9 Strange Product Placements In Video Games

Games are expensive to produce. Like, really expensive. Which means that through the years, developers have looked towards other means of revenue: micro-transactions, downloadable content, and, taking a page out of Hollywood’s book, in-game advertisements. Now, if the setting is appropriate, product placements aren’t always bad. No one’s gonna complain about real cars being in Gran Turismo. But sometimes the game tie-in is so ridiculous that it makes no sense.

9 Everquest II
Pizza Hut

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In one of the most ingenious ad tie-ins ever, the developers of popular MMO Everquest II added the ability to order pizza straight from the game. By typing “/pizza” as a command, the player was taken to the Pizza Hut website where they could order anything they wanted and charge it to their monthly game subscription bill. (Sony was a little bit overambitious, imagining a future where you could order other real world items, like books and DVDs in a similar fashion.)

The stunt gained much publicity for the game, despite the fact that players still had to actually get up to answer the door.

8 Burnout Paradise (And Other Games)
Obama Political Ads

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Probably in an attempt to target younger voters, the Obama campaign ran ads in 18 games during the 2008 election season, including arcade racer Burnout Paradise. The other games included EA sports titles for the NBA, NHL, NFL, and others (apparently there are NASCAR video games?). Creepily, the ads mostly appeared in battleground states, like Florida, Iowa, and Ohio. There’s no real way to know if voters digitally racing past Obama posters at 100 mph won him the election, but apparently John McCain “passed” on a similar ad buy. So there’s that.

7 James Pond II
Penguin Biscuits

One of the earliest uses of true in-game console advertising came about in the early ’90s in the Amiga action-platforming game James Pond II: Codename Robocod. The intro of the game explains how Robocod is the only hope for the penguins to get their stolen toys back from Dr. Maybe (just bear with us here). All of a sudden, some packaging drops from the sky and there is a two-second ad for Penguin Biscuits, a European candy.

Funnily enough, it worked: the biscuits outsold rival Kit-Kat after the release of the game. Pretty impressive for a pun.

6 Infamous 2
Subway

The Infamous series features protagonist Cole McGrath out to save the world with his superhero electrical powers. The sequel, set in fictional New Orleans, features an apocalyptic plague killing its citizens, supervillains terrorizing everyone in sight, and a giant demon beast destroying every city on the East Coast until he lands on the Louisiana shores and gets hit with a nuclear weapon (uh . . . spoilers). At least Subway’s still open.

5 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Mountain Dew, Doritos, Axe, And More

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Previous games in the Metal Gear series featured some real-life products in the game, but the PSP title Peace Walker took it to a whole new level. In the Japanese version of the game, Snake could drink cans of Mountain Dew and Pepsi, eat Doritos, and spray himself with Axe to, um, restore health.

Most of the other tie-ins didn’t make sense: a special promotional code unlocked a bright green Mountain Dew shirt—a pretty terrible accessory in a stealth-based game. There was also the addition of a Sony Walkman that let you listen to the game’s soundtrack, which was especially curious considering that the game takes place in 1974, five years before the Sony Walkman even came out. The creator of the game defended the insane amount of product placement, saying he wanted “to surprise players.” So, surprise everyone! Your game is chock-full of commercials!

4 Zool
Chupa Chups

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Zool was a launch game for the Amiga about a ninja gremlin from the “nth” dimension. It was heavily marketed as a rival mascot for Sonic The Hedgehog. Hold for laughter.

The popular candy Chupa Chups were featured heavily in one of the levels, which was basically just a candy world full of branded lollipops in the background. What little green ninjas have to do with sweets beats us, but the game developers loved the idea so much that they decided to double down for the sequel. The whole game is essentially a huge ad for Chupa Chups, as every single level is full of logos.

3 FIFA ’94
Adidas Predator And Panasonic

The FIFA series is by far the most popular soccer simulator out there—though, since EA basically has a monopoly on every major sport, that’s not really saying much. It all began in 1993 with FIFA International Soccer, also called FIFA ’94. It was one of the first soccer games to use an isometric point of view instead of the top-down bird’s-eye style that was common in the era. It was so innovative it even featured ads, just like real life. In the MS-DOS version, you’d sometimes see the scoreboard after a goal showing a four-second pixelated advertisement for Adidas Predator shoes, and Panasonic branding on the field boundaries.

The Predator was a soccer shoe, which makes some sense—like promoting football helmets to someone playing Madden. As for Panasonic, it likely had to do with the fact that FIFA was also on their 3DO game system, but given its historic reputation as a general failure, FIFA should be thanking Panasonic for limiting their ads to little banners.

