Brain Age: Day 2

Screenshot of Brain Age on Nintendo DS

Recapping a week’s worth of E3 isn’t as easy as I thought, so that’s still in the works. And Dr. Kawashima had the nerve to chastise me for spending two weeks away!

Day 2 – May 16, 2006

Brain Age: 30
Stroop test
Connect Maze
Speed Counting

Training
Calculations x20: 36sec (Missed 0 = no penalty)
Calculations x100: 2min 54sec (Missed 5 = 24sec penalty)
Low to High: 33 points (6 correct)
Reading Aloud: 4.2 syllables (1min 54sec)

Brain Age: Day 1

Brain Age for Nintendo DS box cover art

I will cataloging everything I do and don’t do — although I’m not going to post on a day and say, I didn’t turn it on, nothing happened. We’ll see how long it is before I get bored of posting something nearly every day.

Day 1 – May 4, 2006

Brain Age: 46
Stroop test

Training
No training completed.

Microsoft Xbox 360 Community and Blogger Bus at E3 2006

Something pretty cool happened as part of the work I do with Microsoft on Xbox 360 (and of course, Microsoft Games Studios). One of the pieces of what I do, but really run by someone else at my job, involves maintaining relationships with bloggers large and not so large. As my introduction on Xbox.com and in posts on some of the message boards I work on, I get to know a lot of regular gamers and, especially in the case of NeoGAF, a few developers and journalists. Obviously we invite them to things like the San Francisco event we had in March and we’re doing a few things at E3 this year as well. One of the things we recognized at these events is that it has always been logistically difficult to provide Internet access to everyone that needs it to complete some sort of online communication, from journalists to bloggers to people on the message boards. This was especially true back in October 2005 when I attended an event in New York where all sorts of journalists came to preview the launch window game titles for the first time and, at night, we had PMS Clan members and message board members coming by to play and hang out. It would have been nice to give all of them some ability to go online.

Xbox blogger bus location at E3 2006Going into our planning for E3, we recognized the need for these very same contacts and friends of ours to have ready access to the Internet. As John Porcaro over on the Microsoft side of things explains on the Gamerscore Blog, determining and getting approval on where we could put aside some physical space to let people hook up to the Internet. We couldn’t put it anywhere in or near the Microsoft booth, there just wasn’t room left, nor did we want to take some place that was out of the way — even if it was available. After much talking amongst ourselves and with the E3 staff, we got ourselves a nice big parking spot right out front of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Not only that, but the bus is this huge coach which will be conveniently wrapped in Xbox 360 branding. Of course, if you’ve been playing attention to the maps linked earlier, the bus just happens to be right in the route many people will take to head to the West Hall when going to check out Sony’s and Nintendo’s respective booths. Hopefully the bus will serve to distract them a just little.

My schedule has not been finalized yet, but I will be spending some time in and near the bus over the full three days of E3. Ask for me if you happen to drop by, I would be more than happy to meet you.

More details on who will be there, who is invited and how to find out if you can get invited to the bus at the aforementioned Gamerscore Blog.

I’m spoiled by the new Xbox Live

Original version of Xbox Live dashboard on Xbox

The current iteration of Xbox Live has really spoiled me in a couple of ways. On the original Xbox and Xbox Live, it was nice and important to know who on your friends list was online and what game they are playing. So of course with the Xbox 360 release, Xbox Live tells you that information and then lets you know what they are doing in the game: what level or map they are on, often what particular activity they are doing, status about their character/persona, the score of the (sports) game they are playing, or, like with Oblivion, their level and current health.

Xbox Live friends list blade on Xbox 360Which brings me to wish that Final Fantasy XI was able to pass along similar information. I’m guessing that, along with the fact that you couldn’t really award retroactive achievements, there might be some technical reason that stands in the way of reporting that type of information back to the dashboard or Xbox.com friends lists. The thing is with PlayOnline was that I knew whomever was online on their friends list was playing FFXI. Now when I see them on “PlayOnline Viewer” I want to know details! FFXI or, unlikely, TetraMaster? Why isn’t it the mysterious Final Fantasy XI entry/icon which only shows me as playing it the day I installed it. I also want to see what their character name is, what server they are on and what jobs and levels they have active at that moment. It just seems… to fit… and satiate my curiousity about people I didn’t know were playing MMOs/FFXI.