June 20, 2005
Supernova: Virtual Wooorlds!
I’m psyched for this session ‘cause Ian Bogost, the curator of Water Cooler Games, is here. He’s also into “persuasive games” — that is, games that do more than just entertain. Also here: the CEO of Sennari, a company that creates mobile economies (!), and a guy from Linden Labs.
Whoah dude, I didn’t know this: In the Linden Labs game Second Life, players retain full IP rights to the stuff they create in-game. That is great!
ALERT: The phrase “value chain” just appeared. What is this, a presentation at a business school or something??
ALERT: Uh-oh, “extract value” has joined it. Save us, Ian Bogost!
Bogost is up. Talking about advertising in games. Noted: Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom, a simulation of… a simulation.
In the world of advertising, Bogost says, the primary medium, TV, is being degraded. What ad guys know about is buying media space. So it’s like: Hey, find me a new medium! Video games, YES! This company Massive is selling videogame ad-space in a very traditional way. So maybe you’d be playing Snarkmarket Adventures 3 and see a Volkswagon billboard. Done.
Bogost asks: Is that the best we can do?
He enumerates some qualities of online media: It’s spatial, encyclopedia, participatory, and procedural.
The one that’s particularly missing from videogame advertising is procedural, he says. (By “procedural” he means “rule-based” or “cause-and-effect.”) Advertising that shows how products work — not just how they look or feel.