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Medicine

Asperger Syndrome Tied To Low Cortisol Levels 156

Posted by timothy
from the years-of-single-minded-study dept.
caffiend666 writes "According to a Health Day article, low levels of a stress hormone may be responsible for the obsession with routine and dislike for new experiences common in children with a certain type of autism. 'This study suggests that children with AS may not adjust normally to the challenge of a new environment on waking,' study researcher David Jessop, from the University of Bristol, said in the news release. 'This may affect the way they subsequently engage with the world around them.'"
Businesses

Pro Video Game Leagues — Another Economic Casualty 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the quake-me dept.
Anonymusing writes "Not long ago, professional video gamer Emmanuel Rodriguez earned a base $30K salary plus prize winnings in the Championship Gaming Series. However, with the economy suffering, sponsors like DirecTV and News Corporation are backing out, leaving Rodriguez with a more typical job for a 23-year-old: store clerk. After the demise of the CPL and the Championship Gaming Series last year, the only major pro gamer league left is Major League Gaming, though it expects to turn a profit this year — some of its players earn more than six figures from the $1 million in prizes given throughout the season, while others are putting off college to work on their gaming careers." A recent story in the LA Times discusses how the games industry slow-down is hitting game developers hard as well. Conversely, the used game market is seeing significant growth — it'll be interesting to see what publishers learn from this.
Businesses

Game Companies Face Hard Economic Choices 511

Posted by Soulskill
from the competition-is-a-good-thing dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that the proliferation of free or low-cost games on the Web and for phones limits how high the major game publishers can set prices, so makers are sometimes unable to charge enough to cover the cost of producing titles. The cost of making a game for the previous generation of machines was about $10 million, not including marketing. The cost of a game for the latest consoles is over twice that — $25 million is typical, and it can be much more. Reggie Fils-Aime, chief marketing officer for Nintendo of America, says publishers of games for its Wii console need to sell one million units of a game to turn a profit, but the majority of games, analysts said, sell no more than 150,000 copies. Developers would like to raise prices to cover development costs, but Mike McGarvey, former chief executive of Eidos and now an executive with OnLive, says that consumers have been looking at console games and saying, 'This is too expensive and there are too many choices.' Since makers cannot charge enough or sell enough games to cover the cost of producing most titles, video game makers have to hope for a blockbuster. 'The model as it exists is dying,' says McGarvey." As we discussed recently, OnLive is trying to change that by moving a big portion of the hardware requirements to the cloud. Of course, many doubt that such a task can be accomplished in a way that doesn't severely degrade gameplay, but it now appears that Sony is working on something similar as well.

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