Opinion: Games Don't Deserve Protection

December 7, 2010

The Star Press (which describes itself as the "news source for East Central Indiana") writer Jeffrey M.. McCall pens a two-page editorial called "Violent video games not an issue worthy of First Amendment protection," in which he attempts to lay out a case for Schwarzenegger v. EMA.

First, an explanation as to what the author thinks the entertainment industry really wants.. apparently it isn't freedom of expression: Read More

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Rovio Predicts $1 million a Month from Free Angry Birds

December 7, 2010

Angry Birds developer Rovio tells TechCrunch that it expects to make over $1 million in monthly revenues from the free-to-play version of its popular bird-catapulting game.

"By end of year, we project earnings of over $1 million per month with the ad-supported version of Angry Birds," Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka told TechCrunch.

The iPhone version of the game costs money, but the Android version is self-published and free. The game makes money off ads it serves up to the user. The Android version of the game has been downloaded over five million times from the Android Market. Vesterbacka also told TechCrunch that the Angry Birds series has an 80 percent retention rate, based on the number of players that return to download updates.

Source: GI.Biz

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DJ Hero De-Make Gets Cease and Desist Letter

December 7, 2010

Indie developer Eric Ruth's 8-bit de-make of DJ Hero, Pixel Force DJ Hero, has been taken down after he received a Cease and Desist letter from Universal Music Publishing Group, Joystiq reports.

A rundown of the entire ordeal between Eric and Jerrold Grannis (representing Universal Music Publishing) unfolds for your pleasure at PikiGeek, but here is the best exchange. First, here is Eric:

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Research: Negative Comment Threads Are Longer

December 7, 2010

..And in other news, the sky is blue. What makes some comment threads longer than others? Bad attitudes and surly comments, apparently. That is the conclusion of a study about online interaction conducted by a team of Slovenian and British researchers .

A group of Slovenian and British researchers used a technique called "sentiment analysis" to identify emotional content in BBC's online discussion forums and digg.com.

The team's special algorithms searched for keywords, emoticons, and "subtle linguistic markers" like misspellings, which were then used to calculate a "happiness score" for each post. The researchers found that longer discussion threads tended to be overwhelmingly emotional and negative than shorter discussions threads. The longer threads tended to begin with negative comments, researchers found. Read More

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ECA Call to Action: Net Neutrality

December 7, 2010

The Entertainment Consumer Association sent out an alert this afternoon to its members urging them to write the Federal Communications Commission to tell them that America wants the net neutrality promised by the president during his campaign.

The ECA objects to the plan proposed by the FCC because it gives too many concessions to interest groups and service providers, excludes wireless providers from any new rules, and gives providers a green light to start using tiered pricing models based on the amount of bandwidth / data used. The ECA has set up a "call to action" page here.

Below is the complete letter from Brett Schenker, Online Advocacy Manager for the ECA: Read More

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Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

December 7, 2010

An interesting submission in Slashdot's "Ask Slashdot" section solicits the help of commenters on a DMCA takedown notice for an Android game called "Super Pac."

The developer asks the community what he should do because Namco sent a DMCA takedown notice to him, which in turn got his Pac-Man-like Android title pulled from Google’s Android marketplace. Now he can't sell his game and doesn't know what to do. Here is the question:

First a description of the game from its offficial web site: Read More

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America's Wish List: Everyone Wants a Kinect

December 7, 2010

What does everyone want for [insert your holiday of choice here] ? According to TimetoPlayMag.com's annual "America’s Wish List: The Must-Have Toys, Games, and Video Games," everyone wants an Xbox Kinect. At least in the videogame category..

In October and November, TimetoPlay.com readers were asked to vote for their favorite items in 17 categories to create America’s Wish List. After the data was sifted through, the site picked the top choices, which are listed below by category, product, and manufacturer. For more information check out www.PeoplesPlayAwards.


