Mass High Tech reports that Harmonix Music System Inc. is up for sale from its parent company Viacom Inc., according to Viacom’s third quarter earnings release announced this morning.

As part of its ongoing Science on Screen series, the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline will present a special showing of HACKERS together with a presentation by renowned game designer Jesse Schell, founder and CEO of Schell Games and former chair of the International Game Developers Association, on Monday, October 11 at 7:00 pm.

HACKERS, starring Angelina Jolie, Jonny Lee Miller, and Matthew Lillard, pits a group of Nintendo-generation “keyboard cowboys” against an evil former hacker turned corporate computer security chief who is trying to frame them for his own nefarious crimes.  Featuring enormous videogame imagery, a ’90s cyberculture aesthetic, and a terrific electronica soundtrack (not to mention discussion of wildly futuristic devices like 28.8k modems), this 1995 film is a cult favorite. 

Guest speaker Jesse Schell has created a stir with his theory of the “Gamepocalypse,” a future “beyond Facebook,” where games have converged with reality to the point that everything in life is a game. “Hackers is a fascinating movie,” he says, “because its captures the growing sense that the main purpose of technology is for fun and games.”  Before the film, Schell will talk about which parts of HACKERS have come true, will come true, and will never come true, and where technology and gaming are headed.

Schell is professor of entertainment technology at Carnegie Mellon University and founder of Schell Games, a Pittsburgh-based company which specializes in creating online games, interactive theme park attractions, console and handheld games, and virtual worlds. Previously, he was the creative director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio.  The former chair of the International Game Developers Association, Shell is also the author of The Art of Game Design, Game Developer magazine’s 2008 book of the year.  In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by MIT’s Technology Review.  

Tickets are $9.75 general admission, $7.75 students and Museum of Science members, and free for Coolidge Corner Theatre members, and may be purchased at www.coolidge.org or at the Coolidge box office, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline.  For more information about this event and about Science on Screen, visit www.coolidge.org/science.

Our NE Games SIG mixer in June was held at Champions in Boston (thanks to all who attended!) We had such a great turn-out that we’ll be hosting similar meet-ups on the last Thursday of every other month moving forward!

Join the NE Games SIG for a casual, end of the summer get together at KINGS at Legacy Place in Dedham this Thursday, August 26th at 7pm. KINGS is at 950 Providence Highway (Route 1) in Dedham, which is right off of Route 95 and 25 minutes outside of Boston.

Come down to bowl, grab a drink and some food, and chat about the latest in the industry, what is in store for PAX, and to just plain connect with others in your industry.

Look forward to seeing you there! (This is a come as you are and pay your own way event.)

Inside Social Games reports that Cambridge-based Conduit Labs has been acquired by social-games powerhouse Zynga, and will become Zynga Boston.

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is moving his videogame company, 38 Studios, currently based in Maynard, Massachusetts, to Rhode Island. The deal will bring Schilling’s company a $75 million loan guarantee backed by that state. Read the Boston.com article.

Curt Schilling’s game company 38 Studios has given name to its first game project. The Maynard-based company’s game, previously code-named Project Mercury, will be a single-player role-playing game (RPG) named Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The game is being developed by 38 Studios’ Maryland subsidiary Big Huge Games, which it acquired in May of 2009 for an undisclosed amount.  Read the Mass High Tech article.

GameSpot and the Boston Globe report that on the precipice of its debut game’s world premiere, Curt Schilling‘s 38 Studios is considering relocation to Rhode Island for a possible $75 million in loan guarantees.

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