There's a contradiction in our approach to kids and electronic media: we want parents to supervise their kids and guide their appropriate use of games and media, and at the same time we talk about kids being "digital natives" who understand the gaming world much better than many parents do.
Let's face it, kids can spend hours talking to each other about the latest gadget or video game, and it is a challenge for parents to catch up. Most video game reviews discuss a game from the player's point of view without giving parents the details they need to judge whether a particular game is appropriate for their child. (I frequently encounter the same problem with movie reviews for kids' films. I am usually not that concerned about how "good" a kids' movie is, but I want to know the details behind a movie's PG-13 rating. Yet that information is rarely provided.)
A new Web site called WhatTheyPlay.com fills in this information gap. The site launched in November and already features a well-populated catalog of game reviews. Now parents can get the details beyond ESRB ratings, with objective reviews and user comments, to decide for themselves whether they want to bring a game home for their family.… Read more
There are so many makes and models of video glasses on the market that we lost count of them long ago. But one that was launched at Macworld this week may be worth mentioning, for the famous name associated with it if nothing else.
Expert photographers may debate the quality vs. hype of Carl Zeiss lenses, but the companies that use them in their products clearly think the brand packs plenty of marketing muscle--just ask Sony, which touts them every chance it gets for its cameras. So it makes sense that the German company would want to cash in on … Read more
Internet-based copyright infringement is pretty much the only way people can keep track of TV and movies from abroad in Beijing. It's hard to even find legal DVDs, and if there aren't even illegal DVDs to buy, it's often trivially easy to find entire movies on Youku or Tudou.
Yesterday, a Chinese public-security ministry official asked for international help in copyright enforcement, noting that many infringers use Web sites hosted outside Chinese jurisdiction.
"Copyright infringements, by their very nature, are international crimes. To effectively curb such activities, (we) need enhanced international cooperation on law enforcement," … Read more
Of the major announcements blasting out of Macworld (see coverage), the release of iTunes 7.6 for Windows and Mac touches more users most immediately. Unlike the ultrathin MacBook Air, you can get the iTunes update right now. Stick with us as CNET editor Donald Bell cruises through the new video rental features in this video shot from the show floor.
A story in The New York Times yesterday reports that the video game industry has finally woken up and realized that in order to stay strong going forward, it can't rely on 13-year-old pimple-faced kids to promote its agenda.
According to the report, Michael D. Gallagher, chief executive of the Entertainment Software Association, the industry's lobbying arm in Washington, told the Times that its political action committee (PAC) will be up and running by the end of March and will represent Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, among others.
We will be writing checks to campaigns by the end of this quarter," Mr. Gallagher said. "This is an important step in the political maturation process of the industry that we are ready to take now. This is about identifying and supporting champions for the game industry on Capitol Hill so that they support us."
Am I the only person who thinks it's about time this industry has woken up and realize that political payoffs are the only way to get somewhere in this country? If you want to finally destroy these idiots who think we should kill creativity in video games, look no further than your friendly congressman from the 10th district with his hat in hand.… Read more
Got a great idea for a TV show but don't want to deal with going through the traditional Hollywood studio system vetting and production process?
Or maybe you don't even want your show on TV at all, what with the Internet offering so many different distribution opportunities?
Then a Los Angeles start-up called 60Frames Entertainment may well be your ticket to the director's chair.
The company, founded with $3.5 million from investors United Talent Agency (UTA) and Spot Runner, is geared toward providing a wide variety of content creators with the financing and resources they need … Read more
Now that post-keynote reality is starting to sink in, it's occurring to me that Apple's HD movie rental announcement has a big string attached named Apple TV. In order to rent HD-quality iTunes movies, it seems that you'll have to buy an Apple TV. People who just want to rent HD iTunes movies to watch on their PCs (or send to their TVs using non-Apple hardware) are left out, and will instead need to buy an Apple TV and then transfer the content to their laptop or iPod. While it makes sense that most users will only … Read more