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The Almighty Buck Games

Running Over Virtual Pedestrians Helps In-Game Ad Recall 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-find-this-true-in-real-life-as-well dept.
neuroworld writes to point out a study which found a correlation between in-game violence and a player's ability to recall advertisements seen while playing. The test subjects were given two versions of a driving game, which included "unobtrusive" billboard ads, and their eye movements were recorded by a camera. One version had players hitting targets for points, and the other version had them running down pedestrians. "[The researchers] found ads displayed along with violent scenes to be more memorable to players than those shown with nonviolent content, even though players spent less time looking at them. The results are contrary to expectations stemming from research on television, where violence has been shown to decrease attention to advertisements."
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Running Over Virtual Pedestrians Helps In-Game Ad Recall

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  • I'm Sold (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:23AM (#29287039) Journal
    And I've been drinking Coca-Cola ever since I hit that hunderd an' eleven year old lady in Grand Theft Auto VI: The Ballad of Brawndo's Stories and her blood spilt across the sidewalk to make the Coca-Cola logo [infobarrel.com]. Now ever time I crack open a can of Coca-Cola, it feels like someone's spine in my hands snapping like celery. And when I take that first drink of blood ... er ... Coca-Cola, it's like I'm drinking that old lady's life essence again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Remember the Grand Theft Auto hack which allowed people to have sex with prostitutes? I bet if they tattooed "Buy Duff Beer" across her stomach, everyone would remember that ad too. Even people who never played the game!

      • Actually, it was with "girlfriends". You were always able to have sex with prossies in the GTA III series.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PitaBred (632671)
      It's got electrolytes. Are you a plant?
      • Re:I'm Sold (Score:5, Funny)

        by natet (158905) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:31PM (#29288089)
        It's got what plants crave!
    • That's nothing (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sigxcpu (456479)

      I bet you, if you ran over real pedestrians you would remember what was on the billboards.
      (actually you would have years in prison with only that to think of.)

    • I've always been partial to pepsi since they smashed that one up in fightclub, but hey at least i don't use a mac and drive a vw beatle.

    • by nametaken (610866)

      There's a True Blood joke in there somewhere, I just can't tease it out.

  • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:24AM (#29287061) Homepage
    So advertisers love violent video games. Maybe they should put some of their revenue into defending some of the games under attack because of violent content.
    • by rotide (1015173) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:29AM (#29287125)
      While I agree and any help in the fight against "oh my god video games with blood, think of the children!" would be welcome. I'm just thinking the whole "violence in games is ok since it helps us sell our wares" isn't going to further the cause too far =P
      • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:33AM (#29287211) Homepage
        Money is money whether it is dirty advertising money, or money raised by charity groups. With enough money you can put a positive spin on anything.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        While I agree and any help in the fight against "oh my god video games with blood, think of the children!" would be welcome. I'm just thinking the whole "violence in games is ok since it helps us sell our wares" isn't going to further the cause too far =P

        I have the opposite reaction. One of the things we frequently complain about on the internet is how American society gets all uppity about an act which is an expression of love between two adults and then turns a blind eye to glorifying acts that hurt other people. Somehow I doubt that letting cynical marketers know that they can better impress their brands by upping the latter will help in that regard.

        While no study has proven a causal link between violent video games and violent actions, they have made

      • by paeanblack (191171) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @02:01PM (#29289527)

        While I agree and any help in the fight against "oh my god video games with blood, think of the children!"

        Unfortunately they have a giant gaping hole in their testing.

        Test 1) Drivers ran over virtual targets
        Test 2) Drivers ran over virtual people AND blood was splattered on the virtual windshield obscuring the player's vision.

        Could the difference in what the drivers looked at and recalled have anything to do with the shit splattered on the screen?

        Do you drive at the same level of alertness when your windshield is clear as opposed to when you are driving half-blind? It seems to me that vision degradation would be a bigger source of agitation than video violence.

