GameStop’s New Gadget

November 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

BEYOND THE BUBBLE

By Victoria Ahmadi
vahmadi@smu.edu

GameStop Corporation announced last month that it has selected Google’s Android mobile operating system as its official tablet device.

The corporation has been planning its addition for several months. GameStop is in the midst of transforming its store concept while digital gaming systems are on the rise.

It is striving to meet the demands and needs of the consumer, most of whom are starting to play games on the go. It is important that GameStop stay on trend with innovations in technology in order to stay afloat.

Camp Murphy, district manager for GameStop says that mobile gaming is the only way for consumers to experience new games, as no physical media exists. This sales model impacts the casual gamer and represents a small total amount of game industry sales. GameStop’s primary entrance into mobile gaming is through its Kongregate.com brand on Android devices.

The corporation’s most recent quarterly financial results depict a 3% decrease in revenue from $1.79 billion in 2010 to $1.74 billion in 2011. A primary factor in the decrease is the 12% drop in hardware sales and 10% drop in software sales.

When a significant amount of time passes without the release of new consoles or software, the market stays flat. In 2010 GameStop had sales of $9.47 billion, which had been a steady increase from previous years.

The sales slow down is in part due to the lack of new consoles on the market and the shift from consoles to portable devices (i.e. computers, tablets, mobile phones, iOS devices, etc.). The introduction of a new major video game console is the biggest boost of business for GameStop, even more so than new software. The last console to be released was Nintendo Wii in 2006 and there isn’t any talk of a new release until early 2013.

District manager Murphy of the Washington D.C. area says that the holiday selling season accounts for roughly 60% of business at GameStop. Post-holiday sales are generally very strong as well. The industry is very much tied to the release of new titles. At this stage big releases come throughout the year.

“Traditionally, there are a handful of highly anticipated titles released in early spring, early summer, back-to-school and the biggest titles release is in the October through November holiday shopping season,” Murphy said.

GameStop is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Grapevine, TX. It is the world’s largest multichannel retailer of physical and digital video game products and PC entertainment software. The company operates more than 6,500 retail stores worldwide and online outlets including GameStop.com and EBgames.com. GameStop also publishes Game Informer magazine, a popular video game publication.

It sells gaming products including new and used software, hardware and a large selection of accessories. Last month GameStop announced that its stores would be taking old iOS devices (iPhones, iPods and iPads) in exchange for cash or store credit.

“GameStop is the only brick and mortar retailer partnering with Microsoft and Sony to deliver DLC directly to gamers,” said Murphy. “Gamers have always had the option to purchase downloadable content (DLC) directly from their Xbox 360 or Play Station 3 console but that purchase model requires a credit card tied to the online account.”

At GameStop, customers can pay for the same DLC offered online via credit card, cash, check or even by trading games.

GameStop’s latest earning press release shows a 69% increase in digital sales in its second quarter. This drastic increase portrays a changing dynamic between digital and analog gaming.

Jose Gutierrez, a 24-year-old video gamer feels that the wave of digital gaming is a huge improvement in the way that people can access games. “I believe it’s an easier way to entertain yourself in one device rather than having different CDs and apparatuses…plus tablets are easy to use,” he said.

“As a consumer it’s way easier to not have to visit a store for games because you have it in the palm of your hands.”

On the other hand, 22-year-old Brian Blair of Plano still likes to go to GameStop stores. He says that he doesn’t see consoles coming off the market anytime soon. “Digital gaming will never be able to compare…consoles allow people to sit back and use their TV’s in the comfort of their home,” he said. “Mobile gaming is pretty awesome but it won’t ever be able to have that at-home feel.”

GameStop’s consumer market is made up of primarily two groups of people. The first is a younger audience mostly composed of children and teens in grade school. The second is an older clientele, which consists of the parents of young gamers and adult gamers. While the cost of games ranges anywhere from $10 to $70, only those with a true gaming passion and who have disposable income can afford to make regular GameStop purchases.

Senator John Cornyn To Speak At Commencement Ceremony

March 29, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Aida Ahmed
aahmed@smu.edu

SMU News and Communications announced Tuesday afternoon that U.S. Senator John Cornyn will be the speaker for the 2011 Commencement ceremony.

According to the press release, SMU expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees at the 96th Commencement ceremony.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner also said in the press release that he is honored Sen. Cornyn will be addressing graduates at the university’s 100th anniversary.

“Senator Cornyn has been a tremendous leader and public servant for the state of Texas and our nation,” Turner said. “In the United States Senate, he addresses some of the most critical issues of our time, among them the federal budget, technology, the military, immigration and border security. He has pioneered legislation to make government records more accessible to the public.”

Texans re-elected Sen. Cornyn in 2008 for a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He was first elected to the Senate in 2002 after serving as a district judge, a member of the Texas Supreme Court and as Texas Attorney General. Sen. Cornyn currently sits on the Senate Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees.

The ceremony will be held May 14 at 9:30 a.m. in Moody Coliseum.

