Microsoft’s ‘Battle for Beauty’ could use some work...

by Kole McRae

This weekend the fine folks at Microsoft created what they claim to be the "biggest HTML5 game made.” HTML5 is the next evolution of the HTML standard and one of it’s many features is video support and the ability to create fully featured games. It basically replaces Adobe Flash, which has been the dominate player in video and gaming content online.

The game is called "The Battle for Beauty" and although I like the concept, the implementation left lots to be desired.

The basic idea was to set up some giant screens in the Entertainment District in Toronto and have people throw softballs at the screens to destroy clutter, worms, spyware, etc. At the same time, people across Canada would also be playing at home on their computers.

This is an ad for IE9, Microsoft’s newest internet browser and is an attempt to show off the technology it now supports. Which would be great if it actually worked.

The main issue is that the game didn’t really work. At home it would lag horribly and not respond well to your controls and in person using the giant screens was even worse. People would throw the softball they were given at pro baseball speeds, get a direct hit and the monster still wouldn’t register being killed. In the end it was probably just Microsoft trying to do too much with technology that just hasn’t developed enough yet.

It’s obvious that they are shooting for the 20 something crowd with this game. Doing the promotion in the Entertainment District and only after 9pm makes that quite clear. This is the demographic that is most likely to use Chrome and Firefox at the moment and with the issues listed above I don’t think they converted very many people.

I must admit though, IE9 is surprisingly good when compared to previous iterations of the browser. It is compliant with most modern web standards (such as CSS3, HTML5, etc) and is incredibly secure.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Development Center (VDC) is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The centre is home to some of the best and brightest software developers from around the world. Since opening its doors in September 2007, the VDC has quickly become an intricate part of Microsoft’s global strategy for distributed software development. VDC employees play a key role in architecting systems,... more

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Kole McRae

Kole McRae

Kole is a tech journalist and all round nice guy. He was built by a mad scientist with the parts of lesser writers. He was made to destroy the world but ends up just eating ramen all day and writing tech news. more

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