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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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April 15, 2008 4:45 PM

PopCap's 'Bejeweled' used in N.J. marriage proposal; Nintendo prices Wii Balance Board; Peter Gabriel launches Web content 'Filter'

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

A few fun items for your afternoon perusal.

A New Jersey man proposed to his girlfriend by reprogramming "Bejeweled," a popular casual game made by Seattle's PopCap Games. Bernie Peng presented Tammy Li with a ring and a proposal when she reached a certain score, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., reported. Now Pop Cap is flying the couple to Seattle as part of their honeymoon this summer. Here's more from The Star-Ledger's story:

"After his sufficiently impressed girlfriend said yes, Peng posted the details of his feat on his blog. Then the fun really began.

"Peng's site received thousands of hits and more than 500 comments. The story was picked up by video gaming sites and spread across the internet until the video game manufacturer eventually heard about it.

"Instead of being angry that Peng hacked their video game and rewrote it from scratch, company officials were so impressed they offered to pay for part of his wedding to Tammy Li of Basking Ridge.

"'Most video game companies would frown on people manipulating their games,' said Garth Chouteau, a spokesman for PopCap, the Seattle company that manufacturers 'Bejeweled.'

"'But it won him a woman,' Chouteau said. 'As a bunch of geeks we have to say, "Bernie, hats off to you."

"PopCap is supplying more than 200 copies of 'Bejeweled 2 Deluxe' to hand out to wedding guests as favors at their August wedding. Company officials are also throwing in $1,000 for decorations to give the wedding a jewel theme and plan to fly the couple to Seattle as part of their honeymoon."

Nintendo is revving up the marketing engine again as it prepares for the U.S. launch of the Wii Balance Board and Wii Fit fitness game. The game and the peripheral device will be sold as a package for $89.99 beginning May 19, the company announced today. And -- collectible gear alert --
Nintendo says the first 1,000 consumers who pre-order and place a $5 deposit for Wii Fit at the company's Nintendo World store in Rockefeller Plaza will receive a Wii Fit T-shirt "featuring the image and reproduced autograph of legendary Nintendo video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto." Cool. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal examines the rise of Nintendo and the difficulty it faces in maintaining its rapid growth rate.

I get so lost sometimes when I'm sorting through the endless stream of content online. But it seems that Peter Gabriel is working on a resolution to all my fruitless searches. From a Fortune story on the Genesis co-founder and successful solo rock star's latest digital media endeavor:

"On Tuesday, [Gabriel] and a new group of partners launch the private-beta version of a web-based service called The Filter that will sort through the vast inventory of content on the Internet and recommend songs, movies, television show and web videos to its users. In May, The Filter website will be open to the public."

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