Technological World for March 24: Theresa Tam on covid-19 vaccines, Jade Raymond's Haven Studios, Sony buys EVO, Billie Eilish, U2 Virtual Road concert, SXSW Gaming Awards

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This week, Sony had lots to talk about last week, some online music experiences to enjoy, and the winners of the SXSW video game awards. But first, Theresa Tam is going on Facebook Live to answer questions about the covid-19 vaccine.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam to answer questions from the public on Facebook Live

Next Wednesday, March 31, Theresa Tam is going to appear on Facebook Live to answer questions about covid-19 vaccines. The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will be joined by scientist and science communicator, Samantha Yammine, known as Science Sam, and Danielle Nadin from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, who will moderate the discussion.

The thirty minute online event starts at 10 a.m. PT (11 a.m. MT and 2 p.m. ET).

The event is part of an initiative by the Public Health Agency to ensure that accurate and truthful information about vaccine effectiveness and safety is being shared on social channels.

Facebook Canada is also providing Canadian health organizations with free advertising on the channel to facilitate the distribution of accurate information.

Sony’s three big announcements from last week

Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios

Canadian video game executive Jade Raymond has created Haven Studios, a new operation in Montreal, that is working on a game for Sony’s Playstation platform.

Raymond, who helped create the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs franchises for Ubisoft, was most recently head of Google’s game development division, which was closed down earlier this year.

Sony buys fighting esports company

Sony Interactive Entertainment and RTS acquired the Evolution Championship Series.

EVO was cancelled last year because of consequences of the CEO being fired after accusations of sexual misconduct.

What the implications are for competitions for games that aren’t playable on Playstation – Super Smash Bros, for example – remains to be seen.

New VR controller revealed

The ergonomic controller has the shape of an orb. It’s got adaptive triggers, it can detect your fingers without you needing to press, and it will be trackable by the new VR headset, which we still haven’t seen.

Music experiences continue to move online

Streaming music services are making bank even though musicians may not benefit.

And because of the pandemic, performances have also moved into the digital space. Here are two to watch.

Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry

The extraordinary singer-songwriter is the subject of this Apple TV+ production directed by R.J. Cutler (The War Room). It’s more documentary than concert, but it includes clips of performances as well as a behind the scenes look at how the music is made.

Watch U2’s Virtual Road concert on YouTube

From the more aged end of the spectrum is U2, which is making available on its You Tube channel four concerts from the band’s forty years in the business.

It started, reasonably enough, on St Patrick’s Day with the Irish band’s performance at Slane Castle in Dublin from 2001.

On March 25, the 1983 concert from Red Rocks debuts, followed by the PopMart tour stop in Mexico City (1997) on April 1 and 2015’s Innocence and Experience tour in Paris.

SXSW Gaming Award winners

Hades, the clever rogue-like game from Supergiant Games, was the big winner at the SXSW Gaming Awards, which were handed out last weekend.

The indie game, which was just released in a boxed copy for the Nintendo Switch, won game of the year and for excellence in game design. Hades is also available for macOS and Windows computers.

Other winners included Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx, for VR game of the year, Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch) for excellence in animation, art, and visual achievement, and The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog) for excellence in narrative.

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