East Carolina University’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies today revealed the results of a six-month long, randomized, controlled study that measured the stress-relieving and other mood-lifting effects of so-called “casual” video games. The three puzzle and word games used in the study, Bejeweled® 2, Peggle™ and Bookworm™ Adventures, are all made by PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual video games. (PopCap underwrote the study and provided copies of the games for research purposes.) The hypotheses were tested using state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies to measure heart-rate variability (HRV), electroencephalography (EEG) and subjects’ mood states pre- and post-activity (POMS). The study yielded significant findings in several areas while identifying potential therapeutic applications of casual games as a means of addressing serious mental and physical disorders. Due to the significance of the findings and their implications in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment, East Carolina University’s Psychophysiology Lab is planning to start clinical trials in the fall to determine the efficacy of these games and their prescriptive parameters.
Those wacky folks over at the Gamescore Blog decided to share the inside connection wealth, in the form of asking three questions we cooked up for Casual Game moguls PopCap Games. Former XBLA General Manager Greg Canessa does a pretty good job of answering the questions, even letting a couple details slip.
I won't give away any of the juicy details other than to say make sure you listen to the answer to the last question!
Make sure you check out the other parts of this interview at the following sites (I'll update the post as the other videos come online).
The winners for the PopCap Arcade Vol. 1 Contest have been chosen. Four winners were announced over on 360Sync.com yesterday, and here are the remaining winners picked from comments here:
Thanks to everyone for commenting and visiting XBLArcade and 360Sync. And thanks again to PopCap for the prizes and Devin "DaKing240" Kofsky for helping to set everything up.
More contests and XBLA hilarity to come so stick around and check out the forums!
Here's the story everyone: Some quick collaboration and tons of inter-site generosity may just net you your very own copy of PopCap Arcade Vol. 1.
What's PopCap Arcade Vol. 1 you say? Why, it's a disc-based collection of the following PopCap classics: Bejeweled 2, Astropop, Feeding Frenzy, and Zuma. All of which are packaged neatly in a box just like one of those expensive retail games.
360Sync.com and XBLArcade have managed to snag 7 total copies of the disc, not for ourselves, but to give away to our loyal (or new) readers. How does a free copy of this game collection (retail value $29.99) sound to everyone?
Next step: How do you win? Simple. Leave a comment here on this post and in a week's time we'll randomly select the winners. Oh, and if one measly shot at winning free stuff isn't enough for you, head over to 360Sync.com and post a comment over there too. Voila! Two chances to win a copy of PopCap's best.
Get it done people.
(A big huge thanks to DaKing240 of 360Sync.com for getting this contest together and to PopCap for providing the prizes!)
[Update]: This contest is only for residents of the US and Canada. Sorry for any misunderstandings.
Not content to be the "#1 developer on XBLA", PopCap Games will be bringing PopCap Arcade Vol. 1 to stores on November 15th. What you need to know is that the disc will include Bejeweled 2, Feeding Frenzy, Astropop, and Zuma -- all for the low price of $29.95.
Since the combined price of all four games is essentially $40 (3200MSP) this seems like a decent deal, but only if you don't own any of these games and want all of them. Otherwise, the a la carte menu of XBLA can serve you just what you want without extra baggage or cost.
Of course, didn't everyone that wanted Zuma get it when it was on sale (thus making this retail release of limited value)? Then again, I doubt PopCap is shooting for the XBLA-fiend demographic. Surely they're thinking soccer moms and people without broadband (gasp).
(And yes, I ganked that image from GameFly, where the rumor originated.)
Full Press Release after the break.
First, there was PopCap Games (aka "#1 developer on XBLA"). Then, PlayFirst decided to get in on the act. And now, it's RealNetwork's turn. This past week, RealNetworks announced plans to bring their stable of casual games to all the major console download platforms.
While no major announcement (or overblown press release) has appeared yet, this tidbit was confirmed in GameDaily's interview with Erik Goossens, RealNetwork's VP of Game Content. When asked about RealArcade's games appearing on consoles he replied that work on those games "is happening as we speak."
The only real questions left are "which?" and "when?". Which games will they bring over? And when will they arrive? When is truly anyone's guess at this point. The question of which games are coming is more complicated because Real Arcade serves as a portal for games developed by other companies that already have a relationship with Xbox Live Arcade. That list includes PopCap Games (e.g., Bejeweled, Atomica, Insaniquarium), MumboJumbo (Luxor 2), PlayFirst (e.g., Chocolatier) and Sandlot Games (Cake Mania).
Slice it any way you want, XBLA will be getting a ton of casual game content in the coming year. Are you casual enough to handle it?
According to online rental site Gamefly, November 30th will bring us Pop Cap Arcade Hits Vol. 1. With no other real details we can only speculate what it will contain. If the Unplugged disc is any hint, we'll probably be getting six already released PopCap XBLA titles for a lower price.
Unfortunately for myself, I'm pretty sure I've already purchased everything that PopCap has to offer. Will any of you use this opportunity to pick up some of the older XBLA titles for cheap?
[via Siliconera ]
Since I've been horribly backlogged with tips and other stories I thought I'd turn this into a regularly occurring feature. It's an easy way for me to catch up and also harness your collective tipster skillz.
So, here's what's been happening around the XBLA world that I haven't had the chance to share: