No one who buys Wii games is ever heard from again…

Before heading out for the holidays, Jamie shot me a link from Kotaku about research from Networked Insights looking at the top-10 "most engaging games" from October 2008 compared to the top-10 sellers according to NPD Group.

Apparently they measured "engagement" by measuring how much online chatter there is about a game on message boards, blogs, and the rest of the Intercubes. It is interesting to note that the hot sellers are not necessarily the hot discussion topics. I think the most telling thing on here is the dominance in sales of the exclusive Wii titles contrasting with their almost total absence from the engagement list. Is it that Wii games are bought by non-gamers who are less likely to chat about games online? Or that they are bought by non-gamers and are therefore less tech inclined than people who buy hardcore games … or maybe its just not as interesting to talk about Wii Play in a discussion forum. Probably a little of each.

Virtual Interaction Patented, Everyone To Be Sued

Remember an online venture from around 1994 called Worlds.com? Me neither. But apparently they filed to patent Virtual Worlds back in 2000, and it finally went through. According to Edge:

"The patent in question describes methods to allow a user to "interact with other users in a virtual space" through a server, with an avatar representing each user.

The patent's abstract reads in part, "The present invention provides a highly scalable architecture for a three-dimensional graphical, multi-user, interactive virtual world system.""

So off the top of my head, this patent should enable them to sue the companies responsible for these Webthings: Playstation Home, World of Warcraft, Everquest Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Second Life, Halo 3, Madden Football … and I bet their lawyers could make a case to sue the likes of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

All in all it sounds a little bit like if I Love Lucy had patented the sitcom, or if the Wright Brothers had patented "means of moving things through the air."  It should be interesting to see what happens with this in the long term. I just can't see how this can be allowed to stand without jeopardizing the further development of the Internet.

(Image Via Fred Cavazza)