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Amazon Buys Twitch, Proving Gaming Live Streams Are Golden

"Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month," Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Amazon paid about $970 million for the streaming service. It is still unclear how the deal will affect Twitch’s service or how the two companies might mix services. Amazon has a history of buying companies it sees as profitable and not changing the culture or business model drastically. 
On reddit, the discussion of the deal remained mostly positive. Those that said they were worried when rumors swirled that Google/YouTube were buying Twitch seemed relieve that Amazon ended up plunking down the cash. Many wondered how Amazon’s premium service, Prime, might meld with Twitch’s Turbo service. All of that remains to be seen.
What’s clear is that video game streaming and the Twitch model have proven to be a viable entertainment medium that shows little sign of disappearing.

Amazon Buys Twitch, Proving Gaming Live Streams Are Golden

"Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month," Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Amazon paid about $970 million for the streaming service. It is still unclear how the deal will affect Twitch’s service or how the two companies might mix services. Amazon has a history of buying companies it sees as profitable and not changing the culture or business model drastically. 

On reddit, the discussion of the deal remained mostly positive. Those that said they were worried when rumors swirled that Google/YouTube were buying Twitch seemed relieve that Amazon ended up plunking down the cash. Many wondered how Amazon’s premium service, Prime, might meld with Twitch’s Turbo service. All of that remains to be seen.

What’s clear is that video game streaming and the Twitch model have proven to be a viable entertainment medium that shows little sign of disappearing.

From NPR’s All Things Considered: For The First Time, Real Tattoos Make Their Madden Debut

These days, tattoo artists for athletes have started to pay more attention to their rights. And those worries aren’t necessarily frivolous, says Tim Bradley, an intellectual property attorney. He says copyright law is actually very friendly to the artist, and that protections kick in once you’ve shown a “modicum of creativity” in your design and you’ve put it on a “tangible medium.”

I found this story from NPR’s Becky Sullivan quite interesting, having had no idea why it was an issue for a player’s real tattoos to be included in a video game. It wasn’t technology that was holding it back, it was potential lawsuits.

From NPR’s All Things Considered: For The First Time, Real Tattoos Make Their Madden Debut

These days, tattoo artists for athletes have started to pay more attention to their rights. And those worries aren’t necessarily frivolous, says Tim Bradley, an intellectual property attorney. He says copyright law is actually very friendly to the artist, and that protections kick in once you’ve shown a “modicum of creativity” in your design and you’ve put it on a “tangible medium.”

I found this story from NPR’s Becky Sullivan quite interesting, having had no idea why it was an issue for a player’s real tattoos to be included in a video game. It wasn’t technology that was holding it back, it was potential lawsuits.

From NPR’s All Tech Considered and KTOO: Native Stories From Alaska Give Gamers Something To Play With

As in movies, native characters in video games tend toward stereotype. Few of them are heroes, but this game is different. Never Alone is based on a traditional story known as Kanuk Sayuka and the experiences of Alaska elders, storytellers and youth. The story follows a young Inupiaq girl and an Arctic fox as they go on an adventure to save her village from a blizzard that never ends.

From NPR’s All Tech Considered and KTOO: Native Stories From Alaska Give Gamers Something To Play With

As in movies, native characters in video games tend toward stereotype. Few of them are heroes, but this game is different. Never Alone is based on a traditional story known as Kanuk Sayuka and the experiences of Alaska elders, storytellers and youth. The story follows a young Inupiaq girl and an Arctic fox as they go on an adventure to save her village from a blizzard that never ends.

[SPECULATION] Is This The WoW NPC Tribute To Robin Williams?
As I reported for NPR All Tech last week, the makers of World of Warcraft said they would be paying tribute to the late comedic actor in the game. Well the intrepid data miners over at Wowhead.com discovered a new NPC named Robin <The Entertainer> in the game files for the soon-to-be released Warlords of Draenor expansion. The fact that the character model is a genie appears likely that this will be one of the tributes in game to Williams.
There are, however, two other new NPCs named Robin, also tagged with the label <The Entertainer>, that look like they could be versions of Mrs. Doubtfire and Mork, two iconic Williams characters. How they will be presented in the game world is still unknown.
Blizzard has yet to confirm if these are in fact the NPC tributes to Williams, so we’ll have to wait until the expansion is released to find out how players will interact with Robin.

[SPECULATION] Is This The WoW NPC Tribute To Robin Williams?

