You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Media Literacy’ tag.

Smartphone addictLast Tuesday, August 6th, the good Doctor was invited by CBC Radio to appear on the afternoon call-in program BC Almanac to discuss the wonderful world of free apps for mobile devices. The guest host for the program was CBC National reporter Duncan McCue. This was my second appearance on BC Almanac – I first visited with them in March, 2013, to discuss the controversy caused by a recent alumni of Port Moody Secondary School who created a 3D level of his school that was playable using the Counterstrike game mod. The discussion this time around was decidedly less intense. What I really enjoyed was listening to people from all over British Columbia calling and tweeting about what apps they liked using on their mobile devices. It’s hard to believe how ubiquitous apps and mobile technology have become in people’s lives since Apple originally released the iPhone in Canada back in 2008. Google recently released the results of a study that surveyed 1000 Canadian smartphone users. They reported that the average smartphone has approximately 30 apps, 8 of which are paid apps. The majority of apps on their smartphones are free. In 2012, the consumer survey organization JD Power and Associates reported that the top ten uses of smartphones in Canada (in order) were texting, photography, email, Facebook, weather, games, web search, maps, news, and music.

Apps and smartphones are a serious going concern in Canada. While preparing for my interview with CBC Radio, I discovered the results of a fascinating study called The Apps Economy in Canada, released in October, 2012, by the Information and Communication Technology Council. It reported that 13 million Canadian smartphone users spent $675 million dollars on apps and broadband subscription services for 2012, compared to the global base of 1.2 billion smartphone users who spent a whopping $25.97 billion dollars. There are 51,700 people involved in Canadian app development, 15% (7,755) working here in BC. The Canadian app development industry generated $775 million in revenues for 2012.

You can listen to the CBC segment about free apps here (it starts at approximately 20:45).

Doctor ArkanoidDoctor Arkanoid

Advertisements

CounterstrikeYou know the old adage ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same‘? The same can be said for the videogame industry. I’m fairly certain that 99.9% of North Americans didn’t realize that August, 2012, marked the 40th anniversary of the first commercial videogame console, the Magnavox Odyssey. Not only that, it marked the the 40th anniversary of the coin operated arcade machine Space War!, distributed by Nolan Bushnell. I vividly remember walking into a penny arcade on Government Street in Victoria, BC, Canada, when I was 12 years old in the the summer of 1972, inserting my hard earned quarters into that machine, and feeling supremely ripped off that it was too hard to play! I mean, the nearby Undersea Gardens aquarium had a Sega UFO electronic arcade shooting game that was much more satisfying because I could actually advance several levels!

Videogames have been around for 40 years, so you would probably think that everyone is used to them by now; they’re accepted as a legitimate form of entertainment. Well, hold onto your tinfoil hat, Sparky, because it just ain’t so. I never cease to be amazed by the controversies videogames continue to elicit from the general public after all these decades. Yes, decades. The latest episode took place last week, when a group of recent high school graduates from Port Moody Secondary School created an accurately detailed 3D level map of their school that could be played using the Counterstrike mod developed from Valve Software’s Half Life engine. Co-incidentally, Counterstrike was first created in Surrey, BC, (of all places) by Minh ‘Gooseman’ Li back in 2000. I’ve designed many 3D levels commercially, so I understand the mindset of where these young guys were coming from. In fact, they explained on their website that they built the level as a way of showing their school spirit. This was done with the intent of creating a virtual space where they could bond.

Unfortunately for these kids, they naively made the mistake of posting a video of this level on the Internet without thinking about how anyone who doesn’t like or understand first person shooters (and they exist in large numbers) might react to seeing their local high school being used as a battleground, especially given the recent tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, or the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. To the students’ mind, this was a Counterstrike map – no big deal. To their teachers, parents, and the RCMP, there was nothing entertaining or nostalgic about it.

Speaking as a former professional videogame developer with 22 years of experience, a long time gamer, and as a responsible ‘middle aged’ man, I think the reaction of some teachers and parents was completely overblown and utterly exaggerated. What I heard and saw were overly sensitive adults who don’t play or understand video games at all. They make up their minds based on sensational media stories that use large amounts of emotional hyperbole. These adults make emotional statements about a video game they have never played that have no basis in fact.

