Product Placement and Gamer Culture
There have been several TV shows this past fall that have included videogames as an important part of certain episodes. I'd like to say this is a symptom of acceptance of videogaming as general cultural practice. Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to explain: product placement. Traditionally this means products are displayed at some point during a show (have you noticed what is the only game console that appears in Heroes?); now games are actually being written into episodes as key plot elements. The challenges of this product placement strategy are how to display the game, as well as how to portray the culture of the people who play videogames.
12/04/07: Karakuri: The Roots of Japanese Robot Technology
A Talk and Demonstration by Shobei Tamaya IX, Master & Craftsman, Karakuri Ningyo
Presented by the MIT-Japan Program and The Japan Society of Boston
Tuesday, 4 December, 5:30pm
MIT Building 6, Room 120
KARAKURI NINGYO are Japanese mechanized puppets or "proto-robots" from the 18th/19th century. The word 'Karakuri' means a "mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise" and implies hidden magic, and an element of mystery; "ningyo" means doll or puppet in human form. Traditionally, karakuri ningyo appeared in religious festivals to enact myths and legends and to entertain the public.
Free & Open to the Public.
This program is made possible in part by Toshiba International Foundation and by Toyota Corporation.
Vivendi Games-Activision Merger Announced
Rachel Rosmarin wrote in Forbes.com:
In a largely unpredicted move Sunday, Vivendi said it would merge with videogame publisher Activision (nasdaq: ATVI), in a deal that would create the largest independent game company and be worth about $19 billion, according to the companies. By 2009, the companies expect operating income to reach $1.1 billion. The entire videogame industry could generate $47 billion that year, according to DFC Intelligence.
Vivendi's purchase of nearly 63 million newly issued shares of Activision will give Vivendi a 52% stake in the combined company. The new company will be called Activision Blizzard, continue to trade under Activsion's ATVI symbol and Activision Chief Executive Robert Kotick will retain the helm of the combined company.
Earlier in the article, the writer refers to Vivendi Games as a "small but successful gaming division that includes Blizzard Entertainment's 9.3-million subscriber 'World of Warcraft.'" Only Forbes can get away with using the adjective "small" in describing WOW.