A few things Mark Wallace

Month: July 2011

Hell is Game Ads

It’s a bit brilliant that online anime-styled MMO AdventureQuest (from @ArtixKrieger) now punishes players for dying by making them watch a 9-second advertisement. From the press release:

…players of the popular AdventureQuest Worlds MMORPG are being punished for dying in-game by being forced to see an advertisement for nine seconds before being allowed to return to life.

Previously, AdventureQuest Worlds players who died in-game would be faced with a grayed out screen showing their character on the ground and a nine second countdown before they could return back to life. With this new change, when a player dies, Death makes a personal appearance on the player’s screen and says a witty line while showing a static ad of an Artix Entertainment-related game or item.

“For years our players scoffed at how there was no real punishment for dying in AQWorlds,” said Adam Bohn, CEO/Founder of Artix Entertainment, LLC. “So we added a fate worse than death… ads!”

Already, AdventureQuest players are up in arms — singing exactly the tune Artix no doubt wants them to: “now when i die im threatened with ads…i rather pay 100 gold NOT to have ads when i die

Will it work? Who knows? But it’s the most amusingly innovative instance of in-game advertising I’ve seen in some time, and exceedingly fitting, if you ask me. Great incentive to level up your game.

The History of My Adventure

This great piece (written by Leigh Alexander for the great gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun) inspired me to dig up a similar piece of my own, written back in 2005 for a now-defunct blog I maintained for a year or two, Walkerings. Both pieces describe the formative gaming experience of playing Adventure at a young age. Leigh does a terrific job of bringing to life not just the sensation of discovery that the game evoked, but the wonder that was sparked by discovering what lay behind the screen, and how both the game and the lives of the gamemakers might strangely resonate with one’s own. The task in my post was a bit different: To me, Adventure represented not just the doorway to a new kind of experience, but my first inkling that a much deeper change was afoot in the world — namely, the increasing democratization of the tools that produce such experiences (not that I would have identified it as such at 12 years old). Adventure was important not just as a game, but as a distant harbinger of the Entrepreneurial Age, and for me at least, it appeared at a moment when I could gain the greatest benefit from such signals. Plus which, it still stands as one of the coolest games ever made.


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