Big D Blog: Finding Cheap Gas

March 28, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Posted By Felicia Logan
flogan@smu.edu

With gas prices on the rise, drivers are looking for ways to save, particularly students. Currently, the average gas price in Dallas is $3.46 per gallon.

(COURTESY GASBUDDY.COM)

Here is my list of websites where you can find the cheapest gas near you:
- Gas Buddy
- Dallas Gas Prices
- Fuel Me Up

These sites enable drivers to find the cheapest gas available in the city, price changes and compare prices to the national average. Gas prices are updated in real-time and Gas Buddy even shows prices based on the grade of gas you use.

Some of them can be accessed through apps for your phone. Using these tools you can find the cheapest gas station on your daily route.

f. is for frank Trunk Show Begins New Phase For The Dallas Designers

March 17, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Caroline Foster
cfoster@smu.edu

Editor’s Note: We gave you a sneak peek of the Dallas-based metal design studio last week, but here is a recap of their latest trunk show at We Are 1976. It’s true we’re playing favorites here, f. is for frank is one of our favorite local design teams, but if you know of more local, hand-made jewelry studios we should feature please share the goods!

f. is for frank brings the a new flare to their jewelry concept with cufflinks and mixed metals in their latest collection. (PHOTO BY CAROLINE FOSTER / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)


Last Thursday the gals behind f. is for frank showed off their 2011 jewelry line at unique Henderson Avenue boutique We are 1976. This year the design duo focused on four different categories of rings, necklaces and bracelets. Each of the four mini collections has a common design influence from peacocks to Hickory nuts, woven texture and charms.

The designers Shannah Frank and Casey Melton met five years ago through a different business venture. After the economy turned downward Frank changed her focus from interior accessories to jewelry. The women then became business partners for the f. is for frank jewelry collection.

“Casey is more into experimental design, while I am very technical,” said Frank.

The ladies work together to create the line; the process is very hands on. First, they both sketch possible design options. Once a design is selected the piece is sculpted, cast in pewter and cleaned in their studio. Next, some of the pieces are plated in 24-karat gold or rose gold.

For the 2011 collection the team focused on appealing to a broader audience. They wanted to balance their large pieces with some smaller every-day pieces. The 2011 collection has the perfect balance of dainty necklaces that are perfect for layering, as well as many eye-catching statement rings and bangles. Also new this year? The duo introduces mixing metals in their pieces. This can be seen in many of their necklaces.

“This year we took everything a little bit further,” Frank said. Some of the stand-out pieces that Frank could be referring to are the atypical “heart” necklaces formed from an old hickory nut, (Melton’s personal favorite item from the new collection) or the large rabbit head rings.

The line is featured in boutiques around the country. In Dallas head to We are 1976 or Indigo 1745 to check out all of the unique baubles. You can also visit their website for some shopping, www.fisforfrank.com.

VIDEO: Health Care at Lew Sterrett Justice Center

February 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Bridget Bennett
brekow@smu.edu

Everyone has been talking about health care in their community. But have you ever wondered about how health care works in the jail community? The Daily Mustang’s Bridget Bennett went into Lew Sterrett Justice Center to find out exactly how inmates with illnesses are treated.

VIDEO: Dallas County Jail Healthcare from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

SMU Study: Doritos, Skechers Super Bowl Ads Garner Most Buzz On Social Media Sites

February 7, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Aida Ahmed
aahmed@smu.edu

This year’s Super Bowl was filled with the unexpected. Inclement weather, Christina Aguilera fumbling the words to the national anthem, and of course, the commercials.

Whether it was to support their team or watch the Black Eyed Peas at halftime, more people watched this year’s Super Bowl than ever before. According to Nielsen ratings, Super Bowl XLV was the most viewed telecast in broadcast history with 111 million viewers.

This comes as good news to advertisers who up to three million dollars on one 30-second Super Bowl commercial. But have you wondered which commercials create the most buzz, what commercials really get people talking around the country?

SMU advertising students Kate Elpers, William Webb and Kathryn Vinod set out to find which Super Bowl commercials were mentioned the most on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In their project, part of Professor Steve Edwards social media marketing class, the students tracked responses to 52 different ads on sites like FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Buzz in the 24 hours after the Super Bowl.

“Advertisers develop buzz around social media,” said advertising professor Steve Edwards. “A couple ads even solicited action by customers, like GoDaddy.com. I think the more outlandish and strange, the more we’ll see things on social media.

Working with the CEO of MutualMind, Babar Bhatti, the students captured almost half a million tweets and posts.

Bhatti, who started MutualMind two years ago, said this is the first time he has conducted this kind of survey.

“We used a proprietary tool in real time analysis to gauge positive and negative feedback,” Bhatti said. “The idea was to find which ad got the most buzz and find where the buzz is coming from, how long it lasts and the volume of the buzz.”

After they received the results the students then ranked the ads based on the pure volume of comments, as well as conducting a sentiment analysis which indicated the percentage of favorable comments.

