MIT prof. Henry Jenkins with some thoughts on the future of in-game ads:
Advertisers have started to buy billboards in racing, sports, and action games, but these aren't the only branding opportunities, said Henry Jenkins, a comparative media studies professor at MIT. He pointed out that characters in the "Grand Theft Auto" series interact with different media.
For example, fake magazines are sprinkled in offices throughout its virtual cities; players also interact with different radio stations when driving a car. In fact, Jenkins noted that a few record labels have used these radio channels to promote new artists to "Grand Theft Auto"'s predominantly male 18-34 crowd. Many games, like Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell," have TV monitors in the backgrounds of their virtual department stores and office buildings--and Jenkins said there's no reason these couldn't be showing commercials.
"We live in a branded universe," Jenkins said, adding that gamers appreciate it when their virtual worlds feel more authentic. Anything that adds to the immersiveness of a game is welcome by gamers, but he said the responsibility is on marketers to advertise tactfully. (via adverlab)