The attention-grabbing teaser poster for Modern Warfare 3, in which a bombed New York City adorns the cover of Time magazine, will be available as a pre-order bonus for the title. What you may not know is that the picture marks a milestone for the magazine. It's the first time the cover design, a mainstay of newsstands for just shy of 90 years, has undergone a licensed fictionalization for a commercial product. The reasoning? Videogames, says the magazine’s publisher, are “where the boys are.”
While fictionalized Time covers are tropes for “serious news story” montages in movies and TV, the New York Times reports that the “World Stands On The Brink” image marks the first instance of Time giving their blessing to a mocked-up cover for commercial use. Some may suggest this weakens the magazine's association with notions of truthiness and journalistic integrity; Time's publisher Kim Kelleher argues that the mock cover is “a great way to connect with millions of people we might not have otherwise connected with.”
That is to say, the magazine – which is delivered to waiting rooms and cafeterias worldwide on paper, if you can believe it – has to appeal to The Youth somehow. It might as well be through a fictionalized tie-in with what managing editor Richard Stengel calls “a medium that is one of the biggest entertainment franchises of all time,” right? Stengel argues that a fake magazine cover reporting a fake thing for a real game, is no different from a real magazine article mentioning a fake person for real readers. Ten pretend points to the first person who diagrams Stengel’s real analogy concerning fictional magazine covers promoting a real game with a fictional story.
Jun 15, 2011
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