Obama the first presidential hopeful to advertise in games

Attempts to appeal to the hard-to-reach 18 to 34 year-old male demographic.

If it's in the game, it's in the game.

For U.S. senator Barack Obama, that means being the first presidential candidate to buy ad space inside a video game.

According to the Associated Press, Obama's mug can now be seen in nine different EA games connected to the internet, including Madden NFL 09 and Burnout Paradise, in an effort to appeal to the hard-to-reach 18 to 34 year-old male demographic.

"What we're trying to do is offer ads in games where we're simulating a real-world environment, so our racing games, our sports games lend themselves to that," EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood told the AP on Tuesday. "That's very appealing to our advertisers."

The ads will run through Nov. 3, says Rockwood, who would not disclose how much revenue is being made by the publisher in working with the Obama campaign.

In-game advertising made its way into games roughly 18 months ago. But unlike other forms of distribution, where sponsorships are often used to subsidise (or even obviate) the price to consumers, gamers are still required to pay full price for the games they buy, an average of US$50-60 (talk about double dipping).

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Blake Snow

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