Wednesday, January 05, 2011

CES 2011: Social Gaming, Multiplayer Experience Panel

CES 2011 Gaming Panel, originally uploaded by zennie62.

The focus of this CES 2011 Day Two Panel is large community gaming, social gaming, and how this involves the smartphone environment. Mike Vorhaus is the lively moderator of this afternoon panel.

The Panelists: John Cahill, President & CEO of Meez Social Entertainment, Don Daglow, Created First Graphic game for AOL, lead designer on a Facebook game, Gnu Financial Director is Mike Harris, also involved in making a game called "Corporate Bloodbath." Hany Nada, is a venture capitalist, co-founder and partner, GGV Capital, and involved with a dozen gaming companies. Chris Petrovc, GameStop Director. Don Reilley is the Interactive Ad Sales Director with Microsoft, and places ads in the games played on Xbox.

How do you see see Smartphones impacting gaming? "Increased usage will take the place of plastic," Petrovic says. Vorhaus says that Daglow says that the Wii type products discourages add on products and adda "They will have a chilling effect on other types of peripherals," for games. Harris disagrees to an extent, saying that some Wii applications with a hardware component do allow additional peripherals.

The Tablet and Older People

The panel conversation turned to how games are used and the demand for them on the part of "older people," and with respect to the tablet. The general view is that Bigger is better for the older consumer.

Tablet Over Smarphone

The general advantage of a tablet versus a smartphone is real estate. There's much more space. But Nada says there's more money to be made from the smarphone because of the size of the market for it.

Trends In Game Downloading?

Trend: not full game download, but an evolution of the utility of the disk and what's placed on it. Gamestop's Petrovic explains that this is an emerging business model for gaming. "Some studies have shown that users want a 20 to 25 percent discount if they download versus disk download. Microsoft's Reilley agrees, saying that the disk isn't going away at all. Downloads of full versions of games are not the way - for them.

Nada says the problem is the mentality of the game publisher, who wants to put it all in a game box. The way, he says, is to (and this will eventually happen) is for the game to go on a cloud, and be improved as time goes on. But for today, that's not what game developers want to do.

The Maturation Of The Gamer

Nada says that it used to be that the gamer was a kid, but not anymore: "I'm a gamer," he says, "I grew up with all the games." And now he's an adult. In other words, the new gaming demographic is the older to middle aged person, as much as it is the teenager.

Stay tuned.

CES 2011 Las Vegas Day 2: Digital Hollywood, Content & Mobile

Digital Hollywood Session, originally uploaded by zennie62.
As I blog, I'm sitting on my butt (again), this time at the Digital Hollywood track session on "Advertising Accountability: Metrics and Analytics around Video, Social Media, Broadband and Mobile." It features a number of panelists representing tech and content development, and is a really broad conversation on the future of the nexus of content and mobile devices. The fact that the talk is so much of an "overview" reflects how new this technical environment is.

For example, should a content creator make the online store to sell their content? I'd say, of course they should," but for the music industry such efforts equalled theft of artist product. But the point is, the content developer is generally a tech-savvy person - good enough to make their own website to distribute their creations, be it music, videos, etc.

Oh. And would you believe that the majority of people in this SRO audience have NEVER been to a Twitter party, by a show of hands? Wow.

More CES on Video

Yesterday, I attended the CES Press Preview and blogged about "notable" products. Here are those videos:

Stay tuned for more and follow us at Zennie62 at Twitter.

A Look Back at 2010 pt1-Media Distractions, Police Violence & Domestic Terrorists

Welcome 2011.. It’s a new year and with that comes the opportunity to shed bad habits, improve ourselves, spark new beginnings and take our day to day activities to higher levels.

It’s the time we reflect on the highs and lows of the past year and craft achievable resolutions that will help us eradicate the things we found troublesome in 2010. In’s time to grow..time to evolve. But what will grow into? How do we want to evolve?

That’s something we all of us should be seriously be thinking in the new year.

For me, I wanna re-center myself and reconnect with my humanity in 2011. I feel like there’s been a push to keep us disconnected from emotions like love, compassion and concern for our fellow man.

Some of us were caught up in playing a perpetual games of one upmanship while the rest of us were in such dire economic straits that we behaved badly and were mean spirited out of desperation and in our misguided attempts to ‘make it’ and survive.

In 2010 I saw a lot of anger and scapegoating. I heard a lot of yelling and people being dismissive. This past year I saw a lot of shady behavior. I also saw alot of media distractions that took away from what many would argue were more pressing issues.

In 2011 I want all of us to regain our humanity. Stay Human and find the humanity in othersshould be our motto.

