Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Weekly Link Round Up

Who's ready for an early rendition of the Weekly Link Round Up?

I know it's only Wednesday, but it's a busy week ahead and there are already some good stories out there to keep us all preoccupied for the days ahead. Let's see what's in store:

- The ESA is filing a motion against the city of Chicago, Illinois over a recent re-interpretation of a city law that was instituted in 2015. The "Amusement Tax" charges a 9% tax to online gaming, meant to curb gambling and help increase the city's revenue. The original tax was applied to psychical activities and circuses, but has since morphed to include a "Cloud" version. This year, the city has included video games - that means Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and any video game publisher for mobile games has to pay 9% more in tax to be available in Chicago. The ESA is against this, for obvious reasons. The biggest concern is that if Chicago is allowed to continue this practice, who's to say that they can't apply that to all goods and services such as telecommunication companies, giving us the cable we need to go online? Or to movie theaters, television production companies, and local toy stores; those are places and objects of amusement. Taxes like these are slippery slopes that could cause long-term damage to the economy and industries involved. While the ESA is looking at this from more of a business/money perspective, nipping it in the bud now would save decades of headaches later.

- Kotaku has an amusing post regarding video game collectables. They have composed 10 Commandments that game developers should follow to make the experience both enjoyable, and rewarding. I am a fan of collectables in games, if anything it's because of my OCD. And these 10 Commandments get my approval. Obtaining these rare finds in games should be fun and challenging. There should be a payoff in the end that makes it worth my time. And there should be a clear note if I can't obtain something because I haven't progressed far enough in the story. Don't dangle the collectable in front of me and have it annoy me throughout my gameplay!

- Accouting and consulting firm PwC has released their annual stats over the growth of video games, and their predictions over the next 5 years. This year it's predicting a moderate growth of console sales, just over 6%. The focus was on eSports and VR, expecting to dominate the field by 2021. Read the story to get the full stats.

- You may not know this, but Fox has a gaming division called FoxNext. Trying to get into the gaming business, they recently acquired mobile developer Aftershock. With them, Fox hopes to release a series of mobile products tied in to the James Cameron movie 'Avatar.' There are no details on how much Fox paid or what any of these new games will look like, but there you go. More crap to put on the market.

- Air safety demonstrations and videos are something that travelers have all but tuned out. I know I do, but I fly 4-5 times a year and have been since I was 8. I know the spiel. But a mobile developer wants to make an app that will help people pay attention again. Developed by Italy's University of Udine’s Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab, 'Air Safety World' uses mini games to help walk passengers through what to do in an emergency so they can be ready in case they experience it in reality. Researches found that with the game, passengers were more attentive to safety protocols and likely to follow them.

- E3 is next week!!!! And the conferences are starting earlier and earlier. Which is kind of annoying. I have a convention this weekend and can't watch a thing on Saturday or Sunday. Sorry gang. No live-blogging this time. You can find a list of the big talks here, and everything will pretty much be streamed online. So if you miss it, you can easily find the presentations through the developer.

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