Electronic Games as a Touristic Promotional Tool

Electronic Games as a Touristic Promotional Tool

Fábia Esteves (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal) and Pedro Quelhas Brito (INESC-Tec, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3156-3.ch018
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According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in 2017 tourism had the greatest international growth in seven years, and in 2018, international tourism grew 5% reaching the mark of 1.4 billion, a figure reached two years earlier than predicted. At the same time, in the last 40 years, the video game industry has grown steadily, with games beginning to be seen as one of the primary sources of entertainment. However, there are still few studies analyzing the impact of advertising tourist destinations on digital platforms such as video games. The use of video games in the tourist context may be an inspirational tool, supporting the development of new advertising strategies for tourism marketing. Although the connection between tourism and cinema is widely documented, little research has demonstrated a credible correlation between video games and tourists' attitude towards destinations.
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Video Game Product Placement

The expansion and development of technology through content diversification and large-scale game development has led to the identification of the industry as a strategic area for significant investment. However, video games imply a considerable investment in research and development, regarding mobility (Storz, Riboldazzi, & John, 2015), design (Brandão et al., 2014; Norman & Verganti, 2014) and technology innovation (Beinisch & Paunov, 2005; Koch & Artmayr, 2019).

Video games are significant drivers of the economy (Crandall & Sidak, 2006; Simon, 2018), motivating marketers and developers in a constant search for new advertising and solutions on these platforms. This search happens due inclusion of advertising in video games being a way to reduce the overall costs associated with production, dropping the individual cost of each game (Nelson, Keum, & Yaros, 2004; Siemens, Smith, & Fisher, 2015; Simon, 2018; Vashisht & Royne, 2016).

The history of video games is closely connected to the placement of in-game advertising (IGA) a concept similar to the traditional idea of product placement, but using video games (Mau, Silberer, & Constien, 2008; Yang, Roskos-Ewoldsen, Dinu, & Arpan, 2006). Video games have evolved significantly over time, not only technologically, but also culturally and aesthetically, and this evolution is accompanied by IGA (Behm-Morawitz, 2017; Nelson, 2005; Verberckmoes, Poels, Dens, Herrewijn, & De Pelsmacker, 2016).

Product placement and advertising in video games are usual, and their study began in the early 21st century by Nelson et al. (2004). In general, besides making the game realistic, product placement allows its recognition through variables such as memory, attitudes, and feelings (Cauberghe & De Pelsmacker, 2010; Dardis, Schmierbach, & Limperos, 2012a; Glass, 2007; Lull, Gibson, Cruz, & Bushman, 2016; Martí-parreño, Bermejo-berros, & Aldás-manzano, 2017; Nelson, 2002; Nelson et al., 2004; Taghipour, 2017).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Video Game: Electronic entertainment game where there is player interaction with a visual interface.

Imagery: Experience that allows the individual to visually perceive an object or scene without the object or scene being available to the senses.

Product Placement: Reference or placement, with promotional intent, of specific brands or products in works such as video games, movies or television programs.

Imagination: Ability to visualize images and create new ideas, in the absence of external stimuli.

Tourism Marketing: Marketing strategy, in the field of tourism, through which tourists are attracted to a specific location.

Destination Image: Set of attributes, held by the consumer, regarding a destination.

Escapism: Mental escape, through imagination, from unpleasant or boring aspects of everyday life.

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