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Were you upset when you saw all those excessive bonuses at AIG, Lehman Brothers etc?

Well take heart, you can do something about it!

American Exec Check Bonus

Computer games as a form of protest is quick becoming the vogue.

Check out the most recent protest game made by the Transport Workers Union of America to lash out at American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey.

It is all part of a protest against bonuses paid to top executives despite poor company performance. The game itself is simple, being a flash animation game, but the issue it highlights is fueling debate worldwide.

The game represents a growing trend where games are to attract the public’s attention towards an issue.

A game used to be about relaxing and escapism, but now it is used to focus our attention on issues in the real world. Talk about irony.

But I guess these forms of games, called advergames, are here to stay. Most companies have already embraced the idea, using them to promote their products shamelessly, while other more creative individuals use games as a form of satire, to lampoon whoever they feel is worthy of their ridicule. Anyone remember the George Bush shoe throwing game?

Apple, Steve Jobs

I am a traditionalist, so I feel that these advergames are not truly games. In my book, games are more of a simulation, a way I can test my skills and abilities in an enjoyable way. A game would provide me with a challenge or problem to solve, and a sense of achievement after doing so. A really good game would also make me want to repeat it in hope of finding a better, faster, or more efficient way of completing it. All of which, I guess, could be viewed as personal development.

Seeing mainstream journalists lumping advergames together with real computer games is like saying that a McValue meal and a dinner at a 3-star Michelin restaurant are the same. Well, maybe they lack the taste to tell the difference.