Was reading in The New York Times this morning about the new advergame (God, I hate that term, but it is seemingly inescapable these days) Volvo Drive for Life and wondering whether the automaker could actually pull off making the game’s central premise fun. As the title suggests, the objective of the game is not to cruise a race car at breathtaking speed, while causing multiple traffic accidents and a smattering of fatal injuries, but to challenge players to drive safely. They first can drive one of three models at a simulated Volvo racetrack where they try their hands at things such as the “moose avoidance test.” Then they can take their skills out onto the virtual road. But from what I’ve seen in our neighborhood focus group of boys, what attracts people to car video games is mayhem, and lots of it. On the other hand, the game, produced for Microsoft’s Xbox, is a promotional release, meaning its primary target might be recovering irresponsible driving males who now have a couple of kids to worry about in the backseat.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor