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Running Over Virtual Pedestrians Helps In-Game Ad Recall

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-find-this-true-in-real-life-as-well dept.

The Almighty Buck 144

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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144 comments

I'm Sold (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287039)

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:I'm Sold (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287079)

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!

Re:I'm Sold (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287563)

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

Re:I'm Sold (2, Funny)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287405)

It's got electrolytes. Are you a plant?

Re:I'm Sold (5, Funny)

natet (158905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288089)

It's got what plants crave!

Re:I'm Sold (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289869)

"got what plants crave"

As plants are the decedents of pond scum, they must also have a lot in common with advertising people.

As for this: "a correlation between in-game violence and a player's ability to recall advertisements"
I would much prefer if that was a correlation between out-of-game violence and a player's ability to hate advertisers ... The more they attempt to find ever more ways to manipulate and brain wash us all, the more people will grow to hate them and seek to force controls onto them to rid us of this modern menace. But then as governments also want to advertise their ideas in ever more deceptive ways, so as advertisers learn ever more manipulative ways so will governments. Yet the more they all try to manipulate us, the more people are going to end up hating all manipulative people, governments and advertisers included. Every attempt at control creates a pressure of change away from that control.

So bring it on advertisers ... the more you greedy advertisers try to find ever more ways to manipulate people, the more hatred you'll generate, until more and more people can take no more of this Big Brother kind of attitude, then we wipe out all greedy, manipulative control freaks. So advertisers and governments, you want a revolution, bring it on, the more of this we have to suffer the more you push us all to the point we all push back at you. Governments, Freedom and Liberty are still important and there can be no Freedom or Liberty in a world where ever more manipulation is used to control everyone.

This has gone far enough. Its not games that cause violence, its having to suffer a world where the lack of empathy and contempt of the minority of Narcissistic control freak bastards that is driving ever greater anger in the world. But then both politicians and advertisers both show strong signs of suffering from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which explains their extreme lack of empathy and their manipulative contempt for others.

Governments, if you don't stop allowing others to be so manipulative and instead arrogantly keep allowing this growing manipulation abuse, then you'll only have yourselves to blame for a social revolution against you all.

That's nothing (2, Insightful)

sigxcpu (456479) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288681)

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.)

Re:That's nothing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289319)

I'm more inclined to think that games that offer you more choices and sandbox-style freedom are the ones in which ads will be more memorable. I doubt "violence" has anything to do with it, beyond being an additional option to consider when playing.

If I'm focused on the railway-track plot of a linear game, I don't bother looking around. In a game like GTA, I'm standing around looking at everything. If an in-game ad is funny, there is a high likelihood of my remembering it.

Re:I'm Sold (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289593)

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.

Advertiser should defend "violent" games then (4, Interesting)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287061)

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.

Re:Advertiser should defend "violent" games then (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#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

Re:Advertiser should defend "violent" games then (4, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287211)

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.

Oh, that's what we need -- a profit motive. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287681)

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 a pretty convincing case for aggression, and I'm not sure that having games deliberately designed to increase consumption of goods at the cost of a little higher aggression is a good thing.

I enjoy violent games in spite of knowing this, but I feel a little queasy thinking of this in the hands of marketers. I'm not sure that I'd feel comfortable having that extra edge of callous psychological manipulation behind a title.

Re:Oh, that's what we need -- a profit motive. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287949)

Shut up, fag.

Re:Advertiser should defend "violent" games then (4, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 4 years ago | (#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"

Cognitive dissonance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287289)

Maybe seeing the adds juxtaposed against violence is memorable because we are not used to seeing the two together: usually it is seen as bad taste to profit from suffering so advertisers keep a little distance (for example, you don't see Stihl product placement in the SAW movies).

If that is the case, then this advertising benefit would go away as soon as people get over the idea...

Re:Advertiser should defend "violent" games then (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289229)

The lesson:

Jerks are easier to sell to.

Relaxovision is a hoax! (-1, Offtopic)

Umuri (897961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287067)

I told Anubis Markets("Food so good, you can eat it") not to advertise with them! Relaxovision decreased their sales!

And they laughed at my research, well who's laughing now?

Re:Relaxovision is a hoax! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287315)

They should have used Screamovision instead. Imagine the ad revenue they'd get every time Candlejack shows up on the scre

Careful (4, Funny)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Careful (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287947)

HAH HAH HAH! Circus of Wal-Mart Values...

well DOH !! (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287117)

"[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? (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287123)

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?

brand identity (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290627)

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

If I ever see (5, Insightful)

Twyst3d (1359973) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287275)

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 (4, Interesting)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287579)

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.