        Perhaps they should redo the first test using virtual barrels of mud to hit instead of "targets"

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      The lesson:

      Jerks are easier to sell to.

  • Careful (Score:5, Funny)

    by Useful Wheat (1488675) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:26AM (#29287085)

    Quick, hide this research as fast as you can. Otherwise the next Bioshock will have you kill little sisters to various advertising jingles. I can just see the little girl in my hands, begging for mercy while in the background you hear, "J. E. L. L. O, Its Alive!" In Wait...that might actually work.

  • a close one (Score:5, Funny)

    by macbeth66 (204889) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:27AM (#29287111)

    So, a real Death Race 2000 ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072856 [imdb.com] ) would have helped Burma Shave ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma-Shave [wikipedia.org])

  • "[The researchers] found ads displayed along with violent scenes to be more memorable to players than those shown with nonviolent content"
    --

    Dilbert on "Industry Standards [twitpic.com]"
  • Why be subtle? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:28AM (#29287123) Journal

    If they made the billboards destructable like in Red Faction, I bet you they'd remember the exact slogan you put on there.

    Why try to "Sneak" these adverts into games, and find the best way to make people remember without thinking about it, when the only thing you REALLY have to worry about is getting people to remember it. Ads in games have already come around... so... why the illusion?

    • The advertisers for quake live won't even tolerate a bullet-hole decal on their ad... businesses won't pay for destructible ads.

      • When they should. The destructable ones make it feel more present.

        If a billboard is there to have no interaction with it, I will remember it no more then a tree that is rendered off of the area of gameplay.

        However, if I see an ad, and I later see the destruction done to it, be it bullet holes or its in pieces, My brain will subconsciously be thinking "How did that happen?" And I'll imagine bit by bit what occured to the advert, thus keeping its image in my mind constantly.

        Marketing people just don't get Vid

    • Exactly, I mean, if something was set in the "real world" or the close future, ads in the form of products would be good. The problem is they seem to want to give the ads some god-like quality that they can't be touched, destroyed or anything. I mean, if I could use the gravity gun to propel a can of Coca Cola at a high velocity to kill a headcrab, that would be pretty sweet (using a setting set around 2009 or so of course)
    • Why try to "Sneak" these adverts into games, and find the best way to make people remember without thinking about it

      Salesmen have a pathological need to con you in some way.

  • If I ever see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twyst3d (1359973) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:30AM (#29287147)
    A game where I pick up an assault rifle or something and it has a Coke logo on the side. Im gonna make all those vivid dreams people have about video gamers going nuts for no apparent reason come true. Seriously sick of this. Im paying $$ for the game allready. Not only have they cut down on the length of games, but the overall quality. Apparently graphics are a good substitue for story and play. They dont really make any games that are original anymore. And now after all these god damn shortcuts the game companies are taking they want to advertise to me in game as well? Fuck that noise.
    • Re:If I ever see (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mister Whirly (964219) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:39AM (#29287275) Homepage
      Ah, but what if they offered you a version without commercials for $60 or one with ads all over it for $20 - which would you choose then? (And yes, in this scenario you must only choose one or the other - saying "I would download the torrent for free" isn't what I am looking for as an answer.)
      And as a follow up - have you gotten rid of your television, radio, and internet as well, because they also have ads everywhere. Forget going to the movie theater too - even forking over $12 won't let you escape the ads. (Except for a cool old school theater in my city where they have zero ads or previews, but instead have a real live person playing a pipe organ before they show the feature.)
      • Re:If I ever see (Score:5, Interesting)

        by An ominous Cow art (320322) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:01PM (#29287579) Journal

        If it's good enough, I would certainly pay the $60. I'll never play a game with in-game advertising.

        As for the rest - TiVo was sufficient for getting rid of advertising on TV, but now that TiVo is a damned advertising company, that's not viable anymore, so Netflix has almost completely replaced cable TV for me (I used to say I was going to cancel cable TV as soon as The Simpsons ended, but I don't think I'm going to make it that long).

