And The Lord Said, Let There Be Spywayre
from the moral-relativism-in-digital-worlds dept
Apparently, "Thou shalt not distribute spyware" isn't one of the Ten Commandments. Left Behind Games, a maker of evangelical Christian videogames, has partnered with startup Double Fusion to distribute and track in-game advertising. There's nothing new about in-game advertising itself, and it can even enhance the realism of the game. But when you're battling the Antichrist on the streets of Manhattan, and pause to read a billboard on the side of a building, you probably don't expect that information (along with your personal information) to be sent to the advertiser. For Left Behind's part, the company has been getting these games into kids' hands by distributing free disks at churches around the country. This is straight out of the spyware playbook: give out free games and then track the user. It's no surprise that the in-game advertising market would give rise to user tracking -- information that marketers love -- but who would have guessed that a Christian company would be such a pioneer in this type of activity?