In a move that shows exactly how savvy politicians have to be - US presidential hopeful Barrack Obama has targeted gamers with his latest campaign.

The Illinois senator is believed to be the first ever candidate for the top US job to place ads in online video games.

With the election getting ever closer, Obama has put ads in 18 games through Microsoft Corp's Xbox Live service.

The games include Guitar Hero 3, The Incredible Hulk, NASCAR 09, NBA Live 08 and NFL Tour.

They promote his online voter registration and early balloting drive in 10 battleground states - Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Colorado.

"The 18-to-34-year-old male is the mainstream demographic for the hard-core video gamer", said Van Baker, an analyst for Gartner to Reuters. "They're hard to get to because they don't watch much TV and they don't read a lot, so it's a good venue to get that segment."