PETA Speaks Out on Whaling in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

March 4, 2013 -

As it is wont to do sometimes People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is targeting another video game for its depiction of cruelty towards animals, though this time it was induced to do so by GamesBeat who asked the organization for its comment. While I can assure PETA that no animals were harmed in the making of this video game, the organization sometimes has trouble differentiating between what is real and what is not (video games, for example).

11 comments | Read more

Connecticut Governor, NY Politicians Lash Out at NRA's iOS App

January 16, 2013 -

New York Senator Charles Schumer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the National Rifle Association for releasing its iOS shooting range simulation app NRA Practice Range on the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut. Pressure from politicians around the country ultimately forced Apple to change the rating from age 4+ to a rating of 12+. Schumer had called for a rating of 17+.

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Southington, CT. Group Cancels Violent Video Game Return Program

January 9, 2013 -

Last week SouthingtonSOS, a group comprised of Southington, Connecticut community organizations announced a violent videogame buyback program, where citizens could deposit violent games into what basically amounted to a trash bin for a gift certificate provided by local merchants. Those game discs would be snapped and tossed in the trash...

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Tweeria Struggles With Copyright Problems

December 27, 2012 -

Yesterday we highlight the Twitter-based RPG called Tweeria in the ECA Newsletter. Described as a "lazy Twitter role-playing game" by its creators, Tweeria uses replies, retweets and activity to create Tweeria weapons, movements and attacks. Basically all you have to do to play the game is to be social on Twitter.

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Israel Defence Forces Accused of Gamifying Gaza Conflict With Web Game

November 21, 2012 -

Apparently Israel Defence Forces have decided to "gamify" their website to encourage viewers to promote the content, using a virtual game that awards visitors with badges and points for sharing pages through other social media sites. The gamification of the site actually happened way back in July but had a spotlight shined upon it today in this GameSpot Australia report.

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GTA Creators: UK Publicist Created Buzz, Controversy Around Game

October 22, 2012 -

While DMA Design may have created the original game that became a worldwide phenomenon, the creators of the game credit a UK publicist with creating the buzz that helped the game jump onto the international stage. Mike Dailly, co-creator of the original Grand Theft Auto, said that infamous British publicist Max Clifford did a job of manipulating the press to gain GTA notoriety and publicity.

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Cheech and Chong's The Fatty App Released

September 18, 2012 -

With all the talk of legalizing the use of marijuana at the state and federal level (for and against), it seems only appropriate that the 70's most iconic stoner comedy team should release an app on Android and iOS. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have teamed up with developer MEDL Mobile to create and deploy Cheech and Chong's The Fatty. The app is a mix of gags, gameplay and fun but useless utilities for the modern age stoner.

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Poll: Are Any Video Game Topics Taboo?

August 22, 2012 -

Are there any themes or topics that should never be explored in a video game?

Australia NSW Police Commissioner Takes Heat for Video Game Comments

August 6, 2012 -

Australia New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione is taking a lot heat for comments he made recently blaming the rise of teen knife-related crimes on playing violent video games. Scipione recently told The Daily Telegraph that teens were being desensitized to violence by playing violent video games that reward them for "killing and raping people." Obviously a tired trope related to Grand Theft Auto spewed by politicians.

How the Internet Helped Shape Opinions on Brown v. EMA SCOTUS Decision

July 9, 2012 -

In the old days, Supreme Court Justices had very little information to turn to outside of legal briefs presented by combatants and case law when making a ruling, but a new study by William & Mary law professor Allison Orr Larsen finds that justice are increasingly turning to information on the Internet to shore up their opinions. According to research from Larsen, there were more than 100 instances where justices used information on the Internet in their opinions.

Japanese Release of Sleeping Dogs to Feature Punishment System for Killing Citizens

June 27, 2012 -

It looks like Square Enix is editing the contents of its upcoming game in order for it to be released in Japan. The game, (called Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police in Japan and Sleeping Dogs in other parts of the world) developed by United Front, will be edited to fit the market in some bizarre ways.

