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UAT ads must die

posted on October 15th, 2005 by jay

For the last few months, Game Developer magazine has included ads for the University of Advancing Technology among its otherwise respectable pages. The UAT is an accredited school that offers degrees in game design and other audio/visual fields. The University of Advancing Technology also has the worst advertising I’ve seen in a long time. Their ads appear to be directly aimed towards stupid people, which is a problem because they are advertising courses in game development and we don’t want any more stupid developers making games.

The first example of their atrocious campaign says this –

“Without guys like me, you’d still be playing Pong.”

The quote is attributed to some undergraduate but is probably made up (which actually makes it a lie since it has quotes around it.) This isn’t why it sucks, though. The problem is how pretentious the quote is. It seems to be geared toward what hardcore gamers make fun of as the Play Station generation. This type of gamer is always put off by what they see as sub par graphics, know little of where games came from and are unwilling or unable to appreciate quality design in any game that came out before 1995. Anyone who scoffs at Pong is ignorant and I would question their judgment when it comes to game design.

The drawing under this wonderful quote, which is supposed to, presumably, look like the fictional student who said it, looks like some guy from GQ. He’s got a shirt and tie and manly good looks. Look out, world, gaming ain’t geeky any more!

I have revised the ad to appeal to a more sensible audience –

“Without the brilliant engineers and physicists who we owe all video games to, I wouldn’t be able to make games that will at best have one tenth the impact as Pong.”

The next ad in UAT’s campaign for the dumb reads –

“You take audio and video and jam ‘em together till they rock.”

Apparently some undergraduate girl said this. Unsurprisingly, in her drawing she appears to be quite Xtreme, to tha maXXX, or however else you wish to articulate bullshit that the Mountain Dew marketing team perfected. The quote itself is supposed to be “in my face” and possibly “edgy” (one could go as far to say it may even be “proactive,” I would not, however.) I am at a loss to describe a game that this design technique has worked for. Even a game like Rez requires a lot of planning and thought about the play mechanics prior to the “jamming.”

It is debatable that this ad is not directed towards those looking to make games but rather those looking into music or film production. I encourage readers to write up their own scathing commentary for each of these cases. For reference, here are things important in audio production (besides, of course, jamming it together with video), and each process has many smaller phases within it:

Tracking, Mixing, Editing, Mastering

Audio happened to be my field in school so I won’t list out the necessary things to make a competent film, but we can imagine they would be numerous and complex.

Let us assume this ad is aimed at future game designers since I have already taken the liberty of making the ad more appealing. Here is my revised version –

“You take audio and video, which have been carefully tailored to suit the emotion the designer wants the player to feel, and you delicately overlay it on a fun gameplay design.”

Maybe I am being too literal (I’m not, they are dumbing down complicated things to appeal to slow people) and I have not looked into the quality of the programs at UAT. If the professors are brighter then the advertising department, I apologize, not only for the terrible ads you have representing your school but for the caliber of student who is attracted by them.

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