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  • Consulting Firm Nordicity Calls for a National Digital Media Strategy

1st October 2009

Consulting Firm Nordicity Calls for a National Digital Media Strategy

NordicityToronto – Countries around the world are recognizing the need for a National Towards A National StrategyDigital Strategy, but Canada has not yet embarked on this process. Digital technologies are bringing about transformative change in society; and, according to a new issues discussion paper released today from Nordicity, Canada must develop our own strategy to remain competitive.

“Without a national digital strategy, there will be no overall vision to guide such a social and economic transformation in the interest of all Canadians,” says Peter Lyman, Senior Partner at Nordicity. “Rather, debate will be mired in the arcane and fragmented languages of broadcasting regulation, copyright revision, technological innovation, cultural subsidies, and broadband infrastructure.”

According to the issues discussion paper, Towards a National Digital Strategy, a unified vision of Canada’s digital future is crucial. To make sure the debate is not fragmented, policymakers will need to shift their perception to a more constructive, collaborative and holistic one. Otherwise, solutions will continue to be piecemeal, and decisions will continue to be reactive and narrowly defined.

The paper attempts to sort out the different issues, and identify what a national digital strategy should address. The paper groups the relevant issues in three parts:

1. An overarching societal need for digital literacy and skills in the modern world.
2. The need for a transformation of our support for the creation and distribution of cultural content.
3. The need for appropriate investment in our broadband and communications infrastructure to provide Canadians access to broadband services. Read the rest of this entry »

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1st October 2009

Upcoming Digital Media Events

Vancouver Innovation CampVancouver Innovation Camp is a series of four workshops which will take place on October 13, 15, 17 and 19 at the Kontent Creative office in Gastown. The workshops are “an opportunity to learn and practice creativity and entrepreneurial skills through a series of hands-on activities – no lectures.”

This series of workshops are very reasonably priced at $75.00, with a limit of 24 seats available per session. Evening sessions include sandwiches and beverages provided by Social at Le Magasin.

Themes covered during the workshop:

* Identifying opportunities
* Learning from failure
* Creativity – developing then expanding upon ideas
* Seeing problems from fresh perspectives
* Innovation – implementing and iterating ideas

momovanA reminder that MoMoVan is happening this October 5th, and registration closes tomorrow. With a focus on the Monetization of Virtual Goods, MoMoVan will take place at the Local History Lab and patio at the Museum of Vancouver. This event is free to members of WinBC and New Media BC or $25.00 for non-members at the door.


-5:30pm-6:00pm: Registration and networking (pizza and beer)
-6:00pm-6:30pm: 3-minute fast pitches from:
– Work at Play (Jordan Willms, Sr. Analyst)
– Utherverse (Brian Shuster, CEO)
– REIXL (Roger Graham, CEO)
– Super Rewards (Chris Koziak, CEO)
– Backstage (Alex Mendelev, VP, Business Development)
-6:30pm-7:15pm: Panel Discussion (Moderator: Jordan Willms, Sr. Analyst, Work at Play)
-7:15pm-8:00pm: Networking

PlaydiumPinball players from all across North America will compete for over $10,000 in cash and prizes, including the grand prize of a new NBA STERN pinball machine and the title: 2009 Canadian Pinball Champion. The tournament will take place this October 23 – 25 at The Playdium Store in Toronto. Gary Stern, president of the only pinball manufacturer in the world, Stern Pinball will be on hand to present awards to the winners. There will also be a Donkey Kong Challenge & Arcade Auction Sale held on Saturday October 24th along with a free pinball tournament for kids and a Masters Tournament for competitors over the age of fifty.

Alliance numérique has unveiled updates for the first SPIN event, a digital entertainment celebration SPINopen to the general public. SPIN attendees will have the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes view of the video game industry. The event will not only highlight gaming in Quebec, but also focus on all aspects of the industry, including the work of game developers and other gaming professionals. The event is also designed to promote rising talent and e ncourage future recruitment and employment in the industry. From November 13th to 17th, Montrealers will discover the hidden face of games through four activities: Cinematics, D3D, Portfolios and Open Doors.

SPIN will be held in parallel with the MIGS’ sixth edition, an event dedicated to gaming industry stakeholders that will take place on November 16th and 17th.

SPIN highlights the videogame industry’s strength: an industry that combines culture, arts and technology. SPIN’s aim is two-fold: making the industry more accessible to the public and encouraging interaction between the industry’s stakeholders and the recruits.

SPIN will include four activities:

D3D: A friendly competition between training centers, CEGEPS and universities. Visitors are invited to discover the major steps in game development.

Open doors: Video game industry virtual and on-site tours to give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at the industry.

Portfolios: This meeting ! with vid eo game industry professionals offers a showcase for people looking to make their mark in the video game industry. Developers, programmers, designers, animators, engineers, project managers and others will be able to mingle.

Cinematics: Unlike video games, cinematics are non-interactive animated sequences (trailers, animations, etc). During the whole evening, cinematics will be shown, promoting the talent of creators from Montreal and around the world.

