Bare Knuckles | Making learning kids' play

Putting Sony PlayStations in schools seems a good idea, if not a new one.

Sony PlayStations in the classroom? What a novel idea. The game consoles would not be added to schoolrooms so kids could show off their latest Mortal Kombat moves; they can do that in the schoolyard. But to, gasp, learn stuff! Actually, this isn't so novel. The History Channel is using game engines to supplement programs, the armed forces use video games to teach tactics, and many schools use PC games to trick kids into actually retaining something. Sneaky. This is worth mentioning because British developer Relentless Software fine-tuned its popular quiz game, Buzz, in a collaboration with the Department for Education and Skills in Britain. The result is a 5,000-question game based on school curriculum. Think kids won't want to post the highest score on this game, too?

Sony stock sizzle

I am putting my Sony stick down today. Yes, I beat on that gang aplenty, but I just want them to get better. Well, this week was a fine start to the year for the PlayStation 3 maker, which saw its shares close Tuesday up 6.5 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, to 5,550 yen, or $46, the largest gain for Sony in a year. The company easily met the U.S. targets (one million consoles shipped) it set for itself, and Sony's other products, including TVs, also are doing well. We won't pick apart these numbers today, but simply flip the page in hopes of a continuously improving plot.

Execute Order 66

For those who don't know, the headline above is from Star Wars, when Darth Sidious initiates his plan to finish off the Jedi and rule the Empire. This week's Consumer Electronics Show wasn't much for video games, but Microsoft did announce that its Xbox 360 will be able to act as a set-top TV box by the next holiday season. Owners could watch a live football game while discussing it over Xbox Live with friends, all through a game console. That's pretty cool, but Microsoft has always wanted to provide and control these kinds of features in the home. If this venture proves successful, it will have conquered a major hill in the battle for control of your living room. Clever and very Dark-Side-of-the-Force as well.

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