Friday, March 7, 2008

Pew Internet Releases Mobile Access to Data Report

Pew Internet Releases Mobile Access to Data Report

Some 62% of adult Americans have taken advantage of mobile access to digital data and tools. The Pew Internet Project's new report, entitled Mobile Access to Data and Information, examines mobile access in two ways and finds that:

58% of adult Americans have used a cell phone or personal digital assistant (PDA) to do at least one of ten mobile non-voice data activities, such as texting, emailing, taking a picture, looking for
maps or directions, or recording video.

41% of adult Americans have logged onto the internet on the go, that is, away from home or work either with a wireless laptop connection or a handheld device.

Overall, 62% of adult Americans have either accessed the internet with a wireless connection away from home or work or used a non-voice data application using their cell phone or PDA, according to the Pew Internet Project's December 2007 survey.

"People's growing reliance on their cell phones, together with wireless internet access from laptops, suggests a shift in expectations about cyberspace," said John B. Horrigan, Associate Director of the Pew Internet Project and author of the report. "For many people, access to
digital information and resources is an 'always present' utility for answering questions and documenting what is going on around them through photos or video recording."

For the full report please visit:
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/244/report_display.asp

John Horrigan's commentary, Seeding The Cloud: What Mobile Access Means for Usage Patterns and Online Content is available here:
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/245/report_display.asp

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Video: Yahoo looks beyond Microsoft offer

Video: Yahoo looks beyond Microsoft offer

Yahoo uses a delay tactic as the company tries to come up with an alternative to Microsoft's cash and stock offer. Yahoo stretched its deadline to nominate board of directors in a bid to buy time.

Some analysts suggest Yahoo is trying to find another dance partner, one that might let Yahoo retain more independence than Microsoft. The latest name to pop up - AOL, which is owned by Time Warner.

Sasha Salama reports.

Reuters News Video:

[this video will not play in most feed readers, please visit the site to watch it]

Video: Crafting a Social Network

Video: Crafting a Social Network

Wall Street Journal's Raymund Flandez talks to the founder of Etsy.com a popular online marketplace for crafters, and about Etsy's vendors and fan-led social-networking site.

Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade. Their mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Their vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:
Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.

Since the launch in June, 2005, over 100,000 sellers from around the world have opened up Etsy shops.



[this video will not play in most feed readers, please visit the site to watch it]

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Social Networks and Virtual Worlds for Work, Learning, and Play

Social Networks and Virtual Worlds for Work, Learning, and Play

Minitrack in the *Internet and the Digital Economy Track*

Call for Papers

Forty-Second Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS-42).


Our online ways and means of connecting with others and maintaining ties for everyday life, community, work, learning and play are changing dramatically with the increasing adoption and use of social networking applications such as Facebook, MySpace, etc., immersive worlds such as Second Life, and more comprehensive online support environments such as collaboratories, virtual communities, and online communities of practice. These new settings provide the infrastructure for new patterns of connectivity, new ways of working, learning and playing with known and unknown others, locally and globally distributed, with common and diverse cultural experiences.

This minitrack for HICSS 42 calls for papers that address the design, analysis, theory, review, experiments and/or observation of social networks, virtual communities, and virtual worlds in the contexts of work, school, home, community, and play. Papers from all methodological approaches are welcome, including design and user studies, quantitative and qualitative research, and theoretical work. Interdisciplinary work is particularly encouraged. All papers
should be well grounded in the literature, present original work, and make a substantial addition to the literature in this area.


