Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obama Gets Into the Game

This little tidbit from the Washington Post brings yet another interesting political advertising strategy to the forefront. The Obama campaign has purchased a billboard in the virtual Paradise City of racing game "Burnout Paradise." Apparently advertising isn't new to this game, which features so many billboards and product placements that it mirrors real life (unlike what I remember from the few times I played one of the "Grand Theft Auto" games where the ads are all for fictional products.

It makes sense for the candidates to go into realms of entertainment other than television, but it also kind of kills the escapist point of that entertainment. Don't most players want to race around on a virtual motorcycle or in a digital sports car to get away from things like the economy, politics and other stresses? On the one hand I'm impressed with the Obama campaign for jumping into the virtual world in order to reach young people, who, for the first time I can remember, actually care about the election, but on the other, I'm not sure branding our leisure time isn't at least partly to blame for some of the economic issues we're facing.

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