As I reported for NPR All Tech last week, the makers of World of Warcraft said they would be paying tribute to the late comedic actor in the game. Well the intrepid data miners over at Wowhead.com discovered a new NPC named Robin <The Entertainer> in the game files for the soon-to-be released Warlords of Draenor expansion. The fact that the character model is a genie appears likely that this will be one of the tributes in game to Williams.

There are, however, two other new NPCs named Robin, also tagged with the label <The Entertainer>, that look like they could be versions of Mrs. Doubtfire and Mork, two iconic Williams characters. How they will be presented in the game world is still unknown.

Blizzard has yet to confirm if these are in fact the NPC tributes to Williams, so we’ll have to wait until the expansion is released to find out how players will interact with Robin.

Those Underappreciated Female Video Game Pioneers 

Only one exhibition of any note has been dedicated to video games made by women, last year at the Museum of Design Atlanta. Among the games included were League of Legends, possibly the most played game in the world; the immensely popular Skylanders: Giants, part of a series that has made billions of dollars for Activision; and N, a diabolically difficult game about the many deaths of a stick-figure ninja.
“Our big sort of ‘aha’ moment was, everything seems so disjointed,” said Celia Pearce, the Atlanta show’s lead curator. “There doesn’t seem to be any consistent thread through this exhibition. And then we went, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the point.’ ”
Hoping to include the voices of the women who make games in the exhibition of my imagination, I asked many of those same women to nominate their favorite titles. They responded with dozens, including M.U.L.E., by Danielle Bunten Berry (“My first favorite game,” said Robin Hunicke, the executive producer of Journey, itself a game that received many mentions); Animal Crossing: New Leaf, directed by Aya Kyogoku; Gone Home, created by a four-person team that included Karla Zimonja and Kate Craig; and the Uncharted series, which was written and directed by Amy Hennig until she left this year to lead an untitled “Star Wars” project.

(Read more at NYTimes.com)
h/t @sydell 

Those Underappreciated Female Video Game Pioneers

Only one exhibition of any note has been dedicated to video games made by women, last year at the Museum of Design Atlanta. Among the games included were League of Legends, possibly the most played game in the world; the immensely popular Skylanders: Giants, part of a series that has made billions of dollars for Activision; and N, a diabolically difficult game about the many deaths of a stick-figure ninja.

“Our big sort of ‘aha’ moment was, everything seems so disjointed,” said Celia Pearce, the Atlanta show’s lead curator. “There doesn’t seem to be any consistent thread through this exhibition. And then we went, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the point.’ ”

Hoping to include the voices of the women who make games in the exhibition of my imagination, I asked many of those same women to nominate their favorite titles. They responded with dozens, including M.U.L.E., by Danielle Bunten Berry (“My first favorite game,” said Robin Hunicke, the executive producer of Journey, itself a game that received many mentions); Animal Crossing: New Leaf, directed by Aya Kyogoku; Gone Home, created by a four-person team that included Karla Zimonja and Kate Craig; and the Uncharted series, which was written and directed by Amy Hennig until she left this year to lead an untitled “Star Wars” project.

(Read more at NYTimes.com)

h/t @sydell 

British TV personality Tom Scott conducts a little experiment using drones and video goggles to give the perspective of driving a car in third-person, like you often see in video games. I wonder if they’d do better if the feed were in HD (it looks like an 8-bit screen).

Virtual Reality&#8217;s Next Hurdle: Overcoming &#8216;Sim Sickness&#8217; 

Facebook bet big on the technology earlier this year, purchasing the pioneering company Oculus VR in a $2 billion dollar deal. VR has taken center stage at events like South By Southwest and Comic-Con as marketers have turned out immersive experiences for everything from Game of Thrones to X-Men. Tucked into all that buzz is an uncomfortable fact about VR: Some people experience a kind of motion sickness, known as &#8220;sim sickness,&#8221; when they use head-mounted virtual reality displays like the Oculus Rift or Sony&#8217;s Project Morpheus prototype. And even virtual reality game makers aren&#8217;t immune at first.

Virtual Reality’s Next Hurdle: Overcoming ‘Sim Sickness’

Facebook bet big on the technology earlier this year, purchasing the pioneering company Oculus VR in a $2 billion dollar deal. VR has taken center stage at events like South By Southwest and Comic-Con as marketers have turned out immersive experiences for everything from Game of Thrones to X-Men.

Tucked into all that buzz is an uncomfortable fact about VR: Some people experience a kind of motion sickness, known as “sim sickness,” when they use head-mounted virtual reality displays like the Oculus Rift or Sony’s Project Morpheus prototype. And even virtual reality game makers aren’t immune at first.