Barring a real-life version of Thriller's music video, the King of Pop will probably never moonwalk among us again. However, his memories live on in the minds of his fans, his music, and... a massively multiplayer online PC game? Seriously, World, why not just make a calendar where every day of the year is April 1 and just be done with it?
The game's called Planet Michael, and it's slated to launch late next year. So, how's it work? Will our face have slots for upgrades? Not quite, unfortunately. Here's the gist, straight from developer SEE Virtual Worlds:
“At its core, Planet Michael is a massive social gaming experience that will allow everyone, from the hardcore fan to the novice, to connect and engage in collaborative in-game activities with people worldwide. Entire continents will be created that will celebrate Michael's unique genius in a way that underscores his place as the greatest artist of all time.”
The game world itself, meanwhile, will be composed of “visuals drawn from Michael’s music, his life, and the global issues that concerned him.” Well, at least it won't be dull.
Us, we'll probably spend most of our time on the Smooth Criminal continent. Not so much the Neverland continent; we've heard that place is kind of, er, weird.
No matter how many companies try, we're not sure USB flash drives preloaded with music or movies will ever generate the kind of sales marketing gurus envision, but Kingston and Sony, along with the help of the late king of pop, are nevertheless going to try.
Timed to the DVD and Blu-ray release of Michael Jackson's "This Is It," Kingston plans to release a limited edition 2GB drive with the flick preloaded on the memory stick. According to Kingston, the film can be backed up on up to three PCs and works with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
"Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is dedicated to exploring new distribution channels, and we are pleased to work together with Kingston on a program that introduces consumers to Flash memory as a vehicle for enjoying their favorite movies on devices like netbooks and PCs," said Sony Pictures Home Entertainment senior vice president digital distribution Joe Arancio.
The drive will be available on January 26 for $20.
If you watched Michael Jackson's memorial live online, you were far from alone in doing so. According to Akamai, more than 2,185,000 live and on-demand streams in both Flash and Windows Media formats recorded 3,924,370 visitors per minute as of 1PM EST, and more than 3.3 million visitors per minute overall.
Akamai says it was the second-largest day in terms of total traffic on its network. So what day claims the top spot? June 25th, when 4,247,971 global visitors per minute made a mad dash for news sites after reports started flooding in that the king of pop had passed on.
As one might expect, the influx of traffic caused a lot of rebuffering. The live streams served up more than 2 terabits per second during the memorial service held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Akamai says it delivered 548Gbps of live and on-demand Flash streams. Video stalls were particularly common in Asia, where the time spent waiting rather than watching reached as high as 40 percent, compared to 5 percent in the U.S.
“The e-mail, which claims to come from email@example.com, says that the attached ZIP file contains secret songs and photos of Michael Jackson,” Sophos senior tech consultant Graham Cluley wrote about one such email in recent blog entry.
“However, the reality is that opening the attachment exposes you to infection - and if your computer is hit you will be spreading the worm onto other internet users. Besides spreading via e-mail, the malware is also capable of spreading as an Autorun component on USB memory sticks (an increasingly common trend for malware as use of these devices has become more and more popular).” If you find such an email in your mailbox, just beat it!
We’re sure that, at some point in your life, you saw that part in Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” video where he dances while killing some guy with a friggin’ gun and thought, “Gee whiz, I wish I could be that cool!” Well, you can’t. It’s actually impossible. We checked. However, EA’s free-to-play online shooter Battlefield Heroes may now be your best chance at looking the part with the addition of two Michael Jackson-themed outfits.
If you’re a goodie two-shoes, the aforementioned Smooth Criminal Suit of Ultimate Snazz is up for grabs, and if you play as a bad guy, Jackson’s black suit from – what else – “Bad” is yours for the taking. Both are free for everyone, making this the only situation in which being an ostentatiously dressed Michael Jackson in the middle of a warzone won’t make you stand out. Also, thanks to EA’s charitable action, “Bad” and “Smooth Criminal” will probably be stuck in your head for a decent portion of the rest of your life.
Both outfits are available at the Battlefield Heroes website. We can’t think of anything else to say because “Smooth Criminal” has now taken up permanent (and every loud) residence in our craniums. Comment about… something. Or whatever.