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Innovation

What's your Super Bowl gameplan?

To be honest, I have a lot more interest in the high-profile Super Bowl commercials than the Super Bowl itself. But football is, under all the money and hype, still a game, and the natural question to ask is, how do we tie interactive and/or video games in with this once-a-year cultural experience?
Written by Libe Goad, Contributor on

To be honest, I have a lot more interest in the high-profile Super Bowl commercials than the Super Bowl itself. But football is, under all the money and hype, still a game, and the natural question to ask is, how do we tie interactive and/or video games in with this once-a-year cultural experience?

This year, we've seen little, apart from the somewhat obvious plan to use Electronic Arts' Madden football video game to play a pre-Super-Bowl simulation. In the just-played official EA match, the Giants defeated the Patriots, 27-24. A reasonable potential outcome, but keep in mind that the Madden simulation was wrong last year, when it predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers would beat the Green Bay Packers.

Digging back a bit, several Super Bowl gamification efforts were targeted at last year's game. Seattle-based gamification agency BigDoor pointed out a few, including a Mercedes "Tweet Race" that started about a month before the game, awarding both Super Bowl tickets and a car.

During the Super Bowl itself last year, an advertisement for the animated film 'Rio,' featured a code that viewers could use to unlock new levels in one of Rovio's insanely popular Angry Birds games.

While the cost of entry to the Super Bowl is high -- ad space is limited and expensive (an understatement if there ever was one) -- plenty of companies and brands get around that, and the NFL's trademark police, by tying into the "Big Game" or some other such inoffensive, and legally allowable phrase, meaning you don't need to bean official licensee to surf on the wave of Super Bowl excitement.

What Super Bowl (or "Big Game") gaming tie-ins have you seen? (I suppose Fantasy Football is probably the most obvious game mechanic applied to football, but that largely concerns the regular season.) Is it even worth trying to gamify the biggest game experience of the year? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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