3 features Minecraft on Xbox Live desperately needs

By now it's pretty obvious that the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft isn't nearly as complex as the PC original. While updates are in the works, certain elements from the main game simply won't carry over to the 360. Since mods are out of the question, the next content update is the perfect vessel to turn the console edition into the most streamlined-yet-enjoyable version of Minecraft yet.

Gamer fashion: The finest in pajama-pants design

Fashionable. That's how I describe my circle of gaming friends. They know that nothing is classier during 15-hour sessions of Diablo III than a cashmere ascot, a pair of decorative spectacles, and an eight-inch cigarette holder. It's with that type of class in mind that I present to you the height of gaming fashion: The licensed sleeping trousers.

Look at this Super Mario-themed fish tank and be jealous

I don't own any fish for a couple of reasons. First off, I think their lack of companionship and affection make them lousy pets. Secondly, I don't really like the taste of seafood, so I can't even watch them swim away their boring, sad lives while I imagine how delicious they would taste. Still, seeing this awesome, Mario-themed water tank almost makes me want to go out and start a small aquarium of my own. Almost.

Dragon’s Dogma: Bad controls tarnish great combat

In the grassy fields of Gransys, my party of four treads the sunlit pastures looking out for claymore-wielding bandits and red-skinned goblins. I’m prowling for a fight, you see, because that’s what up-and-coming adventurer-heroes do. And after the spear-armed lizard men who reside deep in the sewer gave us a skewering, I’m itching to hone our battle skills in order to better hold our own next time.

Does console have a future?

While recent headlines such as “Game sales crash!” and “Games retail collapses!” don’t paint a rosy picture, I believe the report of the death of console games is an exaggeration. Yet an uncertain future faces those console games companies that choose not to evolve rapidly.

Badgeville’s Kris Duggan: Six frameworks can gamify employee and customer engagement (interview)

Brands have embraced “gamification,” or using game-like behavior in non-game applications, as a way to engage their audiences. That is why gamification vendor Badgeville has more than 165 customers and is announcing today that it has raised $25 million in a new round of funding. Kris Duggan, chief executive of Badgeville, says gamification will let brands engage and retain their audiences. It also enables companies to inspire employees to collaborate or compete. Badgeville has a “behavior platform” to enable companies to measure and influence behavior by using game techniques. You can give salespeople rewards for hitting targets. Companies can embed the platform in web, mobile, social, and enterprise applications. Duggan’s team focuses on six “frameworks,” or templates that enable companies to improve behavior. Those include core gamification programs for web sites; programs for rewarding community experts; competitive pyramids; gentle guides for completing tasks such as tutorials; incentives for collaboration; and challenges to create competition with company departments. We caught up with Duggan for an interview on gamification. Here is an edited transcript.

4 surprises we want to see at E3

T-minus seven days to the big show…the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the biggest video game trade show in America, arguably the world. Trust me when I say most of our schedules are already locked down for the entire week, with behind-closed-door meetings, after-hours parties, and two-hour windows for sleep meticulously planned out.