I’m going to be blunt, the kind of blunt that comes from years of making my way through the trenches of gaming consumerism, and is delivered with the tone of one of those “back in my day” speeches. Today’s video game advertising is neutered. Sure we get bombarded with TV ads when the next big game hits. We see our favorite gaming sites “skinned” to push the latest title a publisher paid big money to flash about. And, of course, there are the “guerilla” or “viral” advertisements injected into our communication systems, pretending to be the actual thoughts of John Q. Gamer in an attempt to build up a title or, for the conspiracy theorists in the audience, to break down a competing product.

But the hype machine of old has been scrapped, recycled and replaced with gargantuan hype factories whose influences are starting to rival that of Nike in throttling the product excitement dial up
to the proverbial eleven. If we go back to the conspiracy angle for a moment one could probably say that “negative press” for controversial titles is planned. Depending on the product , the “bad” publicity is almost a guarantee of gobs of sales or at least increased interest in the offending company’s product. I have no doubt that there is more advertising today than ever before. However there is one thing you almost never see broadcasted in the mass media outlets: a console company openly talking down or bashing the competition.

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