Games – Rachel Kesseler

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{On the train back to LONDON!}

Day 25: The (not so) geek squad

Today we met with Phil Harris, a narrative designer and journalist in the games industry. I have never thought of video and mobile games as a form of advertising, or having anything to do with the advertising field until today. He introduced yet another way to look at communication and story telling.

According to Mr. Harris one of the biggest downfalls in the gaming industry is the lack of concern for and knowledge in the field of marketing. Many times, great games have been produced, but the PR professionals and marketers for these gaming companies have not done the research to target the right audience and get the word out about these games.

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Social media has become a very popular way in which companies of all sizes have reached the public about their games. By tweeting and posting on Facebook, the right audiences are targeted and game recognition increases. At this point, with gaming companies that are well established, the easiest, most efficient way to increase sales and better provide for customers and prospective customers is to talk to the player base and listen to what they have to say. Companies need to know what is making their products either successful or unsuccessful.

Fun Fact: 5,000,000,000 tweets are sent every day.

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One of the most interesting topics he shared with us was about story formats. Essentially all stories follow the same layout, but in order for our brain to recognize it as a new story (or game) five elements of some kind need to be changed. For example, by changing the main character, location, task, problem, and dialogue, a whole new story comes to life.

So with that, Scotland is a wrap. We’re almost back to London! Dad is in town for some meetings so we’re taking on the city for the next 48 hours, and I couldn’t be more excited.

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