Infamous Second Son Moves Series Forward

Infamous Second Son is one of Sony’s flagship games showing off the technical prowess of their new PS4 system, and the E3 trailer really drives the point home. In a new the new setting of Seattle, with new fire-based powers and featuring a new protagonist, Infamous: Second Son moves the franchise to places the first two games haven’t been.

ESRB Announces New Privacy Seals

The ESRB has announced that in addition to its services providing content ratings for games, it will also begin to monitor privacy in games. Three new seals have been unveiled for applications, Privacy certified, Kids Privacy Certified, and Mobile Privacy Certified. These three new seals signify that an app or website complies with high-level privacy certification in North America.

Privacy Certified signifies that a general-audience website meets with global privacy laws. The Kids seal shows that a site directed towards children meets with these practices and meets the requirements set forth by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Finally, the Mobile seal signifies that a mobile app complies with mobile privacy standards and practices.

“Privacy protection is an imperative for companies of all sizes, especially when kids are involved,” said ESRB Privacy Certified vice president Dona Fraser in a press statement. “But achieving compliance with requirements like COPPA can be complicated, particularly for rapidly evolving platforms like mobile.”

Privacy has become an incredibly important part of application development and its appeal to consumers. Peace of mind that information won’t be shared and spread throughout the Internet left and right is important, and this new initiative from the ESRB is one step forward in making sure that users know that their data will be safe.

Source: ESRB

Movile Releases Kid-Friendly Video App PlayKids TV

Mobile entertainment company Movile has launched PlayKids TV, a mobile video app targeted toward kids. The company has a history of distributing digital video content to Latin American countries on non-smartphones.

Movile has increasingly been looking into reaching into U.S. markets and designing apps for smartphones and tablets. PlayKids TV’s release in the U.S. is a jump in that direction.

In PlayKids TV, when a user opens the app, they are shown a train with a number of cars attached to it. Each of the cars represents a “show” that can be watched. Instead of streaming episodes, episodes are downloaded straight to the app. They can be watched repeatedly after downloading, even without an internet connection.

While the app is free to download, only the first episode of each of the initial five programs is available for free. Users need a subscription to the service to watch more episodes.

Movile plans to release more shows in addition to distributing the initial five episodes. The company could look to Netflix and Amazon for inspiratoin.  Both have initiatives to create and distribute programming to kids. Movile is targeting the same lucrative audience these two media giants are vying for, and their experience on mobile and history with kid-focused fare may give them an edge.

Source: TechCrunch

What Do Your Facebook Likes Reveal About You?

Last week Forbes released a countdown revisiting social media studies spanning over the past five years. The educational reports indicate what some user Facebook behavior translates into the real-world. Some findings were as silly as a curly fries Facebook Like revealing intelligence, but many statistics were eerily accurate; the correlations between online behavior and real-world characteristics could be something advertisers could benefit from in campaigns.

“We’re on the cusp of a new way of doing social science,” said a Harvard sociology professor at the time. “Our predecessors could only dream of the kind of data we now have.”

That was more than five years ago. So how was that statement held true to today Here is a collection of some of the insights from academic researchers and social scientists who’ve lurked on the social network for professional purposes. We’ve listed the top 30 below.

1. The more Facebook friends a teenager has, the more privacy promiscuous he or she is. (2013 survey)

2. It’s scientifically proven that Facebook’s privacy settings are confusing. (2011 study via Huffington Post)

3. The chances of your “anonymous” dating site profile getting linked to your Facebook profile may be as good as your chances of getting lucky there, thanks to facial recognition. (2012 study)

4. So much for “six degrees of separation.” We’re now linked to just about anyone else by a messy 4.74 people. (2011 article)

5. Your Facebook friend list will reveal you’re gay. (2009 study)

6. So will your Facebook “Likes.” They may also reveal your political leanings, your religion, and your ethnicity. It turns out we are what we like. (2013 study)

7. Eating fries isn’t terribly healthy but liking curly ones on Facebook suggests high intelligence. (same study)

8. People who like the littlest Family Guy, Stewie, are likely to be “dissatisfied with life.” (same study)

9. A site designed to get you to share stuff gets you to share stuff. We are programmable. (2013 article)

10. Stuff White People Like On Facebook: other white people. (2008 study)

11. Forget LinkedIn. Facebook can tell you if someone is worth hiring. (2012 study via article)

12. Honesty is the best policy… on social media sites while job searching. (2011 survey)

13. Those people who are venting all of their emotions on Facebook are probably as unstable as they seem. But it does help them feel better. (2012 study)

14. Big networks are great, but it’s the really good friends who got your back. Close friends are more likely to help you find a job. (2013 Facebook study)

15. If the NSA sends you a friend request, it’s a bad idea to accept. (2010 academic paper)

16. Need to chill out? Facebook-stalk yourself. Looking at heavily-curated, best versions of our digital selves makes us feel better about our lives. (2013 study)

