You’re right. I also enjoy when the graphics are an unrealistic as possible, especially when the textures are blurry and indistinct so it can’t possibly be mistaken for real life.
Come to think of it, I’d rather not play a game at all, lest it remind me of real life. I much prefer simply sitting in a dark room, closing my eyes, and imagining having fun in a totally fantastical environement where nothing resemebles anything at all.
Okay, overbearing sarcasm mode aside, advertising in games, like so many other things, isn’t catigorically good or bad. It can be annoying and overbearing, or it can be an aide to my suspension of disbelief. I’d much rather see a coke machine than a “soda” machine, and I’d much rather drive a Toyota in GTA than a “Toyola” or something (although some of those names are funny).
Slapping in some needless billboards in a game where they don’t really belong so they can have some ads is annoying. Tom brings up the billboards in Jet Moto. What, they put billboards along aquatic race courses? Going for all those potential customers on their…morning jet-ski commute? And what was that awful first-generation Xbox snowboarding game where they shoehorned Nokia phones in so bad that it just yelled out “look, I’m a sponsor!” By contrast, if I see a cut-scene where a guy has a mobile phone, it involves me more if it it’s modeled off a real-world phone.
McDonalds was really shoehorned into The Sims Online. Intel, not as much.
When I watch a movie, I think it’s absurd when people walk to a bar and say “I’ll have a beer” and the bartender whips one out. Try that at a real bar. “I"ll have a beer.” “We have heinekin, Sam Adams, Rolling Rock, Budwieser, Bud Light, Coors…blah blah blah” You cannot order a “beer.”
In American Wedding, the guys are sitting on a step drinking longnecks, and they’re Buds (the beers, not the guys). Fine, that’s reasonable and looks “real.” The part that set off my cynical advertising alarm was how one of them was like peeling off the label, so that the whole label showed, carefully holding it facing the camera. I wonder how many takes they had to do where the line delivery was fine but they messed up showing the Budweiser label.