London: The Scottish government said Monday it would pay to insert advertisements discouraging drinking and driving into video games.
The 10,000 pound trial project will see the ads appear on virtual billboards within several games for Microsoft Xbox consoles, including “Need for Speed: Carbon,” “Project Gotham Racing 4” and “NBA Live.”
Scottish transport minister Stewart Stevenson said the number of road accidents was rising, and innovative approaches were needed to reach young people. The government estimates that 73% of Britain’s 15- to 24-year-olds have access to a gaming console at home.
“The technology is non-intrusive, subtle, but the message can be seen in the background, loud and clear,” Stevenson said.
Officials said that if the trial was successful it could be expanded to include other road-safety messages.
This is not the first time the government has targeted young Britons with in-game ads. In October the intelligence agency GCHQ announced it was seeking new recruits by placing job ads in games such as “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent.”