17. …Just don’t look at other people’s vacation photos while you’re on the site. Seeing your friends in beautiful places will send you to an unhappy one. Discontent lies in comparing yourself with the heavily-curated versions of others. (2013 article)

18. Our digital selves are not as divorced from our real selves as some would have you believe. For example, we like our friends just as much online as offline… (2013 article)

19. … and people who talk about politics online like to be involved in politics offline. (2009 study)

20. College students prefer befriending people who like the same music and movies as them. But they don’t care what they read. (2012 study)

21. Classical and jazz music are the only contagious “likes” among college students, probably because we’re cultural elitists. (same study)

22. It’s hard to hide the fact that when you say you’re doing a study on a bunch of “anonymous” students from an “anonymous” college that got on Facebook early, you’re actually talking about Harvard kids. (2011 article)

23. Caring about privacy is contagious. (2008 study)

24. Using Facebook and texting while doing schoolwork hurts a college kid’s GPA… (2011 study)

25. … or maybe not. (2012 study)

26. People can talk politics online without completely losing it. (2009 study)

27. People who live in battleground states actually care what happens in their races. (2012 study)

28. Social media peer pressure works — when it comes to voting. (2012 study via Slate)

29. Social media peer pressure also works when it comes to “Likes.” (2010 study)

30. Chick-fil-A, rest assured. People who “like” brands are more likely to forgive and forget when those brands screw up. (2012 study)

Source: Forbes

2.4 Billion New IT Devices In 2013, Commanded by Android

According to figures released by Gartner, 2.4 billion IT devices (which includes PCs, smartphones and tablets) will be shipped in 2013, and that number will rise in 2014 up to 2.5 billion devices. One third of these devices are currently Android devices.  Gartner says that as of next year, one half will be Android-based. PC shipments will be seeing a decline as more and more people use mobile devices as their primary means of computing.

Leading the rise in smartphone usage worldwide is the portability of smartphones and their ability to compute anywhere and everywhere. Another growing market in shipments is the ultra-mobile group, which features Chromebooks and other small portable computers. As this segment grows in popularity, it may eat into the share of tablets and smartphones, but it isn’t a solid market yet. Only 20 million devices shipped in 2013 will fall into the ultra-mobile category.

Another interesting note from Gartner is Android’s domination over the mobile market. Yet while there is a 50 percent share of the market for Android phones, the disparity between the different kinds of devices and the different versions they run give it very little unity. Apple, while having considerably less market share, has a lot more unity in their operating system with 93 percent of users using the most current version.

As far as device sales, Android will take a commanding lead.  But on the software front, Apple may have an advantage by featuring apps that easily work across all of their devices.

Source: TechCrunch

This Week’s [a]list Jobs – June 26

[a]list daily is now your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media. Check here every Wednesday for the latest openings. To see last week’s [a]list jobs click here.

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

Covet Fashion Bridges Gap Between Game And Real Fashion

Social and mobile gaming studio Crowdstar has thrived on the creation of fashion-focused mobile games targeted toward young women. Their newest app Covet Fashion is starting to break that trend. The app isn’t only a game, but a catalog. It features the likes of Rebecca Minkoff and Cynthia Rowley, among other fashion designers. The company will also court celebrities to have them create their own styles and provide fashion advice within the application. Fashion stylist Rachel Zoe has signed on as Covet’s first “Style Ambassador.”

In the game, players have a virtual mannequin that can don fashions from various designers. They’re given the task to dress up for a specific occasion, such as an ‘Epic Road Trip’, and compete to win actual clothes and get fashion advice.

The app bridges the gap between simply being a game and actually becoming an interactive catalog. It includes direct links to purchase real clothing.

“[Covet] lowers the friction toward purchase because users are able to interact much further with the item,” said Crowdstar CEO Jeffrey Tseng.

Crowdstar is attempting to broaden their audience from teen girls who used their previous apps Top Girl and Social Girl to women who might not normally play games or use social apps. Covet Fashion is acting as a game and as a shopping experience.

Crowdstar hopes that fashion choices seen and used in the game will also find a market in the real world, leading to real life purchases. Planned social sharing features such as a direct link to Pinterest could make this a truly integrated social game and marketing tool.

Source: TechCrunch

Battlefield 4 Promises All-Out War

Outside of the big console battle this holiday season, the marketing battle of the year will be between Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts and Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 4. This trailer show some of the amazing things possible in the new Frostbite 3 engine used in Battlefield 4, including the collapse of a skyscraper and amphibious assaults.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Announcement Ends Eight Years Of Waiting

After Kingdom Hearts 2 was released in 2005, the question on everyone’s mind was ‘When will Kingdom Hearts 3 grace our screens ‘ The PlayStation 3 came and went without any word of the next numbered entry. Eight years and four handheld games later, Kingdom Hearts 3 has finally been revealed for next gen consoles. There is no release date set yet, but gameplay footage and some story insight is a step in the right direction.

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