Study Manages to Make Game Ads Even More Obnoxious

Hey you got your video game violence in my in-game ads! You got your in-game ads in my video game violence! Two great trends go great together in a study that says blood-spattered brands are more memorable. Well, duh.

A team of U.S. and European researchers found that, even though players spent less time looking at them, ads associated with violence were more memorable than ones not. The test subjects played a racing game (named AdRacer, pictured above) in which the goal was to run over targets on a road course. Ads were displayed as billboards on the roadside. When the targets became pedestrians, running over them spattered blood all over the screen.

Now, the utility of this memory association has its own costs. Namely, what happens to a Dr. Scholl's or a Betty Crocker when they're the hit ad in Manhunt 5. Certainly an advertiser could expect some controversy if not only their brand was associated with a nasty-violent game, but was deliberately (warning: corporate word alert) leveraging the violence for extra (incoming buzzword alert) mindshare.

An Advert for In-Game Violence
[MIT Technology Review via Game Politics]