Gaming

 There's an odd contrdiction here at the Game Developers Conference. There's a obvious Mac presence in the form of people using Macs. It feels like about a third of the crowd here is using a Mac notebook, mostly iBooks and PowerBooks, but there are some MacBooks around. Considering the Mac's small stature in the games market, it's surprising to see this many Macs. At the same time, several people we spoke to are both surprised and disappointed that there aren't more games for the Mac. Some people felt that the introduction of the Intel Mac would open up the Mac as a gaming platform, but the first Intel Mac was released well over a year ago, and we're still waiting for that rush of games we were hoping for. And, of course, we hear over and over again, "I use a Windows box only for work, but I have a Mac at home," or "I would buy a Mac if I didn't have to use a Windows box for work."

Sony unveils a new online virtual world. Ho hum.

 The growth of the Mac market has caught the attention of the gaming industry. At the Game Developer Conference 2007 in San Francisco, several developers showed off games and gaming gadgets that will find their way to the Mac market. Here's a preview of three upcoming product on display at the GDC. 

Kid Pix Deluxe 3X 1.1.1

The interface is as fun to look at as the app is to use. For kids, we mean. Mac games for kids can be fun, entertaining, and even educational, but how about letting your wee one exercise the creative part of her developing brain? Get Kid Pix Deluxe 3X for your progeny, and you might be surprised at how prolific they become - not to mention the ball they'll have drawing, painting, and even animating, instead of just playing some games. 

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

The wisecracking cat is back - on your Mac!

Bone: Out from Boneville

Annoying woodland creatures? Check. Based on Jeff Smith's award-winning comic series, Bone: Out from Boneville is the first chapter in a point-and-click adventure game series. You follow the adventures of three cousins: Fone Bone, the all-around nice guy; Phoney Bone, the disgruntled, money-obsessed scam artist; and Smiley Bone, the laid-back musician. After Phoney Bone's mayoral campaign in Boneville ends in disaster, the Bones are run out of their home and end up lost in the desert. It's up to you to get the Bones back to Boneville.

From dissaffected garage mechanic to savior of the entire planet, our here Tommy has a tough row to hoe. Aspyr has released a demo version of Prey, a first-person shooter based upon the story of Tommy, a going-nowhere Cherokee youth. His life's a dead end, he's abandoned his Native American heritage, and he's in an existential funk - basically, he's a nobody going nowhere. 

The Sims 2: Open for Business

We're finally realizing our Eliza Doolittle dreams by opening a modest flower shop. Many people dream of breaking free from The Man by starting a business. Sims are no different. The Sims 2: Open for Business expansion pack gives your Sims the ability to start and run a business. It's satisfying, but after a while, Open for Business is all about work. And that doesn't sound like - or is - much fun. 

Mindstorms NXT

Currently patrolling our editorial offices, pestering late editors. LEGO's Mindstorms NXT is 577 pieces of the LEGO goodness that you grew up with, but it's now designed for digitally influenced imaginations.Mindstorms NXT is a robot-building kit. You can build robots with arms, legs, claws, wheels, and more, but the core of the Mindstorms NXT kit is the Intelligent Brick, which holds programs that are used to make your robot perform. The Brick has connectors so you can attach robot parts to it, four sensors (light, sound, touch, and ultrasonic) to help your robot react, and three servomotors for movement. 

Call of Duty 2

"Anyone here know a Private Ryan?" The original Call of Duty blasted its way out of the trenches of other WWII first-person shooters and Medal of Honor clones. Call of Duty 2 follows the same tried-and-true formula as its predecessor but pushes the envelope further with sharper graphics (though slowdowns do occur), new gameplay concepts and mission structures, more historical background, and a progressive single-player campaign with an addicting multiplayer mode. To veteran COD players, COD2 won't be revolutionary, but it will feel like putting on a freshly pressed version of your old fatigues.