Breaking the Bubble

Before the World Cup kicked off a week ago, not many people could identify a vuvuzela. That has changed in just a couple of days. The horns, which are favorites of fans at this year’s tournament, have caused much angst for fans watching the games at home who are not familiar with the buzzing the horns produce. FIFA, the international governing body of the sport and the organization behind the World Cup, has not denounced the use of the horns.

The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, kicked off on June 15 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and for three days game developers from around the world highlighted their upcoming games, hardware and other projects. Among the highlights were extensions of popular franchises, such as Halo: Reach, Gears of War 3, Portal 2 and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Nintendo promoted a pair of remakes for the Wii, airing a debut trailer for Goldeneye 007 and new footage from NBA Jam. As always, future game systems were in focus, and three-dimensional technology was a talking point for all three of the major game developers. Nintendo unveiled plans for its 3DS, a new hand-held device capable of projecting 3-D images on its own. Sony, meanwhile, will begin producing 3-D games for the Playstation 3 that can be used with the company’s new 3-D TV sets, and both Sony and Microsoft announced plans for motion-sensing technology.

The debate surrounding Iran’s growing uranium enrichment program heated up on Wednesday, June 16 when Iran announced that it planned to expand its atomic research programs—despite a round of sanctions by the United Nations (UN) a week earlier—and the U.S. government responded with sanctions of its own. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed his desire to punish Western nations for attempting to limit his nation’s capabilities. He added that he would soon announce new conditions for talks on the subject. In response, President Obama announced plans for a new round of sanctions that would target Iran’s financial and maritime industries.