University of Twente Student Theses


IT-based risks in advergame campaigns : a focus on fairness and privacy

Groot, R.E.J. (2012) IT-based risks in advergame campaigns : a focus on fairness and privacy.

Abstract:Purpose The last few years have seen a rise in the use of advergames, games designed around a brand or product that are specifically created to communicate advertising messages. The combination of a brand with the fun and entertainment from playing a game results in outstanding performance with regard to brand memory, persuasion and visitor retention. However, due to their interactive, technological and data-oriented nature they have a risk profile different from other advertising methods, as they are also exposed to IT-based risks. The purpose of this study is to investigate what and how IT-based risks affect advergames, what their prevalence is, and to design a control to mitigate some of these risks. Results Four key areas of IT-based risk have been identified for advergames: security, where threats can target the brand owner's assets or visitors; fairness, where cheating can harm a brand's reputation and undermine the fun perceived by players, the key catalyst of advergame success. privacy, where threats are concerned with the loss of privacy sensitive data of players; and quality of experience risks, which can frustrate players and undermine fun as well. A model for fairness and privacy threats that is operationalized for the technological context of advergames, consisting of detailed descriptions of eighteen different threats that are categorized according to what part of an advergame's architecture they target has been developed. This model enables advergame developers to understand these threats and to assess their own advergames. This model has been used to perform a risk assessment of sixteen existing advergame campaigns and the results indicate overall high vulnerability for fairness threats, with medium to low impact and medium to high overall risk. The results indicate a serious and structural problem with fairness risks in advergames which significantly reduces the reliability and predictability of advergames as advertising instrument. An effective solution to mitigate fairness risks has been designed that supports the detection of almost all forms of cheating, and that can be integrated in existing or new advergames with relatively low effort.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Business Information Technology MSc (60025)
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