Examples of topics for this minitrack include, but are not limited to the
following:


• Online communities: organizational, group and individual behavior

• Design for online networks and communities

• E-learning: structures, implementation, and practices

• Interaction between the off-line and online community

• Online gaming: design, economics, behavior

• Collaborative work, learning or gaming online

• Peer-to-peer or mobile services for virtual communities

• Case studies and topologies of online communities

• Theoretical models of virtual worlds

• Business and organizational models of virtual worlds

• Economic behaviors in virtual worlds, and game economies

• Synergies and conflicts between real and virtual worlds

• Identity in virtual worlds

• Interface design for social networking, virtual worlds, virtual communities

• Social networking agents

• Anti-social behavior, online addiction, predatory behavior online

• Legal and ethical issues of virtual worlds

• Privacy and security issues in online networks


IMPORTANT DATES:

Abstracts (optional): April 15, 2008
Full Paper Submission: June 15, 2008

All papers must conform to HICSS formatting standards:
http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/hicss_42/authorinstruction.htm

Please contact any of the organizers with questions about submissions to this minitrack. Abstracts may be sent to any of the organizers.

Caroline Haythornthwaite (haythorn@uiuc.edu), Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Karine Barzilai-Nahon (karineb@u.washington.edu), The Information School, University of Washington

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Paul.Lowry.PhD@gmail.com), Information Systems Department, Kevin Rollins Center for e-Business, Marriott School, Brigham Young

Ian MacInnes (IMacInne@syr.edu), School of Information Studies, Syracuse University

Global Internet Governance: An Interdisciplinary Research Field in Construction

Global Internet Governance: An Interdisciplinary Research Field in Construction

A GigaNet workshop, organized in cooperation with GDR TICS and DEL Networks


Paris, 23 June 2008 Morning

Preliminary Announcement and Call for Contributions


The Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) invites you to participate in a scholar workshop to be held in Paris, France, on the morning of June 23rd. This workshop is organized in cooperation with two main French pluridisciplinary networks of scholars in Internet-related studies: the ICT and Society (GDR TICS) and Electronic Democracy (DEL)
Networks.

The purpose of the workshop, the first of its sort, is to allow scholars involved in Internet Governance-related research to describe their ongoing research projects to other scholars in the field, in order to share ideas, forge possible collaborations, and identify emerging research themes in the field. Scholars from various academic disciplines and all regions of the world are welcome to contribute to this reflexive exercise, with the long-term objective of collectively building this interdisciplinary research field.

What is global Internet governance and what it is not? Are there any differences in the way this process is understood, defined and implemented in different regions of the world? Is it sensitive to political and cultural backgrounds and traditions, and if so to which extent and in which
ways? How is Internet governance different from, and related to, global governance of other information and communication technologies? What could be the invariants of a global governance process, irrespective of the domain area it addresses? What are the national and regional projects and networks currently pursuing research on Global Internet Governance? Is
there any academic syllabus or other education program dedicated to these issues? These are among the many questions to be discussed by the workshop participants.

Please send to the workshop organizing committee chair, Meryem Marzouki (Meryem.Marzouki@lip6.fr) by April 15, 2008, your name, affiliation, e-mail address and CV along with no more than 500 words describing your ongoing projects. Rather than featuring academic paper presentations, the workshop aims at providing a survey of current academic activities in the field of global Internet governance. Invitees selected by the organizing committee for participation at round-table discussions will be notified by May 15, 2008.
Attendance to the workshop is free and open to all interested parties.


Organizing Committtee

Eric Brousseau (GDR TICS), U. Paris X, France; Divina Frau-Meigs (GigaNet), U. Paris III, France; Nanette Levinson (GigaNet), American U., USA; Meryem Marzouki (GigaNet), CNRS, France; Milton Mueller (GigaNet), Syracuse U., USA; Thierry Vedel (DEL), CNRS, France; Rolf Weber (GigaNet), U. Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


NOTE

GigaNet will hold its third annual Symposium in India, in conjunction with the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The call for papers will be issued by end March 2008.

www.igloo.org/giganet

TV, Web Vie for Viewer Attention

More than three-quarters of the US adult Internet users surveyed by Harris Interactive in February 2008 went online while watching TV. More than one-third of the respondents to the survey, which was sponsored by blinkx, said they did so "always" or "often."

"We wanted insight into how to combine television's best qualities with the immersive, connected power of the Internet," said Suranga Chandratillake, CEO of blinkx.

