Deceitful marketing

The British have taken a stance against the deceitful marketing of videogames. According to Edge Online: “After receiving complaints claiming Call of Duty 2 and Big Red One television adverts intentionally portrayed scenes ‘superior to that of the game itself,’ the Advertising Standards Authority has ordered that Activision pull the ads from air.”

I find this questionable. As one of the commenters on the Edge site implies, everybody knows you can’t trust marketing. People don’t actually believe that the new shampoo would make them look like supermodels. They just like to link themselves emotionally to that idea of a supermodel. It’s the same with games, I think. Of course it could be that those unfamiliar with the state of current graphics engines just might think that they would get the level of visual experience that’s in the ads that have now been banned, but I do maintain that it’s meant to be about the feel of the scene portrayed, not the quality of graphics. I was thrilled by the ad, knowing full well that the game wouldn’t be of the same quality visually.

There was a recent Battlefield 2 ad, also shot in first person. It was live footage, using real actors. As the line continues to blur between reality and CGI imagery, when does it become objectionable to use real people to portray a game world in an ad?

Most gamers seem to think it’s wrong to use CGI footage in place of in-game footage when displaying a game for demonstration purposes or advertising. How come it’s any worse when it’s shown from the same angle as the actual game? Once again I’m inclined to think that non-gamers just don’t understand the field well enough to make rulings on the things that matter to us.

Not that the hardcore would ever admit that game advertising has any effect on them.






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