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Round Up: Gen Con & VGL, Firaxis Podcast, Moore On Wii

Today's round-up includes news of Gen Con hosting Video Games Live with the Indianapolis Symphony, excerpts from the first official Firaxis podcast, and quotes from Micro...
Today's round-up includes news of Gen Con hosting Video Games Live with the Indianapolis Symphony, excerpts from the first official Firaxis podcast, and quotes from Microsoft's Peter Moore from a recent community event regarding his thoughts on the Wii controller, as well as the latest GameSetWatch posts, Serious Games Source news, and Gamasutra job postings. - Gen Con announced that it will host the upcoming Video Games Live concert event, which will feature music from several popular video games performed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Two Video Games Live concerts will be performed Friday and Saturday, August 11 and 12, at 8 p.m. at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. These special performances will be presented in conjunction with the Gen Con Indy Convention that will be held in Indianapolis August 10-13 at the Indianapolis Convention Center. - Recently, developer Firaxis launched the first episode of its official podcast, which details some of the effort and people that go into the creation of games for the storied video game developer. The first episode contains a brief history of Firaxis, as well as conversations with producers, the QA manager, and Sid Meier himself. Meier hinted that he is currently working on a new “top secret” project, but that nothing else can be revealed at this time. Regarding game testing, Firaxis' head of quality assurance Tim McCracken noted that while testers do, in essence, get paid to play games, the job is not as easy as it sounds. “Remember that end scene from Clockwork Orange where he's tied down, you know the torture scene? It's like that, but a little bit more interactive,” joked McCracken. “While we do get to play games, imagine playing Mario, level 1, for four hours straight.” - At a recent roundtable conversation held during an Electronic Arts community event that was recorded by Gamertag Radio, Microsoft's Peter Moore commented on a number of topics, including his thoughts on the controller for Nintendo's upcoming Wii console. His statements, which echo those made by him during his recent appearance on the podcast hosted by Microsoft's Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb, indicated that while he was impressed with how the Wii remote worked with Sonic Wildfire, he was less impressed with the upcoming Wii title Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz. Moore also commented on the growing complexity of today's gaming controllers, stating that "...shoulder buttons, triggers, analog sticks, d-pads, I mean, there's a lot going on there when you compare it to the old Atari 2600 button-and-stick, which everybody could pick up and have some fun with." He added: "Clearly, I think that the Wii is trying to get back to those days, although when I picked it up, I was surprised how much stuff there is on there, and it took me a while even then to get going on those things. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include news of a lecture by Harmonix Music creative director Josh Randall, the latest 'Our Blazing Destiny' comic, and a speed run through Sony's critically acclaimed ICO. - Also updated today: Serious Games Source news on Stottler Henke providing serious game contestants with development tools and USC using a new analysis tool on a serious game, plus the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring openings from Activision, Activision/Vicarious Visions, Blizzard Entertainment, Iron Lore Entertainment, Novint Technologies, and Sony Computer Entertainment America.

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