Just how immersive is the Web, given that respondents were browsing while watching TV?

It is important to acknowledge that consumers combine their TV viewing with other tasks. Marketers who use TV in their campaigns may not always have a viewer's undivided attention, and may need a multichannel approach.

It is equally important to avoid assuming that TV viewers never fully tune in, according to Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer.

"When researchers ask consumers questions like “Do you do other things while watching TV?”, a high percentage will say yes," Ms. Williamson said. "That is because of the ubiquity of TV and the fact that TV garners a sizeable share of total media time. However, studies have found that only a small percentage of total minutes spent with TV are actually spent multitasking other media."

Some consumers are not multitasking. They are just watching less TV. More than one-third of respondents to a July 2007 TNS-AOL-Google survey said that increased Internet use was a reason why they watched less TV. However, only 9% said they watched more TV shows or other video content online.

The next question is: will online TV viewers multitask any less than those who watch on traditional sets?

[for the full artcile with graphs and stats click here]

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

10th Persistent Conversation minitrack - call for participation

Persistent Conversation Minitrack
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION


Digital Media and Content Track at HICSS 42
January 5-8, 2009
Hilton Waikoloa Village, the Big Island, Hawai'i
See http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC.html for an online version and further information.


IN ONE PARAGRAPH
The Persistent Conversation minitrack is a yearly gathering of people who design and study systems that support computer-mediated communication. Persistent conversation is not limited to asynchronous textual communication: It includes instant messaging, voice chat, and other 'ephemeral' media. Nor do we limit our focus to systems explicitly designed to support conversation: We are interested in conversational exchanges as manifested in applications (for instance, blogs, annotation systems, distance education) and in sites oriented around the use of photos, video and other media. If you're interested in presenting a paper in the minitrack, the first step is to submit an abstract by March 15, 2008. A 10-page paper would be due June 15th.


IMPORTANT DATES
-03/15: Prospective authors submit 300-word abstracts

-03/31: Feedback on abstracts sent

-06/15: 10-page papers due (see http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/hicss_42/authorinstruction.htm
for details)

-08/15: Accept/Conditional Accept/Reject notices sent

-09/15: Final papers due; at least one author must register for conference


ABOUT THE MINITRACK
This interdisciplinary minitrack and workshop brings designers and researchers together to explore persistent conversation, the transposition of ordinarily ephemeral conversation into the
potentially persistent digital medium. Persistent conversations occur via instant messaging, text and voice chat, email, blogs, web boards, MOOs, graphical and 3D virtual environments, gaming systems, video sharing sites, document annotation systems, mobile phone texting, etc.

Such communication is persistent in that it leaves a digital trace, and the trace in turn affords new uses. It permits conversations to be saved, visualized, browsed, searched, replayed, and restructured. Persistence also means that conversations need not be synchronous: They can be asynchronous (stretching out over hours or days) or supersynchronous (with multiple parties 'talking' at the same time). Finally, the creation of persistent and potentially permanent records
from what was once an ephemeral process raises a variety of social and ethical issues.


ABOUT PAPER TOPICS
We are seeking papers that address one or both of the following two general areas:

* Understanding Practice.
The burgeoning popularity of the internet (and intranets) provides an opportunity to study and characterize new forms of conversational practice. Questions of interest range from how various features of conversations (e.g., turn-taking, topic organization, expression of paralinguistic information) have adapted in response to the digital medium, to new roles played by persistent
conversation in domains such as education, business, and entertainment.

* Design.
Digital systems do not currently support conversation well: It is difficult to converse with grace, clarity, depth and coherence over networks. But this need not remain the case. Toward this end, we welcome analyses of existing systems as well as designs for new systems which better support conversation. Also of interest are inquiries into how participants design their own conversations within the digital medium -- that is, how they make use of system features to
create, structure, and regulate their discourse.


