DS beauty tips/bacteria buzz/church vs. PS3

My article on a new Konami game for the Nintendo DS that gives beauty tips has this blogger response. But I do have to ask: Isn’t the idea behind the game a trifle too sexist for people outside Japan? One of the recommended etiquette tips: Don’t put on makeup on the commuter train. That’s so Tokyo!
Net buzz about my bacteria story.
The scientists aren’t saying they can stop mutation. But they’ve figured out a way to put the message in four places in the bacteria to increase the chances it will survive intact.
An interesting news story this past week is the controversy over a PS3 game called “Resistance: Fall of Man.”
Some scenes take place in what looks like Manchester Cathedral, and cathedral officials say they didn’t grant permission and they’re complaining.
The Sony spokeswoman in Tokyo says the company is talking with cathedral officials.
Overnight in London, our reporter there talked with a cathedral official who denies Sony is talking to them at all.
There was no comment from Sony in that story about the denial although Sony has an office in Europe.
I contacted the spokesman there by email, and he confirms (once again) Sony is in talks with Manchester Cathedral officials.
But there will be no further public comment, he says.
Is a bloody shooting in a cathedral different from other similar violent scenes involving landmark buildings like King Kong and the Empire State Building/Godzilla and the Tokyo Tower?
And aren’t such virtual bloodbath games offensive to some people, regardless of where they take place?
This is from some time back but someone found my cultural take on the difference between MySpace and mixi interesting.
And finally:
A great place to keep track of my stories complete with color photos!

Social Networking

MySpace faces stiff competition in Japan
Kenji Kasahara the founder of Mixi, Fumi Yamazaki at Technorati Japan, consultant Ko Orita, researcher Michiko Yoshida and SNS user Jun Yamagishi are among the people interviewed in my story on the cultural differences playing out in social networking services in Japan vs. the U.S.
Cultural differences make for an old story but how they emerge in new kinds of services are new _ and, what’s fascinating, confirm old ideas we may otherwise be tempted to dismiss as stereotypes.
Of course, there are similarities.
And how the various services that develop in each culture may take advantage of that cultural characteristic to strengthen technology and services that cater to that characteristic may even allow a service to translate into other cultures in the future.
Technorati’s Yamazaki says the key to getting a successful SNS going (in either country) is to attract young people and get them “addicted,” that is, get the kids to keep coming back.
She told me about a booming Mixi community that’s called “Mattaku wake ga wakarimasen,” or “This makes absolutely no sense at all,” where people write in absurd situations they’ve run across.
Maybe part of the reason why Yoshida at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo keeps calling much of what’s on Mixi “gomi” or “garbage.”
But she says there are interesting SNS communities, too, like the one by ANA mileage card holders who exchange travel information. That sprang up as a consumer, rather than ANA, initiative.
Yoshida thinks SNS will diversify and develop more business uses _ and become with time perhaps less gomi.

Story on Washington Post online.