• A Shock To The System: 'Bioshock' Adds Emotional Charge To Gaming
    One of the big strengths of television as a medium for advertising is that people often get really emotionally involved in the lives of the people, real or imaginary, there depicted. Unfortunately, this kind of involvement is pretty rare in video games -- that is, until this month's launch of "Bioshock," which set a new standard in intense, emotionally charged games.
  • Trading Places: A Curious Tale Of The Console Wars
    Come ye hither and listen to a tale, a tale of gods and monsters, of secret agents and interplanetary conflict. I speak of the ages of the console wars...
  • "Halo 2" Does Big Biz, Great Marketing Helps
    Video game designers know how to engage people better than movie producers. It takes an engaging film to keep people in their seats for two hours, but it takes an altogether different sort of engagement to keep people playing a game for 15 hours, 20 hours, or even longer. It's no coincidence, then, that a major part Microsoft's enormously successful and engaging ad campaign for "Halo" has been created by former video game designers: The ARG architects of 42 Entertainment.
  • UGG: User Generated Gaming
    What is UGG? Game modifications created by the people that play them. For example, two friends used the engine of a game called "Half-Life" to create a modification for online play called "Counter-Strike." It was a minor thing, really. It only became the most-played game online for about the next five years. At this moment (as of this writing), there are 145,508 players playing the game, and players in aggregate spend an average of 7.4 billion minutes a month playing (that's over 14,000 years).
  • Companies Learn To Choose Virtual Worlds Carefully
    It's been a while since my half of the Gaming Insider touched on virtual worlds, so we're due. While Second Life's marketing clout is getting trashed in every new-media, technology and marketing publication out there, Disney has bought a virtual world of its very own -- Club Penguin, with 700,000 registered users -- for $350 million. It's a good move for Disney: Club Penguin is profitable, and with its own virtual world, Disney can create and control an in-world experience far better than it could with Second Life or another third-party-owned world, and with a much better reach into its …
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