2 Pepsi Invaders
Coca-Cola

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Pepsi Invaders was an Atari 2600 game commissioned by Coke (and made by Atari) for a sales convention in the early ’80s. The game was literally the exact same thing as Space Invaders, except the invaders were replaced by letters in the word “Pepsi” and one extra alien for some reason. Upon completing the game, you are told that “Coke Wins.” Thanks for defending our planet, Coke, but since when do you possess surface-to-air missiles?

The cartridges were given to sales executives along with an Atari console at the convention (wow, are they hiring?). Due to the rarity, the cartridges can fetch up to $2,000 on eBay.

1 Counter-Strike
(More) Subway

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Counter-Strike is one of the most popular shooting games on the PC, still going strong after 13 years. It also happens to capture the coveted 18-34 male market pretty comprehensively. Which is why Subway couldn’t resist hiring an in-game advertising agency to put up posters all over the game’s world. Not only is this ineffective (who’s gonna have time to sit and read about lunch specials when they’re getting shot at from every angle?) it was also not allowed. Because they didn’t get permission from Valve (the publisher of the game), Subway and the ad agency violated the user agreement by modding the maps for commercial purposes. Subway later settled with Valve.

Silly Subway, you shoulda just waited until Valve legitimately started putting ads in Counter-Strike a year later.

Read more: http://listverse.com/2013/08/04/9-strange-product-placements-in-videogames/

Top 10 Drinking Games

It is Saturday, so in celebration I thought we should have a list of drinking games. These will provide you with hours and fun and a massive headache. Enjoy! Warning: Binge drinking can lead to excess fun.

10 Flip, Sip, or Strip!

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The game is best with 3 to 5 people, but more and the game will last longer. The rules are simple. Flip a coin and while it is in the air, call heads or tails. If you guess right, pass the coin to your right. If you guess wrong, pass the coin to your left and either take one article of clothing off (anything that is a pair counts as one item) or drink a shot. One catch, you cannot do the same thing (sip or strip) more than twice in a row.

9 Quarters

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Quarters can be played with any number of players. Play is best with 3-6 players. Competitors sit around a table, hard wood works best but you might need to experiment. To decide who will go first, spin the quarter. When it stops, it will be pointing at the person that starts. I use Washington’s nose or the Eagle’s beak. Once established, the game begins.

The shooter tries to bounce a quarter off the table and into a glass. If the quarter goes into the glass, the shooter chooses a person at the table to consume. The amount or size of the drink is debatable. This should be decided before the game starts. The shooter’s turn is over when he/she does not make the quarter in the cup. Play then proceeds the next shooter.

To make things more exciting, rules are developed by the shooters only after making three quarters into the glass in a row. If any rules are broken, the guilty party must consume.

8 FUBAR

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Shuffle a full deck of cards and scatter them in a pile in the middle of your table. One player goes at a time picking one card. They flip over their card, displaying it to everyone. Each card has a different rule as follows:
Ace: Take one drink

2: Take Two

3: Take Three

4: Questions – You look at the person of your choice and ask them a question, they must answer your question with a question and it keeps going until someone screws up. Ex. What is going on? Why do you touch yourself? You don’t have to question the person who questioned you either. Make sure to make eye contact.

5: Give five drinks

6: I never. This is where the person who flipped the card says something they have never done and anyone who has must drink.

7: Thumbmaster – This person puts their thumb down on the table whenever they want and the last one to put theirs down drinks. The thumbmaster can do this as many times as he wants until the next seven is picked.

8: Categories – The first person gives a topic/category and in rotation, everyone else must give a kind. Ex: Toothpaste, Crest, Colgate, Mentadent, etc.

9: Rhyme – Everyone must give a word that rhymes with yours. Ex: Shoe…glue…you…etc…

10: Social – Everyone drinks

Jack: Assholes drink…guys drink

Queen: Bitches drink….girls drink

King: Waterfall – This can be extremely hard, depending on your group of drinkers. It goes in order first being the one who picked the card and so on. The first person drinks as much beer as they can continuously and the 2nd person can’t stop until they stop, the 3rd person can’t stop until the 2nd person and so on. If you have big drinkers at the beginning, it is really difficult.

7Asshole

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The first hand is used to determine everyone’s rank during the following hands. Deal out all the cards. The person to the left of the dealer starts off. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards. When starting you can lay down any card or cards with the same face value. The person following you must lay down a card of equal or greater value. They must also use the same amount of cards as you did. If you lay down two 9′s then they would have to lay down two of something equal or greater. If the player lays down the same card as the previous player then the next player is skipped and must drink. Also if you can’t play any of your cards than you must skip and drink. Cards are cleared if everyone skips or a two is played.

Play continues like this until all the cards have been played. After the first hand is when the fun really begins. There is a ranking system which is as follows: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Asshole. Whoever goes out first becomes the new President for the next game, the second person becomes the Vice-President, etc… For the following rounds, anyone who ranks higher then you can tell you to drink whenever they want to.

