Identifier

etd-05282008-235527

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The growth in popularity of social video games that appeal to a wide variety of audiences offers new opportunities for in-game advertisers to reach beyond the traditional gamer market. The current study aimed to test the effectiveness of in-game advertising placements in the popular video game, Guitar Hero III, based on the Limited Capacity Model of Mediated Motivated Message Processing (LC4MP). The Limited Capacity Model predicts that experienced gamers utilize fewer mental resources when playing video games because the repeated action of playing video games eventually becomes automatic. An experienced gamer would therefore have a greater capacity to remember in-game advertisements. The model also predicts that a video game that places a high cognitive demand on gamers leads to a decrease in mental resources available to process the gaming environment. The study included an experiment and a survey as well as BIOPAC equipment to provide physiological measures of heart rate. Results suggest that gamer experience does not significantly impact brand recall or brand attitude and that significant differences exist between players and watchers. Study results also indicate that the gamer’s perception of a brand’s fit in the video game significantly influences brand attitude. The study bears important implications for in-game advertisers because the results indicate that in-game advertisers should carefully consider both the content and nature of video games when developing in-game brand applications. The study results also suggest that the LC4MP lacks predictive abilities in terms of in-game ad recall when placed in a gaming context.

Date

2008

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lance Porter

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