Last week we noted unconfirmed sightings of an â€œObama for Presidentâ€ billboard in the Xbox 360 racing game Burnout Paradise. Today weâ€™re able to report that it is, in fact, an official advertisement placed by the senatorâ€™s campaign team.
â€œI can confirm that the Obama campaign has paid for in-game advertising in Burnout,â€ Holly Rockwood, director of corporate communications at Electronic Arts, the gameâ€™s publisher, told me via email, noting that EA regularly allows ad placements in their online games. â€œLike most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates,â€ she continued. â€œLike political spots on the television networks, these ads do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams.â€
To my knowledge, this Burnout ad is far and away the most prominent use of a major online game to promote a presidential candidateâ€™s campaign. There have been near-misses, of course: In 2006, for example, when he was seriously considering a run for the Democratic nomination, ex-Virginia Gov. Mark Warner made an avatar-based appearance at a press conference in Second Life.
And from the Digg comments:
McCain camp: Let’s call Atari!