Vancouver’s Genius Factor Games  has published a seven point article  laying out the company’s current and future involvement with the social media culture. The seven points denoted in this article can easily provide a starting point for any company who has not yet plunged into the massive and constantly changing world of social media. While I encourage you to visit the Genius Factor Games blog to read the article  in its entirety, here are the seven points the company raises:
1. Connect With Players
2. Leverage Technology
3. Connect With Customers on their Terms
4. Word of Mouth/Viral Marketing
5. Connect with Investors and Strategic Partners
6. Lead the industry forward
7. Encourage Positive Change
Ubisoft Canada  has announced that several of its upcoming titles will be featured at E3, along with several yet-to-be-announced titles from across the Ubisoft network. Games exhibited at the Ubisoft booth will include the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed™ Brotherhood, Shaun White Skateboarding, Tom Clancy™ ’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier™, the next iteration of the blockbuster franchise Driver®, and many other titles that are yet to be announced. Ubisoft’s website  will host select information sent directly from Ubisoft’s booth at E3 as well as the press conference, giving fans access to exclusive interviews and trailers of Ubisoft games.
To kick-off its E3 activities, Ubisoft will host a press conference at the Los Angeles Theatre on Monday, June 14, 2010 at 5 pm (doors open at 3.30 pm). Ubisoft is thrilled to announce that Joel McHale, star of NBC’s “Community” and E!’s “The Soup.” will return as the host of its E3 press conference. The press conference is by invitation only to Ubisoft partners, investors, retailers and select media. Attendees will be treated to live demonstrations of Ubisoft’s upcoming releases and special guests in this not-to-be-missed event that will set the tone for one of Ubisoft’s most impressive line-ups to date. 
Toon Boom Animation  has put many of their creative software titles on sale – check out their limited time specials  – they will be ending soon. Also available today is a very cool “how-to ” article on rotoscoping for beginners – a process that could even help me make an animation, and I definitely can’t draw.
Electronic Arts Inc.  and Black Box Studios  have announced that Need for Speed™ World , the massively multiplayer online action racing game, will go live on July 20, 2010. Need for Speed World thrusts gamers into an enormous, socially-connected white-knuckle Need for Speed experience featuring an all-new power-up system and deep RPG style progression. 
Beginning July 20th, Need for Speed World will be available as a free client download , which will give gamers a taste of the action with access to all races, pursuits and career progression up to level 10.
Players looking for the ultimate experience can purchase the Need for Speed World Starter Pack which includes a credit for $20 worth of SpeedBoost, full access up to level 50, a bundle assortment of power-ups like Nitrous and Traffic Magnet to help you get started, and an exclusive limited edition vehicle – all for MSRP $20.00 (*Conditions and restrictions apply. See details at point of purchase). Owners of the Starter Pack also get the added benefit of being able to purchase items like power-ups, double XP periods and even rental cars starting at just a few cents.
Players who pre-order Need for Speed World will have a one-week headstart to the game on July 13th, with increased Rep (XP) gain for the duration of the headstart event and guaranteed access to all upcoming Need for Speed World beta events. Finally, players will also be able to reserve their driver names in advance of the game going live and have VIP status permanently displayed in their driver profile. Pre-orders are available now at EA’s Online Store  or at participating digital retailers nationwide.
Need for Speed World brings together best in class action racing with an unparalleled social experience. Players can compete against any one of their friends, family or pick from thousands of top ranked players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits across 150 miles of sprawling open world. Need for Speed World combines new content with the most popular cities from Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Carbon to create the biggest, most exciting race world ever released in the Need for Speed universe.
Los Angeles-based Riot Games have announced that they are working with TransGaming, Inc.  to expand their debut title, League of Legends ™, and releasing a version for the Mac that will be available for download this summer. The new Mac version of the session-based online multiplayer strategy game, powered by TransGaming’s Cider™ Portability Engine , will bring millions of Mac owners the same fast-paced gaming action that more than one million PC gamers have enjoyed since the game launched in October, 2009. 
