Category: Reviews

Why video games are good for you — the cheat sheet

 

Why video games are good for you — the cheat sheet

Why video games are good for you — the cheat sheet
Dean Takahashi for VentureBeats GameBeat
Relax, parents. Video games are good for you and your kids. So argues Scott Steinberg, author of The Modern Parent’s Guide series for high-tech parenting.
Steinberg, who also serves as a game industry consultant at TechSavvy Global, has launched a free tip sheet for parents on his web site. In it, he talks about the educational, physical, and job-related benefits that gaming offers. He’s not suggest that your kids play the mature-rated Grand Theft Auto series; rather, he thinks that age-appropriate games will result in all sorts of benefits. “Video games promote exercise and physical activity, encourage socialization and leadership, and foster dynamic problem-solving and decision-making skills – all areas of tremendous benefit to kids and adults alike,” Steinberg said. He says that research supports the positive nature of play, and he notes that the vast majority of titles are now family friendly. “Parents, politicians and educators frequently criticize video games as an alleged waste of time that distracts kids from healthier activities such as homework and outdoor play,” Steinberg said. “But research is quickly demonstrating that gaming can be a perfectly beneficial and well-rounded part of a healthy, balanced media diet.” As noted before, Steinberg said that Harvard Medical School researcher Cheryl Olson, whose research included surveying data from interviews with over 1,000 public-school students, found that “parent-approved video games played in moderation can help young kids develop in educational, social, and physical ways.” Olson argued that even games that are not labeled as educational can encourage planning, problem solving, and creative self-expression, and can spark interest in history or geography. Still more encourage socialization, exercise, healthy competition, and leadership. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Taekman, director of Duke University’s Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center, has concluded that “serious games and virtual environments are the future of education.” Games can help students deal with cultural differences or irate consumers — mainly by enabling people to deal with evolving scenarios, making more informed choices, seeing immediate consequences, and shifts in tactics. The tip sheet offers a bunch of other supporting research as well, pretty much aligned with the views of the game industry’s trade group, the Entertainment Software Association. “Games can definitely be good for the family,” says Patricia Vance, president of The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which assigns video game ratings. “Oftentimes I think parents feel that they’re not because video games in the media are portrayed as violent, and hardcore games tend to get the lion’s share of publicity. But parents need to be comforted knowing that E for Everyone is by far the largest category. Nearly 60 percent of the almost 1,700 ratings we assigned last year [fall into this category].”

Pretty in Pinterest: Beauty giant Sephora integrates pin-boards

 
Pretty in Pinterest: Beauty giant Sephora integrates pin-boards
Ciara Byrne for VentureBeat
Beauty retailer Sephora has just become one of the first retailers to fully integrate with digital pin-board Pinterest by adding a “Pin It” button to every one of its 14,000 products.
Sephora staffers will also highlight their favorite products on Pinterest pinboards. Following a meteoric rise, Pinterest is now the third most visited social network in the U.S. after Facebook and twitter. Given that Pinterest’s users are overwhelmingly female and Pinterest has been shown to drive considerably more revenue per click than either Twitter or Facebook, the fact that Sephora has pinned its hopes on Pinterest is perhaps unsurprising. Sephora’s sleek stores have long functioned as the cathedrals of the beauty product world. The French retailer operates more than 300 stores in the U.S. and Canada (and many more globally) and is something of a trailblazer in integrating technology into its retail experience. Last month VentureBeat reported how the retailer, having noticed the high overlap between its customers and Apple users (70 percent of visits to Sephora’s website are from iPhones) introduced iPads running a custom, in-store Sephora app into 20 stores across the U.S. The iPad application leverages the iPad’s camera functionality to create a “virtual mirror” that lets users see themselves practicing makeup application as a video of the relevant technique are played below. Shoppers can review their purchase history (to avoid shopping disasters such as buying two of the same lipstick) and product information like ingredient lists. Sephora also invested in iPod touches which can be used for mobile checkout in every store. Sephora’s website is the world’s biggest beauty store. Mobile shopping grew 300 percent on Sephora in 2011 and the company expects another 100 percent increase this year. iPad traffic was up 400 percent in Q1 2012 compared to Q1 2011.

Social Media Alert – Instagram Deal Sharpens Facebook’s Mobile Focus

Facebook acquired mobile photo application Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.

