Many gamers are still slowly adjusting to in-game advertising being placed in video games, but a new type of advertiser has shown up on the scene: politicians.
Most candidates trying to get elected normally rent out ad space on TV and over the radio, but Sen. Barack Obama has become the first presidential candidate to use video games leading up to the 2008 presidential election.
Leading up to the November election, eighteen video games will feature Obama ads, in an attempt for Obama to reach out to a younger voting audience, and remind voters that "early voting has begun." As a reminder, each ad also shows a link to Voteforchange.com, an Obama-sponsored web site.
Burnout Paradise gamers, for example, could see an Obama billboard as they speed down city streets.
After images began circulating on the Internet, many gamers believed the images were faked and this was some type of hoax. The ads will only appear in the Microsoft Xbox 360 version of the video game, and Sony PlayStation 3 owners will not see the ads.
Electronic Arts confirmed the Obama ads yesterday, and said the Obama campaign purchased the advertising space. The company was quick to point out that any credible political candidate can purchase ad space, and it's not an attempt to promote a certain candidate.
"Like most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates. Like political spots on the television networks, these ads do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams."
Nine EA games have Obama ads. EA declined to say how much the ad space cost the Obama campaign, though confirmed the ads will be available through Xbox Live video games until Nov. 3.
EA approached Republican presidential candidate John McCain about purchasing ad space in the video game as well, but Sen. McCain's representatives declined.