Articles of Interest

Seth Godin posts his Nine steps to Powerpoint magic. A worthwhile read if you’re like me and can’t help but pack tons of text into your presentations…

Changing the Game appeared in the Financial Times (print and online). And speaking of the book, Ethan and I finally got around to creating a website for it: ChangingTheGameBook.com. It still needs work, but I’d be curious to hear what you all think of the current incarnation. We’re trying to make it more useful than the typical book brochureware, so we’ve added a bunch of reference material and, of course, a blog.

Nintendo is finally, FINALLY making another Punch-Out. I’ve been saying for ages what an absolute no-brainer another Punch-Out would be, sales-wise! Unfortunately, from the sound of things, Nintendo’s new game may be a remake with little (if any) original content; I’ve been really hoping for a true sequel. But that’s OK — a remake still jumps to the top of my Wii wish list. :-)

Interesting article in the New York Times on how the F.A.A uses video games to not only train air traffic controllers (no surprise), but also to screen candidates. Most notably, the games used for screening are not the training games — they are “game-like tests, designed by psychologists. In one, a bit like Tetris or Frogger, three parallel belts, running at different speeds, drop colored letters toward the bottom of the screen. The test-taker must try to grab each letter before it drops, and put it in a bin of the appropriate color… The hard part comes when the screen disappears and the computer asks questions like: How many bins were in use? How full were they? What letters were still on the belts? Scoring well on the test is supposed to reveal the qualities that make a good air traffic controller, including the ability to work under pressure and maintain situational awareness.”

Several experts, most notably Ian Bogost (see Persuasive Games), have argued that advergames are most effective when thematically related to the brand that they are trying to promote. Here’s a recent research study backing up that assertion.

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