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Lighting / shading Particle systems

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I'm starting to see quite a bit of shaded particle systems starting to pop up in trailers (QW:ET, KZ2 etc). Now, my first thought is to simply assume they are using some sort of volumetric representation of particle systems (ie, plotting a line down the middle of the potential emitter line, and giving particles a 'backside' vs 'frontside' orientation to it) But I've learned never to trust your first assumptions. I suppose another valid system would be to simply shadow map the particles, which with some filtering and sampling,could be responsible for the given view? Has anyone done any work into this or has any other ideas? FROG!

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