Examples of appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:

- Turn-taking, threading and other structural features of CMC

- The dynamics of large scale conversation systems (e.g. blog networks)

- Methods for summarizing or visualizing conversation archives

- Studies of virtual communities or other sites of digital conversation

- The roles of mediated conversation in knowledge management

- Studies of the use of instant messaging in large organizations

- Novel designs for computer-mediated conversation systems

- Analyses of or designs for distance learning systems


NEXT STEPS
Submit a 250 to 300 word abstract of your proposed paper via email to the chairs: Tom Erickson (snowfall at acm dot org), Susan Herring (herring at indiana dot edu) by the deadline noted above. We will send you feedback on the suitability of your abstract by the deadline noted
above.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
- About the minitrack, see http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC.html
or
contact: Thomas Erickson (snowfall at acm.org) and Susan Herring (herring at indiana.edu)
- About previous years' papers (including pdf's) and participants, see: http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/HICSS_PC_History.html
- About the HICSS conference, see: http://www.hicss.hawaii.edu/

The long history of new media

The long history of new media: Contemporary and future developments contextualized

An Ica pre-conference organized by
New media & society and the communication history interest group of the ica

Montreal
22 May 2008


This ICA pre-conference explores the historical dimension of new media with regard to theoretical foundations, methodological approaches, and contemporary developments. The historical dimension of these facets of new media scholarship is all too often inadequately addressed. The purpose of this pre-conference is to bring together scholars with a common interest in exploring the historical contextualization of new media. This purpose is situated within a wider celebration of the 10th anniversary of New Media & Society as a leading journal for scholarly exploration of new forms of mediated communication. This anniversary will culminate in a special issue of the journal drawing from papers submitted to this pre-conference.


[for schedule and abstracts click here]

DIAC Demos, Workshops, and Exploratory Papers

Call for

Exploratory Papers,
Technology Demonstration Proposals
Workshop Proposals

Tools for Participation:
Collaboration, Deliberation, and Decision Support


DIAC-2008 / Online Deliberation 2008
University of California, Berkeley
June 26 - 29, 2008
http://www.publicsphereproject.org/events/diac08/

Thanks to everybody who submitted research papers to DIAC-2008 / Online Deliberation 2008. We encourage people to contribute other types of submissions. A good mix of themes and presentation modes should help ensure a lively and productive conference.


Exploratory Papers (due March 20, 2008)

Exploratory Papers (3-4 pages) can contain novel concepts, works-in-progress, reflections, manifestos or other ideas and issues that aren't currently suitable for a research paper.


Technology Demonstration Proposals (due March 15, 2008)

Technology Demonstration Proposals (3-4 pages) should contain a description of what you plan to show and why it’s important. Be sure to note relevant work in the field. Please also describe all technical and other requirements for demonstrating at the conference.


Workshop Proposals (due March 15, 2008)

Workshop Proposals (2-4 pages) should contain motivation, objectives, expected outcomes, intended audience, and process, including a detailed description of how people will be engaged during the workshop.


All submissions must be made via the conference submission system on the DIAC-08 web site. Submissions should be written in English and authors whose first language is not English are encouraged to have their submissions reviewed for language prior to submission.
Submissions should be formatted for "US Letter" size using 11 point Times-Roman font.

As a reminder, our areas of focus include but are not limited to:
deliberative and collaborative systems, e-democracy and e-participation, mobilization and organization, negotiation, consultation, sustainability, community support systems, open source
models, human rights, ecological awareness, conflict resolution, justice, transparency systems, media and civic journalism, media literacy, power research, citizen science, economic development and opportunity, peace and reconciliation, infrastructure development,
policy, education, community networks, research and development for civil society, social software, virtual communities and civic intelligence.

We are especially interested in technology development that is already being tested or fielded. We are also interested in theoretical and other intellectual work that helps build understanding and support for future efforts. In addition to exploring social technology, we must at the same time understand and advance the social context of technology, including its design, access, use, policy and evaluation, as well as intellectual frameworks and perspectives that inform technological as well as social innovation including requirements, case studies, critique and self-reflection, and infrastructures for future work.

