McCain Facebook game pokes fun at pork

mccaingame.JPGSort of like Walter Mondale’s 1984 political slogan, “Where’s the Beef?,” the 2008 political campaign is all about pork- pork barrelling, that is.

John McCain’s campaign last week launched a video game on Facebook called “Pork Invaders,” a spoof on the 1978 arcade favorite “Space Invaders” that takes aim at pork barrelling, or government spending that aims to satisfy a group of voters in exchange for their political support. 

In the game, players use arrow keys to shift a McCain logo across the screen to shoot red “vetoes” at a herd of pigs looming above.  But watch out, the pigs are ready to aim at and, well, soil, the Arizona Senator’s logo.  The more pigs players “veto,” the larger the amount of dollars saved in the budget. 

The low-tech game is a “unique way to get the Senator’s message out there about pork barrelling and earmarks,” according to Rick Gorka, a spokesman for the McCain campaign.  

Facebook users can add the video game application to their profiles.  This is one of the first online strategies McCain’s campaign has used on Facebook, a social online network popular with the young voters who have flocked to support McCain’s rival, Democrat Barack Obama.

Take-Two takers?

Take-Two Interactive CEO Ben Feder told us yesterday the company is in formal discussions with a range of parties interested in its “strategic alternatives,” which could involve a sale.

But they didn’t say with whom.

The “Grand Theft Auto” game maker has been fending off the unsolicited advances of Electronic Arts‘ $2 billion offer since March. At the time, Take-Two management deemed the $25.74 per share offer too low, charging EA with low-balling the company ahead of the release of the latest from its hit criminal action franchise. Take-Two traded at $27.52 on Friday morning.

So, who else might be a potential white knight? Time Warner, which has made no secret of its ambitions in the games arena, would be a nice fit, although we’re hearing they’re not in this one. Just this week the company led a $40 million round of financing for online games developer Turbine Entertainment, on the heels of a $30 million investment in April in “Lara Croft” maker SCi Entertainment Group.

Viacom rocks with Rock Band

Viacom Chairman Redstone holds $20 bill out to photographers as he poses with wife Fortunato at 80th annual Academy Awards in HollywoodYoutube video we wish existed: Sumner Redstone rocking out on “Rock Band” to the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” or Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

In the meantime we can assume that Viacom’s octogenarian executive chairman is rockin’ today after the media conglomerate said its first quarter profit rose 33 percent on strong sales of the “Rock Band” video game and higher advertising revenue at MTV Networks. Revenue rose 15 percent to $3.1 billion, beating analysts’ estimate of $3 billion.

It gets even better in the Viacom executive suite, at least for today — its film “Iron Man” kicks off the summer blockbuster season to positive reviews, including that of tough Wall Street Journal reviewer Joe Morgenstern who said it had “exhilarating” action and “scintillating” comedy.

Warner Bros.’s new games guy

martin-tremblay-headshot.jpgMeet Warner Bros’s new video game czar Martin Tremblay, who was named president of Interactive Entertainment.

Tremblay will report directly to Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group, when he starts in July.

Warner poached Tremblay from Vivendi Games, where he was president of worldwide studios since 2006, during which he oversaw the release of “F.E.A.R”, “Scarface: The World is Yours”, and the “Crash and Spyro” series.