Actually, I lied in the title, everything you hear from video game marketing and press releases are 100% the literal truth, as everyone knows. However, they are crafted to tell the truth but make people see more in the statement than there actually is. They do this through lies of omission or lies by implication.

With the many controversies over video game reviewing practices recently, I won’t be surprised to see video game ads taking a page from Hollywood’s playbook, and start highlighting quotes from ‘Quote Whores,’ a classic example of lying by omission.


5 STARS! Raises the political discourse of this country.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Another tactic that I see marketing use is the idea of allowing gamers to vote on internet polls to ‘influence’ the game.

The implication of these efforts is that ‘we listen to the gamers,’ which is true, the omitted part of that sentence is ‘but only if they vote the way we want and on choices we give them,’ so just like the presidential elections.

The PS3 blogosphere made a big deal of Sony Computer Entertainment’s CEO, Kaz Hirai’s statement that Sony could pay for exclusives again. People seem to think that just because Sony didn’t pay for exclusives, they had no leverage to pursue them.

There are many ways of influencing decisions without money changing hands. There are thousands of (not in jail) lobbyists in Washington that can attest to that. I am sure Microsoft didn’t pay for Gears of War to be an exclusive, but would they show a trailer for Geow 2 at the end of their GDC keynote if it weren’t an exclusive?

So the statement ‘Sony doesn’t pay for exclusives’ could be a lie by omission.

As you read news and announcements from the games industry, try to think of different ways to interpreting a piece of information, you just might stumble on what marketing didn’t want to say.

Be Sociable, Share!