Round Up: Microsoft/ESPN, Game Violence, Illuminate&Volvo

Today's round-up includes news of a bevy of Xbox 360 ads during tonight's SportsCenter, a new study on the effects of video game violence, and Volvo Technology Transfer's...
Today's round-up includes news of a bevy of Xbox 360 ads during tonight's SportsCenter, a new study on the effects of video game violence, and Volvo Technology Transfer's increased ownership in Illuminate Labs, as well as the latest Game Career Guide updates, Serious Games Source posts, GameSetWatch posts and Gamasutra job postings. - Microsoft representatives announced that the Xbox 360 will be the sole advertiser during tonight's SportsCenter broadcast on ESPN at 8pm PST/ 11:00 pm EST. Microsoft will air a total of seven minutes of national commercial time with Xbox 360 ads such as the new “Cops and Robbers” ad and the popular “Mad World” ad promoting Gears of War. Microsoft and ESPN also plan to kick off “The Ultimate Xbox 360 Entertainment Experience”, a three week online sweepstakes that will ask ESPN viewers five questions about the commercial spots. Those who get three or more questions correct on the official website will automatically be entered for the chance to win a variety of prizes, including a free trip to Bristol, Connecticut to visit the set of ESPN’s SportsCenter. Additional prizes include an Xbox 360 and video games, as well as Xbox 360 accessories. The sweepstakes runs until December 18. - The Radiological Society of North America has released findings from a recent study that indicate those who play violent video games “may exhibit lingering effects on brain function, including increased activity in the region of the brain that governs emotional arousal and decreased activity in the brain's executive function, which is associated with control, focus and concentration.” The findings were presented today at the organization's annual meeting. The study was spearheaded by Vincent P. Mathews, M.D., a professor of radiology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. As part of the study, Dr. Mathews and colleagues randomly assigned 44 adolescents to play either a violent video game or a nonviolent video game for 30 minutes, and studied brain functions to measure inhibition and concentration. One test used emotional stimuli and one did not. According to the researchers, compared with the group that played the nonviolent game, the group that played the violent video game demonstrated less activation in the prefrontal portions of the brain, which are involved in inhibition, concentration and self-control, and more activation in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional arousal. - Officials from Illuminate Labs, developers of developer tool Turtle and its core technology LiquidLight, announced that corporate venture capital company Volvo Technology Transfer has "substantially" increased its ownership position in Illuminate Labs. According to the company, the added ownership was achieved through a recent new emission of shares to the majority owners of Illuminate Labs. “We are very pleased to have the continued support of Volvo Technology Transfer,” commented Magnus Wennerholm, CEO, Illuminate Labs. “With Turtle we have developed a very interesting and useful technology with which to meet the specific requirements inherent in interactive product visualization.” - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister alt.gaming weblog GameSetWatch include a look at an educational Flash game 'borrowing' from Sega, a user-created comic marrying Monolith's F.E.A.R. with items from IKEA's furniture catalog, and a reminder regarding New York City's upcoming Blip Festival. - The latest updates from Gamasutra sister website Game Career Guide include news of a call for papers for GAME-ON ASIA 2007 and the Asian Simulation Technology Conference 2007. - Also updated today: the latest Gamasutra job postings, including openings from Amaze Entertainment, FXLabs Studios, Juice Games, Nihilistic Software, Spark Unlimited, Superscape, Treyarch, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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