Re:If I ever see (0)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289307)

I can't understand gamers' "I will not budge" on in-game advertising. The "I've already paid money for it, why should I have to see advertisements" argument pops up EVERYWHERE. Consider that maybe the cost of making the game outweighs the amount made from 1-time sales? Games are becoming increasingly expensive to produce, with everyone expecting beautiful art, a well-made story, good voice acting, good music/sounds, an amazing graphics engine... etc. Yet the normal cost of a new game ($50) has been pretty static, at least for the last 5 years. Regardless of whether you think that the products that these people are producing are worth even that, it doesn't change the fact that they're expensive little things that the people in charge are trying to turn into a profit.

You pay for *some* TV (HBO) yet there's lots of subtle in-show advertisements there. You pay for magazine subscriptions, and those are practically 90% ads. I'm not saying that those advertisements aren't obnoxious, just that there's nothing "sacred" about advertising in game.

The biggest point that I'd like to make is the potential for in-game advertising to be both there AND non-obtrusive. In a game where I'm driving through a city, I don't care if a billboard has an actual company or a fake company. A game would be MORE believable if you could include real-world advertisements. Obviously the "you have to watch this 30 second clip before you play" bit would be too much. There's also the problem fo tracking advertisements, updating them, and the conflict of those two things and privacy. All are solvable... but advertisements are coming to games whether you like it or not.

Re:If I ever see (1)

gauauu (649169) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290301)

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.

Re:If I ever see (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290869)

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 let people know about their products. I just want find out about them on my terms and at a time of my choosing, not theirs.

Sorry if this is incoherent; I'm busy today...

Re:If I ever see (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287729)

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".

Re:If I ever see (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288229)

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:If I ever see (2, Insightful)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289873)

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:If I ever see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287819)

And as a follow up - have you gotten rid of your television, radio, and internet as well

I haven't regularly (it would be "at all" instead, but I still end up with maybe a couple hours of it per year, mostly due to other people) watched TV in years, never really listened to the radio, and use Adblock Plus. It's not really that hard. Though I didn't give up TV or radio because of the ads (though that certainly didn't help), just because nearly all of what was available on them was utter shit.

Re:If I ever see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287913)

For the torrentz downloader, just add a third version NoCD/Account (Free) with TONS of ads in it...

Re:If I ever see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287991)

gotten rid of television, radio is public (no ads), internet has adblock. i havent seen ads for a while.

Re:If I ever see (2, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288403)

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] .. so I do hear ads on channel 100 & 101. I don't mind because I know the talent needs their breaks to go to the washroom, etc. etc.

Internet - Adblock Plus [adblockplus.org] is my best friend here. Works awesome. I know some people don't use Firefox, but that's not my problem.

Re:If I ever see (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289171)

Ah, but what if they offered you a version without commercials for $100 or one with ads all over it for $60 [the regular price]- which would you choose then?

Fixed the prices for you. The ad-free version will cost more, not less.

Re:If I ever see (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289811)

Not sure what you fixed by adding $40 to each price, but as I had it listed, the one without ads did cost more, and not less. ($60 for ad-free, $20 with ads)

Re:If I ever see (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290809)

Bad wording on my part. I meant that the ad-free version will cost more than a normal game, rather than the ad-laden one costing less than a normal game

Re:If I ever see (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289235)

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.

Internet: I manage to ignore those.

Theater: I haven't gone to the theaters for years, and though it's not the only reason, the commercials were the straw that broke this camel's back.

Re:If I ever see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289335)

In my eyes, the issue isn't the existence of ads. In the grand scheme of things, ad saturation has not changed very much over the past 50 years. It only seems that way because the total quantity of information has changed. Still, just look back at 50s television and the show's actors have been shilling for their sponsors even then. I have no trouble with free, ad-supported network television, and depending on the circumstances I could go either way in your hypothetical expensive/ad-free v. cheap/ad-supported game situation. One of these criteria is depth of game-play. For a game that I'll play through in a week, I'd take the cheap ad-supported game, but an epic 40-60 hour game may warrant the higher price and no ads (especially if said ads would ruin the story-telling). On a side-note, I've been noticing that lately what I find a fair price for a game has been $2 or less for every continuous hour of normal play. The games I see that do not follow that guideline regarded as too short for the money. Just an observation, but there might be something to it.

