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Submission + - Time to be scared of Facebook and privacy ( 1

SimonTheSoundMan writes: "Everyone should be seriously scared of the new Facebook. Why? Not just because they want to announce what services we are visiting on Facebook itself, but also with out permission or user intervention publicly announcing web site that you visit. There is no opt-out for this service, and logging out is not enough."

Submission + - Serious Gaming (

dnolan9000 writes: "The digital gaming industry is getting a lot of attention lately, but not because of their newest titles and record breaking sales. Analysts and investors are rethinking the industry and the use of gaming technology for non-entertainment purposes. A new industry sector is emerging, Serious Gaming.

Serious Gaming leverages traditional gaming technology for use in non-gaming forums. The technology is being utilized in corporate training, K-12 education, healthcare, medical training, simulation, advertising, and in a number of military and defense applications.

The British Midlands, located just 90 miles north of London, is at the forefront of the Serious Gaming industry. The region has a long history in traditional gaming and is now producing some of the top Serious Gaming applications.

The Midlands is home to over 25% of the United Kingdom's gaming industry, representing over 160 companies, including globally known names such as PIXELearning, Blitz Games, Rebellion Derby, Free Radical Design, Circle Studio, Nu Generation Games, and Codemasters, Europe's largest independent games publisher.

Game developers are now realizing the potential of serious gaming. Blitz Games has launched TruSim, a serious gaming division that has received contracts to produce defence and civilian medical demonstrators from the UK Government (including MoD funds via the UK's Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre — — see below). Many more companies are following suit and forming Serious Teams to capitalize on the growing financial potential of the industry. Analysts predict that up to 40% of US companies will adopt serious gaming technology into their training efforts by 2008.

"The British Midlands has a critical mass of game developers and a very successful gaming industry," said Vern Sebby, President and CEO of The British Midlands Development Corporation, "Gaming is big business, but all indicators point to the fact that Serious Gaming will represent a larger market than traditional gaming."

Another factor contributing to the success of the [tag-tec] Serious Gaming industry in The British Midlands is the work coming out of the University of Birmingham. Professor Robert Stone, Chair of Interactive Multimedia Systems at the University of Birmingham and Research Director for the Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre, mentioned above, is working on a wide range of Serious Gaming programs and applications for the UK military and for other stakeholders.

In addition to providing consultative input to the US Pulse!! virtual healthcare program, led by Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Professor Stone and his team are developing:

- Defence and Civilian Surgical Trainers

- Mental Health Therapy Support Tools

- Explosive Ordnance Search and Disposal Planning Support Tools

- Unmanned Land/Air/Underwater Vehicle Demonstrators

— Close-Range Weapons Training

- Submarine Spatial Awareness Training

- Marine Archaeology/Heritage and Environmental Awareness Education Applications

- Space physics education demonstrators

The market potential for Serious Games is immense and demand for the various applications is on the rise. To put it in perspective, the global leisure gaming software industry was worth over $23 billion in 2006. The potential for a market catering to corporate, military, and healthcare industries will far exceed the demand for leisure products.

The British Midlands is the top business environment for Serious Gaming in Europe. Supported by gaming curriculum in 5 regional universities, including the Serious Games Institute at Coventry University, and over 160 gaming companies, The Midlands has the infrastructure for companies pursuing growth and success in the gaming industry.

About The British Midlands Development Corporation

The British Midlands Development Corporation is the North American economic development agency for central England. The Midlands region is located to the northwest of London and includes the major commercial centers of Birmingham, Nottingham, Coventry and Northampton.

As an agency funded by the UK Government, The British Midlands Development Corporation provides specialist advice and support to North American companies seeking to invest or expand in the region. The British Midlands Development Corporation provides access to business networks, details about sources for grants and funding, business support services, and information to help companies identify overseas investment and corporate relocation opportunities to develop and grow.

The British Midlands Development Corporation is based in Chicago with branch offices in Boston, Washington DC and San Jose. For more information, please visit our website at"

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