Given the current climate about shootings on school and post secondary campuses in North America, I understand why the police were asked to investigate this situation. But I believe it was unwarranted and needlessly contributed to public hysteria. In an increasingly paranoid society, the last thing we need are police investigating people who play video games as potential homicidal maniacs. Peer reviewed empirical research evidence shows that there is no causal connection between playing video games and school shootings. But many adults keep wanting to believe a connection exists. Thankfully, the police investigators recognized that the students were not planning something sinister. It’s too bad that some parents, teachers, and Port Moody municipal politicians were not as rational in their assessments.

Time and again I’ve heard people claim that first person shooter video games are literally the devil’s handiwork. If this claim were true, then I should be a raving homicidal maniac who would have decimated entire cities by now! I’ve played all the classic first person shooters for over 20 years and I can tell you that they’re masterpieces of art, music, and narrative for their times.

CBC Radio invited me to appear on their call in program BC Almanac, to discuss first person shooting games. I also appeared on a news segment for The National.

Doctor ArkanoidDoctor Arkanoid

Well, better late than never!

When I was attending the Media Jeunes Conference 2010 last November as a guest panelist, I was asked by Dr. Lise Renaud from the Comsante’ Research Centre at the University of Quebec if I would sit down for an interview about videogames. Modest fellow that I am, they had to twist my arm! I recently received the URL for this interview.

Comsante’ hosts a blog at Cestmalade .

I hope you enjoy the interview!

You were warned this day was coming!

Oh yes, you were warned. Over a year ago, there were rumblings that the time was drawing near.

You were given every opportunity to repent. But did you heed the signs of prophecy? Did you prepare yourself for the dreadful day of judgement?

It is here. At long last, it is here.

The Cataclysm is upon us!

As the Doctor writes this post, legions of Azeroth’s bravest and mightiest heroes are arrayed in their finest armour in front of countless electronics stores around the world to buy World of Warcraft: Cataclysm – the third expansion of the world’s most successful massive multiplayer online game.

Why is the Doctor not in line eagerly awaiting the Cataclysm you ask? Sadly, my mystical robes are being drycleaned and my staff is getting a gem enchantment! My last visit to Icecrown Citadel to fight the Lich King left some terrible undead stains!

It has been six years since World of Warcraft was introduced to in late 2004. Blizzard Entertainment was uncertain if the same players who were rabid fans of the Warcraft real time strategy titles would play a massive multiplayer online game based on the world. The Doctor was a skeptic at first – I was not sure how well the universe would translate into a three dimensional environment. I was also a devoted Everquest player – I bought Everquest II and was thoroughly enjoying it. I was not ready to switch my allegiance from Norrath to Azeroth.

On November 16th, 2005, the Doctor broke down and bought World of Warcraft. I have been a fan of this game ever since. I am not alone. There are over 12 million paid subscribers playing WoW in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. In six years, WoW still regularly appears in the top ten titles sold for personal computer games. How is it possible that an online game can have this level of player loyalty and staying power for six years?

Allow the Doctor to cast some illumination on this 🙂

The game succeeds because it is easy to learn and lets players quickly develop the necessary skills that are appropriate for the race and class you choose. There are two sides in the Warcraft universe – the Alliance and the Horde. If you like shining castles and noble paladins, dwarven mountain cities, purple pointy eared night elves, or the ever scheming gnomes, the Alliance is for you! If you like orcs, undead, trolls, deceitfully cunning blood elves, and shaggy giant cow creatures, well you’re definitely for the Horde!

In Cataclysm, Alliance players can choose to be werewolves, Horde players can be goblins (complete with accents right out of ‘The Sopranos’). The Doctor considers goblins a definite reason to choose Horde. The world of Azeroth has been torn apart by the re-emergence of Deathwing the Destroyer – a very, very ancient dragon who is nursing a 10,000 year old grudge against the inhabitants of Azeroth. Cataclysm features many new areas and dungeons that are revealed by this destruction. There are also new dungeons and places to explore.

There are new professions, spells, and skills to learn in Cataclysm. The popular player versus player battleground system features a new strategic zone called Tol Barad for the Alliance and Horde to fight over. Blizzard has added new orchestral soundtracks and voice overs to the game as well.

Now if you will excuse the Doctor, it is time to start levelling up my goblin warlock so I can teach those wretched Worgen Alliance curs a lesson in manners that sends them running back to their kennels!

Doctor Arkanoid

When we last left the Doctor, he was attending Media – Jeunes 2010 inside the CBC/Radio Canada Mothership….

