When Items Become Victims: Brand Memory in Violent and Nonviolent Games
This paper introduces the AdRacer system for multifaceted testing and in-depth analyses of game effects and in-game advertising efficiency. AdRacer combines an immersive driving simulator, 3D game environment, recording of players’ gaze directions, and application of memory tests. A pilot study tested the effects of game violence on memory for brands shown as billboard ads in a racing game. In contrast to findings with TV violence, game violence did not impede brand memory. Memory results were also not mediated by visual attention during encoding. Compared to a matching nonviolent version, playing a violent game resulted in superior brand retrieval, yet participants showed fewer and shorter eye fixations on the billboard ads. Hence, caution seems to be recommended in transferring standard results from the “passive” TV medium to the interactive game medium.
KeywordsGame violence in-game advertising memory media effects
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