The Logo Board Game
I'm sure that many of my classmates can attest to the fact that participating in this class has made even the most socially aware of us even more keen observers of the pervasiveness of advertising in our popular culture. Last week while I was out running errands, I noticed a rather interesting board game in the children's section of one of the stores.
The reviewer in this video claims, "The fun is as much about the social interaction it creates as playing the game itself. You may be surprised to discover how many memories and experiences you have around brands and advertising and how fun sharing those can be." This is a telling (and depressing) statement, considering the themes of rampant consumer culture expressed in much of the readings we've discussed, as well as the documentary The Persuaders. As Juliet Schor explains in our current reading, Born To Buy, "Kids can recognize logos by eighteen months, and before their second birthday they're asking for products by brand name... The typical first grader can evoke 200 brands" (Schor 19). It is no wonder, then, that board games which used to revolve around historical knowledge (Trivial Pursuit), strategy (Chess), language skills (Scrabble) or just plain old fun (Candyland, Chutes and Ladders) are giving way to games that incorporate not only popular culture (such as the recent incarnations of Trivial Pursuit and the various editions of Scene It) but even the advertising itself.
Proving that we Americans are certainly not the only ones immersed in consumer culture, there are even special versions of this game marketed to individuals in other countries, such as the U.K. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmZWk5sQn9w - and Australia - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=eLFi6-mwcqE&NR=1. And here's an amusing American ad, for good measure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm7fvwkVMCg.