I found a hilarious article while skimming through CNNMoney the other day in regards to a Sony Patent for interactive advertising.  It was just too funny and at the same time incredibly frightening in it's implications.   The story was poking fun at a few funny illustrations,  but if you go to the actual patent and view the whole thing, there are some interesting things that include "always on" technology, privacy and "conditioned response".  You can read the full article from the link below.



"Sony patent is hilarious, terrifying"

April 30, 2013: 1:32 PM ET"

"Is this the future of interactive advertising? Hopefully not."

Sony recently published a 21 page patent filing in regards to their plans for " "methods, systems, and computer programs for converting television commercials into interactive network video games." "

You can look at it in it's full glory here:  Sony patent 8246454 B2

In particular there are a few illustration in the patent that caught my eye, not just because of how ridiculously they are drawn but because would you like something like this interrupting your game time?


"In the first panel, a user is watching a television program which is interupted by an ad. The ad instructs the user to say the word "McDonald's" (MCD) to speed things along. Why the following panel shows the user standing, arms raised, shouting the word before the program resumes, rather than simply saying it as instructed, is a mystery."  - Fortune

McDonalds, McDonalds, McDonalds!  

So you are playing Call of Duty when all of a sudden it cuts to black and a giant hamburger appears on the screen.  You can opt to watch it, or stand up gangster style and yell "McDonalds!" to make it stop and return to your game.  

Somehow everything I learned about Pavlov's Dog and "conditioned reflex" comes to mind and I think this is just a bad idea besides being intrusive as hell.  It's all around a bad idea, in so many ways.



"In this illustration the user has a motion-sensing remote, possibly Sony's own orb-topped Move device. The user is instructed to flip a pickle onto the hamburger picture on the screen to speed up the commercial. Which he does, before looking dejectedly, shoulders slumped, at the TV screen's "Make it your way" slogan. (Burger King's (BKW) old tag line almost, not McDonald's.)" - Fortune


McDonalds, Oh Snap!  I mean Flip a Pickle! 

So here we are, this time enjoying an online game of Black Ops 2.  When cut to black; another giant hamburger appears!   You would think the most appropriate thing to do is to stand up and yell, "McDonalds!"  all gangster like, but you are wrong!  This time you are forced to toss a pickle into the hamburger to resume your online match.

The most telling thing about the last image on Fig.8 is how depressed the guy looks.  Does he feel like a total sell out or is he depressed about tossing a pickle into a burger so he can continue his killstreak?


The Scary

If you flip through the actual patent and read or try to decipher the drawings, in particular the one below, you will notice that it requires an interactive commercial server to provide the "service".  In other words requiring an "always on" connection.  Just last month Microsoft and EA felt the backlash for their stance on an "always on" console, and as you can see Sony also has plans as well.

A marketers' wet dream.

If you've deduced that an online server will produce real time ads and commercials while you play your favorite games then you understand the numerous applications for this.  This is probably the least unethical part of this, but still unnecessarily intrusive.


End of Days S*** Right Here!

It's only a matter of time before we are forced into having "always on" services added to our consoles.  With Ubisoft's CEO stating he believed the audience was ready for it amidst public outcry on every gaming forum and things happening behind closed door as well as right in front of us, it's only a matter of time.


Oh Snap! Is that a pentagram?                                                                  Why, yes.  Yes it is.


What do you guys think about the possible future of advertising in gaming?