Back on topic, the main issue is that many games today seem overpriced for the amount of game-play they bring to the party. Adding in-game advertisement to them while maintaining (sometimes increasing) the price just adds insult to injury. In fact, there was just recently some outrage on Slashdot over a game that was sold ad-free and was retroactively injected with in-game ads. I would love it if the major game companies gave us the option of a cheaper ad-supported game or a regular-priced ad-free game. They aren't giving us that option; they're giving us the worst of both worlds.

Re:If I ever see (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290793)

As for ads reducing quality... City of Heroes I think had the right idea for application of in-game advertising, if they'd had more advertisers overall. Basically it's an option that defaults on but can be turned off at will by the users, change takes effect at next zone transition. When it's on, a percentage of the ads/billboards already in the game (it mostly takes place in an urban environment, so these aren't out of place, and were already there before they first enabled the advertising -- areas that wouldn't logically have that kind of thing [the forests in Croatoa (as opposed to the town) or the alternate-dimension shadow shard simply don't]) get their art replaced with an advertisers' image in place of an ad for an in-setting corporation. As in, for example 1 in 3 ads for Portal Corporation (an in-setting company that does inter-dimensional research and is a source of missions for players) might get replaced with an ad for Coke or what have you. They try to make the art blend in to the setting as well, so nothing that really glaringly doesn't fit in. The biggest downside is that they don't have *enough* advertisers, so in many areas it feels like the same 3 people are trying to push sales really, really hard.

Re:If I ever see (2, Funny)

hasdikarlsam (414514) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287705)

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

Re:If I ever see (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288817)

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.

I'm just guessing here... (5, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287167)

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.

Re:I'm just guessing here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29288425)

Grand theft auto?

Re:I'm just guessing here... (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288511)

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 (5, Insightful)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287169)

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:Heres an idea (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287841)

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 surprised that it didn't happen sooner.

I'm not particularly offended by the general idea of advertising in games. It can certainly be done in ways that significantly damage a game, but it can also be done in a reasonable manner. If that helps keep a decent game company in business, or keeps them from raising their game prices for a couple more years, then I'm ok with that.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287965)

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.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288569)

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.

Re:Heres an idea (2, Interesting)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288143)

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.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288537)

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.

Re:Heres an idea (1)

A Pancake (1147663) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289061)

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 discount your games I don't really care, just give me something.

Apples and oranges? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287191)

TV ads occur between show segments.

Billboard ads occur concurrently with the game.

Perhaps there is a difference. Further investigation is required.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287195)

I for one welcome our new bloodthirsty advertisers.

Re:Obligatory (1)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289155)

Buy our products and we won't smash your kneecaps.

yay violence (1)

j_cocaine (1618405) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287297)

/me performs a violent act in the hopes of getting his comment noticed. Blood! Gore! Mean people!

Wrong Conclusion (4, Interesting)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287359)

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: (2, Interesting)

Banach (1379419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287383)

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 content itself, not the timeframe it exists in.

Rather Important Detail (3, Interesting)

dcollins (135727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287425)

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]

Re:Rather Important Detail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29289205)

Re: the sigline: in the sum total nobody cares whether it's better for the teachers, they care whether it's better for the students. We only care about teachers' lives in so much as it indirectly impacts the ability to hire good teachers that are better for the students. That out of the way: What is it about a Union school that, in your experience, was better for the students than a non-Union school? I'd really like to know.

Have pedestrians shout ads (2, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 4 years ago | (#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!"

Really? (1)

sep0209 (1629923) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287473)

Because this will help make the world a better, happier place...

This is excellent! (1)

AlmondMan (1163229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287485)

Who said violent videogames weren't good for anything? This is in your face, Jack Thompson!

Re:This is excellent! (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288721)

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!

Coming soon... (1)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287505)

Covenant sporting Nike apparel?

memory vs advertising (3, Insightful)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287519)

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.

Missing Some Important Details (1)

rawr_one (1474675) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287569)

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.

IT WORKS! (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287583)

... 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.

oh yea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287585)

"[...]to expectations stemming from research on television[...]"

FUCK NAZI TELEVISION! we have 2009!

Terrible. (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287619)

Now billboard ad budgets are going to include the cost of lubricating the road :(

immediacy and involvement; easily interpreted (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287625)

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.

How is that not completely obvious? (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 :/)

Roadkill makes me hungry for... (1)

Plastic Pencil (1258364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287669)

...Pizza Hut and Axe Body Spray!

