This week in the U.K., a select committee of Parliament heard testimony from John Carr, executive secretary of the Children's Charities Coalition for Internet Safety, suggesting that in order to prevent people from playing video games too long, game designers should "dis-incentivise" long-play sessions by allowing players to achieve the top rewards of play early on in the title's lifecycle.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. In the highly charged race for the new high-definition disc format, Sony's BluRay has emerged victorious. This has implications for everything from computing, where higher capacity allows for more efficient disc backups and physical transfer of data, to the obvious effects for Hollywood. Gaming too, will feel the reverberations of this sudden change in the media storage forces.
The biggest news on the casual gaming front this week seems to be Electronic Arts' latest commitment to casual and social gaming, with the creation of EA Blueprint. The big idea for Blueprint seems to be finding and supporting independent developers, supplying them with funding and project management (cash and managers, two things EA has a nearly endless supply of), to produce games based on EA intellectual properties for Facebook and other social networks.
Valve's digital platform Steam just had some big news: Steam moved to a free business model for developers. This is yet another step in the direction of Valve's transformation of PC gaming into an accessible platform that rivals the integrated characteristics of console gaming.
It says something about the medium's growth that in-game advertising was a topic for discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But unfortunately for in-game ad proponents, the talk was mostly negative.