Articles of Interest

  • Worldwide wrap-up of notable happenings in video game academia this past Fall.
  • Linden Lab has open-sourced the Second Life client. Given widespread recognition that the current client isn’t very user-friendly, the announcement has been greeted with enthusiasm by many bloggers. Linden Lab claims it will someday open-source the server code, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
  • Everyone is talking about Slamdance (specifically, the festival’s decision to eject a controversial contestant, Super Columbine Massacre RPG, given pressure from sponsors.) Now three fellow contestants have withdrawn from Slamdance in protest; most industry bloggers appear to be cheering them on (primarily for rejecting double-standards, re: the treatment of controversial films vs. controversial games.)
  • Lots of (good!) Microsoft-and-games-related news:
    • From CES, 10.4M Xbox 360s shipped, 2.7M units of Gears of War shipped in 8 weeks, attach rate of 5.3 titles per Xbox 360, 5M+ members of Xbox Live, 20M+ XBLA games downloaded, and 2M text/voice/picture messages sent via Live per day. Estimate of 13-15M consoles shipped by fiscal year end.
    • Also from CES, IPTV is coming to the Xbox 360 (by holiday season ’07). Personally very excited about this one.  đź™‚
    • The New York Times has published a glowing review of Vista, as it pertains to games. The review focuses on the importance and usability of parental controls in the OS.
    • Via FierceGameBiz a few days ago, news that movie downloads on Xbox are surpassing those of several major e-tailers (including Amazon), despite an obviously smaller customer base.

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