Link collection

 Posted by (Visited 9222 times)  Game talk
Jul 312006

Just some random interesting links as I clear out my collection here…

  • All the industry folks are abuzz over the revelations that the ESA may downsize E3, turning it into nothing but private meeting rooms, as the larger publishers all leave to make their own events (a practice that more and more publishers have been pursuing anyway). What will this mean? Well, individual events will never get the media hype that E3 gets. The big publishers can show enough simultaneous titles to run a show. Smaller folks will get frozen out a little bit more from the traditional gaming media, since it will be harder to attract attention. More marketing will have to shift to the web. The media will get clearer pictures of the games at this downsized E3, but the happy accident of finding a cool game tucked in a corner will probably be reduced.

  • BusinessWeek on the use of games for treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Echoing the discussions on “game-hopping” in Korea that we had recently, here’s an article in which C|Net discusses the arc and lifespan of MMOs in China [edit: link fixed], with one analyst claiming that WoW is 1/3 through its viable lifespan there. Are the days of the enduring hit gone forever? I personally think that no, they aren’t — choice doesn’t always mean that people will not stick longer, but it does mean that hits become harder to come by, just as they are in TV.
  • Speaking of games that keep on trucking and show growth when you don’t expect it, Puzzle Pirates has announced 2m registered users. Arr, Daniel, ye knows that registered users be a landlubber’s metric! Still, congratulations are in order, as it’s a significant achievement, and speaks well for the business model that Three Rings has adopted with micropayment doubloons.
  • Cross-gender roleplay hits Reuters, and nothing new gets said. Second Life needs to add the Spivak gender as many text-based virtual worlds have. 🙂

On a side note, COBRA is a pain in the butt. And my computer is overheating, but all the fans still seem to be running. How do you tell which fan is the problem? 😛

  15 Responses to “Link collection”

  1. Aww you didn’t see the French Goverment’s video game thread at GO and the BBC news article about it?

  2. I’m a bit bummed out about the E3 thing. I was going to try and get us down there for it in 07′, and was looking forward to the whole “trade show” thing my first time. Eh, I guess I’ll have to settle for the revamped E3, and probably hear people tell “war stories” about the old E3.

    But heres a question: What happens to the booth babes? Dont they have any sympathy for the booth babe industry? Think of the impact to the unemployment rate!

    Raph- Is the Korea Times pretty much the most reliable Korean market information site? Ive seen you cite it a few times now, just wondering.

    As to fans, Im not giving any hardware advice r/t fans (especially since I dont know WTH COBRA is, I’ll assume its a comp or motherboard), the potential to fry something is to great. But mostly you have to fualt test them by “unplug” from the motherboards power source or whatever power source. Or you can take fans out and hook them up to a power source and test each one. I only remember how to deal with hardware when I absolutely need to or every 2 years when I build a new system. GL though….

  3. COBRA is the system whereby you can stay on company health insurance after termination of employment.

  4. Raph wrote:

    All the industry folks are abuzz over the revelations that the ESA may downsize E3, turning it into nothing but private meeting rooms …

    I think the "nothing but private meeting rooms" description of the new positioning and restructuring of E3Expo 2007 is a slight oversimplification — yes, I know "press events and small meetings" is described on the official press release — but we’ll have to wait and see. In my opinion, the transformation to a strong business orientation has been in-the-making for awhile. I’m anticipating the new format, but I’m not predicting the future of the event. With more focus shifting to independently organized events, I think we’ll see more interest from consumers in the developers and publishers of the products they purchase and/or use.

    BusinessWeek on the use of games for treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

    The Virtual Reality Medical Center is actually a local San Diego facility, which I also posted about here. I scour the wire daily for games-related news local to San Diego and post the news to the San Diego Chapter of the IGDA website…

    The VRMC FAQs is interesting:

    Controlled clinical studies of virtual reality treatment as well as clinical services performed over the past seven years at the VRMC for specific phobias, panic disorder and agoraphobia reveal a success rate of approximately 92%.

