SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- A fairly surreal moment here just now. Microsoft showed a full-length cinematic preview of the forthcoming "Call of Duty 4," an intense first-person combat game. It was loud, scary and very realistic.
Then two of the game's developers came on stage to play through a level, in which a pair of snipers infiltrate an enemy base. The audience of more than 1,000 people watched, rapt and silent, as a guy played a video game on the big screen of an outdoor high school amphitheater.
OK, I know, it's a video game conference. But still.