DIAC-08 combines CPSR's 11th DIAC symposium with the third Conference on Online Deliberation. The joint conference is intended to provide a platform and a forum for highlighting socio-technological opportunities, challenges, and pitfalls in the area of community and civic action. Technology enhanced community action ranges from informal communities of practice to democratic governance of formal organizations to large social movements.

The DIAC symposia have resulted in six book publications (in addition to the proceedings). Although we don't have specific plans at this time, we are hoping to publish our seventh book based on this event.

Personal and Organizational Relationships in a Global Networked World: Emergent Ethical Challenges

Personal and Organizational Relationships in a Global Networked World: Emergent Ethical Challenges

Hawaiian International Conference on System Sciences

This mini-track for HICSS-42 examines ethical issues related to work-life balance, virtual world behavior, privacy, intellectual property, accuracy, accountability, and similar issues posed by the design and adoption of information systems in a globally networked world. Our personal and professional decisions for the design and adoption of information technologies make implicit (and sometimes explicit) choices to enable or inhibit particular behavioral norms. Such decisions have ethical dimensions that may not always be evident, and the purpose of this mini-track is to stimulate a discourse on these ethical dimensions.

Researchers are encouraged to send papers to one of the organizers that deal with challenges presented by the rise of global networks in the developed world. Papers can range from philosophical to practical, from policy arguments of equity and cultural differences to issues of design and implementation of systems. Papers are especially encouraged that combine theory and fundamental concepts with empirical findings. Contact any of the organizers with questions or ideas for papers at any time. The deadline for submission of completed papers is June 15, 2008.

Examples of specific issues and challenges that may be addressed in this mini-track include the following:

* New capabilities of web 2.0-how do these change the approaches to ethical discourse?

* Norms of behavior in virtual worlds: how does a diversity of norms affect individual identity and behavior in non-virtual worlds (is there a difference?)

* How does a sense of personal identity change as the distinction between "public" and "private" becomes blurred (or porous) with technology-enabled social networking?

* Organizational policy and knowledge management: should organizations adapt or embrace the behavioral norms of digital natives as they enter the knowledge work force? (If so, how?)

* Education: if the need exists to increase the awareness of ethical issues for students in management and information studies, as some studies would suggest, how can we do this?

* Wellness and human flourishing: how can we balance work and personal life in a hyper-connected world?

* Health care: managing the conflicting needs for public information with the personal expectations of privacy

* Government policy on intellectual property: can it be (should it be) responsive to the public values as expressed through emerging capabilities of e-government feedback mechanisms?

* Social justice and information access-how we can assess the effectiveness of public policy? What are the implications of current laws on property and privacy?

* Understanding the ethical dimensions of decision making in design, implementation, and use of information technology


About HICSS
Since 1968 the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) has become a respected a forum for the substantive interchange of ideas in all areas of information systems and technology. HICSS is sponsored by the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

The objective of the conference is to provide a unique environment in which researchers and practitioners in the information, computer and system sciences can frankly exchange and discuss their research ideas, techniques and applications.

To realize this objective and to facilitate lively discussion and interaction, the format is carefully structured, and the number of available registrations is limited. Submitted papers are double-blind reviewed and published by IEEE Computer Society Press.

HICSS conferences are totally self-supported by registration income; therefore, we cannot offer funding support for participants.

HICSS is recognized particularly for its high degree of discussion among the participants during the week. Paper sessions are conducted in a workshop-like setting to specifically encourage this type of interaction.

The week's events consist of advanced seminars, tutorials, workshops, open forums, task forces, symposia, a plenary lecture, a distinguished guest lecture, and the daily presentation of accepted manuscripts which emphasize research and development activities.

See program components for more detail.Comments and feedback continues to show that the conference structure and format is professionally rewarding and stimulating to everyone who attends.