Children’s television production in Canada has not been spared from the ravages of the current economic climate. Just as video game production in Canada has suffered from a ‘perfect storm’ of economic and market driven events, the world of children’s television has suffered its own storm as well. Government and private funding for projects in the last three years shrunk dramatically – many companies laid off staff right across the country. The market is very competitive. Youth audiences are flocking to ‘live action’ series, which cost less to produce than an animated program. When you consider the success of shows like iCarly or Wizards of Waverly Place, it’s not hard to understand their impact on animated programs. But there’s another issue as well – computer graphic animation. Many of today’s brightest and best young computer animators want to work for companies like Dreamworks, Pixar, or work for computer game studios like Blizzard Entertainment. Today’s technologies make it possible for young animators to strike out on their own and post their portfolios online. The hardware and software are not that expensive.

The issue is doubly difficult for French Canadian animators in Quebec. Creating content for a Francophone audience is dwarfed by the English speaking markets in Canada and the United States. I came away from the conference with empathy for what it must be like to create content for the Quebec market. Much of French Canadian animation is co-produced with European countries and some Asian countries for international programs, including China. The withdrawal of international funding is contributing to their dilemma. The Canadian federal government launched an initiative in 2010 called the Canada Media Fund to encourage more development of Canadian content. It was interesting to note that while a large amount of money was being allocated to different types of animation and new media, there were not many French Canadian projects listed. When you compare the growing success of the video game industry in Quebec this past decade and the provincial government tax industry incentives it provided to game studios, it looks very much like the French Canadian animation industry needs to consolidate and focus on new opportunities for funding and production. They need to create a strategic plan to compete in a very tough marketplace.

(The Doctor thinks to himself – how about Et Dieu Crea’ Laflaque for the English Canadian TV audience!)

It was interesting to see how French Canadian animation companies were looking at how companies like Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel were using the internet to establish a strong online identity for branding purposes, much in the same way that video game publishers use it as well. The research information from numerous sources like Nielsen, Pew Internet American Life Project, or Statistics Canada, makes it very clear that children and adolescents spend much time online as a place to meet and play. Virtual worlds like Club Penguin, Free Realms, and even World of Warcraft are good examples. In the marketing world, you need to be where the target audience congregates to get your message across. Building a strong virtual community is important. Having an online presence that encourages your audience to visit often is quickly becoming a crucial piece of the media puzzle. Or at least, that’s what the Doctor thinks.

Qu’est-ce que vous pensez? (What do you think?).

Doctor Arkanoid

Bonjour mes amis! Le Docteur est retournee’!

Yes! The Doctor is IN! Honestly! To quote Austin Powers “I’M BACK BABY, YEAH!”. Where have I been? Well, the truth is I took a bit of a hiatus from the blog so I could finish my Master’s thesis and complete my graduate degree. I’m happy to report that after two gruelling years of blood, sweat, and literature reviews,  the thesis is complete at last! I will do a write up for you about the nature of the research later. Today’s post is about the Doctor’s visit last week to the Media – Jeunes 2010 conference that was held at the CBC Radio Canada ‘Mothership’ in Montreal, Quebec on November 18th and 19th.

In early September, my graduate supervisor, Dr. David Kaufman and I were having our usual thesis review coffee klatch. David mentioned to me that the Alliance for Children’s Television (ACT) was holding their annual conference for 2010 in Montreal and were looking for someone who could contribute to a panel discussion about the positive messages provided by digital media, including video games. He felt that I might be a good candidate given my background and experience, so I contacted the conference co-ordinator and made a submission. After several e-mails and phone discussions with Sylvie Lamy from ACT, I was accepted as a panel member. I was very excited because I believe that the positive side of video games does not get enough discussion compared to the frequent media coverage of the ‘AAA’ 3D hyper realistic commercial franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, {insert your favourite ‘M’ rated 3D action/fighting/shooting game here}. I also thought that participating on the panel would give me an opportunity to understand the current state of children’s digital media in Canada. There was one other benefit – ACT would take care of my expenses. This was music to a starving graduate student’s ears!

Preparing for the conference was challenging because I wanted to be relevant to the audience of media and television people in attendance. Another challenge was trying to fit my presentation into a window of 12 minutes! The great thing about discussing video games is that there’s never a lack of useful material. The trick is to find content that is meaningful and relevant. I found a really nice trailer from PBS on Youtube for Video Games Live. I selected a clip from the first two and half minutes.