        I change channels to avoid radio advertisements when I'm in control of the radio (i.e., when driving). On those rare occasions when I'm subjected to radio advertising I can't avoid (mostly the barber shop, or occasionally at a sub shop), it's pretty painful.

        Adblock/noscript and a few others are doing a fine job of keeping the Web ad-free for me so far.

        I don't go to movie theaters anymore since the inception of non-trailer ads before movies. A silent slideshow was acceptable; I could ignore that. Unfortunately the last small local theater in my area has started playing loud voiceover advertising before the movie starts, and I haven't been back since they started that earlier this year. Even before that, I was going to the movies less and less often - I was very rarely interested in seeing anything anyway... Netflix is covering this for me now, too.

        • by gauauu (649169)

          Do you also avoid driving because there are billboards? Never look at magazines? (or do you close your eyes and rip out the ads?)

          I agree that obnoxious advertising is just that: obnoxious. But why all the hate of all forms of advertising?

          Me, I'm all for advertising. I figure it's a tax on people who buy name-brand products and go see the newest movies. I'll keep buying my generic soda, but I don't mind if Coke drinkers help pay for the radio station I want to listen to.

          • Do you also avoid driving because there are billboards?

            Billboards are rare around here but I avoid looking at them.

            Never look at magazines?

            The only magazines I read regularly are 2600 (which contains no ads except classifieds, which I don't have a problem with), and one on playing bass. My disgust for advertising has grown due to its pervasiveness everywhere, but if there is a place for it, it's in a tightly-focused magazine such as the bass one. I'd be happier if all the advertising were combined together at the end of each issue, though.

            I realize it's important for companies to le

      • And as a follow up - have you gotten rid of your television,

        Nope. Got a DVR and fast-forward through the ads.

        radio,

        I live in a large urban area, and listen to everything. I change the station.

        and internet as well, because they also have ads everywhere.

        If you can't keep ads from displaying, fine, but many of the rest of us seem to have no problems in that regard.

        I'll take an honest shill any day, like Adam Sandler. At least he's obvious about it, and there's no corporate weasel-wording like "enhancing the customer experience through demographically-targeted mediums".

        • If you can't keep ads from displaying, fine, but many of the rest of us seem to have no problems in that regard.

          I never said that I see the ads (I am well aware of Adblocker and NoScript), just that they were there. If you are using a public terminal, or someone else's system, you may not have the option to install such things. If the majority of the population starts using AdBlocker, believe me the advertisers will come up with ways around it. Remember "popups"?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by UncleTogie (1004853)

            I never said that I see the ads (I am well aware of Adblocker and NoScript), just that they were there.

            Yes, and on many pay sites you can disable those. Heck, /. gives me the option on the front page just for having good karma.

            If you are using a public terminal, or someone else's system, you may not have the option to install such things.

            ...but those systems aren't under my control, and I didn't pay for them. Apples to oranges here.

            If the majority of the population starts using AdBlocker, believe me the advertisers will come up with ways around it.

            ...and we'll find ways around them, just like many Chinese are finding ways around that firewall they've got. Doesn't make their behavior any less obnoxious, nor is it an excuse for them to do this. To turn one of the Ferengi rules of acquisition on its ear: Profit is NOT its own reward.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I don't play video games but I wanted to chime in on the television, radio, and internet comment.

        Television - I don't have cable nor can I pick up FTA channels because of where I live. The internet can fill this void very easily. I have a subscription to MegaVideo to watch the few shows I enjoy, otherwise I will rent/buy the DVD set when it comes out.

        Radio - I have Sirius. All music stations are Ad Free. However I can't seem to get a hold on my addiction to Howard Stern [howardstern.com], Bubba The Love Sponge [btls.com] or Jay Thomas [jaythomas.com].

      • And as a follow up - have you gotten rid of your television, radio, and internet as well, because they also have ads everywhere. Forget going to the movie theater too - even forking over $12 won't let you escape the ads.

        TV: I FF past the ads.

