30th June 2008

ProStreet Wins GT Diamond Award

NFSbox Vancouver-developed Need for Speed ProStreet has become the second EA title to achieve Diamond status on GameTrailers. According to GT’s Stream Stats, the ProStreet trailer has been viewed more than 10 million times. Shane Satterfield, Editor in Chief for GameTrailers said “We are proud to present EA with a GT Diamond Award for their incredible work on Need for Speed ProStreet. With quality titles like Crysis and Need for Speed ProStreet, it is no surprise that EA was the first publisher to have two titles that really resonated with our hardcore gaming audience.”

Black Box Vice President Larry LaPierre said that “Receiving the GT Diamond Award is a real accomplishment; GameTrailers visitors represent our core fan base and ten million views illustrates why Need for Speed is one of the world’s most successful videogame franchises.”

Our congratulations to the team at Black Box.

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29th June 2008

Impromptu Film Fest Coming Up

impromptuThe Impromptu Film Festival will be taking place at the Vancouver International Film Centre, Vancity Theatre on Seymour Street this coming weekend. The Festival will run from noon until 5pm, with tickets costing $15.00 for either Session A or Session B, or $20.00 for both sessions. You can purchase advance tickets at Biz Books, which is located at 302 West Cordova Street.

According to the event’s website, “featuring films from around the world, in this one day celebration of getting films seen and off the ground. This festival aims to promote filmmakers with future projects in development, showcasing what they’ve created in the past.” To date, 3 films have been added to the Festival’s schedule, 2008 Leo Award Winner Centigrade, 2007 Academy Award Winner The Danish Poet, and 2008 Academy Award nominee Madame Tutli-Putli, with more to be announced very soon.

Proceeds from the Festival will go in part to help with pre-production costs (up to $2 500.00) for independent films. One quarter of the proceeds will also go to assist in the creation of the UBC Film Production Scholarship.

The Impromptu Film Festival is sponsored in part by The Vancouver International Film Centre, Video Openhouse Tours, Spread Media Inc., Silverlight Films, Steven Nash Sports Club, Biz Books, The Celluloid Social Club, Telescopic Camera Cranes Ltd, and PS.

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29th June 2008

Game Boys Is Right On Target

Game BoysGame Boys

Game Boys: Professional Videogaming’s Rise From the Basement To The Big Time
Author: Michael Kane
June 2008

Games Boys: Professional Videogaming’s Rise from the Basement to the Big Time by Michael Kane is the best inside look at the competitive videogaming industry I have read to date. He peels back the layers of this very complex subculture and lays it all out there for anyone to read – from the gamers themselves to the parents who try to understand. Game Boys has it all – the celebratory victories, the heartbreaking losses, the passion of its supporters, and he doesn’t leave out the backroom dirty laundry either.

This book is an informative, exciting, unsanitized read; he does not sugarcoat the competitive gaming industry; instead he offers an outsider’s perspective of a largely misunderstood section of today’s society. Author Michael Kane has managed to translate the excitement of competition into his words, and sometimes I found myself reading faster through the competition gameplay to get to the moment of victory – even though I already knew the results of many of the matches he wrote about.

As a participant full of passion for the videogame industry, there were so many times I found myself identifying with CompLexity GM Jason Lake and harbouring feelings of resentment towards Craig Levine. Like Jason Lake, I believe in the grassroots foundation of this wonderful industry, and even though Craig Levine has done much to get competitive videogaming out there into the main stream of today’s world, I often felt that Levine’s tactics were less than honourable, and I am of the generation when honour was at the forefront of how you conducted your life. These are elements which make for a great book – eliciting emotion and appreciation from the reader, making the reader care about the characters in the story.
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28th June 2008

The Daily Miracle: An Introduction to Journalism, Second Edition

Originally Written for KillaNet Community Resource in 2007

The Daily MiracleThe Daily Miracle: An Introduction to Journalism, Second Edition
Written By David Conley
Paperback: 392 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Second Edition
March 2002

The Daily Miracle is a very comprehensive textbook, designed primarily for students just beginning their studies about the world of journalism. Anyone considering journalism as a career should first read this book. The author has written a comprehensive history about journalism, and also takes an in-depth look at the changing face of the media industry. The Information Age has forced journalism into a high-speed medium, and Mr. Conley has laid out the pros and cons of becoming a reporting journalist in this rapidly changing world.

This textbook is laid out in such a way that it will continue to be a good reference manual for many years. The index contains a brief description of each chapter, allowing a reader to skip to any part of the book when looking for specific information. The appendices and bibliography contain a wealth of places to look for further information, both in print or online.

The second edition of the textbook was updated from the first to include changes in both broadcast and computer-assisted journalism. He ties this in with the origins of news reporting and the changing face of the industry over time. Mr. Conley’s book concentrates more on applying the techniques of journalism than just telling the reader what journalism is about. Each chapter is designed to focus on a skill area, and for that reason alone the book is a worthy investment even for the seasoned journalist. Mr. Conley also pays attention to the importance of ethics in a journalist, and how they affect not only the reporter’s career, but also the public’s perception and trustlevel in regards to that reporter.

