The video gaming industry will soon overtake the movie industry in revenue (perhaps). Total ad spend for in-game ads was about $80 million in2006, with significant growth projected, according to The Yankee Group. But video games can be more than entertainment or advertising -- they can also be an interactive form of social commentary. I've previously mentioned Persuasive Game's Airport Screener, where you play a harried airport TSA screener making passengers remove their shoes and confiscating ice cream cones. Airport Screener is just one of the social commentary games developed by Ian Bogost, a Georgia Tech prof of literary criticism and computational media. Bogost has also written games about obesity (FatWorld), industrial agriculture (Bacteria Salad), minimum wage dead-end jobs (Disaffected), and the safety of imported food (Food Import Folly) . Code as social criticism -- interesting stuff. Links:
- Persuasive Games
- Bogost's book: Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames.
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