February 17th, 2008

Gaming: "Digital Crack"

How addictive is gaming? “Total time spent gaming online hit 11.4 billion minutes in December, up 27% over the previous year…Only e-mail and shopping keep people online longer nowadays.”  So, naturally, media companies and advertisers are looking for ways to leverage the popularity of online games.  BusinessWeek reports that MTV has been taking advantage of this growing trend and now “is pushing hard into online games in pursuit of their rich advertising potential and can’t have failed to notice that traffic growth is slowing at social networks.”

MTV has been signing up advertisers for its games, and one of the more recent additions: Staples.  Staples “recently sponsored a game on ShockWave.com, an MTVN site that attacks millions of women users.  The game features the Easy Button from its TV spots that, when pressed, magically makes chores disappear.  Women visitors were asked to submit photos showing why they needed an Easy Button.  They voted on the top five–including a messy garage–and the winning photos were converted into digital jigsaw puzzle, which happen to be a favorite among women gamers.”

I am continually surprised at the number of female gamers, but everywhere I turn lately I am reading about the popularity of gaming and the how women love gaming too.  See my previous entry on how women spend their time online.

But, I digress.  The point is, online gaming boom is showing no signs of slowing and advertising within games is the new product placement.  In fact, advertisers are expected to spend $2 billion on online games in 2012, four times 2007’s total.

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