Real Art Design Group has found a new and
innovative way to gain attention in cyberspace. The Dayton, Ohio-based
organization has created an internet-controlled
called The Santa Claw. An intro
to the site asks visitors, "So what does Santa do with all the gifts
nobody wanted?" The site's answer is "Nothing, until now."
The free game allows players to access a giant
claw remotely using either their arrow keys or
mouse to try and grab gifts from their computer. Two
cameras are provided to help users determine their strategy and position before
they click the grab button in the remote-controlled
game. If players nab a prize, they receive their bounty by mail.
The most available prize is a large,
brightly-colored ball, but some of the prizes offered include zebra-striped
Snuggies, fruitcakes, horror film model kits and chattering teeth, the complete
Dokken collection on vinyl, Alien Workshop skateboards, leather chaps and even
Old English cologne.
Since its launch last week, the game has become
very popular worldwide. Users can expect to find up to 500 players ahead of
them at any given moment and on its first day there were an estimated
20,000 unique visits with players waiting for as many as eight hours to try
their hand at the game.
"It’s been both fun and grueling," says
creative director Chris Wire, one of the staffers who shows up in the middle of
the night to make sure everything is running properly and to restock the big
balls, according to the Dayton
University of Dayton marketing lecturer Irene
Dickey said Real Art Design is on the
right track. She believes that media technologies are playing a huge role in
“globalizing” society, allowing businesses to connect with people all over the
world and making time and distance irrelevant.
"In addition, the Internet connects people
with other people who are all spreading the word. This is viral marketing and
its very fast and can be very effective for organizations," she said.
"The claw game is triggering conversations in many different spaces all
over the Internet."
Players can sign in via e-mail, Facebook or
Twitter and people from all over the world as far as Africa, France, Russia and
Australia are playing the game.