Something odd has happened here at Indiana University. IU has been taken over by EA Sports. Yesterday while going to the library, I ran across the following:
Then later, while going to class I saw tons more stickers. So today, I brought my camera and in the four blocks between my office and the library I found:
There were more stickers elsewhere on campus (including a staircase that had a sticker on nearly every step) which I had planned on photographing but it started to rain. Regardless, someone has been busy with their “viral marketing.”
After some research, I found a couple articles about EA’s presence here on campus. It turns out that there is a student here on campus who is getting paid to put on the events that the fliers are advertizing. Of course in neither article is the fact that either directly or indirectly due to this guys efforts the campus is being covered with stickers.
Sloppy journalism and environmental issues aside, it is is pretty interesting that EA sees college universities such a big market that they would have campus reps that were charged with organizing glorified product demos for them. It is important to note that not only is the campus covered with these stickers and fliers, but that these gaming events are taking place inside university buildings. I wonder if I wanted to have a Tupperware party in a dorm if I would be allowed. The way I see it, there are two possibilities, that the university knows that these EA sponsored events are occurring and don’t care, in which case we have yet another case of advertising invading the university setting, or the university just doesn’t know. I’m not sure which is worse.
Of course, this isn’t to imply that I want to shut the guy down. I find it incredibly facinating. I wish I could get paid to put on some LAN parties or something. This whole thing is just another sign of how big videogames really are. And more importantly, how big EA is.
Is this kind of thing going on at other schools as blatantly as it is here?