E3 is only a few weeks away, and publishers are starting to whet our appetites by divulging their upcoming gaming portfolios. Ubisoft is first off the bat: and according to the press release, their booth will be showing off the "highly anticipated Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Shaun White Skateboarding, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, the next iteration of the blockbuster franchise Driver, and many other titles that are yet to be announced." Apparently, the official Ubisoft website will allow fans to keep up to date with the latest developments in the booth and press conference- though naturally we'll be monitoring the situation very closely.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Shaun White Skateboarding and Future Soldier were dead certs for an E3 showing, but we're excited to see that Driver will also be making an appearance. Driver: The Recruit (our best guess at the title according to recent trademarks) will hopefully be a return to form for the series.
Ubisoft will be holding a press conference on June 14th to kick off the E3 shenanigans. Joel McHale, star of the American sitcom Community, will be hosting the event.
Nintendo has announced that Pokepark Wii will be released in Europe this July. Taking the role of the adorable electric rat Pikachu, players will be able to engage in a series of "skill games" and team up with other Pokemon to save the park. These minigames include Rhyperior's Bumper Burn, Bulbasaur's Daring Dash, Salamence's Air Ace, Venusaur's Vine Swing and Gyarados' Aqua Dash. Oh joy.
Frankly, this minigame collection sounds absolutely horrible. Still, if you're craving a little more Pokemon action after the incredibly well-featured HeartGold and SoulSilver versions then you've only got a few weeks to wait. [1UP]
Wow. Whoa. Wait. What? Finally, an authority figure has spoken out to the media in favour of our favoured entertainment medium. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has praised the educational power of computer games, calling them a "fabulous" teaching tool. When asked about how extracurricular education could be made more fun and accessible to children, O'Connor homed in on the amount of time that most kids sink into playing videogames.
"It's a huge amount of time. Now, if we can capture just part of that time, a little bit of it, to get 'em in front of a computer screen to play these games, they're going to learn. And they don't even know they're learning. I mean, they're fun. The games are great."
She's not wrong. A recently released report indicates that gaming hours are on the rise, with gamers aged 2 and upwards playing for an average of 13 hours a week... and the hardcore logging well over 48 hours per week (though I managed 48 hours in three days when Morrowind was first released). If some of this time could be leveraged into learning, we could end up with some seriously smart gamers.
Fat chance, though. This would, of course, require games developers and publishers to take edutainment seriously. Traditionally, Edutainment titles have been truly terrible affairs that don't respect their target audience. Even kids deserve decent games. [abc news]