the babel machine


Friday, February 25, 2005

more stories in itjourno

The Epitome column of ITJourno Asia again highlighted my stories and those of my fellow members of the INQ7 editorial team, Leo Magno, Erwin Oliva and Alex Villafania.

And yup, just as we say at, gaming is serious business.

RP boys and gals push the beat

Some great reports out of the Philippines today.

IT Matters' Maricel Estavillo had one RP BPO player "close to buying a medical transcription (MT) company in India", while at INQ7, Joey Alarilla had some gaming goss, following an announcement that Korea’s Webzen Inc. will enter the US market this year. Erwin Oliva then had the National Bureau of Investigations confiscating "about five million pesos worth of computer hardware from at least five computer shops".

Joey Alarilla did a nice job highlighting why the "gold rush by Philippine companies to bring in foreign-made MMOGs" is endangering the nation's software industry.

"It’s healthy competition to have so many publishers of MMOGs here. The sad fact, however, is that instead of supporting potential game developers here, the game publishers buy the MMOGs from abroad, and they can only do so much in customizing the game," Alarilla had an RP gaming association head saying. Various gaming industry members were quoted as saying that the nation's publishers and players and general gaming proponents must support local developers and entrepreneurs.

Finally, Alexander Villafania had a kinda disturbing piece on how the Senate President believes the country can get around the controversial “national ID system.”


Stories of the Day

MRT, LRT told to study possibility of 24-hour operations for call centres
By Jeffrey O. Valisno and Ana Barbara Lorenz, IT Matters
SPI to acquire Indian transcription firm
By Maricel Estvillo, IT Matters
Look beyond MMOGs, RP game publishers urged
By Joey Alarilla, INQ7

Lead of the day

"Micromanagers, multi-taskers, control freaks and obsessive-compulsive gamers unite! This devilishly cute and devilishly addictive game from Nintendo will keep you up till you get every last treasure and raise 10,000 pokos."
From "He Got Game : Micromanage your way through Pikmin2" by Leo Magno, INQ7

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5 minutes with itjourno

ITJourno Asia, the subscription-only trade site for Asian tech journalists, has been coming out every Friday with a "5 minutes with..." profile of different journos each week.

This Friday was my turn. Special thanks to Victoria Lea (who writes the Epitome column) and Sara Kim.

Nicole, I hope you'll get to read this, hehe.

5 Minutes with Joey Alarilla
By Staff writers
25/02/2005 08:00:00 AM

He's got a thing for Nicole Kidman, he's ready for a mugging in New York, and he's a self-confessed optimist. ITJourno has five minutes with the Philippines' Joey Alarilla, columnist and editor at's technology section, Infotech.

A stranger asks: What do you do?

I'm a contributing editor and Infotech columnist for online news company I've been working for them for over four years now, since I was part of the team of guinea pigs - oops, I mean, pioneers - who had the exciting task of helping set it up.

I churn out a weekly gaming column, edit our site for the youth and another one for Filipino expats, and write tech news and features and PC and videogame reviews, as well as occasional lifestyle, entertainment and business feature pieces.

I've been telecommuting for almost two years now so that I can work while helping take care of my now three-year-old daughter. And pardon the shameless plug, but an essay I wrote about my telecommuting experience won third prize last year in the English category of the Don Carlos Palanca Awards, the most prestigious literary competition in the Philippines.

First break into journalism?

I started out as a staff writer for the first Philippine IT trade publication, Metropolitan Computer Times, and later on also wrote for PCWeek Philippines when they got the license from Ziff-Davis.

Why journalism?

I guess I've always had a knack for writing, and I've always been interested in technology. I like being a tech journalist because we can make more people aware of the benefits of technology and help them understand how it's changing the way we work and play.

Dream person to interview?

Does it have to be someone in IT? Because I'd rather live out my fantasy and interview Nicole Kidman.

Most tiresome thing about being a tech reporter?

Waiting for the changes we've been writing about for years to become a reality.

I mean, in an ideal world, everyone on this planet would have broadband and every home would have a PC or other device to keep us connected to the Internet.

Still, we've come a long way in the past few years, so I'm still an optimist when it comes to technology.

Who holds the balance of power in tech journalism in Asia - the
vendors or the media?

We journalists do, because we only answer to our readers. (OK, some of us may also answer to grumpy editors). At the end of the day, we'll write a story the way it needs to be told.

Microsoft, Apple and Red Hat all call you up on the same day, offering you the same salary, for just slightly varying degrees of your ideal job. Which one do you take?

Hmm, I think I'd wait for Google to call.

London, New York or Hong Kong... Where would you choose?

New York! Sure, I'll probably get mugged, but I've always seen New York as larger than life and the real capital of America. Hey, how come you didn't include Singapore?

Favourite restaurant in your city of residence?

That would be a toss-up up between Han Pao, a Chinese restaurant, and Persia House, now known as Mr. Kebab. They're not the kind of restaurants you'd go to in order to impress someone, but usually you'll find the best food in somewhat seedy places.

Flowers or chocolate... what's the way to a girl's heart?

I'd say chocolate, but then again I love chocolate and would probably end up eating some of it as well.

Best way for PR to contact you?

Their best bet would be to e-mail me. They could also try calling me up or send me SMS. I don't like snail mail.

