When I went to CBS.com this morning, I was surprised to see this massive collapsing flash ad for the Nintendo DS title Hotel Dusk Room 215:

Ad of Hotel Dusk Room 215 on CBS.com

"Touch Generations" may be a marketing term for Nintendo's attempt to broaden the base of people of videogames beyond, but it is refreshing to see a company put its money where its mouth is. Not only did they create a innovative game that Nintendo is calling an "interactive mystery novel" and played by holding the DS like a book, but they are also marketing it to the mainstream CBS network audience, which is traditionally known to skew more toward the geriatric end.

I give this marketing campaign for Hotel Dusk Room 215 an "A."

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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3 Comments on "Marketing 101: Hotel Dusk Room 215 on CBS.com"

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Holding the DS by the sides is truly a gimmick; however, it’s a very well done gimmick and a lot of the game’s styles would’ve been compromised had it been made to be played as other DS games. As for my thoughts for the game, I’m quoting my post from a thread: “Make no mistakes about it: this is a point and click adventure. Haters of the particular genre, don’t bother, as nothing – save the art style – will appeal to anyone of such group. Being a point and click game, Hotel Dusk Room 215 doesn’t place too much… Read more »
Jason Karney

I hadn’t actually heard of this game until I saw it at the game store last weekend. It looked interesting to me, atlhough I thought that holding the DS on its side seemed a little gimmicky. Yet shun likes it, so there must be some merit.

I don’t watch Rules, so would I enjoy this game? 🙂


Incidentally, I just got the game yesterday and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s quite impressive.

Whenever I sign in on MSN messenger, there’s an MSN-generated popup of its few sponsors, and I’ve always wondered about its seemingly permanent marketing of Riviera: The Promised Land.