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.