The members of the panel were an interesting mix. We had an opportunity to have a very scintillating conference call the week before. As the sole member from the Pacific coast, I had to get up on a Friday morning at 7:00 a.m.! But our discussion paved the way for a fascinating session in Montreal. Amy Friedman from Redhead Consulting discussed working with licenses in digital media through her involvement with Nickelodeon. She showed some interesting public service announcements about cyberbullying. Dr. Carla Seal-Wanner from Flickerlab presented interactive film making students did using her company’s software for the Global Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Dr. Judith Gaudet discussed media and health education using the series Ramdam. The moderator was Mathieu Baer, the producer of Zooville for CBC Radio Canada. All of them were very knowledgable digital media professionals. I felt a bit humbled to be sitting alongside these individuals. I also had the challenge of being the last member to speak on the panel. The mission became very straightforward – keep the audience entertained at the end. After all, video games are about fun and excitement, n’est-ce pas?

Tomorrow I’ll give a recap of the interesting issues I learned about at the Media Jeunes 2010 Conference.

Doctor Arkanoid

I LIVE!

Yes, the good doctor, contrary to rumours and the tabloid vultures at TMZ, is still very much alive and kicking! It has been too long since I last posted on the blog, and for that I apologize profusely. I have been greatly pre-occupied with trying to earn a living and complete my M.A. thesis at the same time. The good news is that I have almost completed the research phase of my work; the thesis has taken well over a year of effort so far. Thankfully, I should be completed by the end of April.

A few bits of interesting news. My first academic paper is now officially published! Today I received my copy of Educational Gameplay and Simulation Environments: Case Studies and Lessons Learned, published by IGI Global. My contribution to the textbook is a chapter called Video Games and the Challenge of Engaging the ‘Net’ Generation. It was a great challenge to sit down and write a complete chapter! Having one’s writing reviewed by a panel of editors was also a unique experience.

Last week the good Doctor was invited by CBC Radio to discuss a plan by DigiBC and the Washington Interactive Network (WIN) to collaborate on working together for the benefit of the video game industries in the Pacific Northwest. The industry has a history of being predatory and territorial. The current economic conditions and the increasingly competitive nature of the global game industry are likely catalysts for this situation.

CBC Radio DigiBC WIN Interview

There’s plenty of events and issues to catch up on. If only I had more minions to do my blog bidding!

Doctor Arkanoid

The good doctor knows what you’re thinking at this very moment:

OH GAWD! NOT ANOTHER STORY ABOUT STEVE JOBS AND HIS GOSH DARNED TOUCHY FEELY MAGICAL MYSTERY WIRELESS APP THINGY!!!

(Cue: The sound of panic stricken readers screaming in terror as they flee from their monitors).

Once more, the great turtle necked Creator of all things Apple focuses his will and fashions into existence a device of awe and wonder, consternation and controversy, bouquets and brickbats. The geeky multitudes around the world try to discern the mind of Steve and understand the meaning of it all.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Is it an iPhone with a glandular condition?

Is it a Macbook cloning experiment gone horribly wrong?

Perhaps it’s some sort of mutant iPod Touch?

By now, everyone knows this latest creation is called the ‘iPad’, a flat touch screen computer that fits into a perceived product gap between the iPhone and Apple’s Macbook computers. The good doctor won’t go into a blow by blow description of the iPad – I won’t make you suffer through another orgiastic regurgitation of techie facts and figures 🙂

What tweaks the Doctor’s interest about the iPad is how this device is going to affect playing video games. I pointed out in ‘Is Nintendo Losing its ‘Touch’ to Apple?’ that company president Satoru Iwata admitted to game app purchases from the iTunes store having a direct impact on Super Mario’s bottom line. Both the iPhone and iPod Touch use built in accelerometers. During the iPad keynote presentation on January 27th, Electronic Arts showed off Need for Speed: Shift. Gameloft demonstrated their first person shooter Nova. The Doctor’s jaw dropped when I saw both of these three dimensional action video games being played on the iPadwithout a hand held video game controller!

Let me say that one more time…without a hand held video game controller!

