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Getting blown away at the SXSW ScreenBurn Festival...Literally!

Company: SXSW
Product: SXSW Scren Burn

I had the pleasure of attending SXSW and the ScreenBurn Festival this past week in Austin, TX. Though some inclement and untimely weather has dampened some of the outside events and blown a few things around, I am nice and dry inside getting blown away another way. I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes getting owned in Halo 2 by the PMS Clan's Tart. I also got schooled in Ubisoft's new Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2, or G.R.A.W. 2 for short, by the Frag Doll's Calyber and Brooklyn.

This year's ScreenBurn not only saw an expansion of its game panel track, but also hosted a huge arcade with many companies showing off new toys and wares. I had an opportunity to play Ubisoft's new DS game JAM: Sessions before anyone out there. I will be bringing you more of these highlights over the next few days. I also had a chance to see some of the industry's greats like Warren Spector and Will Wright.

ARG's were on everyone's lips. No, I don't mean there were a bunch of angry pirates. ARG's are a new wave of gaming involving a combination of real world puzzle-solving and digital sleuthing. Though originally a giant marketing ploy, they are gaining a lot of interest and big prizes.

ScreenBurn also played host to the EVO Evolution Championship Southern Qualifier. Hordes of fast-twitch, custom controller-toting, trash-talking fighters huddled around each other to see who would come out as king of the fighters. Pre-competition saw small groups huddled around hand-carried TVs preparing for war.

It was a great week, and I will be bringing you the highlights from here in Austin as SXSW continues.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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