2010 was the Year of Distractions

When look back at the stories that dominated the news in 2010 many of them seemed frivolous. It was the year that we were hit upside the dome with story after story about things like the bedbug epidemic, the Dougie dance,, actress Lindsey Lohan going to jail, the over-the-top antics of the Jersey Shore cast and of course the upcoming royal wedding between Prince William and some woman named Kate Middleton.

Were these stories put out there to keep us talking, dumb us down and keep us from not looking deeper into the world around us? For example, did you or anyone you know have bedbugs in 2010? What was the impact? Did this bedbug drama impact us more than the harmful chemical dispersants that were put in the waters of the Gulf to clean up the BP Oil spill?

Wasn’t it just a few months ago stories were surfacing about how the seafood in the Gulf are not safe to eat? People started talking about this and suddenly those stories seemingly disappeared from our newspapers and from our collective consciousness.

People stopped asking questions like; ‘What happened to the Gulf Coast residents and their economy?’ ‘Did they rebound?’

‘What happened to that 20 billion dollars BP was supposed to pay people whose businesses and livelihood was destroyed?’ What happened to all the wildlife we saw covered with oil?

Am I the only one who recalls seeing videos of dolphins trying to swim through a plumes of oil, even though BP kept insisting the plumes were non existent?

Did we forget that 13 people died when the initial explosion occurred that set off the massive spill. May those men rest in peace. May their families find peace…Makes you wonder where all those folks yelling Drill Baby Drill disappeared to in the wake of what is now the biggest man made disaster in our country’s history?

Who made the call to make actress Lindsey Lohan and her legal battles headline news in 2010?

Did our regularly scheduled TV shows have to be interrupted to over and over to report on Lindsey Lohan‘s drug habits, her court appearances and her finger nails where she had obscene words painted. Nowadays lots of celebrities and famous people go to jail, why was she headline news in 2010? Who made that call?

Lohan’s mother Dina was given prime time access where she did several interviews on programs like the Today Showwhere she basically made excuses and defended her daughter, as any mother would do.

She downplayed Lindsey’s drug use and demanded privacy for he family. She later ran around complaining that she was ambushed by host Matt Lauer when he started asking her hard questions that called her and her daughter into account.

While the country focused on Lohan, her tears and her ‘second, third, fourth and fifth’ chances which most of us never get, what was was being obscured from us was the guilty verdict handed down to a former Chicago Police commander Jon Burge for lying and covering up evidence about the 20 years of extreme torture he and his officers routinely used on Black men before he was fired in 1993.

It’s reported that Burge may have tortured over 1oo men. There are some reports that say it was as many 195. His sentencing was scheduled for November 5th where he faced 45 years in jail. It’s been postponed to January 20 2011.

Sadly, we didn’t have breaking news stories around any of this. Nor did we demand them. Why?

We didn’t see prime time interviews with any of the torture victims or even with Chicago’s long term outgoing Mayor Richard Daley who served as Cook County’s state’s attorney when Burge’s reign of terror was in effect and Black men were being sent up the river after confessions were beaten out of them.

Maybe we’ve become numb to all this or figure if the police are in a back room torturing folks, the victims may somehow have deserved it.

Perhaps it hasn’t really sunk in that we had a police commander in the nation’s 3rd largest police department overseeing and instructing folks to torture folks. For those of us who have not grasped the severity of police torturing people is why I suggested we should all strive to reconnect with our humanity in 2011.

Perhaps we should’ve had one of the torture victims like Mark Clements to explain his ordeal vs Dina Lohan on the Today Show complaining about being asked hard questions

Unarmed Ronald Madison was killed by New Orleans police on the Danzinger bridge during Katrina

Now, if the Burge trial and conviction was seen as somewhat obscure, what about the 11 police officers who have plead guilty or have been indicted for the shooting deaths and cover up of unarmed Black men in New Orelans? The most notable of these is the infamous Danzinger Bridgeshootings where two unarmed Black men, nineteen-year-old James Brissette and forty-year-old Ronald Madison were killed and 4 more injured.

One of the officers Michael Hunter was just sentenced to 8 years in prison for his role in the coverup in the early part of December. Six of the officers go on trial this summer. To me that should’ve been a breaking news story in 2010 vs the upcoming royal wedding? Ronald Madison a mentally challenged man who was shot by NOPD should’ve been the trending topic as demanded justice for him vs Prince Williams fiance Kate Middleton.

Perhaps its wishful thinking, but we should strive to keep issues like this on the front burner in 2011.

Henry Glover with his daughter Nehemiah. He was shot and burned by New Orleans Police

Sadly the Danzinger bridge shootings are just the tip of the iceberg as this past year we saw the unveiling of even more unspeakable horrors. For starters, we saw former New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compassbrought before a grand jury in january 2010. This is the same Chief Compass who admitted heexaggerating about many of stories of crime and mayhem in the superdome during Katrina. That in itself was harmful and may have led to all these vigilante style shootings because people were fearful.

