Articles of Interest

  • Via C3, word that MSNBC has launched Newsbreaker — basically Breakout but with news headlines that appear when you destroy bricks. Initial gut reaction: seems like a gimmick of the less fruitful kind; comprehension of the news has too little to do with the gameplay to make a real impact on the player. But perhaps that’s unfair of me… Newsbreaker has some charm. I’d be curious to see usage stats (and clickthrough stats for the news.)
  • Skype launches a casual gaming portal. I wouldn’t underestimate it (before seeing how well they execute.)
  • Ubisoft increases its emphasis on casual games, and announces My Life Coach, a DS game that will offer “a personal coach that gives anybody concerned about their well-being the willpower they need to change their habits.”
  • Starcraft 2 is coming. You’ve already heard, but I’m mentioning it anyway. Somehow, it would feel wrong not to.
  • Via Raph, news that BarbieGirls.com registered half a million users in a few months. Yet another place to buy virtual furniture, clothes, and pets with winnings from simple games.
  • Schools in Kyoto test DS English training software on students, with favorable results (i.e. a material improvement in vocabulary.)

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