[Showcasing highlights from big sister site Gamasutra's Member Blogs, Chris Remo hands out a lifetime Game Developer magazine subscription for a consideration of gaming's target markets and celebration of talent, and also consider dating games.]

In our weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra.

Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals.

Our favorite blog post of the week will earn its author a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra's sister publication, Game Developer magazine. (All magazine recipients outside of the United States or Canada will receive lifetime electronic subscriptions.)

We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines.

This Week's Standout Member Blogs

- Game Design and Target Market
(U. Collins Okonkwo)

What is the game industry's target market? What is the role of freelancers in development? Is talent properly celebrated? U. Collins Okonkwo addresses these questions and others in a massive post that is at times too sprawling for its own good, but certainly has a lot to say.

For his effort, Ugochukwu will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine.

- From the Outside Wanting In: XNA Community Games
(Ephriam Knight)

In the first of a planned series of articles about the openness and viability of developing for six major digital distribution channels -- covering PC, the three major consoles, and iPhone -- Ephriam Knight addresses XNA Community Games, which he describes as "one of the most public about its services" among the various platforms.

- Action-Packed Short-Form Games: An Ideal Date?
(Sande Chen)

Is there such a thing as a "date game," in the same sense as a "date movie"? Writer Sande Chen addresses that topic, considering the function of date activities, the emotional response to games, and gender as it relates to play.

- "Entertainment as a Service": To Change, or not to Change?
(Jake Romigh)

Valve has enjoyed great success and engendered player loyalty with its philosophy of treating games as services rather than products. Here, Jake Romigh examines that mentality and considers the effect it has on games.

- Can games create empathy?
(Kimberly Unger)

Can games create empathy? If so, why do players frequently spend so much time subjecting their avatars or other NPCs to ridiculous or demeaning situations? Kimberly Unger considers exploratory play.