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El.pub Analytic No. 5 Conference round-up

Page 4

Contents: The solutions company companies | Digital publishing industry consolidation | Pervasive games | Games - blurring the distinction between fiction and reality | Intangible assets | What did the first person who milked a cow, think he was doing?

Games - blurring the distinction between fiction and reality

The next day however, Electronic Arts president, John Riccitiello gave a key note speech where he talked about Majestic ("it plays you") which is a new type of on-line game that includes e-mail, telephone and fax communication for the players as well as direct game playing. This has been described as "blurring the distinction between fiction and reality".

The game is a suspense story and the demo reel gave the impression that it would ring you up in the middle of the night pleading for help. There is more on the EA web site but the demo intro is only available in the US / Canada, presumably to save on phone bills. The game is due to launch this summer, perhaps only in N. America, remember that Everquest only became available in Europe last year.

It has been evident to some people since the early days of CD games that transferring the user interface expertise of the games builders to the rest of the information industry would be a good thing. It still isn't really happening. However the model in Majestic has been taken up by the advertisers with the promotion of Spielberg's new film AI. Perhaps we are on the verge of a whole new type of game-based advertising where mysterious e-mails and faxes arrive on our desks tempting us to solve ingenious puzzles.

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