June 25, 2006

Left Behind leaves behind spyware

h/t to Anglican for alerting me to this.
" Left Behind Games (a publicly traded company, even) have added money-changers to their particular temple. The game comes fully loaded with what some would term built-in spyware, in the form of in-game advertising that tracks the amount of time ads are seen, how often the game is played, and the player's geographical and personal information. It then sends this data back to the advertiser's servers.


The issue of advertising in games has been a hot topic lately, bolstered by widespread always-on access to the Internet. While surveys of gamers show that advertising in games is effective and generally unobtrusive if done properly, most people would feel differently if they knew their in-game activity and user information was being tracked. Most games that currently feature in-game advertising simply display built-in ads, or at worst download new ads from a server, without sending the user's personal information back over the wires. Left Behind Games plans to distribute up to a million sample CDs of the game through major churches and pastoral organizations. Will these people be informed that their personal information will be tracked, not by a higher power, but by an advertising agency?"

Just too funny, in my opinion, but also very revealing. As much as some of my conservative christian friends protest, they are, in fact, turning churches into consumer entities and marketing targets. Moneychangers, indeed.

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