Instagram Deal Sharpens Facebook’s Mobile Focus

by , for MediaPost
Instagram- Aiming to remain a key hub for sharing photos, Facebook acquired mobile photo application Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. The transaction — Facebook’s largest to date — also underscores the company’s efforts to bolster its mobile offerings. Instagram will continue to operate as an independent business under the same name. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that the acquisition would enhance the ability of Facebook users to upload and exchange photos among family and friends. “We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook,” wrote Zuckerberg. “That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. “Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.” Launched in October 2010, the Instagram app now has more than 30 million registered users. Last week, the company extended the service to Android phones after becoming one of the most popular and best-rated apps on the iPhone. Zuckerberg called the deal an “important milestone” for the company; it’s never before acquired a product with as many users as Instagram. He also suggested that Facebook will not be pursuing many more deals of this scale in the future. Previously, the social network made smaller acquisitions including startups, such as FriendFeed, Hot Potato, Rel8tion and Snaptu. Often these deals were designed to pick up engineering talent or technology rather than a well-known consumer brand like Instagram. Given its rapid growth, Instagram is one of the only recent startups that represented a credible threat to a core element of the Facebook experience: photo-sharing. The acquisition not only removes a competitor but better positions the company for the expansion of social networking to mobile devices. Facebook’s 845 million users include more than 400 million mobile users. And the latest data from comScore shows that more than a third(36.1%) of U.S. mobile users access a blog or social network on their phones. The deal comes as Facebook prepares for an IPO to raise up to $5 billion, which would make it the largest Internet offering to date. The IPO expected this spring would value Facebook at between an estimated $80 billion to $100 billion. The Instagram acquisition could make Facebook even more attractive to already eager investors. For its part, Instagram raised $40 million last month at a reported valuation of $500 million, despite having no business model. In his own blog post Monday, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom reiterated that the company isn’t going away like prior Facebook acquisitions. “We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photo experience,” he wrote. At the same time, Zuckerberg said Facebook also plans to keep existing Instagram features, like the ability to post to other social networks. Inside Facebook reported that Instagram has been working on a version of its app for Facebook’s new Timeline feature. The app built with Facebook’s Open Graph platform would allow users to automatically post photos they had taken. Brands could also tie Instagram into their own apps on Facebook. “The biggest benefit will be to highly experiential brands like Nike and Red Bull — their brands are at the heart of life in-the-moment worth capturing,” said Dave Marsey, senior vice president and media practice lead at Digitas. “Uniting Instagram with the Timeline, for example, creates a more real, engaging experience.” To that end, Vitrue last week added a feature to its social media marketing platform that lets brands build Instagram functionality into their Facebook pages. But Facebook clearly trumped that move with its Instagram acquisition.