Special Rules:
The Asshole must always deal and clear the cards. Also the Asshole must give the two best cards in their hand to the President. The President gives the two worst cards in their hand to the Asshole. If the President remains President for three consecutive rounds they can create special rules, such as the word “drink” cannot be used. If these rules are broken then the offender must drink.

6 Edward 40 Hands

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In order to play this game all you need is duct tape and 2 40′s of beer for each person. You tape one 40 to each of your hands and you can’t take them off until both of the 40′s are empty.

This means that if you need to go to the bathroom, you either chug the beers or wet yourself. You can’t answer your cell phone, or basically do anything until you drink the 2 40′s completely. The point of the game is to make people drink a lot of beer fast.

5 Power Hour

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This game is all about drinking. There are not really any rules. The object is to take a shot of beer every minute for an entire hour. It sounds pretty easy but believe me, it isn’t. If you want to prove you are really a man you can try to join the Century Club. The Century Club is doing a shot every minute for 100 minutes.

You can add rules to this game if you want. An example is if you go to the bathroom before the end of the hour you must finish a beer. At the end of the hour you will usually have had six beers.

4 California Kings

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Spread cards face-down around a large cup. Draw in clockwise order. A “drink” is a normal sip.

– Ace – Social – He/she who draws proposes a toast and everyone drinks.

– 2-6 – Black (Clubs & Spades) – TAKE the card’s value in drinks.

– 2-6 – Red (Hearts & Diamonds) – GIVE the card’s value in drinks. The total may be split-up between multiple players.

– 7 – Waterfall – EVERYBODY begins to CHUG. You can’t stop until the person to your RIGHT has stopped. He/she who draws may stop first.

– 8 – Thumb Master – He/she who draws puts his/her thumb on the table. The last person to do so drinks.

– 9 – Rhyme – He/she who draws says a sentence. The person to his/her LEFT must rhyme with the last word in the original sentence. This continues in clockwise order. Rhyming words may not be repeated. If you repeat a word or can’t think of one, you drink.

– 10 – Category – He/she who draws thinks of a category, like “Simpsons Characters.” Then, he/she says one, like “Homer.” Then, the person to his/her LEFT must think of another one, like “Bart.” This continues in clockwise order. If you repeat an item or can’t think of one, you drink.

– Jack – Guys drink – A toast is often included.

– Queen – Ladies drink – A toast is often included.

– King – We don’t call it “kings” for nothing. He/she who draws the first, second and third king pours some of his/her drink into the “large cup” AND comes up with a rule that must be obeyed for the rest of the game, like “no showing your teeth” or “no saying ‘drink,’ ‘drank’ or ‘drunk’.” Anyone in violation of a rule drinks. He/she who draws the fourth king must POUND the contents of the “large cup.” Drawing the fourth king marks the end of the game.

Note: Drawing the fourth king is a FATE WORSE THAN DEATH if there are a combination of beverages in the “large cup,” like beer, wine cooler and vodka. In fact, some players insist that only beer be poured into the cup; but they don’t have the love for the game.

3 Flip Cup

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A relay race game played with red plastic party cups. Teams are divided into 4 or 5, each with a half cup of beer, or 2 shots of hard liquor.

The game is a relay race and each person much drink the contents of their cup and flip the cup from the edge of the table with there fingers to the upside-down position on the table before the next member begins. First team to finish wins.

2 Boxing

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You need a stop watch/clock, 2 shot glasses, 4 people, 2 dice, and some beer to play this game.

Two people play this game head to head just like a boxing match, with the other 2 people helping them out being their “corner men”. Sit at opposite sides of the table and each roll a die. Whoever scores lowest on the die takes that punch and drinks their shot. The corner man fills the empty shot glass as quickly as they can and you roll again.

It’s a fast paced game to say the least. You play in 3 minute rounds with a 30 second rest in between rounds. We play until someone quits or pukes. You could play a limited number of rounds to prevent this though.

1 Beer Pong

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You will need one ping pong ball and 12 glasses of beer. Arrange six glasses of beer on either side of a table as if you were setting up bowling pins. Divide yourselves in to two groups. Each group should sit opposite the other with 6 beers in front of them. As you take your turn, you must throw the ping pong ball in to the opposite teams glasses. If it lands inside a glass, the opposing team must drink the beer immediately. Once done, rearrange the beers so they are all close to each other. The winning team is the team that manages to make the opposing team drink all their drinks. At the end of the game, the losing team must drink all remaining beer on the winning side.

Final Note

I am about to go and get started on these games so my comments throughout the evening may become slurred. Oh – and remember the drink-driving rule: keep one eye shut. Just kidding.

Source: Bar Meister

Read more: http://listverse.com/2007/10/20/top-10-drinking-games/