“Millions of gamers across the world are accessing their gaming content on Macs but until now they have not been able to play League of Legends,” said Brandon Beck, co-founder and CEO of Riot Games. “The first competitive phase of the game will be kicking off this summer, and we’re excited that Mac gamers will also be able to participate and have a chance to vie for top prizes.”
“League of Legends is an outstanding game and one that will be thoroughly enjoyed by Mac gamers everywhere who have been waiting for a premium free-to-play release,” commented Vikas Gupta, CEO & President of TransGaming Inc. “League of Legends represents TransGaming’s commitment to bring a breadth of exceptional video gaming entertainment to the Mac community.”
With TransGaming’s Cider Engine, the Mac version of League of Legends will have all the same game features as its award-winning PC counterpart. Players can download the game  for free and after a short installation process begin playing instantly. Artwork, graphics, in-game items and controls will remain the same in the Mac version, giving both PC and Mac gamers equal opportunity to compete in the game at high levels for free.
Building on the success of their sold-out inaugural Cross Media NYC, Jumpwire Media  is launching Cross Media Toronto  on July 21, 2010. Partnering with the Mars Centre  and the Canadian Film Centre’s (CFC) Media Lab , Cross Media Toronto will feature heavyweight media industry executives discussing perspectives on how transmedia content will be produced, distributed and consumed in a cross media environment, specifically looking at ways to incorporate cross media into business models with real tangibles on how to monetize cross media opportunities in the various sectors.
Founder of Cross Media Toronto Gavin McGarry said: “We are excited about bringing the event to Toronto. The city has a vibrant start up community and Canada is one of the world leaders in cross media content creation.”
Scheduled events at Cross Media Toronto include a super panel of key cross media personalities, 3 demonstrations of emerging cross media technologies, two industry focused case studies and a debate on a pressing cross media issue of the day, all designed to give attendees a more direct and personal understanding of how cross media can be implemented successfully.
After two days of meetings at World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2010  in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry , today promoted Canada to key representatives of the world’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector as an ideal business and investment environment and invited them to attend Montréal for WCIT 2012 .
“WCIT has provided a valuable opportunity to highlight the important investments our government has made in ICT and the digital economy to strengthen the global economic recovery,” said Minister Clement. “I look forward to welcoming delegates to WCIT 2012 in Montréal and showcasing Canada’s strong ICT industries and our digital economy strategy.”
WCIT, an international conference held every two years, has a significant influence on ICTs and their impact on global competitiveness and society in general. It brings together politicians, senior business leaders, high-level officials, academics and opinion leaders from around the world.
As head of the Canadian delegation to WCIT 2010, Minister Clement held a series of meetings. In a speech to Dutch business leaders, he spoke about Canada–Netherlands business partnerships and our countries’ shared objectives in strengthening the digital economy industry.
In his closing address, the Minister acknowledged the work being done in Europe on developing a digital strategy and highlighted Canada’s current consultations on a digital economy strategy. WCIT ended with a handover ceremony as Canada prepares to host WCIT 2012.
Multimedia Nova Corporation  and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of The Canadian Experience , a 52 week series of articles by Canada’s foremost historians that tell the story of why our country is the way it is, how it works and what makes Canadians the people we are. The series is written in an engaging and straightforward manner that makes Canada’s story accessible to all readers. More importantly, the content is being translated and published in 22 different languages to ensure no resident of our country is left behind.
“We felt we had a civic duty to help educate all Canadians about the place we call home,” said Lori Abittan, President and CEO of Multimedia Nova. “Newcomers to Canada want to learn about this country, but often have a hard time finding the civic literacy resources they need. By working with their newspapers we can not only give them the information they crave in their own language, but deliver it through by a trusted source of news and information.”
The columns aren’t just dry, factual retellings of past events. They have a character that as unique as the country itself, as series General Editor Jack Granatstein points out in the opening chapter.
“The columns will be polite — we’re Canadian, after all!” writes Granatstein. “But they’ll be blunt and point to shortcomings as often as they sing Canada’s praises. Self-criticism is another Canadian habit. What the columns will always be is interesting and informative, a good guide for Canadians old and new.”