        Radio: I've figured out roughly how long the commercial breaks last, and I turn the radio off when it starts. BTW, if you hear me yelling in pain while driving, either I jammed my finger turning off a commercial, or I missed the button and had to listen to some of it.

        I

      • by Kabuthunk (972557)

        I'd fully and honestly pay $60 for a game without ads than take a free one with. Hell, I'd do that instead of them PAYING me say, $5 to take a game with ads.

        Although admittedly, in the latter case I'd take as many of the 'ad' copies to make $5, throw them out, and buy the $60 at a discount :P

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hasdikarlsam (414514)

      Dwarf Fortress.
      Achron.
      Blueberry Garden. ..hang on, am I only mentioning homebrew here?

    • Do you own a pair of shoes with a logo on it, perhaps a Nike swish? Heck even work boots leave Wolverine embedded in the dirt. Or do you own a shirt with a Polo emblem? Does your car have a logo on it? I'm paying for these products and I'd rather buy without any advertising but it's hard to find many things without a logo.
    • Actually, "they" do make original games (see my sig).  You've just got to go to the indies.

      Graphics aren't too hot, but it's the game I wanted to play.
    • Not only have they cut down on the length of games, but the overall quality. Apparently graphics are a good substitue for story and play. They dont really make any games that are original anymore.

      Story and gameplay don't sell copies. Pretty screenshots sell copies.

      The name of the game is "return on investment". The most bang for you buck is investing in eye candy. "Story" is a gamble, "game play" is a gamble, "pretty" is a sure sell.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:31AM (#29287167) Homepage

    But maybe the basic game sucks and is boring, and running down pedestrians and seeing the blood splatter is the only thing that spices it up and gets the player to actually pay attention.

    • by CityZen (464761)

      That's what I'm thinking. Perhaps it's the level of _excitement_ that helps recall, and in this particular instance, the excitement level was increased by requiring violence. But that doesn't mean there aren't other, better ways to add excitement. Violence just happens to be the easiest (and basest).

  • Heres an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twillerror (536681) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:31AM (#29287169) Homepage Journal

    How bout we just not put ads in games and call it a day?

    Is 50 bucks a pop not enough? Really?

    Or if you are going to put ads in I have the perfect spot....level loading. Give me a stupid orbitz game to play why it loads.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cowscows (103644)

      50 bucks isn't a ridiculous price for a video game. Inflation adjusted, we're paying less for games now than we did a decade ago. This despite the fact that games today require waayyyy more people and waaaayyyy more money to make than they did back then. The market has grown to a huge extent, so publishers have been able to continue to make money just by volume, but it's still a risky proposition. The fact that many games now retail for $60 was outrageous to some people, but really we should all be surprise

      • The fact that many games now retail for $60 was outrageous to some people, but really we should all be surprised that it didn't happen sooner.

        It did happen sooner, plenty of Nintendo 64 games were 60 or 70 bucks. Of course, that was the last generation of the big cartridge and EEPROM.

        • For that matter plenty of SNES games were $60 too. If I recall correctly, Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting was $75 when it was released, and other games weren't that much cheaper.

          Games today are extremely cheap, especially when you consider preowned games. Even compared to most other hobbies, gamer's get off pretty easily expense wise.

      • material wise, game cds and dvds are much much cheaper to make than the game carts. A cd/dvd costs about 5 cents to make in material, 10 cents if you consider the cost of the press. The circuit board and cart themselves cost about $7 in materials and near $10 if you count the machinery and labor. No, these companies just got greedier.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nEoN nOoDlE (27594)

      I'd much much much rather have a billboard in the background than a loading screen with a full screen advertisement. It's the difference between a banner ad at the top of a website or one of those really annoying full-page ads that you have to click to skip that are now on every major site.

    • by CityZen (464761)

      Come on; the publishers think they've found a new way to print money, and you're asking them not to do it? Might as well ask them to donate their profits to the Free Software Foundation.

