Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, December 10, 2021

Anyone else disappointed that Denzel Washington’s latest feel-good overachiever opus, The Great Debaters, wasn’t instead entitled The Master Debaters?

Because, assuming that this umpteenth rendition of the underdog story isn’t bringing anything particularly new to the subgenre, it could at least contribute an undercurrent of humor. Not to mention a much-needed boost to the master debating movement.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/10/2021 11:44:54 PM
Category: Comedy, Movies, Wordsmithing
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place your bets
Somehow, the gambling industry is concerned that younger thrill-seekers aren’t taking to the old one-armed bandits as readily as the typical Vegas grandma does.

And yet, the Atari/Nintendo/PlayStation generations are all grown up, with trigger finger itching as much for a controller as for their wallets. So the gaming industry is adding videogaming elements to their slots to make the experience more appealing:

These machines include features like surround sound, flat-panel display screens and images as vivid as those seen on today’s video games. One of the more popular is a slot machine based on the movie “Top Gun,” created by WMS Gaming in Waukegan, Ill..

Joysticks are just around the corner, slot makers say, and over the next several years, industry specialists expect casinos to start investing in network systems that allow for games that mix gambling with the head-to-head competition popular in online computer games like World of Warcraft and Halo.

I think the progression actually got derailed a generation or two ago. When arcades were ground zero for the prime videogaming experience back in the ’80s, the conditioned behavior of dropping quarters/tokens into game cabinets could have easily been ported to casino machines when those players grew up. But arcades became passe (due to a combination of gouging and the ascendancy of more powerful home console/PC gaming), and that linkage was broken. This evolution seems like an attempt to revive that dynamic; I’m not sure it’ll take.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/10/2021 11:32:54 PM
Category: Society, Videogames
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It’s the end result of a natural progression, but still, imeem’s announcement of a licensing deal with Universal Music Group just might be the catalyst for the emergence of full-fledged online social networks centered around music.

At least that’s what Forrester Research’s principal analyst James McQuivey thinks:

“2008 is going to be the year of music labels trying to put themselves in front of everyone, no matter what business model it takes,” said Forrester’s McQuivey. “The labels have realized that you have to be everywhere on the Web, because the customer is everywhere. You need to put yourself in front of them when they make their entertainment decisions.”

McQuivey said that imeem has a big head start compared to other social networking sites, Although large sites like MySpace and Facebook could definitely elbow in with major label deals of their own.

“The great thing about imeem is that it builds on the best of radio and MP3,” said McQuivey. “This is a great place to listen to your favorite music and discover new songs.”

In my experience, once the analysts weigh in definitively, the money guys start tripping over themselves to join in. Imeem, despite being little more than a roll-your-own streaming radio station, has positioned itself through the Universal deal (along with similar licensing with other major labels) to make the music industry feel protected enough to toss in their assets.

Naturally, I see a resultant big opening for 8trk, the musical version of IMDb-meets-Wikipedia that I’m helping get going. An inviting environment can make all the difference.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/10/2021 11:16:07 PM
Category: 8trk, Pop Culture, Society
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