usually resulting in a happy ending. This occurs at the expense of the price
and means being set aside. Most advertisements rely heavily on visual props
and sometimes on text to convey their meaning. These codes are open to many
interpretations. This ad is no exception. It uses the visual code on many
different levels, and the text is there mainly for explanatory purposes. These
codes all have references to the story-line of Magic: two sorcerers using
spells to fight each other over imaginary regions of land. The advertisement
tries unsuccessfully to convey a happy ending, like in a fairy tale, to the
consumer, while sacrificing price and means.
The code of spatial order is used to show the reader advancements in
periods of time. These advancements can be seen as one looks at the ad from
the lower-left corner in a clockwise circle. The first object one would see is
a skull from a Woolly Mammoth, which is symbolic of prehistoric times. The
next object, a computer, stands out because it does not fit the pattern of
chronological order. Wizards of the Coast and Microprose, the advertisers, use
this purposely by drawing attention to the computer and consequently the
computer game. The computer falls into another pattern. This pattern goes in
the same order, clock-wise, but alternates between Magic (the game) and
something pertaining to the background of the game. The next objects are tarot
cards and a spell book, both of which follow the patterns. These objects,
along with the mood of the entire ad being dark, may be interpreted by the
consumer to mean death or the devil. This is based on cultural beliefs and
rituals. Most people believe angels and good guys wear white, and therefore
devils and bad guys dress in black. Also, people usually wear black clothing to
funerals, which is essentially a ritual for death. The next item in the
pattern is actual cards from the game of Magic. These ...
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