[THE PITCH]
for 1 October 1996. Updated every TUESDAY.
 


[Coliseum.com]
 
BIG IDEA American Gladiators for the Everyman...
on the Internet!
 
25 WORDS <= Corporate-sponsored video game arenas
build brands while gamers frag for
dollars and glory.
 
HARD SELL Dark and evil first-person action games
set in their own 3D worlds have taken the
Internet by storm. Any ad agency worth
its salt understands the value of a
gamer's eyeballs. The equipment and
software required to get set up for true
Internet gaming requires deep pockets as
well as a willingness to purchase new
technologies. Couple this with a
media-craving ennui quenched only by
constant entertainment, and, well, get
out the green ink, cause putting
billboards in cyberspace gives you a
license to print money.
 
Coliseum.com will be a virtual arena where
corporate-sponsored gaming tournaments
take place. Play would be completely
subsidized by advertising within the
game, with Coke picking up the tab for
the connection charges and MTV giving
away dream vacations to the player most
adept at using the super nail gun.
 
Corporate logos and messages will be
integrated within the gaming world, as
well. Duke Nukem might wear the latest
pair of Nikes as he drops a hand grenade
into the fray, or he might stop to
squeeze the Charmin during one of his
signature pit stops in the John.
 
[Comic]
 
Coliseum.com will sell the rights to
netcast these tournaments, bringing
animated blood and guts right onto your
desktop. Bidding wars will pit Fox
Interactive against Time Warner in a frag
of their own as they try to fill the gap
of lame programming between the Super
Bowl and March Madness. Worldwide
exposure will further serve to up the
ante on net tournaments where gamers
already spend as much time talking trash
to each other as they do actually
battling. Egos will flare as bellicose
personae are carved out of the
competition for endorsement deals by
joystick manufacturers. The next Nitro
will not be televised!
 
Variations of the bullfight theme will be
propagated by inventive level designers
eager to watch "Christians" be thrown to
the Lions. Voyeurism will rule the day as
our twisted society once again embraces
the entertainment value of viewing public
executions. Guillotines will be replaced
with new and improved gaming engines.
Online lotteries will bear little
resemblance to state-run lotto; instead,
they'll be modeled after the vision of
Shirley Jackson:
 
"Looks like Billy got the black dot this
time, can't wait to see the look on his
face as we pelt him with rockets and
machine-gun fire!"
 
All this fascination with death translates
to more advertising impressions and quite
a hefty CPM for Coliseum.com. Couple that
with the broadcast rights and frag-fest
merchandise ("I got offed by 10 strangers
and all I got was this stupid t-shirt")
and Coliseum.com has one chunky business
model.
 
OVERHEAD Subcultures of level editors have created
third-party applications which make code
hacking a snap. While advertising people
tend to have a lot of trouble creating
ways to aesthetically integrate their
products into environments, experienced
gamers will be more than willing to turn
the tables - to target, rather than be
targeted.
 
Fire up a copy of DoomCad and it won't
take long to plaster the walls with
Mountain Dew billboards and product
marquees. The rooms can be filled with
all sorts of new objects that make the
Mission Impossible PowerBook look
unobtrusive. The new Metallica album may
make its next debut in UnderHalls rather
than the concert halls.
 
Any one of these ad-levels can be played
over the Internet with existing
game-connection software. Netcasting
technology will beam the game play to the
voyeurs, if not over the Internet, than
through the TV. Compelling levels, free
gaming, big money prizes, product
endorsements, and gothic-style
entertainment add up to a kill-kill
situation for all parties involved.
 

[Pitch Archive]

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