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OK Law Addresses Virtual Estates

December 7, 2010

If you are planning your last will and testament in the state of Oklahoma, you now have to worry about what to do with your virtual belongings. According to a report in the IB Times (thanks EZK), a new state law in Oklahoma gives estate executors and administrators the power to "access, administer, or terminate" social media and online accounts.

According to former state Rep. Ryan Kiesel (D-Seminole), a co-author of House Bill 2800 (before he left office), the law is meant to remind people that, when they are planning what happens to their real-world estate, they should probably figure out what they want done with their virtual stuff as well. Read More

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RPS Editorial on Panorama Game Addiction Show

December 7, 2010

Rock, Paper, Shotgun's John Walker responds to the Panorama TV episode on game addiction (it aired on BBC 1 in the UK last night) with an editorial of his own. While acknowledging that he does not "possess the evidence that gaming does not cause addiction," Walker lays into the Panorama episode and its host for producing a slapdash expose on gaming addiction, leading viewers to conclusions without providing any real evidence.

For example, the show promised to provide details on the secret mechanics that keep gamers "coming back for more," but that secret gaming sauce was never revealed during the program. Likewise, while the host talked a lot about studies that claimed to make a connection between gaming and addiction, no proof was ever provided.

Here is a sample from Walker's editorial: Read More

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NZ Leaks Reveal Skepticism of IP Law Push

December 7, 2010

A recent tip to Boing Boing from Michael Geist reveals some new leaks related from the New Zealand government about their skepticism of international copyright laws being pushed by a certain country. Specifically, the leaked documents reveal the NZ government’s doubts about the U.S.'s push to change the level of protection the country affords "technical protection measures" (TPMs, DRM, or digital locks).

The U.S. wants NZ to make jailbreaking illegal. Interestingly enough, while the U.S. pushes for new jailbreaking rules in other countries around the world, at home the U.S. copyright office recently suspended the restriction on jailbreaking iPhones for three years.. Read More

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Panorama: Addicted to Games? Episode on YouTube

December 6, 2010

The Panorama episode aired on BBC One in the UK earlier this evening. For anyone that does not live in the UK, the show has made its way to YouTube in two parts (thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip).

We will spare you the commentary on the show - watch it and judge for yourselves if Panorama producers were fair in their report on video game addiction. On a related note, Shoutboxer beemoh points out this discussion thread on the BBC web site about the program.

Parts one and two linked below:



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UKIE Applauds Government Broadband Plan

December 6, 2010

UK-based video game industry trade group UKIE issued a statement today praising UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt's proposal on a high-speed broadband roll out in the United Kingdom. The plan calls for creating infrastructure in the country that would give "every community in the UK" access to "super- fast" broadband by 2015.

"The UK's games and interactive entertainment industry is a highly skilled, digital industry spread throughout the UK," said Michael Rawlinson, Director General of UKIE. "It needs the technological infrastructure of super-fast broadband to thrive and develop ever more sophisticated forms of interactive entertainment, and to allow new business start-ups to grow and flourish." Read More

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Dragon Age Lead Designer Joins Empire Avenue

December 6, 2010

Game industry veteran Brent Knowles has joined the Empire Avenue team today. Empire Avenue is a social stock market game where users trade shares in each other. Empire Avenue says that Knowles "will be working closely with Empire Avenue to further refine, enhance and generally totally-awesomeify its ever-so-addictive Social Stock Market Game."

Knowles is a former BioWare developer, who most recently served as the Lead Designer and Creative Director on the studio’s action-RPG, Dragon Age: Origins. Knowles other credits include Co-Lead Designer on Neverwinter Nights, Lead Designer on the Neverwinter Nights expansions, a Designer on Baldur’s Gate II, and design work on Jade Empire. Read More

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Panorama Producer Defends Game Addiction Episode

December 6, 2010

In an interview with GameIndustry.biz Panorama producer and director Emeka Onono, explains why the BBC news program decided to tackle the subject of game addiction. While Onono claims that the program is not "anti-gaming," his comments to GI.biz do not sound game industry friendly.