GrapevineStar Media Events Calendar 2012

81 events found
  • Mar 26
    • Atlanta Georgia March 26, 2012 – March 29, 2012
  • Mar 27
      • New York New York March 27, 2012
      • Portland Oregon March 27, 2012
      • San Francisco California March 27, 2012
      • Denver Colorado March 27, 2012
      • Denver Colorado March 27, 2012
    • New York New York March 27, 2012
  • Mar 28
      • Washington District Of Columbia March 28, 2012 – March 29, 2012
      • Portland Oregon March 28, 2012
    • San Francisco California March 28, 2012
  • Mar 29
    • 325 E 3rd Ave, Scottsdale, AZ Arizona March 29, 2012
  • Apr 03
      • SAN FRANCISCO California April 3, 2012 – April 4, 2012
      • Beverly Hills California April 3, 2012 – April 3, 2012
    • New York New York April 3, 2012
  • Apr 09
      • Baltimore Maryland April 9, 2012 – April 12, 2012
    • Seattle Washington April 9, 2012
  • Apr 10
      • New York New York April 10, 2012
    • Miami Florida April 10, 2012 – April 13, 2012
  • Apr 11
    • New York New York April 11, 2012
  • Apr 18
      • Chicago Illinois April 18, 2012
      • Washington District Of Columbia April 18, 2012
    • Los Angeles California April 18, 2012
  • Apr 19
    • Portland Oregon April 19, 2012
  • Apr 22
    • Captiva Island Florida April 22, 2012 – April 25, 2012
  • Apr 23
    • Cincinnati Ohio April 23, 2012 – April 26, 2012
  • Apr 24
    • Chicago Illinois April 24, 2012
  • Apr 25
      • Toronto Ontario April 25, 2012
      • Captiva Island Florida April 25, 2012 – April 28, 2012
    • Toronto Ontario April 25, 2012
  • Apr 26
    • Chicago Illinois April 26, 2012
  • Apr 30
    • New York New York April 30, 2012
  • May 01
      • New York New York May 1, 2012
    • New York New York May 1, 2012
  • May 02
      • New York New York May 2, 2012
    • Chicago Illinois May 2, 2012 – May 3, 2012
  • May 03
      • New York New York May 3, 2012
    • New York New York May 3, 2012
  • May 05
    • Karachi None May 5, 2012 – May 6, 2012
  • May 06
    • Boca Raton Florida May 6, 2012 – May 9, 2012
  • May 07
    • Boston Massachusetts May 7, 2012 – May 10, 2012
  • May 08
      • New York New York May 8, 2012
    • Berkeley California May 8, 2012 – May 9, 2012
  • May 09
    • San Francisco California May 9, 2012
  • May 10
    • Los Angeles California May 10, 2012
  • May 14
    • New York New York May 14, 2012
  • May 15
      • Seattle Washington May 15, 2012 – May 16, 2012
    • New York New York May 15, 2012
  • May 16
    • New York New York May 16, 2012
  • May 17
    • New York New York May 17, 2012 – May 17, 2012
  • May 21
    • Las Vegas Nevada May 21, 2012 – May 24, 2012
  • May 29
    • 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago Illinois May 29, 2012 – May 31, 2012
  • Jun 04
    • Minneapolis Minnesota June 4, 2012 – June 7, 2012
  • Jun 08
    • Schaumburg Illinois June 8, 2012 – June 10, 2012
  • Jun 18
    • Phoenix Arizona June 18, 2012 – June 21, 2012
  • Jun 25
    • Austin Texas June 25, 2012 – June 28, 2012
  • Jun 26
    • New York New York June 26, 2012
  • Jun 27
    • New York New York June 27, 2012
  • Jun 28
    • New York New York June 28, 2012
  • Jul 09
    • Tampa Florida July 9, 2012 – July 12, 2012
  • Jul 19
    • Los Angeles California July 19, 2012
  • Jul 23
    • Dallas Texas July 23, 2012 – July 26, 2012
  • Aug 06
    • San Francisco California Aug. 6, 2012 – Aug. 9, 2012
  • Aug 20
    • Des Moines Iowa Aug. 20, 2012 – Aug. 23, 2012
  • Aug 27
    • Boston Massachusetts Aug. 27, 2012 – Aug. 30, 2012
  • Sep 04
    • Columbus Ohio Sept. 4, 2012 – Sept. 6, 2012
  • Sep 10
    • Birmingham Alabama Sept. 10, 2012 – Sept. 13, 2012
  • Sep 11
    • New York New York Sept. 11, 2012
  • Sep 12
    • New York New York Sept. 12, 2012
  • Sep 13
    • New York New York Sept. 13, 2012
  • Sep 24
    • Chicago Illinois Sept. 24, 2012 – Sept. 27, 2012
  • Oct 08
    • New York New York Oct. 8, 2012 – Oct. 11, 2012
  • Oct 22
    • Atlanta Georgia Oct. 22, 2012 – Oct. 25, 2012
  • Oct 24
    • Ontario California Oct. 24, 2012
  • Nov 05
    • Seattle Washington Nov. 5, 2012 – Nov. 8, 2012
  • Nov 12
    • Indianapolis Indiana Nov. 12, 2012 – Nov. 15, 2012
  • Nov 13
    • New York New York Nov. 13, 2012
  • Nov 14
    • New York New York Nov. 14, 2012
  • Nov 15
    • New York New York Nov. 15, 2012
  • Nov 26
    • Kansas City Missouri Nov. 26, 2012 – Nov. 29, 2012
  • Dec 10
    • Charlotte North Carolina Dec. 10, 2012 – Dec. 13, 2012
  • Dec 17
    • Phoenix Arizona Dec. 17, 2012 – Dec. 20, 2012

