and earning virtual money. Players can earn money by visiting the Virtual Learning Lounge and answering trivia questions about banking basics such as budgeting, saving and managing money. The Learning Lounge content is derived from Wells Fargo's signature financial literacy program, Hands on Banking.
We think we've just stumbled upon one of the most enjoyable, most addictive and most entrancing online games in a very long time. Random Culture notes Saab UK has launched Race Against Time, an online "choose your own adventure" game, similar to the recently launched Choose Your Sauce KFC game, in which players take a Saab for a timed drive having to make multiple decisions upon the way. From deciding to stop for gas or not, ask directions or guess, give a stranger a ride or not, and more, the game sucks the player in and keeps the interest high. Very nice work created by Draft London which designed, shot, wrote and produced the site.