Round Up: Meridian4/Manifesto, Bunnyfoot Ads, eDimensional/Child's Play

Today's round-up includes news of a distribution deal between Meridian4 and Manifesto Games, research agency Bunnyfoot validating in-game ads, and eDimensional's Child's ...
Today's round-up includes news of a distribution deal between Meridian4 and Manifesto Games, research agency Bunnyfoot validating in-game ads, and eDimensional's Child's Play contribution, as well as the latest Game Career Guide updates, Serious Games Source posts, GameSetWatch posts and Gamasutra job postings. - Officials from Meridian4 (Shadowgrounds) announced that the company has signed a distribution deal with Manifesto Games, an independent gaming portal originally formed in 2005 to help build a strong and viable independent PC game industry. The Manifesto Games portal offers independently-developed games for sale via direct download, and is intended to be a hub where fans of offbeat and niche games can find titles that are otherwise difficult to locate. Meridian4 titles Space Hack, Daemonica, Great Journey, RIP, Dark Matter and RIP Strike Back are now available via the portal, with more set to be released in the coming weeks. - UK behavioral research consultant firm Bunnyfoot announced the launch of its standardized metric to validate the investment costs of in-game advertising. According to Bunnyfoot officials, key to the company's solution is its ability to passively observe and record gamers at play by capturing eye tracking and physiological data, such as heart rate and galvanic skin response. Officials note that Bunnyfoot’s ‘emotive engagement model’ has the ability to predict consumer response to in-game advertising with an independent standardized metric, called the Sponsor Fixation Index (SFI). By monitoring visual and emotional responses during game play, the SFI correlates excitement and receptiveness with isolated game events or gameplay dynamics. Once these events have been identified, the delivery of in-game advertising can be tailored for optimal impact. Bunnyfoot also indicated that a recent study, which included titles such as Project Gotham Racing 3, NBA Live and Gran Turismo 3, revealed significant shortcomings in in-game advertising models, mostly due to the fact that such advertising “fails to factor in emotional engagement and moments of peak excitement.” The firm found that SFI scores, in conjunction with standard recall and recognition rates, were exceedingly low, and in some cases completely absent, in relation to the prevalence of advertising within each game. - Third-party peripheral company eDimensional announced that is has made a donation of over $5,000 in PC accessories and 3D movies including 3D viewing glasses to the Child's Play Charity, a gamer-focused toy drive organized by web-comic Penny Arcade. The company also donated several copies of its Voice Buddy software, which allows handicapped and other individuals to play games using their voice. Kristin Lindsay, Child’s Play coordinator notes, “The eDimensional donation will raise money towards toys, games and other items for Children’s Hospitals all over the world, to bring a little brightness to a sick child this winter. When gamers give back, it makes a big difference.” For more information on Child’s Play, visit the official website. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at the hidden dangers of using a Wii remote, the winners of the 2006 IF Comp for text adventures, and the creation of the NES Paul guitar. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Serious Games Source include a look at a panel on working with game developers from the recent Serious Games Summit DC 2006. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include news of the first ARTmageddon Festival at the Art Institute of Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Concrete Games, Edge of Reality, Incinerator Studios, NaturalMotion, Page 44 Studios, Pandemic Studios, Relic Entertainment, and Sucker Punch Productions.

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