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  • ESAC launches the 2009 Essential Facts about the Canadian Computer and Video Game Industry

28th September 2009

ESAC launches the 2009 Essential Facts about the Canadian Computer and Video Game Industry

esacToronto – The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) today released their annual Essential Facts book about the Canadian computer and video game industry. As part of the ESAC’s ongoing efforts to better understand Canadian gamers, the 2009 survey reveals interesting demographic facts about today’s gamers and their gaming habits. New to the 2009 edition, the survey also has a special section on the emergence of wellness gaming and the continued success of entertainment software titles designed in part to challenge the user’s mental or physical abilities.

“Canadians across all demographics are embracing entertainment software,” said Danielle LaBossiere Parr, Executive Director of the ESAC. “A wider variety of genres and titles are continuing to broaden the traditional definition of ‘a gamer’. Gamers are also using video games in new ways – to stay sharp, to socialize with their friends and even to help stay active.”

The 2009 Essential Facts about the Canadian Computer and Video Game Industry reveals:

– 35.8 is the average age of a Canadian gamer;
– 90% of kids aged 6-12 have played a video game in the past 4 weeks;
– 84% of parent gamers aged 18-34 play video games with their child;
– 48% of Canadian households have at least one video game console such as an Xbox 360, Wii or Playstation
– 96% of Canadian households own a computer
– Widening the video game market: 33% of all wellness gamers said a wellness entertainment software title such as Wii Fit or Nintendo DS Brain Age was the first video game they ever bought

Additional information in the report includes the use of ESRB ratings, how families play games together , year-to-date charts of the top selling video and PC games, as well as brand new statistics on the emergence of wellness gaming and its popularity among Canadian gamers. This genre of gaming has not only been embraced by Canadian households, but also by educational institutions, retirement communities, and in the health sector as well.

The research was collected through a comprehensive Internet survey using NPD Group’s Online Consumer Panel. Data was obtained from over 3,500 Canadians nation-wide who were identified as having played a video game at least once in the past 4 weeks.

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2nd September 2009

Best Buy Canada To Assist Schools With Technology

Best Buy CanadaBurnabyBest Buy Canada has released its Report Card on Technology in Canada’s classrooms. The report card found that two-thirds of Canadian teachers surveyed believe students are being handicapped for the future by not giving them access to the latest technology. The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing between July 6 and July 19 2009, involved an online survey among 674 respondents randomly selected Canadian adults who are Leger Marketing panelists. The interviews were completed with Canadian teachers from primary to college and university level. This method simulates a probability sample which would yield a maximum margin of error of +/-3.8%, 19 times out of 20.

Best Buy Canada will contribute $300,000 in technology grants to schools in Canada through its Best in Class Fund program in 2009. The survey found that nearly all respondents believe that it is important for students to have the latest technology in order to thrive and succeed in today’s world, which underscores the importance of the Best in Class program.

The Best Buy Canada Report Card on Technology in Canada’s Classrooms, a national survey of 674 Canadian teachers, conducted by Leger Marketing, showed that:

– One-third of teachers surveyed indicated that schools lag behind in providing the best access to new technology to students
– More than half of the respondents (61%) believe that students have the best access to the latest technology at home
– Nearly three-quarters of teachers (74%) agree that having the latest technology in the classroom would foster creativity
– More than half of Canadian teachers use technology as part of their daily curriculum
– Despite the perceived importance of technology in the classroom, as many as one in five Canadian teachers report that they infrequently use technology in their classroom

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4th August 2009

Copyright eConsultation and Video Game GPU Research

OrbyDon’t forget to give the Government your input on the Copyright Consultation process. The eConsultation web site has transcripts from the past Town Hall meetings held across the country, as well as areas for direct participation such as the site’s forum and the online submission centre which both give you an opportunity to respond to a few specific questions on copyright. You can also submit your own paper or report to on the site so that other people can view your work. Both the Copyright eConsultation process and the ongoing CRTC hearings have a direct impact on the digital media industry, so it’s important to get involved and have your say. The Education Medias web site also has important information for educators in regards to the new copyright process.

