Go to the first strip Previous Strip   10 of 210   Next StripGo to the most recent strip
Discuss this week's strip here!

Go to the first strip Previous Strip   10 of 210   Next StripGo to the most recent strip
Direct link to this strip

Have you ever wanted to work in video games? Well that's what the guys at GameBizCo Inc. do. Literally.

Join the cast of Another Videogame Webcomic as we peek behind the curtain to see what exactly goes into bringing your favorite video games to the small screen. It may be a job in video games, but it's still a job.

Alcopop Advertising

I'm not sure anyone was worried about Nico Bellic downing a cool and refreshing Smirnoff Ice while carjacking some dude, shooting him and then running head first into a tree. Well, maybe Illinois was.

To be fair, the law which became effective on January 1st prohibits more than just the advertising of what I affectionately call "girly beer" in video games. As I understand it, the law also applies to such things as theater performances and concerts whose primary target audience are children. But, not being a lawyer, I could be misinterpreting the language so here it is in case anyone feels like calling me out on it:

"No entity may advertise, promote, or market any alcopop beverages toward children. Advertise, promote, or market includes, but is not limited to the following... (4) the display of any alcopop beverage in any videogame, theater production, or other live performances where the intended audience is primarily children."

Now, on general principle, I'm not fond of superfluous laws. I pay my taxes like every one else and essentially paying to enforce a law which doesn't need to exist in the first place seems silly to me (not to mention a waste). But while I may not agree with this particular law, I'm don't know if I disagree with the spirit of it.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that advertising pays for a lot of what we enjoy. About a quarter of the time we spend watching tv is spent watching advertisements... If you flip open a magazine, you're more likely to open to an ad than you are to open to actual content... And I know personally, one of the things I enjoy about watching a movie in theaters is watching the trailers, which are advertisements for other movies. So why should video games be left out?

The average console game costs around 60 bucks. While most people chalk up the price to greedy software developers, the reality is, creating a blockbuster game costs money to develop. Lots of money. And in order to turn a profit, those costs need to be recouped which translates into higher retail prices for the consumer. But in this struggling economy, where people would rather spend 60 bucks on food or heat instead of games how can a company turn a profit? By subsidizing the development through ad revenue.

Ads in video games aren't particularly new, but I'm pretty sure we're going to start seeing more and more in-game advertising in the future. And why not? Most of the time, our senses have been so dulled to advertising that unless an ad walked up to us and punched us in the gut, we wouldn't realize we've been advertised to. In fact, sometimes fake ads are more jarring than real ads would be. We've come to expect the cars in NASCAR 09 to be covered from bumper to bumper with ads.

So with advertising potentially becoming more and more prevalent in video games, following the surge comes regulation. While no sane person expects Barbie Horse Adventures promoting Grey Goose vodka to be a problem, no sane person expects a guy (or gal to be politically correct about it) to snap and go on a killing rampage either. In the US, we already regulate where, when and how tobacco products can be advertised so extending that regulation to encompass "alcopop" type beverages and video games seems like a logical progression.

The real problem with the Illinois law, as I see it, is enforcement. Sure, you can regulate billboards, newspaper ads and such... but how do you regulate the ones and zeroes in a video game? Also, how does this law effect the persistent online worlds in MMOs where one person could be in Chicago but another could be halfway around the world? I don't have the answers and I suspect, neither does Illinois. But although their destination may not be the right one, I believe their compass is pointing in the right direction.

Player Two

After the resurgence of multiplayer co-op, GameBizCo Inc. hired Player Two to be the Goose to someone else's Maverick. His workload isn't quite as heavy as most of the other people working at GameBizCo Inc. and as a result, he spends a lot of time in the break room or playing computer solitaire.
First Appearance: Another Videogame Webcomic?!? An Introduction

Player One

Player One is top dog at GameBizCo Inc. Nearly every game, from Pong to Mario Bros to Grand Theft Auto, requires Player One's expertise. His cocksure and sometimes inappropriate attitude is an annoyance to his coworkers but seeing as every game needs a first player, they make due.
First Appearance: Bonus Stage! Here comes Player One!

Damsel I. Distress

Whether it be a castle, a dungeon or mystical island, Damsel always needs to be saved... and she hates it. Damsel longs for the day when she's given the role of a strong female lead character who doesn't have huge breasts with hyper accurate physics.
First Appearance: LittleBIGPlanet

Final Boss

Underneath the huge brute that is Final Boss lies a timid creature who wouldn't hurt a fly. He puts on his "angry face" when throwing barrels down ramps or breathing fire but deep down he feels sorry for doing so. He's been known to throw a game or two in the player's favor.
First Appearance: World Record

John Minion

John Minion, or Min for short, is the hardest working employee at GameBizCo Inc. Playing everything from Goombas to no name thugs, Min gets beat up on a daily basis but loves every minute of it. He always wanted to work in the gaming industry and was originally hired as an intern. After years of getting coffee, his big break came when someone called in sick... and the rest is history.
First Appearance: Watchmen: The End is Nigh

Middle Manager

Middle Manager works in the Human Resources department. He runs staff meetings and interviews prospective employees. The other 90% of his time is spent playing Freecell on his computer.
First Appearance: Another Videogame Webcomic?!? An Introduction