Joey Alarilla is based in the Philippines. He can be reached at, or through his website The Babel Machine at

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ibm, sony execs talk about cell

IBM Fellow and lead architect for the Cell processor Jim Kahle and Sony Computer Entertainment spokeswoman Nanako Kato talk to hackenslash about the new chip that will power the PlayStation 3, as well as a host of consumer electronics and computer devices.

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luna cruz kicks ass

Read Luna Cruz's silverfilter interview in YOU's music section.

Luna has her own band, We Kick Ass for the Lord (I love the band name, Luna!), and no, it's not because they play Christian rock or something, hehe.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

going international?

Here's what ITJourno Asia, a subscription-only trade site for Asian tech journalists, had to say about my Fatal1ty article, which it cited in its Epitome column today.


INQ7's Joey Alarilla is going pretty international in his pieces of late, turning in a nice read on 'Fatal1ty', "considered by many to be the world’s best PC gamer and certainly the most well-known".

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i want my mmog

Sure, everyone wants to make money, but what does this gold rush by Philippine companies to bring in foreign-made MMOGs bode for the future of the Filipino game development industry?

Read my Infotech article.

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webzen enters us market

Yup, those South Korean giants are out to take over the US online gaming market. First NCsoft with City of Heroes and the highly anticipated Guild Wars, and now Webzen.

Webzen, best known to Filipinos as the developer of MU -- which is distributed in the Philippines by -- will set up a US office this year and unveil its US product lineup at E3 in May.

Webzen CEO Kim Nam Joo talked to to discuss the company's US expansion.

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a gamer named fatal1ty

Fatal1ty is the handle of Johnathan Wendel, considered by many to be the world’s best PC gamer and certainly the most well-known.

Now, however, Fatal1ty is also the brand name for a product line that the 23-year-old Wendel has helped develop, to ensure that the hardware would meet the stringent requirements of gamers.

Read all about it in this Infotech article.

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j marks the spot

Meet J. Angelo Racoma, our Tuesday YOU Blog Addict.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

itjourno cites 2 gaming articles

ITJourno Asia, the subscription-only trade site for Asian tech journalists, cited two of my stories in its Epitome column today.

Reporters go nuts for gaming, porn

In the Philippines, Joey Alarilla wrote up Singapore game distie iGames Asia’s “aggressive campaign” to make Vital Sign one of the top MMOG in the country:

“In deciding to enter the MMOG space, iGames Asia has committed more than 2.5 million Singaporean dollars to push Vital Sign in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia,” Alarilla wrote.

That was at INQ7, where Alarilla also penned an interview with the head of the World Cyber Games, who noted that despite more consumer pick-up "hardcore gamers are the most important customers and precious sources of feedback for game developers and industry people".

Meanwhile, according to Kerlyn Bautista at IT Matters, the RP gov is refusing to include in a schools project any ISP that won’t block porn.“[ICT] commissioner Damian Domingo O. Mapa said the government would exclude ISPs in the program if they could not bar 3,000 pornography sites created everyday from their networks,” Bautista wrote.

Great story... except Lawrence Casiraya at Computerworld Philippines also had it. Casiraya also had this great headline: “RP seen overtaking India in call center market by 2008”.


Stories of the Day

Uncertainty clouds IPTV picture
By Georgina Lee, The South China Morning
Post CSL to shift call centre to Guangdong
By Georgina Lee, The South China Morning Post
Search developers look to DNA
By Julia Zhu, The South China Morning Post
Signature system makes mark
By Stuart Biggs, The South China Morning Post
Singapore firm bullish on RP MMOG market
By Joey Alarilla, INQ7

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a smoke-free year

You know, with all the things I've been doing lately, what with the upcoming INQ7 anniversary and all, I forgot to blog that Saturday, February 19, marked the first anniversary of my decision to quit smoking, cold turkey.

Hmm, good thing I didn't celebrate the occasion by lighting up a ciggie, hehe. Where are Constantine's fags when you need them? And he was a Brit in the comic book series, OK, so fag means something else. Dunno about Keanu's fags though, heh.

I haven't seen the movie yet, though I hear it's pretty good, even if comic book fans won't forgive it for turning Constantine into an American and setting the film in LA. Of course, I was outraged myself when I first heard they were casting Keanu as JC and turning him into a Yank as a result -- hey, I stopped collecting but I was a huge Hellblazer fan.

But I'm trying to keep an open mind.

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hackenslash interviews wcg chief

Gaming has gotten bad press for allegedly promoting violence, but can you condemn the medium because of the sins of a few?

Hackenslash interviews Jeong Heung Seop, president of World Cyber Games organizer International Cyber Marketing Inc. about this issue.

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singapore firm bullish on rp mmog market

Think online gaming is just a fad in the Philippines? Companies across the region certainly don’t seem to think so, as Singapore-based game distributor iGames Asia Pte Ltd embarks on an aggressive campaign to make Vital Sign one of the top massively multiplayer online games in the country.

Check out my hackenslash story.

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tantra commercial launch

ABS-CBN Interactive's massively multiplayer online game Tantra will have its grand launch on February 25 to 26 and enter its pay-to-play phase in March.

Read all about it in my hackenslash article.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

online visionary

Say hello to Lagsh, our Friday YOU Blog Addict.

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