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1st October 2009

Ubisoft Game Shorts

UbisoftUbisoft Montreal has released another Game Dev video walkthrough for the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed 2. This video highlights several new game play components, such as the weapons dealer and new weapons like the smoke bomb, as well as Ezio’s ability to swim and use gondolas. I’m grateful for the new Ezio at the Arms Dealerswimming ability, because in Assassin’s Creed 1 I seemed to spend a fair amount of time falling into the water and drowning. Also new to AC2 is the hiring of thieves and other unsavoury characters to do some of the dirty work like distracting guards. According to the new video, which was created for the Tokyo Game Show, the missions are extensive and somewhat unpredictable. One of my favourite components of AC1 was game environment exploration. Players can look forward to an even more rewarding system for exploration in AC2, as Ezio hunts the city for treasure which will help him upgrade his armour and weapons. Slated for release in mid-November, this is one title that will be in hot contention in the Village Gamer household. Thankfully, I am the one with the vehicle and the ability to pick up our pre-order at the store – and the “your order is in” call goes to my cell – thereby enabling me to beat The Cavechild to the game.Battle of Giants: Dragons

In other Ubisoft news, Battle of Giants™: Dragons has hit store shelves. Battle of Giants: Dragons is the very first DS game that will allow young gamers to play with the most impressive creatures they have always dreamed of – Dragons.

Developed for younger gamers by Ubisoft Quebec, players can feel the adrenaline rush of creating, controlling, customizing and battling with their very own fierce creature. Combat of Giants: Dragons offers a full immersion into the fantastic and mysterious universe of magic Dragons. Feel overwhelmed by exciting combat views and realistic fighting scenes! Battle of Giants: Dragons is rated E10 by the ESRB.

Key Game Features:

* Realism of fight as a key for immersion, pushed by a real-time innovative and intuitive combat gameplay.
* Customize your creature to make it your very own: 4 elemental dragons within their natural land, 5 different attack possibilities per Dragon, up to 125 different gems find and choose from!
* Land exploration through ground seeking or aerial traveling!
* Multiplayer: organize duels or tournaments, up to 4 players, to see which dragon will be the strongest of all.

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1st October 2009

Roundhouse Interactive launches The Game Cartel

Roundhouse InteractiveTorontoRoundhouse Interactive (new site under construction) has taken the first step towards the release of the first player-developed console game with the launch of The Game Cartel.The Game Cartel

The Game Cartel is the world’s first demographically driven game development co-operative. Utilizing a web portal and a fee-based membership; the Game Cartel empowers gamers and other interested parties alike, to develop next generation games for the retail market. Roundhouse Interactive President, Mike Montanaro says, “For less than the price of your average video game, users will have input into — and voting rights on — each and every aspect of game development, from genre through character development and game play.”

According to Roundhouse Interactive, The Game Cartel membership will also benefit from special “insider” offers from a select and growing list of partners and affiliates such as Alienware and HiTech Tattoos. In addition, every member will get their name listed in the credits and receive a copy of the final product.

The Game Cartel HomeMontanaro says, “Gamers are a very vocal group who pride themselves on knowing each and every detail of current and upcoming games titles. They are equally quick to decry the games they feel fall short of expectation. They take a sense of ownership in the games they play so it only seemed natural to give them a real voice in the games developed by making them a vested partner. I see it as a new direction for the industry, and a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

All member concepts submitted by the membership will be passed before an advisory board of industry professionals. All submissions will be reviewed to determine their viability and originality, selecting those that will go back to the members for voting and final inclusion in the game.

The membership will have exclusive previews of finished game play, be included in beta testing, and will get a special packaged version of the final game prior to the general retail launch scheduled just in time for Christmas in 2010.

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1st October 2009

World Cyber Games Announces International Online Trackmania Tournament

WCG LogoThe National Finals may be over, but there is still one more opportunity to participate in the World Cyber Games 2009 Grand Final in Chengdu, China. The recognized leader for global video game competitions, WCG is running a supplementary competition for the international smash hit TrackMania Nations Forever at this year’s Grand Final. From now thru October 14, gamers will battle online in TrackMania Nations Forever to determine two Global Preliminary Champions. Each champion will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Chengdu, China this November to partake in the largest and most prestigious eSports tournament in the world – the WCG Grand Finals. Once there, they will take center stage to race each other for World Championship title, as well as cash and other prizes.

Open to players from all WCG participating countries, the online competition will have two one-week rounds consisting of two tracks per round. For a complete list of participating countries and rules please visit the TrackMania page of the WCGZone.

“Through competitions like this, WCG will continue to explore the vast possibilities that are provided through the Internet,” said Hyoung-Seok Kim, CEO of World Cyber Games, Inc. “WCG will continue to strengthen its online channel WCGZone so that even more people from more countries can enjoy the competition.”

Those fans who are less racing inclined can show off their design skills in the WCG TrackMania Global Track Design Contest, which is open to participants worldwide. Held at the same time as the WCG TrackMania Global Preliminaries, artists who wish to join the contest should go to the WCG web site or WCGZone and TrackMania Exchange for more information.

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