General Topics in Qualitative Research

General Topics in Qualitative Research

March 27th 2008, Leuven

The Institute for Social and Political Opinion Research (ISPO) is pleased to host lectures by Prof. David Collier, Prof. Gary Goetz, and Prof. John Gerring at the "General Topics in Qualitative Research" symposium. Each of these internationally renowned scholars will address vital, but not often considered, issues in qualitative research design. David Collier will discuss causal inference, Gary Goetz will speak about social science concepts, and John Gerring will present topics in case selection.

We would like to invite interested researchers and students who are familiar with (social) research design, data collection, and analysis techniques to attend and participate. Readings /materials for advanced preparation can be found at ISPO's website. A reader will also be avaible upon registration.

09:30 – 09:45
Arrival and registration

09:45 - 10:00
Welcome by prof. dr. Marc Swyngedouw ( ISPO )

10:00 - 11:15
Lecture David Collier:Causal inference in qualitative and mixed-method research

11:15 - 11.30
Coffee break

11:30 – 12:45
Lecture Gary Goertz:Social science concepts: the construction and use of concepts in qualitative and mixed-methods research

12:45 - 14:00
Break

14:00– 15:15
Lecture John Gerring: Case selection and study in qualitative and mixed-method research

15:15 - 15.30
Coffee break

Reader: A login to access the reader is required and will be provided upon registration for the symposium.

Flyer: download here

Venue : Aula Jean Monnet, Parkstraat 51, 3000 Leuven
Free entrance but registration is mandatory
To register: e-mail Delphine Hesters at delphine.hesters@soc.kuleuven.be
Deadline for registration: March 23

Language: All lectures will be given in English

Organisation: CeSO/ISPO
- in the framework of the Marie-Curie Research Training Network: The Integration of the European Second Generation;
- in collaboration with the Network Qualitative Research, Leuven (KULeuven);
- in collaboration with the PhD programme of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

CULTURAL MEMORY - A DOCTORAL SYMPOSIUM

CULTURAL MEMORY - A DOCTORAL SYMPOSIUM
CALL FOR PAPERS


JUNE 25-27, 2008, at Hazelwood House, South Devon, U.K.

A Project of the CENTRE FOR CRITICAL CULTURAL RESEARCH in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Plymouth, U.K.

Considering culture as creative practice and a way of life, both of which are historically specific, how is experience remembered, represented and shared? How and why do memories and representations shape present attitudes, intentions, politics, power structures, cultural work and imagined futures? Among aspects of the theme which may be covered are:

- Memories of place framing social formation;

- Shared memories as means of empowering social groups;

- Memories of gender-, race-, or group- histories shaping present action/identities;

- Memories of war and genocide in contemporary culture;

- The relation of individual and collective memories;

- Representations of place-, group-, or event-memories in high or vernacular cultures;

- Appropriations of cultural memory in heritage culture and consumption.

Abstracts (300 words max.) are invited from currently registered research students at any recognized University in the EU for papers of 3,000 words - for a 30-minute presentation followed by an equal period of discussion.

Visual aids will not be used (but hard copy material can be circulated).
8 papers will be selected. Dr Iain Biggs (U.W.E), and Dr Roberta Mock (U. Plymouth) will offer keynote papers. The event will be facilitated by Prof. Malcolm Miles (U. Plymouth).

The aim is to work in an ambience of attentive listening beyond institutional routines. The venue is a retreat centre in an area of scenic beauty, with locally sourced organic food (vegetarian and non-vegetarian). Rooms are single occupancy but not en-suite. Surrounding hills mean there is no cell phone reception.

Selected presenters will be offered travel costs up to £50, transfer from Totnes railway station to the venue (mid afternoon 25th and after lunch 27th), 2 nights accommodation and all meals during the symposium.

