Articles of Interest

Nintendo finally acknowledges the possibility that demos “might” help stimulate Wiiware sales; now if they just fix their most basic merchandising and UI issues, they’ll… still be way behind the 360 in the downloadable arena. But on the positive front, I love the (admittedly noncommittal) remarks Iwata made about his potential interest in a Nintendo handheld sporting free 3G connectivity like the Kindle.

China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) has attempted to shut down World of Warcraft again; the Ministry of Culture claims the GAPP doesn’t have the authority to do that. Regardless of the outcome, this situation (plus the events of mid-October) should make any foreign game company quite nervous about investing in China. Unrelatedly, Blizzard has finally introduced in-game content available exclusively for cash purchase to WoW. It’s clearly a mild test designed to gauge potential profitability and user backlash… but I bet this eventually leads to more microtransactions in WoW and/or other Blizzard premium MMOs.

Check out this wonderful (and unfortunately rare) example of one game developer’s efforts to attempt a little jujitsu on PC game piracy. The developer is RedLynx, creator of the massively-successful XBLA game Trials HD, and their “jujitsu” was leaking their own game to Bittorrent — with minor adjustments of course.

Techcrunch finds more offer-related problems in Zynga’s FishVille which causes Facebook to pull down the entire game. Now Zynga is suspending its use of offers until a better way to police them is identified. This is a good thing — it will (hopefully) result in a very rapid cleansing of the offer business (at least in the social gaming space.)

There’s more to life than games:

More on health care: “A recent report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute, looked at how well 19 developed countries succeeded in avoiding ‘preventable deaths,’ such as those where a disease could be cured or forestalled. [The United States] ranked in last place… The figures are even worse for members of minority groups. An African-American in New Orleans has a shorter life expectancy than the average person in Vietnam or Honduras.” Well, here’s some cause for celebration (and surprise): both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the AARP endorsed the health care legislation recently passed by House Democrats, just prior to its passing.

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