Intel's gaming gambit highlights web's future

Intel's involvement in the new online game devised by Channel [V] is the chipmaker's first foray into gaming. More importantly, it opens up opportunities in new areas, said Intel's internet marketing manager, Kate Burleigh.

Last week, a new internet game devised by Channel [V], and brought to life with the assistance of Intel, was unveiled. The game features internet technologies and special effects produced by Intel's WebOutfitter service, Burleigh said.

"Channel [V] conceptualised the game concept and worked closely with us to bring their vision of the Channel [V] Supastar game to life. Both Channel [V] and Intel are promoting the free game to our respective audiences and it is expected that word of mouth and the buzz on the street will do the rest of the job for us," she said.

Although Channel [V] was chosen to work on the venture, "Intel is interested in working with websites that are capable of creating content that shows the power of the Pentium III processor and takes what is possible on the web to the next level", Burleigh said.

"If we think the content will appeal to our audience then we are certainly open to hearing from organisations with good ideas, but we are by no means limiting ourselves to games," said Burleigh, on the prospect of Intel playing a part in future web-based games releases.

The game, titled Supastar, is located on the game page of Channel [V]'s website (http://www.channelv.com.au) and on Intel's website (http://www.intel.com)," Burleigh said.

Supastar requires a Pentium III processor to run, uses an interface driven by Flash 4 plugged into a SQL database, and has all required information pulled from the database and delivered "in an interactive way to enhance the user experience", according to Burleigh.

The game is based around a player's attempts at surviving life as a music superstar. Players choose a character from a list of music industry-type characters, ranging from a pop starlet to a wild rocker. They then select a manager who assists in launching the player's career and keeps it chugging along at a reasonable speed.

The ultimate goal for the Supastar player is to improve his or her career, and to accumulate as many creativity, fame and good health points as possible by doing gigs, recording albums, and juggling a balanced lifestyle.

The player will also "need to monitor (their) money, fame, creativity and health. A drastic fall in any of these areas can seriously set your career back. We've tried to show the ups and downs of the music biz as you play, and to keep it as close to the 'real world' as possible," Burleigh said.

"It is expected that the game will build up a huge following from both the Channel [V] audience and also from Pentium III-based PC owners," Burleigh commented.

"We chose to work with Channel [V] because the format of their on-air program utilised the web a lot, suggesting that their key target audience of 13 to 25-year-olds is web-savvy and interested in keeping up to date with new and interesting content on the web," Burleigh said.

According to officials, a special trial month will be available to customers with a Pentium III processor throughout May, with general availability slated for June.

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