Jun 7, 2010

Sesame Wii games use unique (and fuzzy) remote-control cover

For the first time, two video games will use a cover to actually hide buttons on the Wii Remote. "Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure" and "Cookie's Counting Carnival" games from Sesame Street will use the plush cover (Elmo, right) to make the Nintendo control less confusing for youngsters, the Associated Press reports. "We will be the first to introduce such an aid," said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop senior vice president of media distribution. "We're doing it so that preschoolers can play and learn from these Sesame Street games without feeling frustrated with the controller." The two titles are also the first Wii games from Sesame Workshop. The games are designed for 3- to 5-year-olds to be able to play without help from their parents.

Speaking of Sesame Street, don't miss the photos of the eighth annual Sesame Workshop Benefit Gala on June 2, now up on entertainment site Monsters and Critics. Word on the Street is it's the first time Snuffy attended.

Upcoming PBS concert has gamers excited

The video gaming community is going bonkers in anticipation of a PBS special airing July 31 and through August. And it's no wonder: According to the Video Games Live website, the 90-minute orchestral performance includes "never before televised live musical performances from the Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Halo, Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, God of War, Civilization, Chrono Cross, StarCraft and Guitar Hero franchises, including a musical journey through Classic Gaming." It describes the show as an "immersive concert event" featuring music from the video games along with "synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists, live action and unique interactive segments to create an explosive entertainment experience!" It adds that the event is put on by the video game industry "to help encourage and support the culture and art that video games have become." The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra does the honors for this concert (above), filmed in February in New Orleans. Watch the PBS trailer here. Will this bring in a younger audience? Well, as one comment post on the trailer says, "omg, i love pbs now."

"LZ" webinar registration opens

Registration is now open for the June 23 webinar on LZ Lambeau from the National Center for Media Engagement. The event, a belated welcome home to Vietnam vets, was the largest single outreach in public broadcasting, with around 70,000 participants over three days last month. At least three stations are now planning similar or scaled-down tributes; the webinar will feature reps from sponsoring station Wisconsin Public Television offering advice. A CPB-funded toolkit also is coming up.