    • How about in game product placement? If I'm playing Gangsta Land II: The Ulaanbaatar Conspiracies I don't want to see drink machines with papsi cola on them. I want Pepsi cola. And I also want to be able to blow it the hell up.

      If a game is going for immersion I want real products and decor. However, the revenue generated by this advertising must give me some benefit. If I'm going to view the ads I want something out of it otherwise I won't be buying your game. Use the money to make a better game or discoun

    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      ...level loading. Give me a stupid orbitz game to play why it loads.

      Sorry, that idea's already been patented. [uspto.gov]

  • TV ads occur between show segments.

    Billboard ads occur concurrently with the game.

    Perhaps there is a difference. Further investigation is required.

  • Obligatory (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I for one welcome our new bloodthirsty advertisers.
  • /me performs a violent act in the hopes of getting his comment noticed. Blood! Gore! Mean people!
  • Wrong Conclusion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by omnichad (1198475) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:43AM (#29287359) Homepage

    When hitting targets, the reward is more points. You get the most satisfaction from getting a high score. When hitting pedestrians, even if you get points for it, are like the points you get in Super Mario Bros. 3. You don't remember there being a score? Exactly.

    This isn't about violence, it's whether you have you sights hard-set on a goal (points), or if you're just taking your time and enjoying yourself (who cares if you miss a pedestrian - there's always more).

  • Interesting: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Banach (1379419)
    TFA could almost be read to have the following conclusion: Violent behaviors correlate with a higher engagement with surroundings as well as increased awareness - at least in the virtual space. Makes sense the television ads would have an opposite correlation - I would imagine that placement type advertisement within violent content would have a higher portion of mindshare, while commercial advertisement between segments of a violent show would have a lower portion. The engagement is with the violent conte
  • by dcollins (135727) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:49AM (#29287425) Homepage

    The very last line in the linked article:

    "An unreleased follow-up study by Melzer reveals another undesirable result: that violent play can negatively impact a player's opinion of a brand."

    http://www.technologyreview.com/business/23336/page2/ [technologyreview.com]

  • by Chemisor (97276) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:51AM (#29287445)

    Now, what would be even more memorable is pedestrians shouting ad slogans as they die. "Aaahh, I should have drank Coca-Cola-a-a-a" or "Oh, no! My Nike shoes!" or "Whew! Missed me like a little Fiat, you loser!"

  • Because this will help make the world a better, happier place...
  • Who said violent videogames weren't good for anything? This is in your face, Jack Thompson!
    • Who said violent videogames weren't good for anything? This is in your face, Jack Thompson!

      Violent video games make you murderous, evil and antisocial! But remembering ads and buying things means you're a good docile little consumerist with lots of friends, like the people in the ads!

      But... but... but.... JOE SIXPACK LOGIC BREAKING MY BRAIN! GLAARGH!

  • Covenant sporting Nike apparel?
  • by cats-paw (34890) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @11:56AM (#29287519) Homepage

    It seems to me that it's fairly well accepted that long term memories tend to form more strongly when accompanied by a strong emotional response.

    I think that in the case of TV advertising the ads are "in-between" the violence, so you may remember the violence from the program, which tends to suppress the ad since it's not displayed during the program.

    This experiment makes the ad coincident with the violence.

  • For instance, what did the targets look like? What did the people look like? How bizarre was the juxtaposition of the targets in an environment where, presumably, people would be more natural? If, all other things being considered equal, the people look more natural in the environment than the targets look, basic logic can be used to postulate that people will focus on the targets that look out of place instead of the billboard ads, whereas they would notice the ads if everything else looked natural.

  • ... OMG. I just ran an old lady over in my FORD FUSION... and I can't stop thinking about the BEST AMERICAN CAR MANUFACTURER*.



    * - note: This may or may not be true, accurate, or sober.
  • Now billboard ad budgets are going to include the cost of lubricating the road :(

  • If the advertisement is showing WHILE the participant commits "murder", which is known to have visceral links for virtual actions, then there's much more brain storage going on than when watching a "murder", particularly when the advertisement comes at some time removed from the action.

