Idea of the Day: PlayStation’s Shoot My Truck

Video games are a way to escape reality. The rules of the world don’t apply once gamers slip into a fantasy realm where all manner of social ills are tolerated and even encouraged. But what if gamers could bring those experiences to real life?

That’s the idea behind a new campaign for PlayStation’s Twisted Metal game launching today. Crafted by Deutsch LA, the effort invites gamers to control (via the Web) a real M249-SAW firing at an ice cream truck and other objects in the desert. Gamers queue at to control the powerful gun this morning, with about 1,500 expected to get turns of 30 seconds each over two days of mayhem. Three gamers will get 90 seconds of shooting time for the grand finale, which will be punctuated by the explosion of the truck. The results will be livecast from the site. An intro video of the project features Twisted Metal’s legendary game director David Jaffe saying, “Why am I standing in the middle of a f—-g desert? Because I’m about to start blowing shit up.”

The campaign takes place on the day Twisted Metal hits stores, ironically timed to Valentine’s Day. Deutsch opted for this approach over a campaign with a TV spot and takeovers of game sites. The idea, according to Deutsch LA creative director Sam Bergen, is to make a big splash with an “alpha moment” that will impress the hard-to-impress gamer crowd and serve as a bridge between the make-believe of video games and real life.

“It’s this thought that if you were handed an automatic weapon and 70 bullets, would you pull the trigger?” he said. “The answer for every gamer is, ‘hell yeah.’ We wanted to give a tangible experience to play this game.”

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