The iPad’s release in 2010 sounds the death knell for hand held video game controllers. The era of the bulky controller with massive built in cooling refrigeration systems and ultra tremor inducing vibrations is well and truly finished. By simply touching the screen and physically moving the iPad, players can participate in many different types of game experiences. This is an important step forward in making video games more accessible to everyone. The Nintendo DS stylus and touch screen in 2004 defied everyone’s expectations; the system was a hit. There was much scoffing about the Nintendo Wii and the remote sensor controller technology in 2006 (we all know who got the last laugh). The good doctor can see wireless multi-player iPad games taking place in the same room, or competing with others in different locations.

Another benefit the iPad brings to video games is that it lets budding game developers create their own original titles. There is a low barrier to entry in downloading the software development kit (SDK) from Apple’s website and developing a game app. Ten years ago, it was very difficult to find employment in the video game industry except in large game studios. The evolution of casual online games, mobile games, and the introduction of the Nintendo DS  created new opportunities for talented artists, level designers, musicians, and programmers to strike out on their own and develop a diverse range of game experiences for players of all ages.

From an educational point of view, the iPad shows great promise to assist with learning. Its perception is a  ‘cool’, engaging device. The interface is easy to understand, it’s reasonably priced, and there are many useful game and learning apps available for it. The ability to read books electronically in a way that resembles how we naturally do it (and turn the pages!) is promising. When is that last time you curled up in your favourite chair with a computer monitor in your lap?

The iPad doesn’t require educators to be computer scientists to master its use. It could help to bridge the knowledge gap that exists between teachers and technology. It presents the opportunity for educators and students to collaborate together. You can’t break it or make it explode by touching your finger to the screen.

But then again…maybe there’s an app for that 🙂

Doctor Arkanoid

Last week I talked about bad video game based movies and provided a list of every one I could recall. Thank the broadband for Wikipedia! When I reviewed the list, it was clear to me that some of the most creative and commercially successful video games were never made into films. For example, why didn’t Lucas Arts ever make a movie based on The Secret of Monkey Island? Well, after what happened in 1993 with the movie Super Mario Brothers, you could understand the reluctance of video game publishers to let any of their original properties be adapted to film. I still think Bob Hoskins was an excellent choice for Mario. I will never forget the giant Koopa trooper I met at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas! Of course, Nintendo created the Pokemon franchise and everyone knows how massively successful that series continues to be since its introduction in 1996 (even the good doctor has his trading card starter pack and music CD’s – I still do a mean Team Rocket voice impersonation “..Prepare for trouble…and make it DOUBLE!”).

Let’s take a look at some video game based movies that Doctor Arkanoid prescribes as recommended viewing:

MORTAL KOMBAT (New Line Cinema, 1995)

I believe that this film shows the right way of how to adapt a video game for the big screen (or today’s HD screen). Mortal Kombat the game has a well developed backstory. There are a set of characters who clearly represent the forces of good and evil. Each of these characters is unique and possesses amazing fighting powers. They also have established relationships with each other, such as Raiden and Shang Tsung. The locations for the battles were exotic and nicely designed. The script for Mortal Kombat was well written and the dialogue was reasonably decent. But for a video game based movie to be a commercial success, it must attract both the video gamer and non-video gamer alike. Gamers were impressed that the movie was faithful to the game’s actual fighting moves and special  finishing techniques. Probably one of the most compelling features of this movie was the soundtrack’s opening techno theme, which eventually was adapted and played in many dance clubs around the the world. Even today, the theme is immediately recognizable. The movie grossed $122 million worldwide.

TOMB RAIDER (Paramount Pictures, 2001)

Ah, Lara Croft. How many gamer hearts have you broken with your beauty, your intelligence, your tight fitting clothes, and your arsenal of weapons? Sure, Metroid has Samus Aran, Street Fighter has Chun-Li, and Dead or Alive has its squad of gorgeous yet vapid beach volleyball bimbos. But frankly my dear, none of them hold a digital candle compared to you! Since her first appearance in 1996, Lara has become the world’s most recognizable video game heroine. So it was only fitting that a larger than life video game character would appear on the big screen. It’s fair to say that Tomb Raider was a natural candidate for a video game based movie because it channels the adventure and action of Indiana Jones with the sophistication  and wit of James Bond. This isn’t a surprise when you realize that not only was Angelina Jolie the perfect choice to play Lara Croft, her nemesis in the movie was none other than Daniel Craig who would later become the new James Bond in Casino Royale. Jon Voight also starred in this film as Lara’s father. Tomb Raider is considered the most commercially successful video game movie yet – it grossed over $300 million worldwide.