How many of you have been holding out for the new Palm Pre instead of snapping up the iPhone 3Gs? The new Palm Pre is now available for pre-order exclusively through Bell Canada in anticipation of its August 27 shelf date. The Palm Pre is comparable in price to the new iPhone – $199.95 with a three year contract or $599.95 without a contract, with a minimum 500 MB data plan. Bell smartphone clients can choose from a wide variety of voice and data plans, including Smartphone Combos that offer unlimited Internet browsing, personal email, text messaging and Windows Live Messenger.

Toronto’s digital distribution company YANGAROO Inc. has announced that, subject to regulatory approval, American media services company Horizon Media Inc. will acquire warrants to purchase 750,000 YANGAROO common shares. The warrants will become exercisable after various phases of a digital media workflow solution are successfully completed. These warrants will have an exercise price as permitted by the TSX Venture Exchange policies at the time of issuance and an expiry date of five years from the date of issuance.

Meanwhile, Science Daily has reported that researchers in the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering are developing programming tools to enable engineers in the defense industry to utilize the processing power of GPUs without having to learn the complicated programming language required to use them directly. These tools are designed to take advantage of videogame computer and console GPUs.

“As radar systems and other sensor systems get more complicated, the computational requirements are becoming a bottleneck,” said GTRI senior research engineer Daniel Campbell. “We are capitalizing on the ability of GPUs to process radar, infrared sensor and video data faster than a typical computer and at a much lower cost and power than a computing cluster.”

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23rd June 2009

CIRA Becomes A Silver Sponsor For Media Awareness Network

Media Awareness NetworkOttawaMedia Awareness Network (MNet), Canada’s leading not-for-profit media literacy organization, is pleased to announce the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has joined the organization’s team of CIRAsupporters as a Silver Sponsor.

“We are honoured that CIRA recognizes the importance of media literacy in the lives of children and youth,” said Cathy Wing, MNet’s Co-Executive Director. “These funds will help MNet to continue to develop high quality media literacy programs and resources that support the healthy development of young Canadians.”

“As the Internet becomes more integrated in our daily lives, it is now more important than ever to ensure young people are equipped to make safe decisions when using the Internet,” says Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA.  “The Media Awareness Network provides an important and necessary service to educators and parents and as the steward of Canada’s domain and Internet space, CIRA is proud to be a sponsor of MNet’s vital programs.”
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23rd June 2009

Sheridan College Gets Grant For Digital Media Research Centre

SheridanTorontoSheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada’s College and Community Innovation Program to establish a unique new research centre for screen-based industries. NSERC’s funding follows an initial $300,000 grant from the Ontario government’s Ontario Media Development Corporation.

The Digital Media Centre for Real-time Production takes a revolutionary approach to research, technology development, education and innovation, and will be located in the heart of the filmmaking industry in Toronto.

The Centre’s mission is to conduct world-class research into film, digital cinema and high definition imaging technologies in a wide variety of areas from capture to delivery and archiving. It was conceived and launched by Sheridan and will operate in partnership with creative industries and three levels of government.
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16th June 2009

PricewaterhouseCoopers Study Finds A Positive Outlook For Digital Media Growth

PricewaterhouseCoopersToronto – Over the next five years, digital technologies will become increasingly widespread across all segments of entertainment & media (E&M) as the digital migration continues to expand according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2009 – 2013.

Though the current economic downturn has, without doubt, impacted virtually every sector of the E&M marketplace it has also accelerated and intensified the digital migration among both providers and consumers of content.

*The global E&M market as a whole, including both consumer and advertising spending will grow by 2.7% compound annual growth (CAGR) for the entire forecast period to US$1.6 trillion in 2013.
*Canadian E&M spending projected to grow at a 2.2% CAGR to US$36.7 billion by 2013.
*Video game, internet advertising (wired and mobile) and digital everything to see biggest increases.

