Joystiq reader "Pickypants" asked a great question earlier this morning in our post about Microsoft's acquisition of Massive Inc.
He asked, "how -- specifically in games -- will ads give a benefit to the end user?"
First, just to get this out of the way: we know that ads can be evil. We'll be the first to slam anyone that clumsily inserts advertisements into a game in such a way that it hurts the in-game experience. That's a given! But let's move past the issue by assuming for a moment that advertisers, developers and publishers are aware of gamer alarm over the prospect of in-game ads. These parties know that they'd be hurting their businesses if they were to bludgeon gamers with ads because the resultant backlash would dampen game sales.
Context laid, let's answer the question: