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About the Archives

This page contains all entries posted to GAMBIT in December 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2007 is the previous archive.

January 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Backflow is a finalist for IGF Mobile 2008

The list of finalists of the first annual Independent Games Festival Mobile competition was announced yesterday, and GAMBIT's game Backflow is a contender for IGF Mobile Best Game and Innovation in Mobile Game design.

We are extremely happy to have one of our games making it to the shortlist, especially because it is our first year and belongs to our first batch of games. There was a tough competition to get to the final, with more than 50 entries submitted from all over the world, mostly commercial games. The winners will be announced on February 20th 2008, during the Independent Games Festival Awards Ceremony at the Game Developers Conference.

Congratulations to Team Maita!

You can download Backflow here.

12/11/07: Boston Postmortem

The Skellig, Waltham
Tuesday December 11, 7pm

The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab will be speaking at Boston Postmortem!

Last summer, 45 MIT and Singapore students worked to tackle 6 tricky research questions, turning them into playable games over an intensive 2 month development cycle. At this month's Boston Post-Mortem, the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab will present its first year of games and talk about the challenges of turning research into game design, working in newly-minted teams, and what worked and didn't work with our development processes.

Zarf's Presentation at Purple Blurb 12/04/2007

This week saw the last reading session of the Purple Blurb Fall series. Andrew Plotkin, a.k.a. Zarf, talked about his latest experiment in digital writing, a writing game based on the Myst world. Plotkin is a celebrated Interactive Fiction author (The Dreamhold, Shade, and Spider and Web), and game designer (System's Twilight and Capture the Flag with Stuff). He's also produced other geeky, nifty stuff, such as a hack of the Z-machine to play Tetris, Freefall, as well as a reimplementation of ElectroPaint called StonerView, which is quite pretty. We confirmed by is presentation that he very much tends to story-based, puzzle-like games as an author and a player, which we had already inferred from his previous IF oeuvre. His works more often than not thrive in the disquieting and the disconcerting, giving you a fascinating dive into ontologically unstable worlds. To put it plainly, Plotkin's IF pieces mess up with your head... and you'll like it.

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

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.

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