iPhone Gets Games
At their annual software development meeting earlier this week, Apple not only announced plans to make the iPhone a viable gaming platform, something that had been rumored since the thing came out, but to also make developing those games relatively cheap and easy (if you know what the hell you are doing, that is).

So far, games that have been announced for the iPhone include EA’s heavily anticipated evolution simulator, Spore, Sega’s crazy fun Super Monkey ball, and a handful of casual games like bowling, soccer, and racing from developer Freeverse.

As mentioned, developing for the platform will be relatively inexpensive. In fact, the software needed to make the games is free and available for download on Apple’s website as we speak. Once you have created your genius million-seller iPhone game (or games), you can then upload as many of them as you want to iTunes for a fee of $99 a year. If you choose to set a price for your game other than free, Apple then takes 30% of your profits, which doesn’t sound like such a bad deal since Apple has also set up $100 million fund specifically to aid would-be designers who meet their criteria, which has yet to be specified.

There are no details on any sort of rating or quality assurance for said software either but, as Microsoft did with its user-generated XNA software development initiative last year, it seems that with Apple’s help, portable gaming could soon go all YouTube on us very very soon.

Gary Gygax R.I.P.
We could make all sorts of quips about Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax, who died in his Wisconsin home last week at age 69 from an inoperable abdominal aortic aneurysm, running out of hit points or failing a successful saving throw, but we have too much love for what the man created to demean his memory like that.

Okay, so we kind of made them anyway, but we still love D&D (I still have the old-school Monster Manual, Monstrous Compendium, and Deities & Demigods books floating around my room–for real).

Many of our younger days were spent pouring over the various books and manuals as we would create characters and dungeon maps that would never get used because a brawl would ensue over who would be the Dungeon Master before my friends and I ever started playing (we never really knew all the rules anyway). Nonetheless, our memories are richer because of Mr. Gygax and his commitment to fantasy culture, even if our parents thought we were devil-worshipers at the time.

Were it not for Gygax and Dave Arneson toiling away at their first adventure back in 1973, the gaming industry may not have ever known huge phenomenon like Final Fantasy or Oblivion, not to mention the countless Dungeons & Dragons titles that were spawned out over the last 30 years.

So Gary, we roll our 20 sided die in your honor and may the big DM in the sky see you to ultimate victory.