The DeanBeat: From the Supreme Court to Anonymous, 2011 was a transformational year for games

Skyrim was the “most played” game of the year, and we voted Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception our Game of the Year. But if you paid attention only to the big games this year, you may have missed some of the most important news ever to hit the game industry. It’s no exaggeration to say that 2011 was a transformational year for the game industry. As the game industry’s trade group chief, Michael Gallagher, said, “The word ‘historic’ is overused, but as we look back on 2011, it is a perfect fit for our industry’s year.” Here’s a recap of 13 events that made this such a big year for games.

Apple could bring facial recognition to the iPhone, à la Android

You can bet if one major smartphone manufacturer develops a new feature, its competitors will follow suit. Apple has applied for a facial recognition patent, according to an application form published by the U.S. Patent Office. Looks like Apple is right on Google’s heels; in mid-December the Android 4.0 Galaxy Nexus was released, with the ability to unlock the phone by recognizing your face touted as a key feature.

Meet 8 families who are making kid-friendly apps

Families are launching their own apps. With ideas that spark in living room labs, moms and dads are capturing great ideas and turning them into digital playgrounds. In this post you will meet several Bay Area developers who were inspired by the children in their lives to invent modern outlets for creative play. Their goal is to emphasize the conversational and educational potential of mobile technology.