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Archive for June, 2009

People who play in the virtual world of Second Life (R) need to get a real life, yes? After all, it has to be full of pathetic losers who have no friends except the other pathetic losers they find online.

So how isolated do you have to be if your best friend in Second Life is a dog. Or put another way, a scripted bundle of pixels that moves in response to manipulating coding variables.

Well, Freeta Kayo appears to have done a great job in showing how it can be done. In a YouTube video entitled You Are My Sunshine, Ms. Kayo cavorts around with her canine companion, a well-scripted German Shepherd.

It’s worth sitting through the cloying cheese to catch the very, very end of the movie – the easter egg following the credits. Well, I thought it was funny!

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Nielsen Games released its March 2009 data for top console usage and PC game titles with Playstation 2 and the role-playing game World Of Warcraft again topping their respective lists.

Top 10 PC Game Titles: March 2009
RANK Game Publisher Avg. Min Per Week
1 World of Warcraft Blizzard Entertainment 653
2 Second Life Linden Lab 760
3 Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Ubisoft 582
4 Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword 2K Games 668
5 Bookworm PopCap Games 169
6 Half-Life 2 Vivendi Games 313
7 Civilization IV 2K Games 332
8 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Blizzard Entertainment 213
9 Chessmaster Challenge PlayFirst 54
10 StarCraft Blizzard Entertainment 334

Source: Nielsen Games – GamePlay Metrics™

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The social network Twitter was asked by the US government to delay a planned outage in order to allow Twitter users in Iran to report on events taking place following the recent controversial election. Dubbed the “Twitter Revolution,” Iran’s government attempted a total media shutdown but cell phone owners have been able to send tweets without interference.

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Sims 3 iPhone Debut

EA Games is now shipping a iPhone version of its popular The Sims 3 game. The game takes full advantage of the iPhone’s multi-touch screen capabilities allowing players to change views with ease.

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Dental students will soon be adding virtual world simulations to their training procedures. Thanks to researchers in Sweden and the US, a new piece of software called the Virtual Dental Implant Training Simulation is now in beta testing.

The Virtual Dental Implant Training Simulation is now in beta testing, and set for rollout next fall, when it will reach about 15,000 dental students in 25 universities around the globe that partner with Nobel Biocare of Sweden, the project’s funder. Developed by Maryland-based game developer BreakAway in concert with the Medical College of Georgia, VDIT uses entertainment technology to simulate real-world scenarios.

Serious gaming, as it’s called, allows players to enter the virtual worlds of the military, corporate training and health care, and gain experience before they tackle real-time problems in the real world. Dr. Roman Cibirka, Vice President for Instruction and Enrollment Management Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, put the wheels in motion 18 months ago, after he attended a Games for Health conference.

Primary Source: Popsci.com

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Habbo, which see more than 11 million unique users each month, today released its annual Global Habbo Youth Survey Brand Update. The study, says Habbo, explores teens’ connection and interests toward individual brands and highlights their preferences in categories including consumer electronics, music, sportswear, and games. On the game/virtual worlds front, Runescape maintained its number one status among US respondents, followed by Gaia Online, IMVU, World of Warcraft, and Club Penguin.

Top Online Games / Virtual Worlds (other than Habbo)
1. Runescape
2. Gaia Online
3. IMVU
4. World of Warcraft
5. Club Penguin
6. MySpace
7. Meez
8. Maple Story
9. Neopets
10. The Sims

Top Web sites (other than Habbo)
1. MySpace
2. YouTube
3. Facebook
4. Addicting Games
5. Runescape
6. Google
7. Yahoo
8. Gaia Online
9. Club Penguin
10. Miniclip

The study was conducted in April, 2009, collecting the opinions of some 112,000 teens between the ages of 11-19.

Source: Virtual World News

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Microsoft has unveiled for the first time to the public their “Project Natal.” This is the code name for a revolutionary new way to play with no controller required. See a ball? Kick it, hit it, trap it or catch it. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips or speak, you and your friends can jump into the fun. The only experience needed is life experience.

Compatible with any Xbox 360 system, the “Project Natal” sensor is the world’s first to combine an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor running proprietary software all in one device. Unlike 2-D cameras and controllers, “Project Natal” tracks your full body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions and even a shift of emotion in your voice.

In addition, unlike other devices, the “Project Natal” sensor is not light-dependent. It can recognize you just by looking at your face, and it doesn’t just react to key words but understands what you’re saying. Call a play in a football game, and players will actually respond. Want to log onto Xbox LIVE? Simply step in front of the sensor.

Lionhead Studios have created an interactive demo using a character called Milo.

“The next step in interactive entertainment is to make the controller disappear,” said Steven Spielberg, visionary director and producer. “With ‘Project Natal,’ we’ll see games that bring everyone together through technology that actually recognizes us.”

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