We’ve only gotten one report of this, which seems a bit odd, but an Xbox Live gamer who goes by Dragunov765 has posted photos of what appear to be in-game ads for Barack Obama.
Dragunov (we know his real name, too) says he came across the ads while playing Burnout Paradise earlier this week and posted them on his Rooster Teeth journal page. We were tipped to the pix by a GP reader who vouches for the guy. In turn we contacted Dragonuv, who commented on the ads:
Here’s the photos I took while playing Burnout: Paradise on the XBox 360. I don’t know how often they rotate the in-game advertising, but I imagine they are still up.
I gotta give [Obama] credit for covering all the bases. I also think this is an interesting endorsement for adults as gamers (or maybe he’s planting the seeds for a re-election bid in 4 years…)
The ads mention that early voting has begun and reference voteforchange.com. That site says that it is "Paid for by Obama for America" and helps voters find early voting locations in states that permit the practice (which has indeed begun).
EA reps did not respond to several attempts by GamePolitics to verify the ads.
GP: Bottom line? If the ad pix are Photoshopped, ya got me, Dragonuv. But I don’t think they are. Dragonuv is no kid and my gut tells me he’s on the level.
And in any case, why couldn’t – why shouldn’t – a candidate make use of in-game ads? After all, it’s the new, new thing, and Obama has been courting the youth vote all along.
The concept of in-game political ads does raise some issues, however. Does the campaign get to choose the games in which their ads appear? We have to think they do. Having one’s campaign ad appear in GTA IV, for example, might hand an opposing candidate an opportunity to sling mud.