    This is not to say that the test shouldn't have been performed, but it mostly adds a minor corollary to what was already known.

    Of course, this is a gold mine for product placement advertising.

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd o t .org> on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:04PM (#29287629)

    The brain stores the *differences* of *associations*. And violence is more extreme. So it is a bigger difference. Which means the storing is stronger. Which means you remember it, and everything you associate with at, best.

    Or did nobody here understand how brains (or other neural nets) work?? (I see that all the time :/)

    • by mmaniaci (1200061)
      Brains are not neural nets, neural nets are a simplified model of how we think the human brain works. And I would bet that no one completely understands how the human brain works. You're original point still seems valid though.
  • ...Pizza Hut and Axe Body Spray!
  • by EkriirkE (1075937) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:06PM (#29287671) Homepage
    Brought to you by Johnson's Baby oil.
  • carmageddon? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bcong (1125705)
    Was anyone else reminded of Carmageddon [wikipedia.org]
  • The article doesn't clearly state what the differences between the two games are. Is the non-violent version more challenging in which I need to pay more attention to the road in order to meet the objective? Is the violent version easier where they've placed the pedestrians right in the middle of the road and I don't really need to try to hit them? I'm sure if they actually made it so that both versions had the pedestrian/checkpoint in the exact same position, then we'd see a difference. Even if they're
  • The results are contrary to expectations stemming from research on television, where violence has been shown to decrease attention to advertisements.

    That's an odd expectation: I would expect attention to ads shown during violence as part of the same scene to operate very differently than attention to ads shown in between scenes of violence, in breaks from the main teleplay. In game ads are (pretty much exactly) like product placement in TV or movies, not like normal TV ads.

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:19PM (#29287885)

    Here's my hypothesis to explain the "contradictory" results.

    In the case of a violent TV show that is periodically interrupted by an ad, the brain perceives these
    as two different situational episodes or contexts.
    Another analogy would be if you were both reading a crime novel set in London, and periodically glancing up from your book
    to look out the train window at the sweeping mountain vistas. The brain/mind can separate those episodes, similar to how they
    would be separated if they followed each other in time.

    In the case of the billboard ads in the driving game, these ads are impressions that are part of the in-game world, seen while
    your brain/mind perceives you to be in the driving situational episode.

    Why this distinction is important is probably that your brain adds strong-emotion-related "tags" to memories of the traumatic
    situational episode. These tags (first biochemical, then reflected in the structure of the long-term memory) assist to prioritize
    later recall of important memories. Of course, this recall may be somewhat uncontrollable (as in PTSD), but there is no
    doubt that these memories will be recallable for longer than memories of unrelated and unremarkable episodes near in
    time to the traumatic episode. This is as it should be for our survival through avoidance of future similar situation function.

    So, to sum up, the billboards are part of the situational episode context for the traumatic incident, so are included in the
    emotion-tag-enhanced strong memory of that incident, whereas the interstitial ads (which take your brain/mind to a different
    situation in the world of the ad) are committed to memory as uneventful situations worthy of only moderate recall. And it
    is even probable that situational episodes near to (but different from and not causally related to) the traumatic episode
    are in fact inhibited, because memory-commitment resources are being used to strongly commit the traumatic episode,
    or perhaps to set it in sharp relief to the irrelevant nearby episodes, for more distinct and more certain recall of the "correct"
    important episode around that time period.

    Just a guess.

  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:19PM (#29287889) Homepage

    What about putting the advertisements on the pedestrians' shirts? Then we might remember them better AND be able to run down walking advertisements with satisfyingly bloody results!

    "In the Shirt Test, the test subjects did not fare quite so well in the game portion of the test, score-wise. What they seemed to prefer to do is hit pedestrians with advertisements on their shirts, back over them, and repeat the process until either the pedestrian was removed from the game or time ran out. However, the subjects DID remember the ads better, if not only in the sense of, as one subject put it, the satisfaction of hitting 'that stupid-looking tool with the Coca-Cola shirt on'. Further research is needed. Here's our grant application."

