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  • RED INK A slew of earnings reports this week showed Microsoft’s console and PC gaming sales DOWN 12 percent, Sony’s gaming and computer sales DOWN 37 percent and Nintendo’s Wii and DS sales DOWN 40%. On the software side, Ubisoft’s first quarter sales were DOWN 51% and Viacom said Rock Band sales were DOWN 41%. The one bright spot: THQ’s earnings were UP 77% on the strength of UFC and Red Faction: Guerrilla, proving once again that the road to riches is paved by hitting stuff.
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS FAIL Electronic Arts courted controversy this week with a Dante’s Inferno “Sin to Win” promotion that asked Comic-Con attendees to post pictures of their “Acts of Lust” with booth babes. EA issued an apology, then picked this picture for a runner up prize, so… um… hmmm… yeah.
  • SILVER SCREEN An updated list of games that may or may not be getting movies. Infamous, YES. Grand Theft Auto: NO! Myst, YES. Halo, NOT ANYMORE! Gears of War, YES! The Rock in Gears of War… apparently not, according to director Len Wiseman!
  • WORKING THE SYSTEM London’s Telegraph newspaper reported this week on plans by psychiatrists to offer in-game counseling to addicted World of Warcraft players. In related news, Alcoholics Anonymous announced this week they’d start holding meetings at bars!
  • POWER TO THE PEOPLE In Germany, an Internet petition protesting a potential violent game ban has garnered 68,000 signatures and forced a public hearing on the matter. Wait, an internet petition actually did something useful? That can’t be right… no apparently that’s right. Wow.
  • FIFTEEN YEARS AGO this week, the newly formed Interactive Digital Software Association proposed a game rating system to Congress. Fifteen years later, nearly one in four parents apparently don’t generally care if little Billy wants to kill a bunch of virtual hookers.
  • AND FINALLY THIS WEEK concept art has leaked out for “Epic Mickey” a secretive Warren Spector project for the Wii set in a post-apocalyptic, Disney-infused steampunk universe. Just like Uncle Walt envisioned decades ago.