Abstracts should be 300 words plus the following information, sent as a file attachment in word [only] to mfmiles_at_plymouth.ac.uk - CM in subject box – by 3rd March, 2008:

Name
E address
Affiliation
Supervisor (who may be approached for a reference) with e address
Title of proposed paper and Abstract

Let the Video Game Ads Begin!

Video-game advertising comprises a number of different segments, and they are all seeing plenty of action.

Overall, eMarketer projects that US in-game advertising spending will increase from $295 million in 2007 to $650 million in 2012.

In-game advertising spending is buoyed by a vibrant video game industry that is enjoying unprecedented growth. eMarketer projects that video game software and hardware sales will increase to $21 billion in 2012.

”At a time when other sectors of the digital entertainment industry are struggling with lagging sales and rampant piracy, the US video game business is booming,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new report, Video Game Advertising report.

As evidence of the vitality of the game industry, an average of nine games were sold every second of every day in 2007, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

”To compare video games to other media,” says Mr. Verna, “the top-selling video-game title of the year, ‘Halo 3,’ took in more revenue on its first day of sales than the biggest opening weekend ever for a movie, ‘Spider Man 3,’ and even the final Harry Potter book’s first-day sales.”

In addition, comScore reported that video games, consoles and accessories was the top e-commerce growth category in the US in the second and third quarters of 2007, as well as during the peak holiday shopping period of the fourth quarter.

”The biggest online retailer, Amazon.com, reported its best holiday season ever in 2007 and attributed its success to the Nintendo Wii console,” says Mr. Verna.

Long gone are the days when video games were the domain solely of teenage boys. The category is hot—because eyeballs of all ages are there.

”Today, avid and casual gamers fall into a broadening array of demographic profiles,” says Mr. Verna. “They might include middle-aged men who live out their latent rock and roll fantasies by playing ‘Guitar Hero,’ married women who get together with their friends to play Wii Table Tennis or retirees who play online board games with their grandchildren.”

It is no wonder that advertisers want to play, too.

[for the full article with graphs and stats click here]

Computer Games and their applications

Computer Games and their applications (CGa)

The industry of computer games is a flourishing reality since several decades. Several issues on their future are going to be presented and discussed at the symposium since the availability of hardware and software platforms is widening their use, breadth, capabilities and (of course) impact on increasingly large audiences. Moreover, computer games engines offer, nowadays, also a mature environment for non-ludic applications that can leverage on their graphical capabilities to offer interactive virtual environments for educational applications. The advantage is that the overall result is available on standard PCs, that make any result immediately available to a large audience.

The interest of the research in non-ludic applications is witnessed by the rapidly growing industry that features the use of interactive games technology within non-entertainment sectors; the trend is showing an organized industry of developers using cutting-edge entertainment technologies to solve problems in areas as diverse as education, health-care, national defense, homeland security, analytics, corporate management and more. Several commercial games are used for purposes that are not entertainment related, such as SimCity
and Civilization, but many titles are built with an educational purpose in mind, such as Virtual University, 3D Driving Academy etc.

We want to provide an opportunity to researchers in the field to discuss and present their research. The objective of the symposium is to cover state-of-the-art results, present and discuss key research issues and outline future directions of computer games and their
applications in any field, not necessarily bound to entertainment. The setting of the symposium would encourage and stimulate discussions among the researchers and the audience.

Papers presenting original research within the theme of "Computer Games and their applications" are being sought. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

* Exploring new game genres for future Games

* Exploring new hardware (Multicore-CPU, GPU, Cell) for future Games

* Development tools and techniques for games

* Games and Accessibility

* Educational games

* Game-engine based reconstruction of cultural heritage

* Game-based Policy/management environment

* Authoring environment

* Game-engine based cooperative multi-user environment

* Game-based application for Public-health

* Games in the mobile and ubiquitous setting

* Location-based games


IMPORTANT DATES:

Submissions due: March 15, 2007

Important Dates: http://www.graphicslink.co.uk/IV07/DATES.htm

Camera-ready: April 20, 2007 (accepted submissions)