FINAL FANTASY VII: ADVENT CHILDREN (Square Enix, 2005)

The Final Fantasy series of role playing video games started in 1987. The first Final Fantasy game was produced to save the fledgling company from bankruptcy. 22 years later,  Final Fantasy has a huge cult following around the globe. Final Fantasy: Advent Children is a computer generated movie based on the video game Final Fantasy VII, which was produced for the PC and Sony Playstation in 1997 and 1998. The game features two of Square’s most famous video game characters – Cloud Strife and his massive sword versus Sephiroth the one winged dark angel. It’s considered one of Square – Enix’s most successful titles with over ten million units sold. Unlike the epic video game movie disaster Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), this film remained faithful to the mythology and story of the original series. It was also a DVD only release that sold approximately 11 million units worldwide and received several awards for its quality.

In the Doctor’s mind, these three films epitomize the best of the video game based movies released to date.

Doctor ArkanoidDoctor Arkanoid

Sergeant PepperIf there’s one thing I’m grateful for in my life, it’s that my parents had a huge record collection when I was a child in the 1960’s. I was raised in a home where music was always played. One of my earliest memories is dancing wildly to Collette Renard singing a song from the comedy Irma La Douce when  I was three years old. My mother said I spun around and around and around. I was introduced to folk music from Bob Dylan, The Weavers, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. My parents’ collection included the controversial musical Hair. At eight years old, I knew the lyrics to Age of Aquarius by heart. But if I had to name a group that was the soundtrack for my childhood, it would be the Fab Four from Liverpool – George, John, Paul, and Ringo.

There are so many Beatles songs I can associate with my childhood. I remember hearing ‘I’ll Follow the Sun‘ when I was five years old. ‘All You Need is Love’ as we drove along a highway in rural Ontario on a rainy day when I was eight. ‘Yellow Submarine‘ buying vanilla chocolate chip ice cream at Britannia Bay in Ottawa on a hot summer afternoon when I was nine. I also remember my mother refusing to let me see the animated movie ‘Yellow Submarine‘. In retrospect, maybe she was right. The imagery of that film was really psychadelic. Or maybe she feared I’d turn into a flower child like some of my babysitters 🙂 My most favourite memory is hearing ‘Maxwell’s Hammer‘ on my grandfather’s enormous sound system at Glen Lake in Langford, BC, when I was ten. When I turned twelve, the songs that marked the passage into my turbulent teenage years were ‘Hey Jude‘ and ‘Let it Be‘.

Even though the band long since dissolved, and George and John departed this world for the ethereal Strawberry Fields, the music of the Beatles still endures decades later. So you can imagine my pleasant surprise and enthusiasm when it was announced at this year’s 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) that The Beatles: Rockband for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii, will make its global debut on September 9, 2009 – the same day as the re-release of all their albums.

This idea for this game was originally championed by George Harrison’s son Dhani. It was presented to Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono –  the majority shareholders of Apple Corps. It was developed by Harmonix in collaboration with Apple Corps. The game follows the history of the Fab Four – you actually choose which Beatle you want to play. Are you the enigmatic John? The contemplative George? The cool Paul? Or the mellow Ringo? The instruments are modelled on the drums and guitars used by the Beatles. The soundtrack includes 45 original titles remastered by the engineers at the Apple Corps studios. There’s also actual in-studio dialogue from the Fab Four as well.

I have no doubts that The Beatles: Rockband is going to be incredibly successful when it makes its worldwide debut on September 9. There was a huge reaction to it at E3, especially when Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr showed up to give their blessing. I couldn’t help but find it amusing to see the mostly 20 something audience wildly cheering for a group who played before most of them were even born! <Insert snide comment about these gosh darned kids today and their music> 🙂

On another note, it strikes me that a new cultural threshold is being crossed when a video game becomes a platform to acquaint and re-acquaint people with such a global influence as the history, music, and visual style of the Beatles. It’s almost a ‘karma’ sort of thing that the son of a Beatle would bring forward this idea and help to make it happen. Somewhere George Harrison must be smiling.

Doctor ArkanoidDoctor Arkanoid

Copyright Notice

Anthony Gurr and Doctor Arkanoid - Revelations From the Inner Sanctum!, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthony Gurr and Doctor Arkanoid - Revelations From the Inner Sanctum! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.