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Authors Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby were interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation about their new book Smart Bomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment and Big Bucks in the Video Game Revolution.  Their book is another rendition of the history of video games told from a cozy almost “in-world” feeling.

3 cities in 12 days. Los Angeles to New York City to Austin to Washington DC and finally back to Los Angeles.

3 very different conferences - the first being Games for Change.

The world is divided among three superpowers: the United States, the United Kingdom, and al-Jazeera.

The world of Arabic satellite channels, that is.

Each of the three has claimed its section of this world, defining it in a tidy little package called a business model. The models created by the U.K. and al-Jazeera have filled, or plan to fill, specific voids in the marketplace. The third superpower has its business model too, but the void it attempts to fill is more vague than the others, and thus its goals have been more difficult to attain.

It is relatively clear to me where U.S. public diplomacy is headed in 2006. And so there’s really no reason to wait until late December, or New Year’s day, to make predictions about the coming new year.

Therefore, I will submit my predictions now, and take my chances.

WASHINGTON -- Oct. 22

Thursday night was a big night for Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language television news channel in the Middle East.

The preemptive lead story was the release of the UN report on the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon.

For most news organizations, it was a story worth at best three or four news reports. At Al Jazeera, editors decided this was the only story of the night.

Whoa that’s us in the Washington Post!

Check it out!

Video Game World Gives Peace a Chance

I’ve been trying to come up with a design to test and existing game to see if there are elements within it that would fall under the definition of public diplomacy.

The Bush administration has a new public diplomacy game plan to promote democracy within Iran. The idea is to build public support for democratic reform there and to pressure Iran's new hard line leadership into becoming more enlightened, especially where their nuclear aspirations are concerned.

The State Department's plan includes a Farsi-language television service beamed to Iran. But there are at least two problems with that public information concept.

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