Video games feature ads for Obama

Too busy playing video games to watch presidential ads on television? Barack Obama has found you, too, by becoming the first presidential candidate to buy ad space inside a game.

Nine video games from Electronic Arts Inc., ranging from the extremely popular "Madden 09" football game to the street racing "Burnout: Paradise," feature in-game ads from the Obama campaign. The adsâ€"they appear on billboards and other signageâ€"remind players that early voting has begun and plug a campaign Web site.

The idea of embedding advertising temporarily inside a video game is relatively new, having only begun about 18 months ago, and Obama is the first presidential candidate to buy space, company officials said.

The Democrat's ads are aimed at gamers who like sports, including NASCAR, NBA, NHL and skateboarding, meaning EA Sports' motto, "It's in the game," now applies to presidential politics as well.

EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood would not say how much the ads cost, but she said they are running on the Xbox Live versions of the game through Nov. 3. They began earlier this month.

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