    I wonder if typical entertainment games can be used for therapy. I’m sure I read of a gym in San Marcos that actually used games as part of a kids’ health program…

  5. Your link to the CNet story about game lifespan is broken, you closed the link without putting any text inside it.


  6. Oh well yes I took COBRA to refer to the subsequent text, yeah COBRA the
    program for continuity of healthcare is a pain, I’d get into the details of why the expense is so high (as thats my Analytic/Actuarial background) but I dont want to bore you to death. But basically the cost is to control for the probability of an expensive illness occuring (catastrophic in health terminology) between employers. Expensive but the alternative is not worth the cost savings if something does happen….


    Theres a whole relatively new (actually about 15 years old)industry in healthcare called “Disease Management”. There actually is a decent amount of literature on controling for (high cost chronic conditions) health care costs through what are known as “Best Practices”.

    Companies set up different programmatic designs, which for the sake of brevity I wont get into. Some valid and efficiant some not so much. As far as high cost is concerned one of the more costly areas of healthcare IS behavioral health, anything that can lower those costs even slightly is has a huge ROI potential.

    The trick would be to integrate Disease Management principles with best practices in an interactive game setting to help patients modify thier behaviors for positive cost savigns outcomes. This could be done effectivly with:
    CHF (Congestive Heart Failure)
    Behavioral Health

    Well the potentialities are very very good for this. If you need more info on this area (healthcare and DM) feel free to email me. Im suprised no one has investigated this area…..profit potential is really good and ROI for purchasers of healthcare (employers) would be pretty awesome.

  7. I fixed the link, Dave.

  8. […] collection Link collection: “Just some random interesting links as I clear out my collectionhere… […]

  9. As far as the story itself: Asia seems to be different, again. UO isn’t going away, after nearly 9 years it still has over 120K subscribers, EQ1 is still around, Anarchy Online, and so on.

    MMO’s die from neglect, because nobody cares enough to invest effort in their maintenance. In Asia’s overheated market, that may be a fairly low threshold. But for the US market, every game that has fallen to less than half of it’s peak, it was arguably due to simple neglect.

    I’ve never been impressed with the depth of Asian games, and it seems to be getting worse rather than better. The interesting questions will be answered by following the lifecycle of WoW in the two markets. Are Asian games “bubblegum” because of the business forces influencing the designs, or because the market there demands it?


  10. Aye, it’s a landlubbers metric, for sure. Fair cop!

  11. These seem to be questions about quantifying behavior patterns, as consumers, socially, culturally and specifically related to games. Are there any studies (anyone has)specifically related to gaming trends or closely related products (from which we can extrapolate modeling?)?

    I know I keep asking for these refferances, its frustrating not having a depth of archives on this subject, it must be more frustrating having worked in this market/space for a long time and knowing these things dont exist but are needed.

    Last night I was putting together a list of University programs that had game design offerings, because where theres a major there follows research. What a frustrating exercise!!!

  12. In regards to onling gaming trends in China:

    Safa Rashtchy got a good analytical eye, so I’ll would be incline to believe his assessment, but one thing to realize is that people are still going to game rooms to play Warcraft III in large numbers.

    So, while WoW may have hit the 1/3 point along the typical growth curve, the remaining 2/3 is long-tailed, meaning that it will have legs as long as the game is properly managed through its maturity.

    There is an element of neglect, from the publishers and from the end-channel participants, but it’s really a function of glut and business focus. Just as large corporations go on to distroy value, developers and operators do chase the hype/growth and neglect the mature/stable community.

    Lastly, the move to free-to-play format is just an adjustment to the dynamics of the market. Premium products can be priced under a fee-to-pay model while older games have to switch to free-to-play model. As operators expand their coverage to third and fourth tier Chinese cities (which comprise much of the population, albeit more frugal), the marketing and pricing dynamics changes.

    As for the revamped E3:

    I think the aim is to control the masses of fanbois and allow exhibitors more control of their marketing spend and efforts. There was a sense that the masses that attended were counterproductive to the real business at hand. In the world of free access to information and faster distribution via RSS, Blogs, publishers and organized media want to control the information flow more.



  14. good assessment frank.

    also noted: gamasutra has a wonderful list of educational organizations with game design programs ….

  15. I don’t think that small companies were served well by E3, anyway. It was too big and noisy to talk to press or publishers, and unlike the large companies, the small companies really couldn’t afford quiet space. If you were a little fish, it was too easy to get lost in the ocean, and go mostly unnoticed. I’ve represented a small company there before, and have absolutely nothing good to say about the experience.

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