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Ann Brenoff: Breaking Up With Minecraft Is Hard To Do. If there was a 12-step program to get my 11-year-old son to stop playing Minecraft, he'd be going to meetings.

Ann Brenoff: Breaking Up With Minecraft Is Hard To Do

Minecraft is an interactive online game with 44 million registered users, and 7.7 million people who have bought the game. I know this because they have a real-time ticker on their website that counts them, just like the one McDonald's had to record its gajillionth hamburger sale. In both cases, this isn't stuff that's necessarily good for you -- no matter how many people are doing it. Report: Social casino game revenues on the rise. With the arrival of social casino games, no longer must you drive to the local casino to try your luck at hitting 21 or rolling craps.

Report: Social casino game revenues on the rise

It’s as easy as going on the Internet to gamble, and the numbers now show that the market for social casino games is growing exponentially. A study from research firm SuperData found that the worldwide market has doubled in just one year to $1.6 billion and that social casino gambling accounts for almost a quarter of total social gaming revenue.

North America accounted for $659.8 million of the worldwide social casino revenue, far exceeding second-place Europe ($446 million) and third-place Asia ($311 million). SuperData found that there are 35.4 million monthly social casino players in the U.S. How developers deal with griefers. Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life. Meet Miiverse, Nintendo's New In-Game Social Network. Nintendo's E3 press conference might not be until Tuesday morning, but that didn't stop the company from releasing a few details about what it has in store for the gaming show a few days early including Miiverse.

Meet Miiverse, Nintendo's New In-Game Social Network

Designed for Miis around the world to meet, Nintendo showed off the network and a redesigned Wii plaza during a pre-E3 livestream Sunday afternoon along with more details about the highly-anticipated Wii U. SEE ALSO: Nintendo Shows Off Controller, Social Functions of Wii U A social network of sorts, Miiverse lets you communicate with other players in real-time using the Wii U Game Pad. Miis will congregate in the plaza around icons representing different titles, letting you see quickly what games are popular at the moment — including titles you don't own — and find friends who might be interested in the same title you are. "It's as native to Wii U as the Wii U Gamepad," Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said during the presentation. Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen unveils her next adventure. Games Were Social Media Before It Was Cool. Jane McGonigal shows how games make us resilient.

AUSTIN, Texas--If you want to lose weight or overcome the effects of asthma, Jane McGonigal thinks she has a solution you might not have considered: a game.

Jane McGonigal shows how games make us resilient

At the South by Southwest festival here this week, the world-famous game designer formally launched her latest project, SuperBetter, a project that is designed to help players attack any of a wide variety of personal challenges. It's not a quick fix. McGonigal and her team built the game with a sense of reality: nothing important happens overnight.

But commit to taking on challenges, and a game like SuperBetter can help just about anyone tackle issues that have cowed them for years. More on OnLive Desktop - Readers' Questions Answered. My column on Thursday, about the remarkable OnLive Desktop service, set off a torrent of reader e-mail.

More on OnLive Desktop - Readers' Questions Answered

Not surprising, really, since the concept of OnLive is so radical and, at least behind the scenes, a little confusing. To save any further electrons from dying in the service of answering the same questions over and over again, here are Frequently Asked Questions about OnLive Desktop: Q: I couldn’t find the app “OnLive Desktop Plus” on the app store!

A: It’s just called OnLive Desktop. (It’s the service that’s called “Plus.”) Oklahoma the latest state to pin problems on video games, proposes sin tax. An Oklahoma legislator is proposing a ‘what about the children?’

Oklahoma the latest state to pin problems on video games, proposes sin tax

Bill (HB 2696) that aims to tax violent video games. Former schoolteacher and current Democratic member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, William T. How Gamer Parents Should Talk To Their Kids About Games. Minecraft grows to 20 million registered users. Just following the release of Minecraft 1.1, creator Markus Persson (AKA Notch) reported on Twitter that registered users for the world-building game-thing just passed the 20 million mark.

Minecraft grows to 20 million registered users

That's an impressive stat for the indie project, which has been rapidly growing in popularity since its alpha release back in May of 2009 (the full release of the title took place in November of last year). Notch joked in the tweet that if every user weighed 70kg (about 155 pounds), the total weight would equal 25 percent of the Great Pyramid in Giza. We can only assume that that set off a rash of Great Pyramid building projects in the game, of course. Inside Social Games · Guest post: Vostu’s insights on retention patterns in social vs. casual games. [Editor's Note: The following article comes from Vostu co-founder and Chief Scientist Mario Schlosser and Chief Researcher Neil Molino.

Inside Social Games · Guest post: Vostu’s insights on retention patterns in social vs. casual games

It compares retention patterns between Vostu's city-building sim, MegaCity, and its recently-released real time soccer sim, Gol Mania.] In Vostu’s experience, what makes a successful traditional social game (defined here as games with common social features like quests and gifting) is building a highly dedicated and engaged long-term userbase that plays up into very high levels in the game. Game play in high levels becomes complex and extremely social. (High-level users exchange a lot more gifts than low-level ones, for example.) These games lose a lot of users early on, but those who stay (at least in a good game) are there for long periods of time and are highly engaged with the game.

Disney's Playdom Publishes Third-Party Social Game Title Triple Town - Tricia Duryee - Commerce. Seeking a larger audience to play its game, Spry Fox has formed a partnership with Disney’s Playdom to publish its social game Triple Town on Facebook.

Disney's Playdom Publishes Third-Party Social Game Title Triple Town - Tricia Duryee - Commerce

Starting next week, Playdom said it will begin publishing Triple Town, which has already been on Facebook for some time. Spry Fox said it will retain all creative authority over the game, and added that, going forward, it won’t have to worry about acquiring new users or figuring out how to run advertising campaigns. Microsoft Launches HTML5 'Cut the Rope' Game for Desktop. Angry Birds has a knack of seemingly finding its way into the news every other day, but today it’s Cut the Rope‘s turn in the spotlight, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer making a pretty interesting announcement at the prestigious CES tech event in Las Vegas.

Microsoft Launches HTML5 'Cut the Rope' Game for Desktop

Designed to help promote Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and the beauty of the Web, a new desktop HTML5 version of the hugely popular Cut the Rope game is now available online for free, born out of a partnership between Microsoft and the game’s creators ZeptoLab. Although the game has been built with IE9 in mind, it is playable on any compatible HTML 5 browser, and Gabby Hegerty, Internet Explorer and Windows Live Lead UK at Microsoft, gave The Next Web a walk-through of the new game at Microsoft’s London HQ. DC Universe Online gains a million new players with free-to-play transition. A million new players have signed up for Sony Online Entertainment’s massively multiplayer online game DC Universe Online following its transition to a free-to-play business model last month, the company said. DC Universe Online, for PC and PS3, originally required a paid monthly subscription when it launched in January this year.

But Sony announced in September that the game was becoming free-to-play, with income being generated through micro-transactions and an optional subscription package. It was a gutsy maneuver, given the potential change in revenues for the title. This move seems to have paid off, certainly in terms of player numbers. A Quick Buck by Copy and Paste. A Review of “Gamification by Design” Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham: Gamification by Design.

Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps. O’Reilly, Sebastopol 2011, 169+xix pages.