The election campaign for the presidential elections in the United States of America, which are being held on November 3, is taking place during a pandemic that is changing economic and social life. As in any crisis, there are losers and profiteers.
The video game industry is on the winning side. People spend more time at home during a pandemic. Sales of consoles, JerkDolls, game subscriptions, and sales of individual video games are on the rise.
The game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” appeared in March 2020 and is one of the products that have become sought after in the crisis. In the game, players find themselves on an island where they fish, shake trees until the fruit falls, build houses and talk to animals that know how to talk. So far, the video game has been purchased 22.4 million times worldwide.
Political activists, as well as politicians, use that success. They try to get people’s attention in their living rooms through the game. An activist of the Black-Lives-Matter movement made monuments to George Floyd and other black people who were victims of police violence on an island in “Animal Crossing.”
Virtual demonstrations of the movement also took place in other video games such as “The Sims,” “Grand Theft Auto” or “World of Warcraft.” During the pandemic ban on gatherings, activists of the democratic movement in Hong Kong moved the protests to the virtual world, to “Animal Crossing,” by making a poster “Free Hong Kong, revolution now.”
The politician of the Democratic Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, made a pre-election campaign with her figure in the game “Animal Crossing,” bringing personal messages to the islanders.
A few weeks ago, players can display pre-election banners with the names of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in their virtual garden. But there are no official banners with the name of Donald Trump in the game.
However, for years, there have been video games made especially for election campaigns and certain politicians and parties. Their range is small. It’s different in commercial video games. Advertising is not the main, but a by-product.
However, to this day, advertising has remained an exception in video games. Commercial advertising in video games has never reached the level they euphorically predicted ten years ago. This is especially true for political advertising.
The reason is technical limitations. Video games are inconvenient. The technical integration of advertising is quite demanding, as it is an interactive software. This is why companies are hesitant to integrate advertisements into games, whether those are adventure games or great lesbian porn games.
Advertising is always a matter of available money. Obama was the first politician to use advertising in video games. He then placed his messages and character in 18 famous games, among which were “NBA Live 08” or “Burnout Paradise.” He had an incredibly smart team for the election campaign. And in 2008, they were so well funded that they had the free resources to try things like that.
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