Video Game News--Really, Not an Oxymoron.

It's no secret that Dallas is a hotbed for video-game creators; we've done a number of pieces on the subject, most recently this story on SMU's gaming program. In recognition of our estimable position amongst the pale and pasty, all this week gamer Web site Next Generation is running profiles of Dallas-based companies cranking out console- and computer-based video games; today's ofering is an interview with West End-based Ritual Entertainment's CEO Steve Nix, whose company has "a history of working on first-person shooters, going back to the first Quake expansion pack," according to Next Gen. Ritual, which is best known for such titles as Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre and Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, has been a power player in the gaming biz because it keeps its prices down; you're more likely to snare allowance money by selling games at $20 after all, as opposed to the $50 most companies demand for (often) inferior product. As Nix puts it in the interview:

"Well, we're not going to be full price when you think about $50 games. But we are going to be full quality--that's what we're going to deliver, but at an excellent price point, so the value is undeniable."

This week, Next Generation's also profiling such Dallas-based companies as Terminal Reality, makrs of Aeon Flux; Gearbox Software, which boasts such popular titles as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Half-Life and the Brothers in Arms seres; and 3D Realms, the company behind such immortals as Duke Nukem and Max Payne. I have to go now. Mom's making my lunch. --Robert Wilonsky