- Time to wander back, a few days later, and see what we've been putting up on Gamasutra, GameCareerGuide.com, GamesOnDeck, and our various other sites, and there's a few interesting things of some relevance to GameSetWatch readers and other freaks alike:

- Barker Gets All Spooky: Oop, this JUST got posted, but our colleagues are running the Hollywood & Games Summit down in L.A. starting today, and we've got coverage of the Clive Barker keynote up now. And he's a very sweet, passionate defender of the whole 'games as art' silliness: "We can debate what art is, we can debate it forever. But if the experience moves you, some way or another, even if it just moves your bowels, I think it’s worthy of some serious study... Games mean something to a lot of people." Mm, bowels!

[UPDATE: Aha, and now we've got a write-up of Heroes & Lost exec. producer Jesse Alexander's session, where he talks about the influence of ARGs like Majestic on the shows (!), and says nice things about Game Developer magazine (!!) Cookies all around, I say.]

- Stop XBLA Lag, Developers!: We posted a gigantic Xbox Live Arcade-related interview on Gamasutra today, quizzing Microsoft's Chris Early on the past, present, and future of the service. My favorite bit, as we extracted in the 'highlights' news story, was his terrifically understated PSN smackdown ("Over time I hope they do discover things that are great that we can appropriate as well") - but he also talks about lag problems and Contra for XBLA, saying, quite correctly, of those Xbox 360 games that do lag out for everyone: "At the end of the day, it is a function of how the developers code the game."

- Cellphone Gamers' Spend?: Last week's BREW Conference in San Diego for mobile developers wasn't a complete blockbuster event, but Jon Jordan did file an interesting story for GamesOnDeck which revealed (via EA Mobile's Travis Boatman) how much each cellphone game player was actually spending for their game or games in today's market: "Labelled 'Average game revenue per unique purchaser', the slide detailed the change of this metric for the top five North America mobile publishers between Q4 2006 to Q1 2007. The figures were: EA went from $8.35 to $8.55 per unique purchaser; Gameloft from $7.36 to $7.83; Glu remained steady at $7.67 for both periods of time; while Namco rose from $7.02 to $7.42; and I-Play from $7.04 to $7.46."

- ESRB's Trailer Crackdown: A brief mention of the ESRB game trailer story, since we at Gamasutra were one of the first to break it in more detail. Though the ESRB essentially ended up claiming it was 'business as usual', and it's true that trailers are _not_ assigned ratings separately to games, it seems likely that the ESRB is actively and even retrospectively cracking down on game video that doesn't meet Advertising Review Council standards. As we noted in a later update: "Following the statement, Ziff Davis's GameVideos.com website has revealed to Gamasutra that it was asked by Microsoft to remove a Gears Of War video from its website last week, apparently also because it violated ESRB standards." And this trailer originally debuted in January.

As GamePolitics points out, the action isn't without precedent, but, as they also ask: "Whether the timing of the ESRB’s move is related to publicity over last week’s Manhunt 2 controversy or represents a more generalized crackdown is not known." There could be a variety of reasons for the ESRB getting more hardline here, but I do believe that they are, and given that the current trailer guideline is the incredibly vague: "No advertisement should contain any content that is likely to cause serious or widespread offense to the average consumer", there's plenty of stick for the ratings body to wield there.

- Game Developer SMASH!: Brandon Sheffield started his San Diego Studio Tour by talking to Rockstar San Diego's Alan Wasserman, a feat in itself, since the lesser spotted Rockstar employee doesn't get to give interviews too often, and though there's plenty of worthy talk in there, my favorite quote is probably a frivolous one: "We spoil our sound guys enough to hear things like 'that explosion is last-gen,' whatever that means. It's right down to where we literally had a recording session where we hired crane operators to drop cars from 25 feet in the air. Then we heard things like, 'Well that's a small car, let's get a big car,' or, 'What happens when we take this car and smash it against a bus?' There's some cool videos of that." And yes, people get paid to do this.

[Other original articles include a Game Career Guide 'Ask The Experts' post discussing choosing a game-related major, as well as a Washington policy wonk opining on gaming parental controls and a discussion of online PR for games. So there.]