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Round-Up: Pokémon Bundle, Tactical Iraqi, Touching Winners

Today's round-up includes information on a new Japanese bundle for the still in-play GameCube, an interesting 'serious games'-related Iraqi language-learning project, and...
Today's round-up includes information on a new Japanese bundle for the still in-play GameCube, an interesting 'serious games'-related Iraqi language-learning project, and the winners of a touch-heavy Nintendo competition, as well as the latest product news, letters to the editor, and job postings. - Nintendo is promoting the Japanese release of the GameCube title Pokémon XD with a special hardware bundle that includes the game. The bundle consists of a silver GameCube console, a copy of Pokémon XD, and a Memory Card 59, the smallest available size of GameCube memory cards. The bundle will retail for 16,680 yen and launch on August 4th, the same day as the standalone version of the game hits shelves. Unlike many other promotional GameCube packs, the included system will be a standard silver GC with no Pokémon logos or art on it. - An unusual project, currently recruiting for developers on Gamasutra, is targeting reconstruction efforts in Iraq for its 'serious games'-related educational efforts. Tactical Iraqi, produced by Tactical Language Training LLC in collaboration with the University of Southern California "is a computer-based, self-paced, learning program that in about 80 hours teaches English-speaking people totally unfamiliar with Iraqi Arabic how to speak enough to accomplish tasks and missions in Arabic." The software uses Epic's Unreal Engine to accomplish its goals, and is currently under evaluation at the United States Military Academy at West Point. - The results are in for Nintendo's "Touching is Good" competition, which invited participants to use a free mannequin hand in whatever way they saw fit to create touching-based artwork. Perhaps inevitably, the three winners were all gaming-themed; first and second prizes went to still photographs of the mannequin hand touching a Donkey Konga drum and a 1UP mushroom framed between its fingers. The grand prize went to a video that intercut between real-life scenes and a first-person view of the same events done in a video game style, using the mannequin hand as the entrant's interface with the world. - Also updated today: product news including fresh licensing deals for foliage engine SpeedTreeRT, the latest artist gallery from Shiny Entertainment special effects artist Bryan Erck, as well as a new Letter To The Editor from Tadhg Kelly discussing the recent Hero's Journey feature, and recent job postings, including positions from Electronic Arts Tiburon, EmSense Corp, Flying Lab Software, gameLab, Gameloft, Irrational Games, Midway Games, Tactical Language Training, Ubisoft Shanghai Studio, and Vizible Corporation.

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