A screen grab of a Barack Obama billboard in the Xbox Live version of 'Burnout Paradise.'
The Barack Obama presidential campaign is EVERYWHERE.
Drivers of high-performance racing cars were a bit surprised over the weekend to spot roadside billboards with the Illinois senator's familiar face on them and the message "Early Voting Has Begun. VoteForChange.com."
Not unusual, you say? Well, these were virtual billboards, on imaginary roads, driven by Xbox 360 players in an online version of the popular racing video game "Burnout Paradise."
Game maker Electronic Arts confirmed Monday that the Obama campaign ads were the real deal.
"Like most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates," EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood told the tech blog GigaOm. "Like political spots on the television networks, these ads do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams."
Comments from gamers were mixed.
"The McCain campaign will respond by buying ads at Pong consoles nationwide," joked one on the car blog Jalopnik.
"You can't even PAY for a video game without being pummeled with ads," complained another.
"Wait ... can't you drive through the billboards in Burnout?" asked a third.