Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Gaming in Canada

The industry has been ballooning for a while now, ever since developers were successful in persuading a luddite by comparison public that video games are more story than candy; and more art than child’s play.

There are 329 video game companies operating in Canada, employing over 16,500 people, and contributing over $2.3-billion to the country’s GDP, according to a recent report from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.

Lots of homegrown talent in Canada, the report says, referring to Canada’s reputation as a video game developer abroad. Canada has the third largest video game development industry in the world, after U.S. and Japan.

Warner Bros. Games Montreal, Gameloft, and Ubisoft are some of the recognizable companies operating in Canada, if only from their TV commercials: “Man, video games sure have come a long way,” is something most of us don’t need to hear every time a Call of Duty trailer airs. But there are many more, 20 in Manitoba, for example. And this report does not take into account our incredible indie gaming community.

The report breaks down where these companies are nesting in Canada, but which province is often decided by the tax incentives offered. Quebec is a popular place, according to the numbers. See below.

Screengrab from report.
Screengrab from report.

Batman: Arkham Origins was created in Montreal by Warner Bros. Games.

And the average age of the Canadian gamer is 31, and 61 per cent of all Canadian households own at least one console. [Source: ESAC report]

2. WolfCop gets green light

A group of Regina filmmakers have been awarded $1M to produce their brainchild movie WolfCop and release it to Cineplex theatres in January, 2014.  Lowell Dean, Bernie Hernando, and Hugh Patterson found out Sunday, and filming of the horror/fantasy is already underway in Regina.

Indie film accelerator CineCoup put on the competition, which based its shortlist and eventual winner on a two-minute trailer every applicant has to submit to be considered.

And it will be, in part, a celebration of the Canadian Prairies.

“Without screaming where [in Regina] it is, I think the province of Saskatchewan will be happy with how Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw and Regina are represented in this film,” J. Joly, CEO of CineCoup, told Global News.

The film is about a bad man, bad cop, who becomes a good man, and a good cop through turning into a werewolf. [Source: Global News]

See trailer below.

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 3. U.S. may stop spying on its friends 

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to order the cessation of eavesdropping on the leaders of American allies, news sources said Monday. This, after reports that the National Security Agency had for years been monitoring the cellphone of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This revelation comes amid an internal review over intelligence gathering methods prompted by whistleblower Edward J. Snowden. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democratic lawmaker, was made aware of this tap, and thought it unnecessary to be listening on those the U.S. deems friendly.

“I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers.” Feinstein said in a release.

The White House has not yet come out with a final decision, but the fact it’s entertaining the program’s stoppage is a critical turn for the NSA, which has been accused of having the unchecked power to plug into the private lives of anyone it wants. [Source: NP]

4. Winnipeg Police Service is on Twitter (and it may face budget cuts)

At the time of this writing, @wpgpolic has tweeted nine times on its newly-created account. One of those went to, the scooper of this news brief:

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 9.43.34 AM

It’s a shame they couldn’t get @winnipegpolice, an account using the Winnipeg Police Service’s crest, posting police releases, but is not officially affiliated with the organization.

Twitter is free, so those in charge of social media will not have to worry about any cuts proposed in the Matrix Consulting report appearing at city hall Tuesday.

According to news reports, cuts to the cold case and stolen auto unit may be suggested. [Source: and CBC]

5. Death, interestingly

The National Post has been doing a great job prepping its readers for Halloween. And in one stand-out infographic by a stellar graphics team, the paper did a spread on death entitled You’ve died. Now what?

Religion is a perennially interesting topic for those who grew up going to church and for many more, no matter which side of the fence you sit on. And this graph puts into perspective the diversity of belief systems currently alive and well. It should make you think. [Source: NP]


Toban Dyck writes at home and in Winnipeg, and farms in southern Manitoba. He is currently mired in the intricacies of GMO. Follow him @tobandyck

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