The Canadian Experience is being published in over 50 print and online publications across the country, and is augmented by a Facebook presence , a partnership with the employment and community portal TalentOyster  and a robust website  with additional information about the topics covered, author bios and a special quiz feature with questions based on the material in the series.
“Readers love our quizzes,” said Abittan. “People from all walks of life, from new Canadians to those who have been here for generations, have all told me they not only found our quiz fun and challenging, but it encouraged them to learn more about Canada.”
While the first installments of The Canadian Experience have already been published, Multimedia Nova is continuing to look for new partners who can help bring this unique series to their communities, be they geographic or cultural.
“We are committed to bringing The Canadian Experience to as many people as possible,” said Abittan. “As an immigrant myself I know firsthand how important it is to learn the stories we need to tell. We want The Canadian Experience to make a major contribution to the understanding of our country by all those who live here.”
Friends of Veterans Canada  and the Highway of Heroes Salute Ride  is pleased to coordinate The Memorial Drive and Rally occurring on May 29, 2010 in support of our Canadian troops and veterans. This Memorial Drive and Rally is about Canadians saying “Thank You” to the men and women who serve this country in pursuit of peace throughout the world. It’s also about honour and respect, especially to those who have lost their life and the sacrifices of their families. We are going to retrace the path a fallen member of the military takes when they come home from battle, to honour the sacrifice that that person has made and to mourn their passing. It is also a time to say “Thank You” to our veterans for their past service. This Memorial Drive and Rally serves as another opportunity to think about our veterans more than just one day a year.
Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. Rally leaves 12 Noon sharp at CFB Trenton ON. 8th Wing Trenton. Departing from the parade square, the procession will travel to Toronto on the Highway of Heroes to Downsview Park and the “Wings and Wheels Festival” for our closing ceremony at Downsview between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.
This Repatriation Memorial Drive and Rally is dedicated to Cpl. Darren James Fitzpatrick 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, CFB Edmonton who did not get a Repatriation Service as he returned home to Edmonton Hospital, where he failed to recover from the injuries he sustained from a road side bomb detonation on March 6 2010 in Afghanistan. Please attend all bridges and the rallies for the family so they may experience the gratefulness of Canadians for the service and sacrifice of the Fitzpatrick family.
We are asking rally goers to fill out a pledge sheet  for the rally to help get the families to the event. There will be a $5 donation to get into the Wings and Wheels Festival, and all funds raised will help get the word out to every teacher and student in Canada about the “National Video-A-Veteran Contest “. Our goal remains to video tape every living Canadian veteran that is willing to tell their story.
Integration New Media, Inc.  (INM), a leader in creating rich user experiences, announced today its new Reach Family of ePublishing products , a series of web applications that content publishers can use to create pixel perfect online versions of their print magazines, newspapers, brochures and catalogs. The product family initially consists of two products, Reach Docs, for bringing individual publications online, and Reach eLibrary that helps publishers offer large volumes of fully-indexed content that is viewable on-screen.
“The technology behind these solutions has been part of our offerings for custom applications for some time,” said Jason MacDonald, product manager for INM’s Reach ePublishing Solutions. “We’ve now packaged them up into affordable, full-featured products that publishers can easily access, license and get started with immediately.”
Reach Docs enables publishers to upload print-quality PDF files and present them online to readers without the installation of any specialized software or plug-ins. Its rich interface with interactive page-flipping effects helps readers engage with content online as they would on paper. Reach Docs’ self-service model and low monthly fee makes it easy, quick and affordable for content publishers to create and share digital versions of magazines, newspapers, brochures, newsletters, catalogs, reports, tourist materials and more, in a matter of minutes.
“We’ve been using the Reach Docs technology for the past several years to deliver our bi-weekly homes guide to thousands of readers,” says Lorey Stejskal, production supervisor for Central Illinois Homes Guide Publications. “Our readers enjoy being able to access the print publication online and immediately click through to a property they are interested in.”
