Bioware to build an MMO?

(via Joystiq)

Gamebanshee has an article up with some details on Bioware’s opening of a development office in Austin, Texas.  Word is the folks there will be working on a new massively multiplayer game (MMO).

BioWare Austin Has Already Begun Work On A Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) title; the new game will mark BioWare’s debut in the Massively Multiplayer Online space. BioWare has recruited some of the top talent in MMO and RPG development, both to manage the development efforts at BioWare Austin and to collaborate with the experienced team at BioWare Edmonton, to develop a game that combines the best of BioWare’s great past games with a compelling persistent online experience. Joining the Austin team as lead designer is James Ohlen, BioWare’s Creative Director, whose previous credits include lead or co -lead design roles on Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic(.TM), Neverwinter Nights(.TM), Baldur’s Gate(.TM) and Baldur’s Gate II(.TM). Also leading the BWA team are MMO veterans Richard Vogel and Gordon Walton. Richard Vogel Brings 15 years of experience to BioWare Austin, previously serving as VP of Product Development for Sony Online Entertainment’s Austin studio, as well as launching Ultima Online(.TM) as a senior producer at Origin. Gordon Walton Recently Served As VP, studio manager and executive producer at Sony Online Entertainment as well as VP and Executive Producer at Electronic Arts.

If you don’t recognize those names, just let me assure you that’s some big-name talent coming in to the office.  Guess I’ll have another MMO to get in to once I tire of City of Heroes.

[tags]MMO, Bioware, Austin[/tags]

Blind must pass driver’s education in Chicago

Here is an excellent case of rules taking precedence over common sense.  In Chicago, apparently, no one on the educating side thought about fixing the problem with requiring the educated to pass driver’s ed, even if they are blind or sight impaired.

Most high school students eagerly await the day they pass driver’s education class. But 16-year-old Mayra Ramirez is indifferent about it.  Ramirez is blind, yet she and dozens of other visually impaired sophomores in Chicago schools are required to pass a written rules-of-the-road exam in order to graduate — a rule they say takes time away from subjects they might actually use.

Not everyone is oblivious to the problem:

“It defies logic to require blind students to take this course,” Meta Minton, spokeswoman for the state Board of Education, told the Chicago Tribune in a Friday story.

And here’s someone showing the typical bureaucratic response (that would be lay blame on the suffering party):

“I can’t explain why up to this point no one has raised the issue and suggested a better way for visually impaired students to opt out of driver’s ed,” said Chicago schools spokesman Michael Vaughn.

In other words, it’s not *our* fault these people have to do this – they haven’t asked out of it.  Never mind that it doesn’t make any sense. 

[tags]Driver’s ed, bureaucracy[/tags]