  • by odin84gk (1162545) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:27PM (#29288029)
    "An unreleased follow-up study by Melzer reveals another undesirable result: that violent play can negatively impact a player's opinion of a brand."
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by meyekul (1204876)
      TL;DR... Maybe if they put some dead bodies in the article I would have read the whole thing.
  • Perhaps the subjects were exercising some kind of innate (as opposed to imposed [lewrockwell.com]) subconscious aversion to violence, even as their conscious "do this task and get paid" desire was driving.

    Television is passive so such an aversion is easy; you are not physically participating in the (depicted) violence anyway, so the brain uses the Numbing Technique. The result is that associated imagery (advertisements) are also blurred.

    A video game is active so such an aversion is more difficult; your brain is directi

  • by Kidro (1283296) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @12:43PM (#29288307)
    There have been so many references to Coke on this page that I'm thirsty. Do discussions about violence in games count towards effective advertising, too?
  • I didn't RTFA.

    When I'm playing a driving game, I'm looking at the road and don't see the signs much because my focus of attention is narrowed to the road.

    When playing the same game for running over pedestrians, I'm looking all over to find where they are.

    They want to do advertising, then put it ON the road.

  • It's interesting that this research is going on. We know that sex sells and now we are showing that violence sells. Will this line of research result in even more violent video games? And if so, will the advertising/marketing people be held accountable for any of this? After all, violence in video games is a subject of much controversy already.

    And how much REAL violence will be employed for the purpose of selling things? What works in video games is quite likely to work in reality as well. Should we s

  • Ads in games (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Well, if they plan to put ads in games, they better lower the damn price. No one wants to pay $50-60 to see ads.

    - From a PC.

  • The simple fact is that the game where you hit pedestrians may simply have been more entertaining and thus the ads more memorable.

    There was a great Onion TV spot about a "Shoot people in the face" game which while violent also looked as boring as hell. So what they really need to do is have a boring, yet violent game, and use that as a control.

    They failed to separate if the results was due to the game being more entertaining rather then just violent.

    Case point, solitaire with violent images on the cards, do

    • by ohtani (154270)

      The only thing I'll say to that is that it shouldn't be VERY bad. Sometimes things are SO bad that you remember them more BECAUSE they're bad. It should be a mediocre game with mediocre ads. If it's too bad of a game, then the subject may start examining just HOW horrible it is and looking at details including how cheesy or horrible the ads are, thus paying more attention to the ads.

  • My own guess is this - when hitting a non-person, nothing special happens. However, when hitting a pedestrian, the brain takes stock of who else might have seen that vile act, which is when you also notice the ads. I suggest we're hard-wired to look around after committing a 'crime' and THAT is why there's a difference.

    Just a guess, but if I'm right, you'd also get better pay-off out of ads in games involving other acts where you'd not want others watching you...

  • Fatal Attraction (Score:2, Informative)

    by mindbrane (1548037)
    Other than straight up, behavioural, response mechanisms there's more room to maneuver when manipulating a game player. The OCW intro psych course will introduce you to love on a suspension bridge. There's a study that was conducted on a suspension bridge over a deep gorge. The object of the study is to demonstrate the correlation between circumstance and the way the brain overlays states to arrive at different conclusions given different inputs. In the suspension bridge study the fear engendered by being o
  • The study omits the fact that it is much more fun to watch the replays of mowing down people...

  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @10:02PM (#29295079) Homepage

    Perhaps we could have a show where people call in to violently electrocute one of an array of adorable animals. Behind each animal, obviously, we'd place an advertisement. Fluffy goes boom, return on investment goes up, PETA cries like a little girl as always, and suddenly the recession is over!

    PS - I will be patenting this process. To any TV studio seeking to use this patented new revolutionary business model, I wish to mention that I accept checks and PayPal.

    Thank you.

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