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Internet Games With Big Ticket Prizes

Bits & Bytes


AS SOON AS THE WORLD Wide Web brought graphics to the Internet, consumer-goods companies began using promotional games to attract and entertain customers. But what about the tens of millions of people who don't use the Web and only have access to Internet E-mail? A company called Yoyodyne Entertainment has a way to reach them with sponsored games, too.

Yoyodyne, a subsidiary of Seth Godin Productions Inc., a book-packaging company in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., has written software that it calls a "game engine." The company says the software can easily be adapted to run a wide range of games that test people's knowledge. Games can range from simple question-answer schemes to setups in which people must watch certain TV shows for clues. Sponsors can add promotional messages to the E-mail they send to participants over the game's course of a month or more. The company's first sponsored Internet game is Batter Up, backed by Major League Baseball. Its first prize is a trip to the World Series. To make itself better known, Yoyodyne is running a trivia game called Classic Car Challenge. Top prize: a used 1992 Mazda Miata or $10,000 in cash. Information can be obtained by sending E-mail to batterup@internetmci. or miata@yoyo. com, respectively. EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY

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