“What we are sure about is that this recession will last longer than previous ones due to a steeper downturn and that the impact on advertising will be particularly significant,” says Tracey Jennings, leader of the PwC Canada E&M practice. “E&M is not immune from the decline in consumer spending either – in Canada consumer spending in E&M will fall by a projected 4.9 % in 2009, remaining weak in 2010 and seeing only relatively low growth at 2.2% CAGR by 2013. Overall Canadian advertising spend will actually decrease a total of -0.5% CAGR by 2013 reflecting lower ad spending across traditional segments. Consumer spending, however, will rebound quicker from the recession. In fact, by 2013 consumer spend on E&M is projected to outpace GDP.”
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3rd June 2009

Seeking Canadian Businesses As Research Partners

WSIMansonville – Small and medium sized businesses across all industries and operating within Canada are invited to apply for a research project aimed to help generate higher customer conversion rates, increase revenues and jump-start local economies.

WSI (We Simplify the Internet) is a world leader in Internet marketing with over 1,500 offices in 87 countries. Select WSI offices around the globe are conducting global research on Internet marketing conversion strategies and are currently seeking qualified small and medium sized businesses in Canada to participate in this traffic conversion study.

“Our goal is to help businesses generate more revenue, despite the economic down-turn, while collecting statistical data to get a sense of how we measure up compared to the rest of the province, the country as a whole, and North America in general,” says Kimberly Nichols, owner of the local WSI office in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
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2nd June 2009

Bell Fund Bliki Launched To Assist With New Media Funding

Bell FundToronto – The Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund has launched an online information source for ideas about the revenue generating potential of multi-platform digital media projects. The portal, which has received support from Telefilm Canada, is named The Bell Fund’s Bliki – How To Make Money with Multi-Platform Digital Media, provides a very comprehensive collection of articles and resources to assist companies in developing a strategy for success. The Bell Fund, which receives approximately $12 000 000.00 in funding from Bell TV, provides grants to Canadian independent producers, assisting in the development and production of outstanding television content which is complemented and enhanced by innovative interactive content for digital delivery.

Available in both English and French, the bliki is run similar to a wiki, with collaborative editing and database updating but also offers editorial commentary as well as pertinent news. Having invested over $70 000 000.00 in the development and production of over 600 multi-platform projects in the past 11 years, the people behind the Bell Fund have extensive knowledge in regards to the challenges of revenue generation.
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25th May 2009

Delvinia’s INSIGHTS Unveils How Canada Feels about Social Networks and Reluctance in Sharing Information

Delvinia InteractiveToronto – The latest Delvinia INSIGHTS report on the digital behaviours and attitudes of Canadian consumers, unveiled that Canadians have a strange juxtaposition with their digital social needs and their reluctance to share information. The release of Online Communities and Information Sharing shows that there are differences between the genders as well as the ages, and how even the Net Generation (18-30) finds some activity uncomfortable in the digital space.

“While the proliferation of social networking in Canada has made the space comfortable for many, the majority of Canadians still have concerns of privacy, security and trust,” said Adam Froman, President and CEO of the Delvinia Group of Companies. “Social networking can be a formidable channel if used appropriately and for the right audience, but it’s imperative to understand a customer’s digital behaviour first. Companies just learning to integrate social networking into their digital strategies should begin by leveraging the powerful and largely populated social networks that already exist.”
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23rd May 2009

Privacy Commissioner Launches New Dialogue Site on Deep Packet Inspection

DPI InformationOttawa – The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has announced the launch of a new web site designed to open dialogue in regards to proposed Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). The site features a collection of essays by leading academics, lawyers, researchers, activists and industry professionals, and is designed to serve as a resource on Deep Packet Inspection. According to information on the site, it grew out of a desire at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to understand more about a technology that has application in network traffic management, behavioural advertising, and law enforcement.

Jennifer Stoddart

Jennifer Stoddart

“The prospective uses of DPI technology raise serious concerns about individual privacy,” said Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada. “DPI technology has the potential to give ISPs and other entities wide-ranging access to vast amounts of personal information sent over the Internet. Canadians spend a significant amount of their lives on online as consumers, professionals, and citizens. They are entitled to privacy protection pursuant to Canadian telecommunications policy, as set out in the Telecommunications Act, and under privacy laws of Canada. We respectfully submit that before DPI technology is employed, careful consideration should be given to what impact it may have on individual privacy.”
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