Obama looks towards gamers for votes

October 15, 2008 at 9:48 am

It seems that one of the presidential candidates is taking note of just how large and active the gaming community can be during the electoral season.
Barack Obama has recently purchased ads within Burnout Paradise (XBox Live version) to have his face and campaign message appear on billboards as players race by. These billboards have been purchased for display in the 10 battle ground states.

The big question I have is whether the decision to purchase such a unique advertising space was influenced by the recent PEW report, “Teens, video games, and civics” which seems to show that avid gamers and Internet users tend to have an increased interest in civics. While the report itself is directed to the 12-17 year old demographic, I imagine there is a certain correlation with older gamers and Internet users as well.
As odd as this sounds, this news made my day in so many ways. It legitimizes video games as an important media that can be used for more than entertainment.
The real question is what happens from this point on for game developers? Are gaming companies going to be viewed as liberal or conservative (think in terms of an anti-abortion ad in a video game and which companies may or may not put it in their game). Not to mention, will they have to conform to TV advertising standards (no alcohol commercials until a certain time or rating).
Certainly, there is a potential can of worms being opened for game development and hosting companies but, at the moment, I’ll let it be. I’m just thrilled that gaming (aka the third media) has been recognized by a candidate as a medium for messages.
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