Sunday, September 30, 2012

Video Game Commercials: For Who?

Hello Class,

My name is Julia Lange and I'm a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Studies.  I'm going to be visiting your class this upcoming Tuesday, and am posting to your class blog in order to get your feedback on my research.  "Casual" video games, and particularly mimetic interface games (games that require the player to mimic the action that occurs in the game), are consistently advertised using real people in their commercials.  In contrast, current "hardcore" games tend to advertise solely using in game content (thus eliminating the player).

I've provided a number of commercials for you to view and give feedback.  Two of the commercials are for the Nintendo Wii: Just Dance 2 (2010) and the original Wii commercial (2006).  Both commercials depict people playing these games.  You'll also find a link to Borderlands 2 commercial, in contrast to the Wii commercials.  Last, there is a link to the spoof YouTube commercial advertising Assassin's Creed for Kinect.

My questions for you to consider:  Who do you think the perceived audience of these games is, and how has the company represented the audience in each commercial?  Why do you think these games are marketed in this way?  Do you think the representations of the perceived gaming audience reflects who actually plays and the spaces they play?  Last, what do you make of the Assassin's Creed for Kinect video?  What kind of commentary is this?

Looking forward to meeting you Tuesday!

Original Wii commercial:
Just Dance 2:

Borderlands 2:
Assassin's Creed for Kinect:

*Update* I'm adding two more videos for us to discuss in your class tomorrow.  One is a commercial for the Nintendo PowerPad, and the second is a compilation of 17 old Nintendo commercials.  These old commercials depict people playing the game, though this seems quite different than the Wii, Kinect, and Playstation Move game ads we see today.


17 Old Nintendo Commercials:

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