I’m Sorry Facebook, I Just Don’t Love You Anymore…

In an article previewing the changes Facebook recently made public, Mashable’s Ben Parr indicated that Facebook was making the changes because it wanted to rekindle an emotional connection with users.

After years of dating, the magic between Facebook and its users has dissipated. It’s a natural evolution in any relationship, but now there is another suitor vying for Facebook’s users. And a lot of people think this suitor is easy on the eyes.
That’s why Facebook launched three recent changes: revamped Friend Lists, a real-time news ticker, and the subscribe button… But these changes are just the beginning. The changes Facebook will roll out on Thursday are designed to enhance the emotional connection its users have to each other through Facebook.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but this strategy isn’t working for me! My relationship with Facebook has never gotten old because like an insecure lover, it’s never stopped demanding my attention, to the point of provoking annoyance. I’ve given it a lot of attention, integrating it into my professional and personal lives, but it’s proven unpredictable, unsure of the terms under which it wants to participate. It’s time to cool things off. Since Facebook has so few concerns about private affairs going public, how would you like to read my Dear John Letter to Facebook?
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Video Game Sales in the Middle East

Here is an interesting post analyzing factors that may be impacting the sale of products such as XBox, Wii and PlayStation in the Middle East.

Video games are on the list of the most popular mainstream media, which makes up an important percentage of social activity for a considerable portion of youngsters worldwide. The Middle East region is no exception; video games are as popular in the region as it is anywhere else in the world despite the minimal support/focus of the major hardware players Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Their lack of interest in the region – so far – keeps the doors open for piracy to nourish and dominate the regional video games industry. For instance, almost every Nintendo Wii in Saudi Arabia is modified with a special chip to allow the machine to play pirated games that cost 3$ to 8$ in comparison to the original games costing around $80 – $100 in the region – even higher than their prices in many western countries.

Among the factors considered, religious sensitivities, stereotyping, marketing strategies and the impact of piracy. He makes some good points. I would particularly like to see some of the locally produced games.

The offensive portrayal of Arabs in some Western video games has triggered local Arab production companies to come up with their own version of video games to protect their identity and perspective of the state of affairs of the regional conflicts. Afkar Media, a Syrian company, has already produced different games with nationalism streak: Under Ash, a political game that tells the story of the first intifada from the Palestinian perspective. Under Siege, is another political game that tells the story of a Palestinian family and their struggle during the second intifada (1999-2002). Quraish, the first Arabic 3D real strategy game (RTS), tracks the origins of Islam in the desert of Arabic 590 A.C.

via ThoughtPick