Saturday, September 1, 2007

Tidbits from around the blogosphere...

Pressed for time (long weekend or no!), here are a few things that caught my eye this week:

  • Google Earth has a flight sim easter egg. Like many, I thought "Steve.... what are you up to?", but he claims "nuffin!". (My first thought is that this is just like any other Christensen effect thing - Those that sell flight sims (like MS) just have to stay far enough ahead of free to justify the money.
  • This story of the boorish behavior of one exec director of the "video game expo" at PAX (VGE seems to want to compete with them and was attending to poach talent and gather intel) is very funny. Good luck with your event there buddy.
  • Ubisoft seems to be dipping their toe in the water with free, ad-supported full PC games. A few of the casual folks have been trying their hand at this, but this is the first I've seen it for full retail titles like Far Cry. Curious to see how it turns out (i.e. if you see more games showing up --> it went well!)
  • There's been some fallout about the ESRB changing the rating on Manhunt 2 (from AO to M) and their not wanting to disclose what changed in the game or the rating of it. Sounds like the ESRB is rapidly turning into the MPAA. Now more than ever, I want to see this film.
  • The 'shrimponomics' post on Freakonomics is required reading. First, read this one. Now answer the question, and only then (spoiler) read this one. The exercise, now that you've completed shrimponomics, is to think about how this applies to your company (i.e. in my case, game-o-nomics, console-o-nomics, and Redmond-o-nomics :-)
  • Maven and her friends: The state of AI on a host of classic games (connect-4, Scrabble...)

1 comment:

Michael Wilford said...

Hi Kim. We met last GDC and I'm a long time subscriber to the blog, but this is my first post.

It's definitely worth seeing This Film Is Not Yet Rated. I won't spoil the flick, but I think you brought up an interesting point. To me, it seems as though a bunch of film creators are bitching about the rating system because it's been so long since the film industry has had to seriously worry about Jack Thompson harassing one of their studios, or politicians looking for cheap votes by supporting laws for banning certain movie sales to minors.

Meanwhile, our industry is struggling feverishly for acceptance and our ratings board is desperately searching for a balance in appeasing developers yet giving the powers that be their pound of flesh. Film creators have the luxury of forgetting how difficult things can be without a non-government run ratings board (no matter how fascist). Anyway, I bring it up to fence your point about the ESRB rapidly turning into the MPAA.