Articles of Interest

An in-depth look at the reasons Duke Nukem Forever never shipped. This is one of the better articles I’ve read in Wired.

I appreciate time/date and season-specific functionality in games, such as the Christmas-linked “Pure White” mode in Demon’s Souls. Why don’t more games do stuff like this on a larger scale? Make it server-based and you’ve just reduced player incentive to resell games (i.e. you might miss out on cool functionality that only gets unlocked on certain days of the year.)

The free version of Shazam for the iPhone was recently limited to five uses a month, while a new $4.99 version supports unlimited uses. The $4.99 version is supposedly selling well, which should be encouraging to all iPhone developers. (It ain’t easy to convince people to pay for something that was previously free.) Also notable: Shazam has apparently been adding 500k new users every week for an entire year.

Steve Perlman demos OnLive and discusses everything – the technology, the business model, etc. I’m still in “believe it when I see it” mode… but I’m definitely eager to see it. 🙂

Things that retail game publishers worry about: 2009 saw 1,099 retail game releases across all major platforms, increasing the total games available to consumers by 55%. At least 50 games (i.e. Call of Duty and GTA) are permanent fixtures on the retail shelf. What’s all this translate to? Less available shelf space, and less average shelf-time per game.

Google’s answer to the iPhone was finally unveiled. Looks slick, but my main reason for being interested in it has less to do with the phone, and more to do with abandoning the train wreck that is AT&T’s overburdened network.

There’s more to life than games:

A remarkably well-written essay about the death penalty; it exposes the flaws in arson investigation practices and tackles Texas’ criminal justice system, in general. Fair warning: it’s a very long essay, but one worth reading regardless of whether or not you support the death penalty.

Israel will become the first country in the world to give people who sign their organ donor cards “points”; these points push your name higher up on the transplant waiting list in the event that you personally require an organ donation. Seems like the only fair system, to me.

Amazing, amazing anti-aging related research! Let the vampire jokes begin…

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