Articles of Interest

Nintendo is working with The National Association for Music Education to put Wii Music into schools in 51 US cities. The goal: to help children with rhythm, song structure, etc.

Good, if brief, list of common mechanics that tend to spoil the gameplay experience.

Some very interesting news out of Apple over the past couple weeks. First, it announced that anticopying restrictions would be removed from all music in iTunes, and that record companies would no longer be limited to selling songs for $0.99. (Great move, IMO.) Second, just one week after announcing that he was suffering from a simple “hormone imbalance,” Steve Jobs reversed course and said he was taking a six-month leave of absence due to more serious health issues — triggering an SEC investigation. Finally, Apple’s quarterly profits blew past analyst estimates due to strong sales of iPods, iPhones, and laptops; an impressive feat given the state of the economy.

Microsoft announced that Doritos: Dash of Destruction had been the most downloaded game in the second half of December, with almost 1m downloads. (Not bad for an advergame…)

Via Warren Spector, a delightful reprinting of clever New York Magazine language competitions. One of my favorites: “Prequels” — which elicted submissions such as “Two Dalmations”, “Prince Kong”, “Malcolm IX”, and “We’re Running Low on Mohicans.”

There’s more to life than games:

God bless the new President of the United States of America, Barack Obama! And for all our sakes, good luck to him…

MSMR shares a pricing study with two interesting conclusions: 1) The negative effects of unethical corporate behavior have a substantially greater impact on consumer willingness to pay than the positive effects of ethical behavior, and, 2) No difference in consumer willingness to pay was found between products that were 25%, 50% and 100% ethically-produced.

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