Commercials for brands such a Doritos and Groupon made the list in the top ten most mentioned Super Bowl commercials mentioned on social media sites.

So what did they find?

The commercials for Doritos, Skechers and the Motorola Xoom were the top three mentioned on social media sites with 64,261 posts on the Doritos commercial. A little over a third were positive comments.

Number two on the list, Kim Kardashian’s Skechers commercial, was mentioned 55,597 times but a majority of the feedback was negative. Almost 30 percent of the comments were negative while 25 percent turned out to be positive.

Commercials for Suzuki, Planters and Royal Caribbean were each mentioned less than 100 times online, falling to the bottom of the list. Although they were mentioned the least, comments on these brands were almost all positive.

One thing the students found was that although the ads aired on television Sunday night, viewers have continued to comment on them on various social media sites. What was once a topic for the water cooler at work on Monday, now is a continuing dialogue that includes people around the world. Student researcher and SMU advertising major Kate Elpers says this is the new trend in advertising.

“Many of the commercials encouraged viewers to go online and preform an action,” said Elpers. “They are no longer just SuperBowl commercials, they are now commercials that start a conversation in social media.”

So regardless if the public reaction was positive or negative, Super Bowl ads have people talking, online.

“The opportunities for advertising have dramatically increased over the past couple years,” Elpers said. “Some say that traditional types of media no longer hold as much importance due to the movement online.

Click here for a full list of the 52 commercials tracked on social media sites.

The Daily Update: Wednesday, Jan. 26

January 26, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

President Obama delivers his State of the Union, T.D. Jakes speaks at SMU’s Tate Lecture and find out what Dale Hansen had to say at SMU’s Faculty Club Luncheon. All this and more on your Daily Update. Anchored by SMU-TV’s Bridget Bennett and Ashley Stainton.

Daily Update January 26, 2011 from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Dream Week Wraps Up With Unity Mixer

January 24, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Anne McCaslin Parker
annep@smu.edu

Dream Week at SMU came to a close on Friday evening in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Varsity as students gathered for a “Unity Mixer” to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King and share joy in his legacy.

Senior Zehra Farzal attended the celebration with her twin sister, Zainab Farzal.

“We have been coming every year,” Farzal said. “It is a really nice way for students to gather and end the week of events celebrating Dr. King and gives me a great sense of closure knowing the impact he had on our society.”

B.b.bop rice bowls, a new restaurant in Dallas, catered the event. Students had the opportunity to mix and mingle, enjoy food and birthday cake, while remembering and celebrating the life of MLK.

“It is wonderful that we are able to get together to stop and celebrate the legacy of this great man,” said Roza Essow, Political Action Chair for the Board of the Association of Black Students.

This night was special and meaningful for many students as they reflected on the legacy of Dr. King.

“This is a time for all of us to re-evaluate the true meaning of life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King in the past and in the present,” President of the ABS, Courtney Kelly, said. “It is a chance for all of us to remember the opportunities he provided for us.”

Burst the Bubble Blog: Row Your Boat at White Rock Lake

October 13, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Post by Elizabeth Lowe

Fall is here but the weather is still a Dallas-perfect 75 degrees – perfect for a jaunt outside The Bubble.

This week, consider exploring all there is to do around White Rock Lake.
The area is reminiscent of the bike, river and nature trails in Austin minus the drive and weekend crowds.

My personal favorite activity to do in Austin is kayaking on one of the city’s several rivers. Imagine my excitement when I heard White Rock Lake here in Dallas is offering kayak rentals this fall! Not only is the drive shorter, but it’s also a nice, quick break from the often mundane SMU weekend lifestyle of Greenville, Boulevarding, and Uptown.

White Rock Paddle Company is now renting kayaks and canoes through the end of October for various rates. For a mere $19.99 an hour, you can rent a tandem kayak or canoe to explore the lake with a friend. You can even stay out until sundown to catch a Texas sunset on White Rock.

The White Rock Paddle Co. also conducts lake trips for Thursday Nights at the Arboretum. Paddle or no paddle, this regular Thursday night live music event is another not-to-miss at White Rock.

Starting around 6 p.m., locals fill the open-air amphitheater with quilts, picnic baskets, and bottles of wine to watch an evening of live music on the lake. Beatlegras delighted concert-goers last month with their bluegrass-Beatles fusion and played past sunset making for a beautiful fall night.

Petty Theft, a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers tribute band, hits this amphitheater stage this week. Tickets are $16.00 for non-members, but you can pack your own picnic and drinks to make a night of it. My words of advice: get there early, bring a blanket, and pack bug spray. Gates open at 6 p.m. with music from 7-9 p.m.

Take advantage of this great weather and burst The Bubble outside on White Rock Lake. Whether you bike, kayak, or catch some tunes you’re sure to find a nice getaway just down the road.

Football Slideshow: SMU vs. Texas Tech

September 6, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Elizabeth Lowe
elowe@smu.edu

(PHOTOS BY STUART PALLEY / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)