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The 8 most embarassing ads for gaming colleges

Video game design is the new gun repair, a cash-grabbing "live your dreams" scam which takes urges that really shouldn't be encouraged and convinces people who watch daytime TV that, despite what they're doing at that moment, that they could have a career.

At least, that’s what would happen if the ads were even remotely enticing. Instead, ads for gaming colleges are like a 60 year-old, chain-smoking prostitute promising you a night you’ll never forget – memorable for all the wrong reasons. We've found the eight worst advertisements and explain exactly what sort of game you'd end up making.  SPOILER: Not good ones.


8. Academy of Art College, San Francisco

This ad compresses more failure into a small space than a black hole on American Idol. Using your own student's homework is the yellow-and-black striped warning line of advertising, but this shiny Legolas (or possibly Legolady?) would embarrass a mannequin-buffer’s convention. Hell, it'd embarrass a DeviantArt group dedicated to oil wrestler/Lord of the Rings crossover slash fiction, and fan-fiction writers are medically unembarrassable.

By running this overexposed copyright-infringement in a major gaming magazine, the college is openly admitting this was the best its students could offer, making this "course" about as good for your gaming career as having your thumbs chewed off by Jack Thompson. "Gowoon Choi" should have asked that his name not be included in tiny print alongside the edge. After this, he’ll be lucky to get a job washing windows: He'll turn up with his sponges and buckets of water, and they'd say "Sorry, Gowoon, but people have to look at these windows and we don't think you can be trusted with that."

The Game You Would Make: The fantasy version of Army Men - taking a classic and overused concept, making it look horribly fake and adding in a heaping dollop of terrible.


7. Full Sailing Backwards

Forget the fact that the college is called “Full Sail” and that the logo is a propeller plane and focus upon this particular ad. You couldn't misuse a controller more completely if you were a gay man playing Dead or Alive Paradise. Full Sail is apparently in search of idiots, because this ad showcases an epic dreamer holding a gaming controller … backwards, in the worst wrong-way-round disaster since a nurse miswired IV and colostomy bags.

This is a real M.C. Escher picture of failure - the longer you stare, the more impossible levels of wrongness are revealed.  NO-ONE involved in this game design ad, from the model to the designers to the commissioning college, spotted that the thingy was the wrong way round? You could hand an Xbox controller to loin clothed savages in the depths of the Amazon, and while they might fear it as a soul-stealing machine (and probably be right) they'd eventually hold it the right way round.  It's designed to fit in human hands, and if that's not enough of a clue for you and your fellow Zorblaxian shapeshifters all the colored buttons are on one side where you can see and press them.

Oh, and in case there’s a marketing type out there who wants to argue it makes a better picture this way… you are why true gamers hate marketing types.

The Game You Would Make: He's holding the left and right sticks like trigger buttons, so he's making an incredible art-house game where you're a stupid NPC civilian in a shooter where the only things you can do are "crouch" and "re-center the view in front of you."  Either that or he's really as stupid as he looks, in which case he'd make "Accidentally eating the cables thinking they're licorice for ages 3 and under.


6. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh


Above: We're not including the ad’s annoying sounds and animation because, unlike everyone else involved in this ad, we're NOT assholes 

Nothing says "We know what gamers like!" like an intrusive, obnoxious flash banner complete with sound, except maybe a free case of advanced arthritis of the thumbs. Barbie has brought better games to the table, and at least she doesn't pop up on your browser (or if she does, and you're also reading this site, you're also now on an FBI watchlist). 

Add the fact that these casual browser-banner games are to real entertainment what wheelchairs are to ski-jumping (temporarily amusing when it happens but really a tragic disaster) and AIP would have a better chance of attracting real gamers with a World Record Pushup attempt. Doesn’t anyone there realize 99% of real gamers hate this crap? This is like advertising your culinary academy with a picture of a TV dinner.

The Game You'd Make: No one game, but the worst parts of all games. Considering this ad will entice students attracted by noisy flash banner ads, we’re thinking they’ll infest good game design teams just to add unskippable, spinny developer logos, extended cut-scenes and poorly-designed jumping sections between the final save point and the last boss.

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57 comments

  • joabbuac - December 6, 2011 3:36 a.m.

    I think the drawing on the last ads is the inspertaion for saints row 3.
  • Silverwisp - October 4, 2010 7:12 a.m.

    The kerning in #6 is so god awful, I guarantee a designer never touched it.
  • SenatorPepper - September 13, 2010 2:52 p.m.

    Wow. I hate Mark Harlieb now, too.
  • FalconMbuster - September 12, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    That had to be one of the funniest articles I've read in a long time.
  • Collymilad - September 12, 2010 4:03 p.m.