Murder! Rape! (2, Funny)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287671)

Brought to you by Johnson's Baby oil.

Remembering violence is important (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287687)

If you think about our biological behavior or suspect evolution had something to do with how we got here, then the ability to remember _everything_ about a violent act is probably a survival trait. At first creation, beings would avoid anything that had cars or pedestrians or billboards, but species with so-called higher consciousnesses could distinguish (possibly) between which items are associated with the violence and which are simply co-located in time and space with the violence.
.
But you still have to remember everything first in order to make the distinction.

carmageddon? (2, Interesting)

bcong (1125705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287697)

Was anyone else reminded of Carmageddon [wikipedia.org]

Re:carmageddon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29290277)

Yes, but I think that makes us old people. The kids these days play Grand Theft Auto and get to just run people over but rape and violently murder them instead. Back in the good ole' days of yore all we did was comically splat some people.

Too many variables not accounted for. (1)

tick_and_bash (1256006) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287749)

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 in the same position, which did the players play first? I'm sure we can all remember back to how the first time we played any Need For Speed title, how we didn't really notice the background and were more intent on the other cars and the road. Once we played it enough, we'd start to notice the background and potential shortcuts. What if I missed an ad in a particular area because I happened to do a poor job navigating a corner and wind up facing away from the ad? Too may variables exist between each person. There doesn't appear to be a good control to balance it out. (Sorry for the formatting.)

ad supported carmageddon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29287785)

When is my free ad supported version of Carmageddon coming out?

Weird comparison (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287837)

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.

Different situational episodes (4, Interesting)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Wrong place to put the ads (5, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 4 years ago | (#29287889)

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."

Make sure to read to the very end. (2, Informative)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Make sure to read to the very end. (2, Funny)

meyekul (1204876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288773)

TL;DR... Maybe if they put some dead bodies in the article I would have read the whole thing.

aversion: tv passive, fps active (1)

10am-bedtime (11106) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288173)

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 directing your muscles to do the (depicted) violence, which is incompatible with Numbing. The way out then, perhaps, is to use the LookAside Technique; averting your "active" attention, even if not your eyes (as mentioned in the summary). The result is that associated imagery in your peripheral vision is soaked up and its recall improved.

In any case, this spells trouble for Ender Wiggen wannabes...

Now I'm Thirsty... (4, Funny)

Kidro (1283296) | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Focus may be different (1)

mjensen (118105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288333)

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.

Will this marketing research affect real world? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288365)

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 start arranging for homeless people to run out into the streets so they can get run over?

Ads in games (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29288549)

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.

Tainted Report (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 4 years ago | (#29288573)

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 they improve the ad recall?

While it is at least a fruit to fruit comparision they still need to figure out if people perfer oranges to lemons because of taste or the fact that they were rubbing the lemon juice on open cuts during the study...

Correlation doesn't imply causation because of this very scenario. We cannot tell if the results (despite the obviously biased report) were because the pedestrian game was violent or merely more entertaining.

A great example would have been to compare a poorly done "Road Killing Game" with bad graphics to Grand Turismo. I'd wager a bet that ad recall will be better on ... well... a better more entertaining game.

Clearly if the killing version of the game is more entertaining then that goes a long way in briding the gap in the TV inconsistency...

Re:Tainted Report (1)

ohtani (154270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289341)

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.

Yahoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29288657)

I'm glad that it's not every pedestrian whose scream is Yahoo!(TM)

Where are the numbers? (1)

LessThanComma (1020463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289161)

This article would mean more to me if it included more specific data supporting this claim.

How many test subjects where there?

What percentage of subjects playing which version displayed better ad recall? ETC

Without any specific data in the article it seems kind of meaningless. For all I know they may have had a very low number of test subjects, and those who played the bloody version just happened to have better attention to detail than those who played the clean version.

Self-preservation? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289425)

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 (2, Informative)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29289785)

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 on a high suspension bridge is used to reinforce attraction to a potential sexual partner. The faster heart beat fear engenders on a suspension bridge will reinforce the degree of attractiveness we find in another person because the faster heart rate is no different than the increased heart rate engendered by an encounter with someone we find very attractive. The same person encountered on a suspension bridge is found to be more attractive than the same persons encountered in more mundane surroundings.

What they omit... (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29290513)

The study omits the fact that it is much more fun to watch the replays of mowing down people...

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