Google Patents Profiling of Online Gamers

    May 16, 2007

In March Google acquired the in-game advertising technology firm Adscape Media. Though some have their doubts, advertising within video games is seen as an effective way to reach the coveted demographic of men 18-34. According to Google:

Adscape Media offers dynamic delivery of advertising with plot and storyline integration – making its solutions a truly interactive marketing platform. Adscape Media supports sophisticated demographic and geographic targeting and also provides a robust reporting interface for marketers.

But according to a patent Google filed in the U.S. and Europe last month, targeting will move beyond the geographic and demographic to a new level of psychographic targeting the likes of which the marketing world has never seen – psychological profiling at the level of the individual consumer.

The patent, as reported in the Guardian, says:

People playing online role-playing games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft would be particularly good to target, because they interact with other players and make decisions that probably reflect their behavior in real life.

The patent claims that user dialogue and play may be used to characterize the user and deliver ads “more relevant to the user”.