The Media Learning Curve I: What’s up is ‘Up’ X Gamer

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Ever get a chance to take the kids out to see that animated flick, “Up,” in 3D?

We had the chance to see the monsterous “X Games Movie: 3D” a few hours ago at the Nokia Theatre. Probably more of a chance for motion sickness than whatever an Ed Asner-voiced character could provide.

As the Xs and Os of these X Games passes another test of “How extreme can it get?” on the technical side, as our column today tries to examine (linked here), we find more sporting news media notes to pass on to those with a far greater threshold for vertigo-inducing situations:

== More technological upgrades that come with X Games 15:

- A rebranded website with even more stuff. What once was EXPN.com is now ESPN.com/Action, the portal for original news, blogs, video – and already up 43 percent in visitors over what EXPN.com had over a year ago.

- A new deal with an online action sports community called Loop’d, where RSS feeds from ESPN columnists and bloggers on skateboarding, snowboarding, free skiing and surfing are regularly piped in.

- Integration within a rally car racing video game called “DiRT 2.” You know, to make the game more . . . real.

- A digital device called the “huck-a-meter,” to measure the height and distance that an athlete clears in one form or another.

- Real, in-car reporting. At the Home Depot Center, where the rally cars will be racing on a made-for-TV short course, Chrissie Beavis and Jen Horsey will ride along as analysts.

- Even more online streaming. As the technology has improved, so has the demand for it pushed by X Games competition. ESPN360.com has 15 hours of it live over this weekend, including 6 hours that are exclusive.

- Something called instant “quiXscoring,” a system used for posting scores immediately in several competitions that apparently needed quicker information.

With all this, there’s expansion.

The first winter X games outside the U.S. will take place just before the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver — March 10-12 in Tignes, a resort in the Northern French Alps. Canal Plus, the pay-per-view service in the region, will cover TV with Internet and mobile coverage.

One last semi-technological advancement: Tony Hawk, analyst. The king of the wheeled board will be on the skateboard big air, vert, park, street and the inaugural Big Air Rail Jam coverage.

Back in the day, Hawk was the man. He’s so old, they’ve just put up a wax figure of him at Madam Tussaud’s in Hollywood.

And when you can start referring to things on X Games as “back in the day,” it’s time to take a short rest on your laurels.

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