Developers have long understood the addictive quality of games. When we start to play, we become instantly unaware of what’s around us – we’re so lost in the world of the game. Technically, what’s happening in our mind is a dopamine release. This neurotransmitter controls pleasure and happiness, and makes it so that we want to keep playing in order to feel good.
Brands have recently taken notice of the power of games and are looking for ways to harness it in order to reach customers. Take for example Zynga’s partnership with Hidden Valley, Naked Juice and others to bring sponsored levels to games like Farmville. The move gives Zynga a new form of ad revenue, while at the same time providing brands with a way to engage audiences that is much more effective than a banner ad or popup.