Mr. Conley not only lays out what a new journalist can expect when embarking upon his or her career, he delves into what the industry will expect of the new journalist. Each chapter uses examples of current reporting practices, backs up the information with statistics, and also looks at the careers of prominent journalists world-wide. He also caps each chapter with a list of questions and exercises for the reader, and completing those activities will not only help broaden the student’s understanding of the industry, it will help him or her decide if this is the correct career path to follow.

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27th June 2008

EA Canada Is Looking for Play Testers

EA Canada Electronic Arts (Canada) Inc., located in Burnaby BC is looking for gamers who are interested in becoming Play Testers. They run approximately five focus groups per week, and are always looking for new play testers of all ages and skill levels. This position is unpaid, but testers do receive food while they at the EA Campus, as well as free EA games. You will be able to test games such as Need for Speed, FaceBreaker, Dead Space, Skate, NHL, FIFA, NBA and more. You can fill in their online application here or if you are under 18 years of age, download the PDF file, get it signed by a parent or guardian, and then mail it in to EA Game Ops.

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27th June 2008

Alexey’s Dwice

Developer: WildSnake™ Software
Demo: 60 Levels Only + Arcade Mode
Platform: PC
Genre: Casual Match Puzzle
Official Game Site: WildSnake™ Software
Price: $19.95 USD

System Requirements:
OS: Microsoft® Windows® 98/NT/Me/XP/Vista/2000
CPU: 733 MHz
RAM: 128 MB
Hard Drive: 30 MB
Graphics: DirectX 7 or later

Alexey\'s Dwice Screenshot

WARNING: Do not play this game when scheduled to work the next day! You’re never going to leave this game alone once you start. From the developer of Tetris®, Alexy Pajitnov has teamed up with WildSnake™ Software to bring you Alexy’s Dwice. With this action puzzle game, you’ll find a whole new level of casual gaming.

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26th June 2008

Vancouver SIGGRAPH Closes Season with Ratatouille

logo-siggraph Last night we attended the final ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Chapter seminar for the season, and what a treat it was. Guest speaker Sharon Calahan, Director of Photography/Lighting for Pixar Animation Studios gave a presentation on the lighting processes used in Pixar’s animated film Ratatouille, which was followed with a special screening of a 35mm print of Ratatouille.

Beginning with the research and philosophies that went into the development of Ratatouille and walking the audience through the processes she and her team implemented to achieve the rich appearance of the film, Sharon lead us on a wonderful journey of passion and challenges. Having the ability to learn from the masters in the industry always lends to more appreciation for the talent and processes behind the scenes of any digital media piece which many of the general public never get a chance to learn about.

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24th June 2008

Nintendo Key To Summer Fun Tour

NintendoThis summer, Nintendo Canada has teamed up with smart® canada for the Key To Summer Fun Tour, which is taking place across Canada from June 18th through to September 1. You can test out your skills for chances to win a smart fortwo coupe and a Wii or one of five Family Game Night Packs which include Wii and Nintendo DS hardware, a games library and more. The special Wii and DS equipped cars will be at the following locations this summer:

Golden Spike Days – Port Moody – June 27 – 30

Steveston Salmon Festival – Steveston – July 1

Pacific National Exhibition – August 16 – September 1

Please visit the Get Up And Play Key to Summer Fun Tour official site for full information and contest rules.


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23rd June 2008

TRENDnet To Sponsor Digital Storm

trendnetThe organizers of Digital Storm 2008 are very pleased to announce that TRENDnet will be providing several items for use as prizes at this year’s LAN tournament event. Please be sure to stop by their site and check out their award-winning products.

TRENDnet is a global provider of award winning networking solutions to small and medium size business and home users. Building networking solutions since 1990, TRENDnet enables users to share broadband access, multimedia content and networked peripherals for true anywhere connectivity. TRENDnet’s diverse product line includes Wireless, Fiber, Switch, Gigabit, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Keyboard/Video/Mouse (KVM), Internet Camera, Print Server, Powerline, Bluetooth, Storage Server, Power over Ethernet (PoE), and Multimedia Accessories.

Based in Torrance, California, TRENDnet maintains branch offices in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America, and Asia. TRENDnet’s 250-plus product portfolio is distributed in over 125 countries. The TRENDnet brand is consistently recognized for high quality, exceptional performance and professional support.

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23rd June 2008

IGDA To Launch Memorial Project


The International Game Developers’ Association (of which this writer is a member) will be launching a project to remember those game pioneers who came before, as well as those who have become an important part of today’s industry. Begun by the IGDA’s Game Preservation SIG , the Memorial Project will ” contain biographies of professionals from around the world, and is welcome to anyone who worked on a game or with the Industry in the past.”

There will also be memorial areas for those who designed paper-based games, as well as “notable individuals from the toy industry, critical game studies, and computer science, whose work has greatly affected the ways in which we understand, play, and design our games.”

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