Obama Ads 'Burnout'; Apple Laptops Just In

If video games serve as your entertainment distraction from the current political campaign then you might do a double take the next time you're playing certain titles via Microsoft's Xbox Live service. Digital billboards featuring Democratic presidental candidate Barack Obama are being featured in a number of games from Electronic Arts ranging from "Burnout Paradise" to "Madden '09."

The images can be rotated and changed out since players are connected to the internet through Xbox Live. From a story by the Associated Press: "EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood would not say how much the ads cost, but she said they are running on the Xbox Live versions of the game through Nov. 3. They began earlier this month."

The story began getting traction on GamePolitics.com after a number of players reported seeing the ads (found here). The site's editor Dennis McCauley messaged me to say, " it's definitely the first use of the medium by a politicial campaign." Appropriately enough the motto for GamePolitics.com is "Where Politics and Video Games Collide." I do wonder how most gamers feel about the ads -- clever tactic or annoying intrusion?

In other news Apple unveiled a whole slew of new (and improved?) laptops today. By the way, is it just me or does Apple seem to release a new set of products every 20 minutes? Anyway, perhaps the biggest news is a redesigned MacBook Pro with aluminum casing that's been rumored for months. There are some cheaper prices involved too, and if you want to read a minute-by-minute live blog of the event featuring Steve Jobs then check out this page from our corporate partner CNET.com.

Lots in the pipeline here and will keep the updates coming. Until next time, stay connected!