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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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US invited to make up Doritos Xbox Live game

To result in free XBLA title.

Microsoft is inviting random men off the street to design Xbox Live Arcade games ("Isn't that what they were doing anyway?" Okay very good MR SMARTEY PANTS).

Unfortunately, the streets they're inviting people off are American ones. Still, you can watch and admire. It's a promotional association with Doritos, which will see applicants submitting Doritos-inspired game ideas to www.snackstrongproductions.com, with five finalists getting to work side by side with dev-teams later in the year to build up playable versions of their game concepts.

Each finalist will get a prize package worth USD 6,000, and then in October/November visitors to the above-linked site will be invited to play working versions of each game and vote for the one they want developed into a full product. The climax, inevitably, will be a full Xbox Live Arcade release in summer 2008 - and it will be offered for free.

"Doritos fans continue to tell us how excited they are to be part of, and personalise, what is important to them," says Frito-Lay vice president of marketing Ann Mukherjee. They do that to us too. They go, "Man, the lights in here are so beautiful, I feel like I can reach out and touch them, and then maybe I can push them together, and rub them on my clothes and, man, I love this song." But back to Ann: "Similar to past Doritos programmes that put consumers in control, we hope 'Unlock Xbox' gives people a chance to express their own creativity, this time in the innovative world of gaming."

Anyway, we can't enter, but that's no reason not to come up with ideas and write them down in the comments so we get more hits.