Don’t Read Our Blogs – Play Games on Our Blogs
Returning back to the United States two years ago, I was really amazed at how many people spent so much time slouched in the couch potato position not in front of their televisions but in front of their computers. Not blogging, emailing, surfing, or catching up on the latest internationally critical news but playing games.
I saw many glazed faces staring at playing card filled screens as they poked at Solitaire. I have long been a fan of computer games, however I turn on a timer so I do not spend all my days and nights waiting for the 3 of clubs to take me to the next level.
With the addictive nature of online games, especially with the success of the casino/gambling industry making billions of dollars annually from the US alone, even though US citizens are not permitted to gamble online, I was really surprised that the Web 2.0 social networking craze didn’t embrace game playing faster.
Digg, Buzz, Del.icio.us, and other competitive social networking and bookmarking services are all about gaming and gambling. Participants watch numbers rise and fall as people pick their favorites to win or lose, cheering for the big winning numbers. We’re addicted to blog stats, most popular posts, top blogs, top commenter lists, and other winning number combinations including winning posts titled the “top 6”, “top 12”, and “101 Sure Fire Tips”, gaming the game of social networking and blog traffic.
So why not be blatant and embrace games as games?
Google has just done that. Once again the mega-search engine star has jumped into the fray, understanding human nature better than we do ourselves. Google has bought Adscape Media:
Q. What is Adscape Media?
Adscape Media is a small in-game advertising company based in San Francisco California. Adscape Media offers dynamic delivery of advertising with plot and storyline integration – making its solutions a truly interactive marketing platform. Adscape Media supports sophisticated demographic and geographic targeting and also provides a robust reporting interface for marketers.
Q. Why did Google acquire Adscape Media?
A. In-game advertising is an area where we believe Google could add a lot of value to users, advertisers and publishers. Adscape Media’s technology and talented team are a great addition to Google’s current advertising solutions for advertisers and publishers.
The theory is that money will be made by enticing you to play games online.
Google is soliciting game developers to work with them to use the video game advertising to bring the games to…ah, there’s right question. Where?
The press release explains:
We don’t release specific projections but we think there is great value in video game advertising. As more and more people spend time playing video games, we think we can create opportunities for advertisers to reach their target audiences while maintaining a high quality, engaging user experience.
At first, I expect to see these advertising sponsored and promoted online video games accessible from Google Reader and the Personalized Homepages, and other Google pages and tools as a form of Google Gadgets. Adscape and Google Gadget technology make a perfect match to easily incorporate video game advertising into your blogs.
Instead of reading your blog, looking at pictures, watching videos, or downloading podcasts, expect to have visitors sitting on your blog for hours playing advertising revenue-generating games.
Talk about blog stickiness!
I believe online video game advertising will be the next big change facing blogs.
Will You Permit Video Game Advertising on Your Blogs?
It’s been interesting to see how PayPerPost has gotten a bad knock while other blog advertisements haven’t, but what will the blogosphere think about games generating income on their blogs?
Will bloggers embrace this since they themselves are probably fans of games? Will they recognize the value of having someone sit on their blog for hours on ends poking at an online game while they don’t have to do much to make money. After all, the visitor might have been drawn by the content, but they aren’t staying because of it. They are staying for the entertainment.
Or will there be a backlash against video game advertising?
Games are fun. Games are also good for the brain, challenging it to think, problem-solve, increase pattern recognition abilities, and they stimulates the imagination.
Games are also addictive. Great time wasters. While they might have some nice benefits, what will they really do for bloggers?
If you have the coolest video game advertising on your blog, then you are a traffic magnet. But what if everyone has the same games on their blogs? What’s the difference? Ah, that’s where content will really matter. You will have to work harder to lure them onto your blog in the first place, then trap them there playing games.
Ask yourself, do you want your blog to become a playground? Or do you want blog traffic that is there for the content not the ads? Or does it matter to you and your blog? Will having games on your blog change how you blog?
Will you embrace online video game advertisements on your blog?
Stay tuned for Thursday’s column. I’ll be talking more about online games on your blog.
Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on Lorelle on WordPress.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
Lorelle, in-game advertising middleware providers like Adscape and the more established (read: more ad & publisher clients) Massive Inc., IGA Worldwide and Double Fusion help subsidize the increasingly expensive PC and console video game development process by offering new methods of financing. The model here is for ad clients to give more money to developers/publishers for primarily full size games that aren’t web based or run in a browser.
So this isn’t in the context of ‘games that are played on a blog’ at all. It’s about capturing eyeballs of people playing Xbox, Playstation and other console titles as well as full screen PC titles. They’re not talking about making more advanced ‘shoot the monkey’ ad banners here.
So you are saying that Google bought Adscape to help finance and support the game industry by putting advertising “inside” of games and not use games in web advertising to generate income and attention to products and services?
The press release clearly states: “Adscape Media’s technology and talented team are a great addition to Google’s current advertising solutions for advertisers and publishers.” Google advertising solutions are web-based, right? Helping advertisers get ad coverage through blogs, websites, etc.?
The traditional model for in-game ad providers has been to display ads in-game, usually on in-game billboards or posters that integrate into the game landscape. The tech provided by these middleware companies handles rotating out of ads, tracking exposure and targeting via geo IP.
It’s hard to tell what Adscape specifically will do under Google, because frankly, they were the smallest of the bunch and hadn’t really closed a lot of deals with game publishers to get their tech into titles.
The publishers mentioned here are game publishers, not content publishers in the blog sense. The incentive for advertisers is to reach people while they play video games and not just while they surf the web. Check out this recent press release from IGA.