    Whoever made #2 should die a slow and painful death. Tighten up the graphics? Jesus.
  • OddWoN ER - September 12, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    um....why is that westwood college not intended for Texas or Massachusetts?
  • ReaperOfDarkness - September 12, 2010 2:06 p.m.

    Cheetos-dust seeking missile. Heh, I laughed so hard I almost woke up my family! Great article, you guys write some hilarious shit thats for sure.
  • thiswassparta - September 12, 2010 12:24 p.m.

    N3vDawg is right, go to a "real" college to learn game design.
  • MoChilla - September 12, 2010 2:30 a.m.

    Stripper. It was a stripper, I think?
  • MoChilla - September 12, 2010 2:29 a.m.

    Who was the chick that got a design degree and then became a hooker?
  • AuthorityFigure - September 12, 2010 2:02 a.m.

    Yeah I agree GR! Education at non-prestigious schools is never worthwhile. Let's never employee graduates who can't afford degrees in equally vapid disciplines.
  • abbottfrizzell - September 12, 2010 12:11 a.m.

    I just now realized ... U talk about fullsail but u have a sweepstake with them hahaha
  • soren7550 - September 11, 2010 4:17 p.m.

    I actually met a Sail University rep. back when I was in High School. Me (along with everyone else that was stuck for the college presentation) was ready to go to sleep about thirty seconds in until they started showing gameplay footage of games that their students were apparently a part of creating (the biggest being the Call of Duty series). I ended up getting into an argument with a kid there about one of the games they showed. They showed footage of CoD2 but labeled it as CoD3 (they showed the assault of Pointe du Hoc). But the guy didn't believe me.
  • kaizer123 - September 11, 2010 3:54 p.m.

    That Mark is an ass, he probably has never made a game and if he has Pong would be better than whatever he made
  • JoeMasturbaby - September 11, 2010 3:31 a.m.

    i go to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and ALL of the AI ads blow so hardcore its sad. The school is actually great and you learn a shit ton because its a 4 year degree in 3 years (no breaks over 2 weeks long). but yea i know kids in web development AND in game design at AiP and they could make WAY better shit than that ad.
  • rav3 - September 10, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    lemme put it this way: i have a friend with a postgraduate degree in Computer Science and he got turned down BY ZINGA and right now is running against walls for 10hrs a day for minimum wage at bungie. What hopes do the guys at these so called "colleges" have?
  • civver - September 10, 2010 10:47 p.m.

    "the worst wrong-way-round disaster since a nurse miswired IV and colostomy bags." That's horrifying, thanks for the mental image. Very good article. #1 really does manage to evoke not only disdain, but also hatred.
  • JamesT - September 10, 2010 9:53 p.m.

    this is actually really good writing. love the burns.
  • UATSuxxors - September 10, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    Where can I get such wonderful UAT advertising you ask? www.fabcom.com UAT Logo >Strategy: position this technology-oriented university to project a message of academic quality + technology focus >Tactic: re-name and re-design logo >Target: high school age technophiles and their parents >Results: over a 5 year period, enrollement grew 5X and the university was able to double the tuition it charged You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. Can you read a book? Are you motivated? Live like a minimalist (which college students do anyways), find out what you want to do, research the industry, order books from Amazon (or borrow from the public library), intern/volunteer your time at companies in the industry for experience, pad your resume, and congratulations, you've pretty much just did what you would do in college for 1/1000ths of the cost, better industry direction, and more meaningful experience than you will ever get at a college. If you REALLY want a piece of paper degree, attend a community college. If you can't read or are not motivated, college is not for you...save your time...save your money.
  • UATSuxxors - September 10, 2010 8:52 p.m.

    Where can I get such wonderful UAT advertising you ask? www.fabcom.com UAT Logo >Strategy: position this technology-oriented university to project a message of academic quality + technology focus >Tactic: re-name and re-design logo >Target: high school age technophiles and their parents >Results: over a 5 year period, enrollement grew 5X and the university was able to double the tuition it charged You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. Can you read a book? Are you motivated? Live like a minimalist (which college students do anyways), find out what you want to do, research the industry, order books from Amazon (or borrow from the public library), intern/volunteer your time at companies in the industry for experience, pad your resume, and congratulations, you've pretty much just did what you would do in college for 1/1000ths of the cost, better industry direction, and more meaningful experience than you will ever get at a college. If you REALLY want a piece of paper degree, attend a community college. If you can't read or are not motivated, college is not for you...save your time...save your money.

Showing 1-20 of 57 comments

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