Politics Invade MMOs
This mite be a bit old but it shows how far some people mite just go to get elected president lol.
In recent years advertisements have become more and more common within video games. Sandbox games would have Burger Kings, billboards with name brand companies, and using name brand cell phones. That's how it started. It then proceeded to become even worse, especially within the Xbox 360's NGE where you have several ads per "blade". While we as MMO gamers are safe *So far* from this type of advertisement, another perhaps more sinister is already within.
Yes, Politics are moving in toward the virtual entertainment for advertising. At first it was only mild advertisements in non-MMO games, such as in-game billboards for Barack Obama in Burnout Paradise.(More info here) However now Newt Gingrich(Former House speaker who is flirting with presidential bid) is hosting both real life and virtual workshops. By virtual I don't mean over a website but using Second Life. Second Life, in case you have never heard of it, is a virtual world with roughly 9.5 million members in a 3-D "game". The game is basically "real" life, you can even buy virtual real estate with real cash*$$$, not virtual money here*.
With this news, and several notable politicians also using Second Life(Such as Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, and John Edwards), and the fact many politicians are becoming open about their own MMORPG hobbies(Like Kevin Werbach, who is a hardcore player in two guilds) it won't be much longer until we see more and more influence in our virtual worlds. Video game companies love money and politicians love to advertise themselves. It's a match made in heaven except for the middle man which happens to be the gamers.
If politicians, or advertisement in general, gets too strong a hold upon MMORPGs then I only foresee disaster for the overall community. Creating a rich virtual world filled with cities, climates, dungeons, adventure, and atmosphere is difficult enough without having /yell "Vote for SoanSo - Level 80 Deathknight LFG". If something akin to that happened, the ambiance of the game will be shot directly in the head and will never be rekindled. Yet it seems this is inevitable. With countries such as the USA and Israel using online games as advertisements(More info here.) it is only a matter of time until someone taps into the huge populations of games such as World of Warcraft.
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