Channel 4

Channel 4 launch Sims 3 web TV series

Tom Senior at

The SuperMes is a Channel 4 reality TV show about virtual housemates. The series has been created using the Sims 3, with plotlines based on the unchoreographed actions of the house's four inhabitants. Gamasutra mention that the first episode is online now, and you'll find it embedded above.

It's interesting to see a major broadcasting house using taking advantage of procedural storytelling. Anyone who loves the Sims games already knows how good they are at generating ridiculous tales, and the SuperMes feels like a professionally produced after-action report. Chief creative Paul Brennun describes it as "a true collaboration between humans and robots" over on Televisual, adding "this is one of the most exciting projects we have made yet and points to the future of interactive storytelling." What do you reckon?

Channel 4 launches Murderball, the Wheelchair Rugby webgame

Tom Hatfield at

Channel Four are no strangers to game making, having previously funded The Curfew and Privates and now Eurogamer let us know they've launched a Murderball webgame on their Paralympics Games site. Murderball, for those that aren't familiar with it, is more commonly (but less awesomely) known as Wheelchair Rugby, or Quad Rugby. Teams of four pass the ball between them and try and get in into the opposing endzone. What makes awesome is that it's a full contact sport, and the main way to win possession is to slam your wheelchair into your opponent so hard it knocks him over.

You'll probably spend the first few minutes accidentally throwing the ball out of bounds while you get used to the different movement, but when you get the hang of things, the game becomes surprisingly fun. Impacts between chairs feel really brutal, and particularly hard ones will leave little blood spatters along the ground. There's a tactical aspect too; like real Murderball, each player is rated on the severity of their disability from 0.5 to 3.5, and you can't field more than 8 points of players at once. The result is a careful balancing act as you decide whether to drop points on one star player or go for a more even, team based approach.

It's a fun little game, and a good way to while away a some time if you're bored this evening. It makes me wonder why no-one has ever tried to make a proper Murderball game. While the sport doesn't have a lot of mainstream exposure, it's fun, violent, tactical and it's called Murderball. How can that not sell?

Channel 4 to close digital investment arm

Jaz McDougall at

Channel 4, one of the UK's publicly funded TV broadcasters, is shutting down its digital investment division, 4iP.

New Chief executive David Abraham has decided to scrap the investment division, which had an initial budget of £20 million. 4iP reportedly has around £6 million remaining in it's investment fund, and, before it sinks into the molten lava that courses beneath all UK office blocks, has pledged to spend that on "digital format innovation." Turning TV shows into games, then.

Channel 4's Education division, responsible for games like Privates and The Curfew, is not affected by the change.

[via Develop]

Correction: This story originally indicated that 4ip was responsible for partly funding Channel 4's educational games initiative. This was incorrect, and the story has been changed to reflect that.

Stay in and play The Curfew

Jaz McDougall at

I've just had a play of The Curfew, the game by Littleloud, written by Kieron Gillen. If you were thinking of it as an educational game, you need to stop that nonsense right now. It's an adventure game with quite good music, and one quarter of it is ready to play.