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Abstract

Computer games have become one of the most important parts of entertainment industry. Due to a tremendous reach, particularly among important customer groups such as adolescents and young adults, this media is recently considered as an appealing channel for advertising. However, little is known about the effectiveness of advertising in computer games. Its interactive nature comes with a fundamental difference in the perception of advertisements compared to traditional media such as television. The intense user interaction in computer games interferes with players’ memory and attention, as players primarily focus on the current performed task. Information such as advertisements billboards which is not directly related to the gaming task remains unnoticed. This behavior, known as inattentional blindness, is a main problem for the optimal placement of information (e.g. game-relevant messages) or advertisements in the game’s virtual environment. This thesis will review the history, current methods and issues of advertising in computer games. It will particularly discuss the perception of embedded advertisement billboards and propose one way to break through inattentional blindness, in order to make advertisements which are embedded in an action game’s environment more visible. The underlying approach is based on Wolfe’s theory of Guided Search, which provides a fairly reliable model for top-down controlled visual attention during visual search tasks. Since computer games frequently involve visual search tasks, we hypothesize that this model can be applied in a “reverse” direction to increase the saliency of some advertisements on a cognitive level, to get noticed even in the presence of a strong task.To validate this hypothesis, a computer game was implemented to conduct a user study for testing the memory effectiveness.

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BibTeX

@mastersthesis{ZL_2011_IVIG,
  title =      "Improving the Visibility of In-Game Advertisements",
  author =     "Le Zhang",
  year =       "2011",
  abstract =   "Computer games have become one of the most important parts
               of entertainment industry. Due to a tremendous reach,
               particularly among important customer groups such as
               adolescents and young adults, this media is recently
               considered as an appealing channel for advertising. However,
               little is known about the effectiveness of advertising in
               computer games. Its interactive nature comes with a
               fundamental difference in the perception of advertisements
               compared to traditional media such as television. The
               intense user interaction in computer games interferes with
               players’ memory and attention, as players primarily focus
               on the current performed task. Information such as
               advertisements billboards which is not directly related to
               the gaming task remains unnoticed. This behavior, known as
               inattentional blindness, is a main problem for the optimal
               placement of information (e.g. game-relevant messages) or
               advertisements in the game’s virtual environment. This
               thesis will review the history, current methods and issues
               of advertising in computer games. It will particularly
               discuss the perception of embedded advertisement billboards
               and propose one way to break through inattentional
               blindness, in order to make advertisements which are
               embedded in an action game’s environment more visible. The
               underlying approach is based on Wolfe’s theory of Guided
               Search, which provides a fairly reliable model for top-down
               controlled visual attention during visual search tasks.
               Since computer games frequently involve visual search tasks,
               we hypothesize that this model can be applied in a
               “reverse” direction to increase the saliency of some
               advertisements on a cognitive level, to get noticed even in
               the presence of a strong task.To validate this hypothesis, a
               computer game was implemented to conduct a user study for
               testing the memory effectiveness.",
  month =      may,
  address =    "Favoritenstrasse 9-11/186, A-1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =     "Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Vienna
               University of Technology",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2011/ZL_2011_IVIG/",
}