Monday, August 07, 2006

The Mole: I left my heart (and wallet) in San Francisco

What is up?!? I just returned today from a mini-vacation in San Francisco. No, I wasn't visiting EA Tiburon or bagging on the doors of all the gaming mags based in the area looking for a job. I was just in town to see the Golden Gate Bridge (that's a picture from my cell phone on the right), tour wine country (always bring a designated driver) and visit some friends (a buddy of mine works for Yahoo! and he told me some great stories about when Lilliputian Tom Cruise visited). But enough about me. The poor blog has been ignored for 4 long days. Here's a little inside info until I get my land legs.

Take that bureaucrats with too much time on your hands! - Remember that dumb law in Minnesota that would have fined kids $25 if they were caught buying an M rated game? Well forget about it. U.S. District Court Judge James M. Rosenbaum shot it down, believing the law violated the first amendment and said that the state failed to prove that video games caused harm to children.

"There is a paucity of evidence linking the availability of video games with any harm to Minnesota's children at all," Rosenbaum wrote.

I have no clue what paucity means but this decision proves he's smarter than me and the lawmakers who first thought up this idea.

Say It Isn't So! - Normally a giant party to celebrate gaming, E3 is getting a major make-over next year and casual gaming fans aren't invited. Worried that developers will pull out of E3 because of its ever increasing size and lack of focus on the actual games (I don't think booth babes are distracting do you?), ESA President Doug Lowenstein decided the trade show needed a major change. Here's some quotes from his interview with Game Informer:

"The deal is, is that the event in terms of it being defined as an event with a big trade show floor is not going to be what we’re doing any longer. We’re evolving the event into something that’s more narrowly focused on ensuring quality interactions with top tier media and other audiences. The companies want to ensure they get quality time with during an event like this.
E3 has just become a little too much background noise during the event and increasingly difficult to conduct business there."

With fans essentially being shut out of next years shindig (moved to July instead of May) gamers can expect a tamer and therefor lamer event and game coverage.

Etc., etc. - To no one's surprise, Microsoft announed the release date for "Gears of War" on the Xbox 360 will be Nov. 12, right before the PS3 launch. It'll sell for $59.99 or $69.99 for a limited collectors edition...Ubisoft announced 7 titles for the upcoming Wii launch: Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII, Far Cry, GT Pro Series, Open Season, Monster 4X4 World Circuit, Rayman Raving Rabbids and Red Steel...Good news for soccer fans. EA announced FIFA 07 will be coming out October 3 and will include the world's top leagues including MLS and Mexican 1st Division...the Mailbag is looking bleak, with a total of 0 (zero) entries so far. This of course means that now is the best time to drop in your entry because there is absolutely no competition for the $20 gift card. Send your questions/comments to I'd hate to have to give myself a gift card.

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