I’ve moved over to Mspixel.com. Please visit the new site and subscribe to the feed found here.

Many Thanks everyone!


I packed my bags and hoofed it to Boston this past weekend to attend PodCamp. PodCamp is a new media event jam-packed with helpful seminars and discussions. It’s also become a way for social media folk to meet and connect in person.

1) Learning More About New Media

When I started Market v Player I wanted to jump in and talk about life at the intersection of gaming and social media. My perspective on gaming grew out of my experiences playing online mmo’s and console games. I’m still new to the Social Media ‘scene’ so attending PodCamp brought me closer to the community as I met my friends from twitter in person.

2) Market vs. Player’s upcoming move to Ms. Pixel [dot] com

I left Podcamp with a ton of ideas to apply to Mspixel [dot] com. After spending over two months on wordpress.com I’ve decided to move @MvP over to my own domain. Mspixel will continue on with the body of work (and hopefully the small community) I’ve developed here with a focus on providing more up-to-date content.

3) C.C. Chapman’s Generous Scholarship

C.C. Champan, podcaster of Managing the Gray, made the financial hurdle for the trip more manageable by covering the cost of my ticket to PodCamp. He’s an awesome fellow!

4) Regrets

I forgot my camera at home so I don’t have any pictures to share. I invite you all to flip through C.C.’s photo stream on flickr for fun photos of the event.


Games are dominating the early list of top downloads for the iPhone’s newly launched App Store. According to a list compiled by Tech Crunch Super Monkey Ball is crushing its competition in paid iPhone apps by a hefty 3:1 margin. Other games to round out the pack include Enigomo, Cro-Mag Rally, Texas Hold’em and Bejeweled 2.

In a previous post, I identified Super Monkey ball as a fan favorite among the early list of games for the iphone 3G. It looks like over 1,800 iPhone users agree with me.


*Note: The photos below are from Tomb Raider: Underworld due to be released in November 2008.

1) Online Gaming is Growing Rapidlywww.tombraider.com

Online gaming is by far one of the fastest growing entertainment industries of our time. According to Business Week, “the global online games market, which currently is worth about $4 billion, is expected to triple in the next five years.” The main driver behind sustained growth will be the continued adoption of broadband and internet services around the world. The promise of a growing customer base will attract new entrants who seek to harness the power of this emerging market.

2) We’re All Gaming Now: The Potential to Reach Multiple Target Segments within Gaming Communities

As gaming continues to increase its position as a mainstream media deployment platform there will be more opportunities to tap into demographics beyond the usual suspects (males between the ages of 14 and 34). The most influential group will likely be women. Those over the age of 30 and mothers who possess the strongest influence over household purchases will be available to court in the digital realm. Those who remain conscious and aware of these emerging segments of players will be better poised to develop successful digital and social media experiences.

3) The Social History of Online Gaming: The Importance of Community Building

When the internet went live in the early 90s gamers used the web to form online communities. It started with the use of e-mail as people in different locations discovered the benefits of playing games remotely. Then came Internet Relay Chat (IRC), an instant messaging client that continues to be a popular gaming community management tool. IRC channels (also known as chat rooms) were established to share knowledge, and to coordinate activities among community members. Soon gamers were launching their own websites to provide a base camp for schedules, scoreboards and gaming instructions. The social history of online gamers reveals a willingness to create and manage communities.

Gaming is an inherently social enterprise. People play games to meet people, to compete with others and to maintain ties. The proliferation of social media tools presents us with the opportunity to enable gamers to easily connect AND maintain bonds outside of their gaming environments. Helping players focus less on community management logistics and more on gaming will be critical in the months and years ahead.


Much of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference was expected. They debuted the new iphone 3G which will be thinner, cheaper, and faster than the original.

What I Didn’t Expect

  • Apple using the phone’s accelerometer and touch screen to develop more games.
  • Jobs wising up to the benefits of independent software development.
  • Consumers being able to download fresh games to their iphone wirelessly through the App Store.

A Sneak Peak: Super Monkey Ball

This is my favorite. Players manuver a monkey through a series of mazes within a 3D environment by tilting the iphone. Can you guess what platform this classic was originally played on?

Hope for Mac Games

Writing code for the 3G iPhone is surprisingly similar to writing code for the MAC. If the games gain enough traction they might jump to the MAC opening up the flood gates for traditional game developers as they seek to engage the growing number of MAC owners. This might lead to more gamers taking a second look at the MAC.


The Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) has reached a milestone: 150,000 members. The VGVN is an initiative supported by the Entertainment Software Association. It provides gamers with an easy way to stay on top of state and federal issues that affect their hobby.

The site leans heavily on social media tools and networks to mobilize gamers and to bring new gamers into the fold. Some of its features include:

My Favorite Tools

A Flickr Group Pool of photos titled a “Wall of Protest Against Game Regulation”

Members of the VGVN post pictures that promote the political freedom of gamers and game developers. The images are compelling and get right to the heart of VGVN’s goal to prevent government regulation of video games.

