It's a miserable truth, but adverts really do make the world go round. They make the world go round like water in a toilet bowl. But in reverse. So instead of getting rid of poo, they actually suck more poo in. Then the poo spreads everywhere and before you know it the world is covered in poo.
So it comes as a bit of a blow to hear that APB: All Points Bulletin, the urbanistic cops 'n' robbers MMO shooter from developer Realtime Worlds, heralds another victory for the advertisers in their ongoing encroachment into video games.
The game, which is out for PC this very week, will feature audio ads that play over voice chat. APB's voice-chat is provided free of charge (hence the adverts) by a company called Vivox. If players don't want to hear the ads, they will have to pay a not-yet-announced fee for the privilege of keeping their ears free of advertisement pollution.
Understandably, many gamers have reacted with vociferous opposition to this revelation. To appease the outraged, the following post was made in the official APB forums:
You will receive a short audio ad once every 3 hours. HOWEVER ads will only be heard when first entering a district.
So for example:
1) You start up the game and enter the social district.
2) You will hear a short audio ad.
3 You stay in social for 2 hours and then switch to an action district.
4) Upon entering the action district you will NOT hear an ad.
5) You play in the action district for 5 hours and do not hear any ads.
6) You exit the game.
7) You start up the game at a later time and enter a district.
8) You will hear a short audio ad.
There. That doesn't sound so bad, does it? One tiny advert, every now and again. Surely that's no great hardship? Well, no, of course it's not. But that's not the point.
I'm sure it makes brilliant business sense and having adverts helps keep prices down elsewhere. But as a simple-minded punter I feel I already have more than enough adverts infringing upon my daily sensory input. For that reason alone I'm inherently opposed to having to endure more adverts *anywhere* - especially having them rammed down my ear pipes while I'm playing a game that I've bought with money.
Adverts. Do you think they are poo? Or would you like to expose yourself to even more of them when playing a game? Unfill your mind in the comments.
June 29, 2010