"What we've said is there's a potential for things in games to be addictive," he explains to GamesIndustry.biz. "There is a potential there. And that's something that the industry's always doggedly denied. The fact is it's there and however small or large that possibility is it needs to be researched and acknowledged."

Onono also accuses a segment of the games industry of being "very defensive" on the issue of addiction: Read More

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ComScore: Cyber Monday Sales 'Historic'

December 6, 2010

According to data gathered by internet research firm ComScore, Cyber Monday saw the heaviest online spending day in history. Gian Fulgoni, the chairperson of the organization, said that Cyber Monday was "a historic day for e-commerce."

How momentous an occasion? How historic? According to the data, online retailers made $1.028 billion for the day, up 16 percent from a year ago. That number is a milestone for online retailers because it is the very first time that online one-day sales surpassed the billion-dollar mark.

"The online holiday shopping season has clearly gotten off to a very strong start, which is welcome news," said Fulgoni.”At the same time, it is important to note that some of the early strength in consumer spending is almost certainly the result of retailers' heavier-than-normal promotional and discounting activity at this early point in the season." Read More

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GamePolitics ShoutBox

Posted 12/07/10 at 12:30pm
Neeneko: Testing
Posted 12/07/10 at 08:50am
beemoh: Panorama watched by 2.39mln, beaten by BBC2 sitcom (linked) Nearly .5mln less than last week's Panorama: http://bit.ly/eemFIq
Posted 12/06/10 at 01:51pm
beemoh: On the subject of Panorama, here's the BBC's discussion topic
Posted 12/06/10 at 01:21pm
Andrew Eisen: Here's the most recent MPAA "what the hell?" move. In my opinion anyway.
Posted 12/06/10 at 12:53pm
Thad: AV Club looks at 15 stupid MPAA ratings. It's movies, not games, but is relevant to ESRB discussion IMO.
Posted 12/05/10 at 12:25pm
Cheater87: UPDATE on R18 rating.
Posted 12/05/10 at 09:03am
Cheater87: Aussie govt to support R18 rating
Posted 12/03/10 at 07:30pm
C. Aaron Browbowski Jr.: lord, on a serious note, i wish i could hack into psp's like dark alex did back in the day, but i'd call myself more n00b than n00b, JT :)
Posted 12/03/10 at 07:25pm
C. Aaron Browbowski Jr.: my mind slipped a thought when i was addressing the crowd... oh yeah JESUS JACK JONES THOMPSON MADE ME DO IT!
Posted 12/03/10 at 07:23pm
C. Aaron Browbowski Jr.: that breaks my heart seeing people shut down a street for 8 HOURS for a toy robot... sadly "terrorists win"
Posted 12/03/10 at 11:29am
Rodrigo Ybáñez García: Terrorists truly have won, Zippy.
Posted 12/03/10 at 08:24am
ZippyDSMlee: EZK:ANd thus humanity has been turned into a tramitized shell of itself by merely looking at its shadow.
Posted 12/02/10 at 10:45pm
E. Zachary Knight: a toy robot terrorizes Denver. At 8 inches, it managed to have an entire street closed for hours while the bomb squad was called
Posted 12/02/10 at 06:39pm
MaskedPixelante: Super Tofu Boy has been added into the game, REALLY sucks.
Posted 12/02/10 at 03:37pm
Techzoner: Wow by two minutes and my link didnt post oh well : )
Posted 12/02/10 at 03:34pm
E. Zachary Knight: Techzoner, beat you to it and with a link
Posted 12/02/10 at 03:33pm
Techzoner: Prosecutors Dismiss Xbox Modding Case Mid-Trial
Posted 12/02/10 at 03:31pm
E. Zachary Knight: Prosecution has dismissed the case against the Xbox modder.
Posted 12/02/10 at 02:48pm
Uncharted NES: ............
Posted 12/02/10 at 02:43pm
Andrew Eisen: Even Worse
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