Biggies vs. boutiques in online street fight

Younggunsoldones Last week we briefly mentioned Young Guns vs. Old Ones, the advergame in which you control five of the ad industry’s more fleet-footed agencies (Wieden + Kennedy, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Naked, Mother and StrawberryFrog) in a battle against five of its graying, arthritic behemoths (WPP, Dentsu, Omnicom, Publicis and Interpublic). I finally got around to playing the game this morning, and while the scoring system and animation are crude (one of the teenage-looking boutique guys has what looks like a giant red mohawk), it’s cathartic to see the biggies-vs.-boutiques debate brought down to the level of a street fight. True to life, the Young Guns derive their strength mostly from new-media weapons—they have 75 word-of-mouth and Internet “missiles” to lob at the holding-company drones, but only five print ads and two TV spots. (Weirdly, though, the print and TV are more powerful, killing three suits at a time. Surely WOMMA and the IAB will demand a recount.) The best part of the game might be the individual fistfights that occur when characters from both sides converge. Inevitably, when the cloud of dust clears, the holding-company guy is always standing proudly, having kicked the snot out of the boutique guy. I guess that’s what they mean by clout.

—Posted by Tim Nudd

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