Marketing Awards Final Extension

The deadline to enter Game Connection Marketing Awards has been extended to this Wednesday, February 27.  The online forms will remain open until 11:59 p.m. PST.

Submissions require brief descriptions and, in the case of creative categories, assets that can be uploaded digitally.

Enter now!

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on March 25 at Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco.

The awards are sponsored by [a]list and include three categories exclusive to the U.S. – Best Overall Campaign, Best Original Content and Marketer of the Year.  The full list of categories follows.

Source: Game Connection

Serious Games Tackling Travel Concerns

Serious games are becoming more often used for employees headed overseas. These pieces of software give business travelers the chance to acclimatize themselves prior to visiting a foreign location.

“The biggest failure of traditional (training) techniques is that they are not engaging enough for learners to stick with,” notes Mike Emonts, the senior business development specialist at Alelo, a software company that specializes in Virtual Cultural-Awareness Trainers.

Originally, Alelo’s products were created to train military and government personnel to operate abroad. The first pieces of software helped users deal with realistic scenarios like managing a crowd in Iraqi Arabic or direct rebuilding measures in Pashto, but now the company is working to adapt their model to fit with enterprises doing business internationally.

“We believe the effectiveness of our solution would apply to the travel market,” says Emonts. “The bottom line is that travelers are not looking to simply learn a language. They want to order at restaurants, and ask people directions. They have specific tasks they want to be able to accomplish. Our training solutions are specifically developed for this purpose.”

While serious games have penetrated many fields, business travel is a new, untapped sector. Louis Bernard, who has recently developed Mr Travel believes his is the only travel security game on the market.

“I’ve done my homework, and there’s nothing else out there that does what we do,” says Bernard. “Travel security presentations can be boring. That’s why I developed Mr Travel; I wanted to come up with a way to engage employees, and ensure they actually retain the appropriate information.”

Ian Bogost, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a founding partner of Persuasive Games, thinks that diminished profits have made some companies reluctant to invest in serious games.

“The idea of using a medium like games, or anything else that’s new and slightly unproven, or unfamiliar, always puts it at a disadvantage,” says Bogost.

Bogost developed Jetset, a tongue-and-cheek game about airport security aimed at business travelers, back in 2007, though he didn’t find much market for it at the time. “If you travel a lot, and watch what folks are doing on airplanes, you’ll find them playing Solitaire or Bejeweled on their iPhones,” notes Bogost. “They’re [playing] games that don’t have anything to do with the travel experience, because really, when you’re traveling, you just want it all to go away; you don’t want to think about the fact that you’re on a plane.”

Still, Bogost sees tremendous opportunity for more advanced games in the travel industry. “Business travel seems like a great audience for this type of media,” he notes. “They always have (personal electronic devices) on their person, they’re stuck in one place for long periods of time, and stuck in one place where they have internet access. On the surface, it makes sense.”


Ultimate Cosplay Display

Beat Down Boogie put together this mesmerizing cosplay montage from Katsucon 2013.  It’s hard to stop watching it.  There are moments where despite the get-up, the makeup, poses and role play, the video is really capturing the cosplayers’ personalities underneath.


Conan O’Brien Hosting 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner

It’s been confirmed that Conan O’Brien will host the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner. Last year’s event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who like O’Brien, has his own talk show.

The annual White House Correspondents Dinner, which typically raises money for scholarships, is usually attended by the President and First Lady, as well as other government officials, reporters and celebrities. Check out the embedded video of when O’Brien last spoke at the event in 1995, back when he was hosting Late Night.

Source: {link no longer available}

iOS/Android Game Sales Eclipsed Portable Game Consoles In Q4 2012

App Annie and International Data Corporation (IDC) announced a new report that showed that spending on iOS App Store and Google Play games eclipsed that of dedicated handheld games in Q4. Titled the App Annie & IDC Portable Gaming Report, it also says that handheld game consoles were much more seasonal, with 60 percent of Q4 consumer spending on the PS Vita and 3DS happening in December, much higher than from the iOS App Store or Google Play.

“The App Annie and IDC partnership and resulting Portable Gaming Report provides a broad picture of the gaming industry in order to inform business and investment strategies across gaming devices, platforms and regions,” said Bertrand Schmitt, CEO, App Annie. “The marriage of App Annie’s leading app store market data with IDC’s worldwide video game and entertainment physical shipment data allows for industry insights not currently available to the various portable gaming stakeholders.”

“While the most popular games and their business models are quite distinct, Nintendo and Apple were surprisingly close in terms of aggregate consumer spend on game software in the fourth quarter of 2012,” said Lewis Ward, IDC’s gaming research manager. “Seasonality is more pronounced in the dedicated handheld space and we hope this report series will help clarify the evolution of portable gaming dynamics in 2013 and beyond.”


Wooga Sees First Profit After Shifting To Mobile

Wooga has announced that it has become profitable four years after being founded. The company now splits revenue between web and mobile, only 14 months after launching its first mobile title.

“In the past two years what we have seen is developers, like Wooga, making the move to mobile,” said founder and CEO Jens Begemann. “Over those two years we’ve focused on bringing our web games to an even broader audience while making the very best social games for mobile. We’re happy that we made the move to mobile as early as we did because the lessons we’ve learnt have helped us to make even better games.”

Exclusive: Joe Paulding Of E! Entertainment

As much of the gaming world is now aware, G4TV is making its slow transition to a network branded under Esquire magazine. The transformation began with G4 axing two of its longest-running shows, Attack of the Show and X-Play.  Now comes the curious part, whether the new network plans to try and keep any of the audience G4 built.

At last year’s [a]list summit Seattle, we spoke to Joe Paulding, director of audience development at E! Entertainment. Before joining E!, Paulding spent many years at G4 in the same capacity, overseeing audience acquisition and community development on social media. Then he jumped a crevice in audience terms, from gaming to celebrity news.

In the interview, Paulding looks at how game and entertainment audiences are similar in some ways, very different in others. He also touches on how games could help TV with the growing fragmentation of both audiences and their attention as second screens infiltrate the living room.