by: Alex Eperjessy

        In-game advertising – it’s been around for a while but only became a hot subject in the past few years.  Brands, consumers, media – they’re all talking about it and everyone has a different take on the subject. The chart above is meant to illustrate a few of the stances gamers take on the subject and where these stances fall, on a Skepticism/Believer and Purism/Opportunism system. Comments and explanations inside.

1. The Naysayer
I don't want any kind of advertising in my games, period.

2. The Purist
Advertising ruins the immersion. 99.9% of the time.

3. The Fed-up Consumer
There's a reason I stopped watching TV, you know?

4. The Skeptical Gamer
Cui bono? The only ones gaining anything from this are the advertisers. Developers have to worry about ads now, instead of game design and the quality of the game experience degrades.

5. The Undecided
I don't mind ads, as long as they're non-intrusive and I get to pay less for the games. Although, for some games, it seems that the price doesn’t go down at all, despite the ads.

6. The Opportunist
Yeah, yeah, never mind the ads, they're everywhere anyway. Just point me to the free games.

7. The Enthusiast
If done in the right fashion, this may be the next level of immersion in gaming. With proper execution, it will only enrich the gaming experience, instead of subtracting from it. Besides, this may be the next kick the gaming industry needs. Let's only hope greed doesn't make it all crumble into a pile of dust.

        On a basic level, these would be the main categories on the map. As you probably expected, each of them has different needs, fears and dislikes and an argument that will work for one of them may be completely useless for the other. In other words, there’s no such thing as The One Approach. So, over the next few weeks, we’ll return to the chart with an in-depth analysis of each stance, extended definitions, short case studies, dos and don’ts and the occasional off-color joke. In the meanwhile, as a simple exercise, pick any category on the chart and figure out the following things, in larger detail:

    * -       What exactly they dislike about the whole deal;
    * -       What worries them;
    * -       Where are they right;
    * -       What would make them migrate to a different category;

 As a closing note, just to remind you that this is a pretty damn complex matter, I encourage you to have a look at this post, containing some rather nuanced examples of the categories on my chart. Enjoy.

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