The “Fight for Video Games Web Trailer”

They also have a trailer for the group. You’ve got to hand it to them. They know their audience. Gamers have come to expect that every video game and online mmog’s release includes a dramatic trailer with soaring music. This one definitely fits the bill.

Final Thought

The members of the network often compare violent video games to controversial pieces of art and unsavory political ideas. Why does the federal and state US government feel the need to regulate games when not controversial games? I’m inclined to agree.


Recently, news broke that Konami Productions placed limitations on what reviewers may discuss in their write-ups on Metal Gear Solid 4. The revelation has caused an uproar in the gaming community, a well-deserved uproar. For those of you who missed the drama, you’ll find a recap below:

In my previous post, I discussed how this practice robs gamers of useful reviews to guide purchasing decisions.

What Konami Should Have Done (How Companies Should Respond to Critical Bloggers)

1) Become Aware of Your Company’s Reputation Among Bloggers

Image Credit: kotaku.com

Its important that you become aware of your company’s reputation in the blogosphere. This can serve as an indicator of customer opinion as well as inform you of both positive and negative feedback to drive innovation within your company. You can accomplish this by:

  • Making Google Work For You: Set up a Google Alert for your company name and the names of your public facing partners (customer service reps, marketing and pr companies that you’ve retained). When any of the names are mentioned Google will send you an e-mail directing you to it.
  • Staying Up-to-Date: Subscribing to and staying up-to-date on influential gaming blogs and community forums will alert you to conversations involving your company and your competitors. Taking part in the conversation will increase your level of engagement.

2) Consider the Criticism

Image Credit: Ign.com

Consider the criticism and take it seriously. A negative perception of your company could spread and take hold in the mind of consumers . This may result in a lack of trust for your brand and lost business.

3) Respond with Speed and Authenticity

Image Credit: bdgamers.net

A swift and authentic response will show that your company cares about the concerns of its customers. A strained and delayed response will feed into negative perceptions and doubts about your brand. You need to address the criticism directly and show how your company will prevent the issue in the future. There are many ways to do this. I’ve outlined two effective methods below.

  • Submit yourself to an interview with the blogger. Providing bloggers with exclusive interviews can result in a win-win situation for the blogger and your company. Bloggers shore up their credibility and attract more readers to their blog as they ‘break the news’ of the exclusive interview. Companies answering the concerns of bloggers show that they are listening and willing to talk to their critics . Caution: Do not interview unless you are willing to accept responsibility (if your company erred) and offer a genuine response to the questions. This is especially important with gamers. Your message will not spread if you choose to be evasive or less than honest in the interview.

Pros: Bloggers love exclusive interviews. Gamers will appreciate you walking in front of the firing squad.

Cons: If you fail to take responsibility for actions made in error, you will be mercilessly flamed by the community resulting in another headache for you to deal with.

  • Join the conversation by posting in the comments section. Be sure to state your company affiliation and answer questions that have appeared in the comments. For example, if the community has concerns about a new policy your company has enacted explain the rationale behind the policy. Listen to their input. Are you achieving the desired goal of the policy?

Pros: You’ll learn valuable information from the gamers themselves which can guide and improve the way you communicate with the community in the future.

Cons: You’ll need a thick skin to do this effectively. This method demands rapid fire and genuine responses to questions and concerns. Comments riddled with evasive ‘corporate speak’ will be regarded as ‘BS’ and will not help you win back the people who have soured on your company’s brand. You will be flamed but it will likley be more intense than the flame war that would follow a botched interview.

In my next post, I’ll explain how Michael Gallagher of the Entertainment Software Association bombed his recent interview with Kotaku.com and how you can avoid the wrath of angry gamers.


Recently, news broke that Konami Productions placed limitations on what reviewers may discuss in their write-ups on Metal Gear Solid 4. The revelation has caused an uproar in the gaming community, a well-deserved uproar. For those of you who missed the drama, you’ll find a recap below:

In my previous post, I discussed how this practice robs gamers of useful reviews to guide purchasing decisions.

What Konami Should Have Done (How Companies Should Respond to Critical Bloggers)

1) Become Aware of Your Company’s Reputation Among Bloggers

Image Credit: kotaku.com

Its important that you become aware of your company’s reputation in the blogosphere. This can serve as an indicator of customer opinion as well as inform you of both positive and negative feedback to drive innovation within your company. You can accomplish this by:

  • Making Google Work For You: Set up a Google Alert for your company name and the names of your public facing partners (customer service reps, marketing and pr companies that you’ve retained). When any of the names are mentioned Google will send you an e-mail directing you to it.
  • Staying Up-to-Date: Subscribing to and staying up-to-date on influential gaming blogs and community forums will alert you to conversations involving your company and your competitors. Taking part in the conversation will increase your level of engagement.

