Advertising (in) Games, or other Interactive Interfaces

The Queensland, Australia government has come up with a clever way of advertising its services and value to young citizens. It’s called “Get out there,” and it’s a simulated city enviornment which shows young people how to “get smart” about activites such as buying a car, managing money, and staying healthy.

At first, it doesn’t seem like a game.

Wait. That’s not true. At first it *does* seem like a game, until you realize that the high degree of interactivity is really only serving to get you to read more information at greater degrees of granularity until you come away realizing two things:

1) You learned a thing or two about finding good car insurance
2) You have this pressing sense that the Queensland government is in your court, that they have your best interests at heart, and that they really want you to succeed as an adult.

But wait! Doesn’t *your* success as a contributing, upstanding, high-credit achieving citizen really push *their* agenda for a prosperous economy?

What procedural rhetorics are at work here?

  • Given the finite number of “quick nav” items, it’s clear that the Queensland government believes young people should have those items at the top of their mind
  • Given the finite number of subjects within each main topic, it’s clear that the Queensland government is trying to steer people in particular directions, like, for example, voting.

So it’s a simulation. And it’s more compelling because the city does not have any “in-game” advertisements. Those are built into the code.

Now, here’s something else: Volvo’s RUSH campaign.

What do people think about this?


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