SXSW Interactive 2012 Recap

Kent Lewis
President Anvil Media

SXSW Interactive 2012 Recap: A Noob’s View

Posted by Kent Lewis for iMedia
As a first-time South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) attendee, I thought it would be helpful to provide a newbie’s perspective on the mad-cap annual conference in Austin. I attended 3 of the 5 days, which gave me a fairly good perspective. Essentially, I distilled my visit into four distinct experiences: networking, sessions, technology and marketing. Based on value received, I’ve tiered the experiences in order, from highest to lowest. Networking Since I’m a networking junkie, I figured I’d start with what I know. Networking generated the greatest overall value for me at SXSW. What benefitted me the most, and I recommend this to any attendee, is to leverage any local relationships you have, in terms of getting a sense of what events and sessions matter, and it can help in terms of transportation. Secondarily, be sure to plan in advance to meet up with folks you know from your network or city, as it’s much easier, fun and effective to travel in packs. I attended a variety of parties and venues, some better than others. I’m a big fan of Driskill Hotel, a classic venue and popular hangout. We hit up a Bing party Friday night, complete with hosted bar and food, swag and a decent vibe. We moved on to other local venues lacking sponsors, but packed with people. Saturday, I visited Google Village an impressive compilation of bars, all of which offered free drinks, snacks, bicycle blenders and swag, as well as demonstrations and presentations. Sunday morning I attended a brunch and panel Google hosted, including a variety of agency, VC and entrepreneurs that captured the essence of why people attend SXSW, including what’s hot (social discovery) and what’s not (Bing Lounge). On Saturday, I attended a Klout house party, complete with food, beverage and a social-powered jukebox: Roqbot. Saturday evening Microsoft & Frog co-sponsored the official SXSW party, which was DIY-themed (build your own LED lights, mini-robots & play life-sized pong). Unfortunately, it was a bit too crowded, so I moved on. Sunday evening, I attended the SOBCon mixer at Dogwood, which was one of the best parties: great people and a good vibe. In fact, it was so good, I missed the Urban Airship & Mashable parties, which was unfortunate, but a smart investment in terms of meeting great folks. Most nights end at The W, and this was no exception. Educational Sessions While I had roughly 2.5 days to attend sessions (and paid $650 for the honor) I only attended 4 (not including the Google Village panel off-campus. The first session I saw, which I was greatly looking forward to attend, was Rainn Wilson of The Office and SoulPancake. It was slightly disappointing, as he was unfamiliar with PowerPoint, rambled a bit, but saved the day by smashing guitars with a lucky audience member. My next session was Ebay to VC, where the theme was social discovery, (Highlight, Circle, Glancee) and what makes a good investment. The speaker, Jeff Jordan, was solid, but the host was not. The third session I attended was intriguing, but not actionable: Privacy & Neuro marketing. The presenters and audience discussed the conflict between privacy and marketing insights: what is a fair exchange of value between people and marketers (convenience vs. security)? The last but most inspirational session I attended was Internet legend Jaron Lanier, discussing how social media has improved or worsened our lives. He challenged us as consumers and content creators to get paid for the value we create on networks like Facebook (we are the product). Marketing My biggest takeaway from SXSW 2012 was definitely that corporations have taken notice of the marketing potential of the weeklong event. That’s potentially bad news for SXSW purists, who’ve likened 2012 to the jumping of the shark by Fonzie. True or not, it was apparent many companies bet big on making a splash at SXSW Interactive in 2012. One of the best sources of news for SXSW was Mashable Buzz, which managed to turn out solid recaps and timely updates. They even made the news themselves during the event, with a rumored $200M buyout. The big winners at SXSW in terms of buzz, had to be the Homeless wi-fi and Nike, who made news with its venue, parties, Nike+ and Fuelband API during the event. In terms of SWAG, FILTER Talent brought it’s a game with LED light sabers handed out at various parties. Additional kudos go out to the companies that sponsored value-added (albeit somewhat risky) giveaways like ponchos, umbrellas and scarves in a city that ended up being colder and wetter than anticipated by many visitors. By Monday, the sun returned, and with it, sunglasses and sunscreen SWAG. One of the smartest (yet under-reported) viral marketing campaigns was Catch a Chevy, which is exactly what it sounds like: get free rides care of 45 Chevys. The cars were skinned and branded, but it was dumb luck if you managed to hitch a ride anywhere outside of the convention center grounds, as there was no hashtag or other easy way to contact the drivers. Regardless, it did generate buzz and goodwill from weather-weary walkers. As a foodie, I appreciated the free food carts provided by brands like SquareSpace and The Today Show. Last but not least, shout out to Google for their significant and strategic presence, in the form of Google Village. It was a great place to get beverages, snacks, swag, phone recharge and even a product demo or two. As far was what didn’t work, beyond distributed venue locations, lines, crowds and general mayhem, I thought the #FAIL sign went to free t-shirts in general (too many of them). I also noticed a trend of brands (like Klout & Google) expecting you to write a personalized message on the t-shirts. Technology and Company Launches More a marketer than technologist, I didn’t pay as much attention to the product and company launches at SXSW as others. That said, a few apps did bubble to the surface during my time at SXSW. The first was one of many social discovery apps: Highlight. The social discovery category generated a good deal of buzz, with Highlight leading the pack. Additionally, I was pleased to see one of Formic Media’s clients, Tixie, debut with its digital/mobile concert ticket giveaway platform. I also checked out Guy Kawasaki’s latest venture, AllThis, which is essentially a marketplace for exchanging time with others who have desired expertise. Lastly, I was impressed with, Roqbot, which debuted last year, yet I was impressed with the socially-powered jukebox platform at the Klout party. Overall, SXSW Interactive 2012 was informative, entertaining and inspiring, but mostly via serendipitous moments, vs. the planned and engineered events. Now that I have a better feel for the event and the city, I will have a game plan in place for next year. If you plan to attend SXSW 2013, I suggest formulating your own plan (and making reservations) as soon as possible.

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