2) Consider the Criticism

Image Credit: Ign.com

Consider the criticism and take it seriously. A negative perception of your company could spread and take hold in the mind of consumers . This may result in a lack of trust for your brand and lost business.

3) Respond with Speed and Authenticity

Image Credit: bdgamers.net

A swift and authentic response will show that your company cares about the concerns of its customers. A strained and delayed response will feed into negative perceptions and doubts about your brand. You need to address the criticism directly and show how your company will prevent the issue in the future. There are many ways to do this. I’ve outlined two effective methods below.

  • Submit yourself to an interview with the blogger. Providing bloggers with exclusive interviews can result in a win-win situation for the blogger and your company. Bloggers shore up their credibility and attract more readers to their blog as they ‘break the news’ of the exclusive interview. Companies answering the concerns of bloggers show that they are listening and willing to talk to their critics . Caution: Do not interview unless you are willing to accept responsibility (if your company erred) and offer a genuine response to the questions. This is especially important with gamers. Your message will not spread if you choose to be evasive or less than honest in the interview.

Pros: Bloggers love exclusive interviews. Gamers will appreciate you walking in front of the firing squad.

Cons: If you fail to take responsibility for actions made in error, you will be mercilessly flamed by the community resulting in another headache for you to deal with.

  • Join the conversation by posting in the comments section. Be sure to state your company affiliation and answer questions that have appeared in the comments. For example, if the community has concerns about a new policy your company has enacted explain the rationale behind the policy. Listen to their input. Are you achieving the desired goal of the policy?

Pros: You’ll learn valuable information from the gamers themselves which can guide and improve the way you communicate with the community in the future.

Cons: You’ll need a thick skin to do this effectively. This method demands rapid fire and genuine responses to questions and concerns. Comments riddled with evasive ‘corporate speak’ will be regarded as ‘BS’ and will not help you win back the people who have soured on your company’s brand. You will be flamed but it will likley be more intense than the flame war that would follow a botched interview.

In my next post, I’ll explain how Michael Gallagher of the Entertainment Software Association bombed his recent interview with Kotaku.com and how you can avoid the wrath of angry gamers.


Did you just blow fifty dollars on a hyped up video game only to discover that it was less then stellar? If so, here are my tips on how to shun bad video games.

Wise Up: The Sordid Relationship between Publishers and Game ReviewersImage Credit: Videogamer.com

The business models of gaming magazines depend heavily on revenues from advertisements. With more gamers looking for compelling content online the competition for page views to drive up ad sales has intensified. The reviewers have two main objectives: First, review new games ASAP to drive traffic. Second, keep the game publishers happy with positive reviews. It’s gotten so bad that some publishers will limit what reviewers can mention or comment on. It’s even been rumored that Jeff Gerstmann, former editorial director of Game Spot, was fired after penning a critical review of Eidos’ Kane and Lynch.

Perhaps you’re wondering why the publishers have so much influence. They buy sway with reviewers through expensive ad buys, free gaming products and ‘exclusive’ access to games before the official release date. A reviewer who offers up an honest assessment of a crappy game risks being added to the publisher’s blacklist which usually means: no advance copies of the title to review. And as you know, late reviewers lose the page view and web traffic race. This is why you’ll be hard pressed to find a game with a rating of less than 7 on Gamespot.com.

Build Anticipation…. Wait Before you BuyImage Credit: Cheatmasters.com

Wait for the real story to come out once the hype passes. I usually wait six months before buying a new title. This also saves me money as game publishers slash prices to make room for the next over-hyped game. Case in point GTA4. You’ll find that the well-known gaming sites have given GTA4 ridiculously positive reviews. I’m sure it’s a great game but waiting has given me the opportunity to hear about the it’s strengths and weaknesses from people who are not influenced by game publishers.

If You Can’t Wait, Play the DemoImage Credit: Blogulate.com

If you can’t wait for a comprehensive review and the publisher has released a demo: go ahead and play it. This will give you a feel for the graphics, game play, and plot. After you play the demo consider when it would be ideal for you to purchase the game.

Go Indie: Focus on Independent Sources for Game ReviewsImage Credit: GameSpot

Independent reviewers tend to provide honest assessments to their readers. Remember Jeff Gerstmann? After Game Spot fired him for his critical game reviews he launched the indie game reviewing site, Giant Bomb.com

It also pays to read reviews from unexpected sources. Time Magazine reviewed GTA4 and titled it Grand Theft Auto IV: The 6.24% Review. I give them props for admitting that they only played 6.24% of the game before they wrote the review. This kind of honesty is lacking from the ‘usual’ sources.

For authentic reviews that aren’t hype-induced circle jerks you can check out the following sites:

What do you think? How do you shun bad video games?