Wednesday, March 2, 2011

There's NASCAR Ads In My Counter-Strike!

You know you've seen it before.  In-game billboards for real-life products.  Sometimes, these ads are dynamic--they change whenever they the devs feel like it.  Guitar Hero 3 is a good example of this: I saw a JCPenney ad in the game.  Then later, it was replaced with a McDonald's ad--it said "Mocha Latte on Expert" or something.  Thankfully, Rock Band doesn't have these kinds of in-game ads.  Another reason why Rock Band rocks and Guitar Hero is dead.

About CS, the most popular map has to be de_dust2.  Everyone's playing it.  I've been too busy playing custom maps to notice Valve's little maneuver.  So slip an ad in there, don't even bother trying to conceal or rationalize its existence--just put it there and call it a day.  You can't even spray over these ads--they cannot be blocked.

NASCAR at Las Vegas...well, I took these pics on March 2.  The Sprint Cup Las Vegas race is March 6.  So these ads are constantly updated, you see.  Those "" banners are supposed to be part of the map and don't count.

Oh wait, there are also ads in de_dust (one)!!

And in de_aztec.

I also checked in a few other popular like de_nuke, de_inferno, and cs_italy but I didn't see any.

I have a few issues.  This is a game that takes place in a completely isolated locations.  Terrorists are planting bombs, blowing up crates, and getting shot at by specially-trained operatives.  And there's a BIG SIGN for a NASCAR race in the middle of the level.  Who put this thing here?  And why?  CS 1.6 is an old game that's no so popular anymore.  What about Source games like Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead?  And why is the ad an actual part of the level geometry as opposed to a little dashboard sprite icon?

But the biggest thing that baffles me is WHY a NASCAR race?  How many PC gamers are sitting there thinking, "Gee, NASCAR is really cool.  All those things we said about it being about rednecks, turning left, and crashes was wrong.  I see it as a legitimate event that I will watch for the longevity of its duration--all six hours of it."

I heard the Daytona 500 this year garnered good ratings.  They were advertising for it all over American Idol.  So I think the execs are really pushing hard for NASCAR to become more mainstream.

I wouldn't say I'm pissed off by these ads, it's more strange than anything.  I wonder what ads will be next.  But stick with custom maps anyway--variety is the spice of life.

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