Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours

School

School of Media Studies

Faculty

Faculty of Education & Arts

First Advisor

Dr Debbie Rodan

Abstract

This thesis explores the new paradigms that are emerging as advertising encounters the Internet. The area that I explore is the convergence of corporate advertising and the online game, Second Life. The thesis takes as its starting point the economic and social/cultural history of advertising. I examine both Marxist and cultural theories of advertising, in order to properly understand the paradigm shifts of the past. I also investigate the effect that technological change has had on the practice of advertising. Having established an historical framework I· then turn to the current state of the advertising market, as it is defined by modern technology. The second and third parts of the thesis concentrate on the emergence of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) on the Internet and the effects that these virtual worlds are having on advertising. I focus on the paradigms that the industry employs in entering these worlds. I argue that Second Life has a number of distinct and distinguishing features that render it unique among MMORPGs and that these features have also attracted significant interest from major corporations and advertisers. Finally the thesis investigates the practice of advertising in Second Life, through a comparative analysis of advertising originating in world and a case study of a successful corporate campaign that embodies the new paradigm that has emerged to facilitate engaging with Second Life and its users.

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