Reach eLibrary is designed to help publishers create rich libraries of digital documents. The application’s customizable cross-document search functionality allows readers to easily search for content and view results immediately on-screen. An embedded document viewer, based on Reach Docs technology, makes reading content online simple and intuitive. A robust back-end control center provides publishers with full control over their content, and provides details about library access and document views. Reach eLibrary is perfect for magazine and journal back-issues, corporate eLibraries, newspaper archives, historical document collections, and more.
Reach Docs and Reach eLibrary are both available immediately. Reach Docs is licensed on a monthly basis at a rate of $15 per month, or a promotional rate of $150 per year. Reach eLibrary is licensed on an annual basis for $1,800 per year. Both products can also be customized to meet an organization’s unique requirements.
Organizers of this October’s GDC Online conference  (formerly known as GDC Austin) have announced that they will host the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards , to recognize the rich history, technical excellence, and continued innovation in the arena of online games.
The new awards ceremony will honor the accomplishments of the sometimes overlooked creators and operators of persistent online video games – from large-scale MMOs through free-to-play titles to social network games. The awards span excellence in live services, technology, game updates, online game design, and more. There will also be two special awards which will honor outstanding individuals and games in the space, with the Online Game Legend Award being given to a person who has changed the world of online games forever, and one particular all-time classic online game will be inducted into the GDC Online Awards’ Hall Of Fame.
After award finalists are announced, the worldwide community of online game players will also have the opportunity to designate their favorite online game in the Audience Award category. Nominations are open until June 30th 2010, and game professionals with free Gamasutra.com  user accounts can put forward their favorite online games for the awards. The GDC Online Awards are a sister event to the Game Developers Choice Awards which take place at GDC San Francisco every year.
The award categories and this year’s Special Award winners will be determined by the GDC Online Advisory Board. This group includes notables like BioWare Austin’s Gordon Walton, Metaplace’s Raph Koster, Playfish’s Sebastien De Halleux, and Nexon’s Min Kim.
Winners for the Game Developers Choice Online Awards will be selected by a specially selected subset of the International Choice Awards Network (ICAN). This is the same group of over 500 handpicked leading industry creators that pick the Game Developers Choice Awards winners at GDC in San Francisco every year.
The Best Online Game Design Award honors the overall excellence of design in an online game that launched in public beta or full version in the year to May 2010. This category recognizes the best social-specific gameplay mechanics, quest design, and other major game design elements.
The Audience Award honors the favorite game of the worldwide online game community. After initial developer-specific nominations, members of the public will be able to vote on their favorite currently operating online game, with options from the Game Developers Choice Online finalists and beyond.
The Best Online Visual Arts Award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in online games that launched in the 12 months to May 2010 – including, but not limited to, character and animation design, interface design, and 2D or 3D art creation and direction of all kinds.
The Best Community Relations Award honors the currently operating online game that provides the highest quality community feedback and experience, including customer support, forum moderation and leadership, weblog and information updates, real-life events, and other community outreach.
The Best Online Technical Award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in an online game that launched in the 12 months to May 2010. This includes excellence in complexity of network infrastructure, persistent world coding, graphics technology, artificial intelligence, or any other elements.
The Best Social Network Game Award recognizes the best game that launched on a social network such as Facebook or MySpace in open beta or full version in the year to May 2010, honoring the most outstanding title in terms of overall depth, execution and quality in the space.
The Best Audio for an Online Game Award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in an online game that launched in the 12 months to May 2010 – including sound effects, musical composition, and overall sound design for an online title.
The Best New Online Game Award recognizes excellence in any online-specific game, including MMOs, free to play titles and social network games that launched to the public in open beta or full versions in the twelve months ending May 2010.
The Best Live Game Award recognizes the best currently-operating online game – distinguishing itself by that exceptional new content through expansion packs, patches, or other updates in the last 12 months, as well as a vibrant player community, high-quality community management and network operation during that period.
The Online Game Legend Award recognizes the career and achievements of one particular creator who has made an indelible impact on the craft of online game development.
The GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame recognizes a specific online game that has resulted in the long-term advancement of the medium, pioneering major shifts in online game development and games as a whole.