In 2010, Thanks to the hardwork of journalists like AC Thompson, we come to see that there are at least 10 police shootings that are being investigated including the one around Henry Glover who was shot to death by New Orleans police in the Algiers section of the city.His body was later discovered burned to a crisp in an old car.

Initially Glover was shot but wounded, a good samaritan came upon him, put him in a car and took him to a police station where they were refused help. The good samaritan named William Tanner along with his two passengers were beaten up by police. They eventually let the men go but took the car with Glovers body in it. He had died in the backseat of the car. The car was burned with Glover inside to cover up his shooting death.

Again where was the breaking news stories about that? How many included any of this police corruption and the ongoing investigations in the year end countdowns? How many brought to light the ground breaking investigative reporting done by Pro Publica reporter AC Thompson and theLaw and Disorder series he and PBS have been doing?

One of the more egregious distractions in 2010 involved basketball star Lebron James and his over-hyped prime time TV special dubbed ‘The Decision‘ where he announced what basketball team he would be playing for.

July 8th was the date of Lebron’s ‘historic’ press conference which eclipsed another ‘Big Decision’ that was being made on the same day. This was the verdict for the trial of killer cop Johannes Mehserle- who was convicted of killing an unarmed Oscar Grant as he lay face down on a subway platform in Oakland 2 years ago on New Years morning.

The shooting set of scores of protests involving thousands of people here in the Bay Area. For the next 18 months, people came together, organized and did everything they could to bring about justice for Oscar Grant. The end result was for the first time in California history an officer was convicted of killing someone while on duty. Sadly Lebron James is what the world stopped for in 2010.

Sports bars all around the country were packed while some radio stations even suspended their music in anticipation of what Lebron would say. Where would he go? Would he stay in Cleveland? Would he go to New York? Would he go to Chicago? He choose Miami.

Reaction to his nationally televised decision sparked a national debate as our TV screens were filled with disappointed and angry sports fans in Cleveland who cursed Lebron while some burned his jerseys.

Meanwhile 1500 miles away what got buried was the upset, anger, hurt and eventual unrest in downtown Oakland, when it was announced that a jury where Black people were excluded by the defense handed down the lightest sentence possible-to Johannes Mehserle involuntary manslaughter.

I recall talking to people in New York the next day who were bummed out about Lebron not coming to New York and had no idea that a verdict had been reached in the killing of Oscar Grant. Talk about disconnect. Sadly they weren’t unusual.

We could go on listing stories that were given lots of coverage that overshadowed some that have far reaching implications. For example, many of us forgot we had 29 people who were killed in a Montcoal, West Virginia coal mine explosion this past April. The company that owns the coal mine, Massey Energy had was reported to have the worse fatality record of any mining company in the US.

Many of us forgot that while we were witnessing anger and hatred expressed at the proposed building of an Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan this past September, earlier this years 9 members of a far right Christian militia called the Hutaree were arrested in Michigan. Their plan was to spark off a war with the Federal Government.

It was interesting to note that during the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ debates we had a lot of posturing and demands directed at fellow citizens who happen to be Muslims to show love and respect for our country. Muslims from all around the country were attacked while a prominent Christian minister in Florida named Terry Jones threatened to burn Qurans on the anniversary of 9-11.We didn’t have those demands or attacks put upon us in the Christian community. 2010 was a year in which we showed extreme intolerance.

Along the same lines we also had a skinhead named Daniel Cowart from Tennessee plead guilty to an Obama assassination plot.

People forgot a domestic terrorist named Joe Stacks destroyed this IRS building in Austin Texas.

This past summer, we had another right wing white supremacist named nut namedByron Williams aka the 580 Freeway Shooter who by his own admission upon listening to Fox News host Glenn Beckheaded down from his home near Sacramento, California to San Francisco where he planned to ambush workers at the Tides Foundation a left leaning foundation that had been recently demonized by Beck.

In February of of 2010 we had a frustrated man from Austin named Joseph Stackswho became so enraged with the government that he decided to fly a plane into a IRS building killing a 20 year former army veteran named Vernon Hunter.

People talked about this incident for minute and then it died down. It certainly wasn’t on a whole lot of end of the year lists. What was troubling was the month prior to Stacks crashing his plane was how the Texas state capitol was shot up by Fausto Cardenas in January 2010. That story was under reported.

We won’t even talk about the Dallas Pastor named Stephen Broden who threatened violence if the GOP didn’t win the election this past November. Did his threats make the end of the year list? The bottom line here Domestic Terrorism was of grave concern and as saw in full effect during 2010, but most of us were caught in plans for the royal wedding, bedbugs and up with the comings and goings of Lindsey Lohan.

In 2011 we’ll have to stay focused and recognize the media distractions put before us..They’re there for a reason…

End of pt1

written by Davey D

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