THQ = Too Hot to Quit?
It's time for a tip of the hat in the direction of video game publisher THQ (NASDAQ:THQI). I'll admit that my opinion of THQ over the years has been rather subdued. I remember when THQ was a force in the 1990s thanks to its wrestling games back when wrestling mattered. Since then, THQ has seemed to be a coattail hopper, pumping out titles based on licensed properties -- many of them kiddie cartoon-based. Sure, the occasional Destroy All Humans will turn heads in the grown-up world, but THQ always seemed to lack the defining personality traits one finds in an Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) or a Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO).

Well, I have to revisit that watered down opinion after two important items out of the THQ camp this week. The first was that it announced that it was on track to deliver its financial results as expected. Why was this news? Well, it came just days after Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommended Electronic Arts and Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) spooked investors by warning that they would miss their marks.

This came just after the company had broken from its ranks earlier in the week to become one of the top video game publishers to sign up to Massive's in-game advertising network. Selling dynamic ads that are relevant to games and are updated in real time will be one of the fastest growing marketing segments as broadband-enabled gaming becomes more commonplace, and THQ was bold enough to jump on the bandwagon early.

No, you can't buy into Massive at the moment. An IPO is likely in 2006. However, in a brilliant one-two punch, THQ opened my eyes. It may not be a Rule Breaker just yet, but I do regret casting it with a shadow of indifference over the years. Mea culpa, THQ. You are not vanilla.

What a Wiki web we weave
Speaking of private companies that I would love to see go public, Wikipedia was in the news on Tuesday after it announced that it was beefing up its security safeguards. If you're not familiar with the community-driven online encyclopedia, the news may seem like a nonevent. However, for those like me who are spending more and more time discovering what Wikipedia has to offer, the move is dipped in tartness. It's the death of innocence not all that different when that first home in a rural town installs locks on its doors or when your parents tell you that the Tooth Fairy isn't real.

Wikipedia is driven by the dedication of the self-policing volunteers that flesh out the living encyclopedia's entries. You will get your occasional graffiti and amateur defacement, but after a prank went too far, the site is left with little choice but to install the virtual equivalent of metal detectors.

It's not as harsh as it could be. It's not as harsh as it may eventually have to be. That's why this is a bittersour moment. Yes, I'm coining bittersour, because bittersweet is too honey-coated for this particular case.

Here's hoping the next entry in this Wikipedia saga is a favorable one.

The headlines behind this week's stories:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to look back, even if it means he falls on his face going forward. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Foo l has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.