EA : when getting it wrong = getting it right

Image representing Electronic Arts as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Anyone who has ever played a video game is familiar with the art of the glitch. It's as much a part of the gaming culture as mustachioed plumbers with an intense hatred of turtles.

Gamers practically expect to occasionally walk through walls, see through corners of buildings or walk on air.  These glitches aren't created on purpose, but with all the depth in today's games, it's understandable when something occasionally slip through the cracks.

Such was the case in Electronic Arts' Tiger Woods game.  A "glitch" known as "The Jesus Shot" was "discovered", allowing players to walk on water.  In a game that prided itself on realism, this glitch seemed both entertaining and a bit out of place.  A "fan" posted a video to this effect on You Tube, generating quite a bit of buzz.

So what does EA do about this buzz?  They used the buzz momentum for some great free publicity, creating the spot below (video below/after the jump).  Well Done.

Here's to hoping that this was an honest play, and not a seeded campaign.  For more conversation on the EA Jesus Shot campaign, check out the discussions linked here.  Really check them out.  I would estimate that nearly all the buzz was positive (with the only concern being the corporate usage of a religious icon in marketing).  Well Done!

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The Limitations of Virtualization - Music Gaming

Piano There is nothing like playing the piano.  There is a very real tactile resonance as the hammers thump and the music resonates across your body.  The depth, weight, texture and feel of the keys on your fingers as the notes reverberate up your wrists is nothing less than magical.  Even the highest-end electronic keyboards cannot duplicate this experience.  There's nothing like real thing. 

A video game cannot replicate this experience. 

True musicians may find Rock Band entertaining, a fun test of your timing and coordination.  But any real musician will tell you that it is little more than a glorified timing game.  Rock Band is not music.  But it is close enough to the real thing to deliver an "authentic" experience to the unexperienced.

Wii music Wii Music further removes the realism from the experience.  While Guitar Hero at least allows players to believe they are holding a guitar, Wii Music requires that users pretend to be holding an instrument.  While Rock Band allows user to strum and feel the flick and feedback of the "strings", Wii Music allows you do play air guitar like never before.

To quote a friend from college - everyone feels cool holding an electric guitar.  One foot foward, one hand sliding down the long neck, even while strumming nonsensically with an overbearing amount of overdrive distortion - you just feel like a Rock Star. 

Air guitar isn't fun after two or three minutes. 

    So where's the appeal in Wii Music?

Video: Best Air Drum Set Ever

Video: Wii Music

Are these two scenarios remarkably similar, or am I crazy?

Photo credit here and here.

E3 is missing the boat

E3 E3 is THE big gaming conference.

And naturally, social media is all abuzz.

Keynote presentations or official "press events" generate massive buzz across the interwebs.

Yet there is no official outlet for fan defined clips (ala MixerCast or Hulu).

There is no official outlet for downloading video feeds for viewing on the go.

But hey, it's not like gaming enthusiasts are early adopters of digital channels, right? 

McCain's Video Game - Smart or Sad?

I try to comment on politics on this blog.  Personally, (odd as this may sound) I believe that both of our candidates are viable and acceptable leaders.

While both candidates have activated their social network advocates, and Obama has proven the success of the microtranscation at scale, McCain has brought a new layer of interactivity into the equation... a video game.

There is no way to say "I am not all that old" like bringing back a popular 25 year old video game - space invaders - and inserting brand messages after each level is completed.  And it's on Facebook!  That's got to make it hip, cool and oh so two point oh.

Check out the game below/after the jump.

Is this wise?  Will this net him meaningful interactivity?  Is this integration serious and meaningful to the channel?  Is it novel enough to the audience to net him success?

Will political messaging in gaming be a trend we see grow over the coming years?  Will the next presidential election see dynamic, or even static advertising or marketing in video games?