Industry

On May 15th, the current net neutrality rules are going up for preliminary vote at the FCC. This initial vote is only a step in the overall process for the unfair segregation of web traffic to come to life. Our first article broke down the basics of what is in flux, so if you're unsure of what's going on, that's the place to check first. Our second article was a short opinion piece (read: doused in sarcasm and lit aflame with satire) on Chairman Tom Wheeler's response to "reassure" us.

net-neutrality-infographic"What is Net Neutrality?" infographic.

We felt that we should give readers a decisive guide to voicing views and making a difference. Reddit has good recommendations from people who are, and were, involved in the government. Their insight is invaluable to those wanting to do something helpful. Some of the basics are calling the FCC, contacting your Congress and Senate Representatives (they work for you, so use them), and a few other ways to get your voice heard. When reaching out to representatives, one of the most important things to remember is to be polite, professional, and friendly so that you are taken seriously; the people answering the phones are likely interns of some variety -- they'll mark your comment down, ask your name and zip, and then hang up. No need for aggression. Short of money, the means through which most lobbyists get their way is because there is not a big enough outcry from the public to counter them, or those who do complain aren't taken seriously because of how they object.

If you've followed our coverage of net neutrality proceedings in the US, you'll know that there's been a fierce emboldening in the US Government's enablement of a class-based internet. AT&T's patent-pending approach to deploying a micro-transaction-esque content delivery hierarchy for streamed video and gaming content is starting to look a lot scarier right now.

net-neutrality-comicImage Source: CFC Oklahoma.

After the FCC's proposal to allow ISPs the dictation of "normal speed" and "low-speed" traffic in the form of extorting content providers (Netflix, YouTube), internet backlash has prompted a disingenuous addendum by the Commission. Federal Communications Commission Chariman and mendacious troglodytic neophyte of technology Tom Wheeler is reported to have added to his plan:

After our earlier posting about Google's intentions to move to several large cities in North Carolina, we noted that the ball would now be in the court of the local officials to make progress on Google's demands. Google requires certain infrastructure and licensing to be in place before deploying its Fiber network to new regions and has a strict "checklist" that towns must complete before the company will proceed.

google-fiber-speedtest

In an official statement today, the Town of Cary announced that it has unanimously agreed to Google's fiber hut licensing and leasing terms; this agreement will enable Google to make use of upwards of five fiber huts for light relay and transfer stations, which would effectively propagate optical signals to business and residential buildings. In speaking with Cary officials, we learned that the Town would lease the property, but Google would own the hut and its included equipment.

Two things are going to be happening this year for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will directly affect the internet and its present management. The first is the upcoming preliminary vote on the revamped rules of “net neutrality” on May 15th; the second has to do with the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which would give a 40% userbase share to an ISP that already has a history of throttling users and businesses.

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Game industry visionary John Carmack, one of the founding developers of id Software, recent departed ZeniMax to work for Oculus VR on the Rift and other technology. Carmack's primary stated reason for his departure was a lack of support and interest on part of Zenimax in virtual reality technology. Last week, ZeniMax alleged that Carmack brought over internally-developed tech to the rising virtual reality giant, Oculus VR, recently acquired by Facebook.

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Finally, a game industry analysis has been published that includes digital sales and transactions. The industry has endured countless misrepresentative reports that only accounted for physical product sales (which are, quite obviously, down considerably with the evolution of that new-fangled "Internet" thing—we really need to get one of those "websites").

games-industry-revenueFrom our previous article, "The $60 Game is Just the Start," sources include the ESA, Reuters, and VG Sales.

The NPD Group has released its latest Games Market Dynamics (US edition) report, emphasizing a total of $2.87 billion in spending from US gamers in Q3 2012; of the $2.87B reported, a total of $1.4B was diverted toward digital purchases and game subscriptions or DLC transactions. Physical products are still clinging for life, though, and brought in $1.07B in spending; used games and rentals made up the remaining $399 million. At the time of writing, we are unsure if this data includes Steam's sales metrics, though we have reached out to the NPD Group for comment. (Update: NPD notes that Steam does not release official sales details, so they have estimated for digital consumption through Steam).

X-CON Surges Forward in Myrtle Beach

By Published May 22, 2012 at 4:22 am

The South Eastern parts of the US don't have much in the ways of technology conventions (unless you count guns and technological advancements in the 'grits' department), but between ECGC, X-CON, CGS, and the incumbent DragonCon, we've seen evidence that there's room for growth.

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Indie Dev: Protest SOPA, Pirate My Game

By Published January 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

Our friend and developer of Digitanks is offering his game up for free as a protest of SOPA and PROTECT-IP, the two internet censorship bills that are being combated today.

digitanks-screenshot

"I encourage everybody to pirate Digitanks for free. If this legislation passes then I won’t be able to make a living on the internet, so you may as well pirate my games," Jorge Rodriguez, developer of Digitanks, posted on his blog.

How many times have you been playing one of Spacetime Studios' grounding-breaking Mobile MMOs, either Pocket Legends or Star Legends, and thought about just how much bigger the world would be, how much more populated and how much more involving it would be, if it were populated by people who were playing the desktop counterparts too? That dream is now a reality as Spacetime Studios has announced the first ever PC/Mobile cross-platform MMO.

Cross Platform Tech 1

The desktop clients for Pocket Legends and Star Legends are now available for download off of the Chrome Store and the iOS/Android versions have been available for a while.

Skyrim Takes "Most Played Game of 2011"

By Published December 09, 2011 at 3:31 pm

In a recent gaming hours report put out by the gaming log website Raptr, we found that Skyrim beats out Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Gears 3, and Bulletstorm in terms of the longest average gaming session (continuous sittings) and nearly dethrones MW3 for total hours played. The stats below show the most played video games of 2011, broken down into a few key categories and by hours. Here are the stats (more after th jump):

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