Besides getting a rating of CERO Z (adults only), the game will be edited with a system that punishes players for killing civilians. We have no idea what that punishment will be, but we imagine it will be much more than a "time out."

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Hitman Absolution Director Apologizes for Attack of the Saints Trailer

June 7, 2012 -

Hitman Absolution game director Tore Blystad has apologized for offending anyone who found the "Attack of the Saints" trailer for Hitman Absolution offensive. The trailer, which featured female assassins dressed as nuns, was seen by many as a sexualization of violence against women.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 5

June 4, 2012 -

In Episode 5 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, James Fudge talks to GaymerCon organizer Matt Conn about the first-of-its-kind LGBT-focused gaming event (find it at 12:36 mark - you can also find a transcript here). Meanwhile hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk way too long about E3, Nintendo, the Wii U and the Game Genie (the segment begins at 25:48 mark).

MLB2K12 Perfect Game Challenge Marred by Controversy

May 14, 2012 -

Has one (or more) of the top competitors in 2K Sports' MLB2K12 Perfect Game Challenge cheated his way to the top? That is the contention of several reports, who say that one of the top contenders in the pitching competition using 2K Sports' popular MLB title has used an exploit to make his way to the top of the heap.

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EA Pushes Back Against Family Advocacy Groups Concerning Same-Sex Relationships in its Games

April 5, 2012 -

According to a GamesIndustry International report, Electronic Arts has become the target of a letter writing campaign by family advocacy groups who are upset with same-sex relationships in several of its games including Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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Webcomic Imagines BioWare’s Reaction to Angry Gamer

March 21, 2012 -

For the past two weeks, fan complaints over Mass Effect 3’s DLC and ending have been loud and plentiful (if not always rational or polite).  Much to the chagrin of the more passionate and impatient of us gamers, BioWare didn’t immediately kowtow to various fan demands, perhaps leading some to wonder if the company simply didn’t give a toss now that it has their money.

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Report: Apple Cracking Down on Clones

February 7, 2012 -

Apple is apparently cracking down on applications that they consider to be clones of other popular apps on its App Store. Evidence of such a crackdown comes from web site VideoGameWriters, who noted that one particular app developer - who is fond of using "familiar titles" for his apps - seems to have less of them available on the APP Store today.

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Arma 2 Footage Mistake Gets UK's ITV a Verbal Beating

January 23, 2012 -

British broadcasting standards agency Ofcom has given broadcaster ITV a very public verbal beating today over labeling a clip from video game Arma 2 as real-life footage of a Libya-funded IRA attack. ITV included a YouTube video featuring shooter Arma 2 footage in a documentary on how the now-deposed (and deceased) Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi gave arms to the IRA.

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Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb Expansion Revealed

January 6, 2012 -

The Binding of Isaac, Edmund McMillen's dark and (in some circles) controversial game about child abuse and religion is getting an expansion soon. McMillen's new expansion is called Wrath of the Lamb and will reportedly add more of "everything." The expansion, which will cost right around $3, will be "done when it's done," according to McMillen. PC Gamers puts the development time for the expansion - based on what McMillen has said in the past - to a month or so.

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Three Million Units of Dead Island Shipped Worldwide

December 21, 2011 -

According to Deep Silver PR manager Aubrey Norris, Dead Island has shipped 3 million copies worldwide since its release. This despite all of the controversies and technical issues that plagued the game during and after its release. Dead Island shipped one million units to retail in North America in its first week of release, and the company shipped an additional million units to retail in the following week after release.

Norris revealed the numbers during a conversation with Game Informer earlier this week.

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Report: Next Dead Rising Contains Themes About Illegal Immigration

December 9, 2011 -

A Siliconera report suggests that the next Dead Rising game is already in the works and will have a serious social issue in the context of its story. Capcom is not commenting on the details of the report, save to say that they have not announced anything about the next Dead Rising game. If the report is true, the next paragraph may contain spoilers that will make you sad in your soul. If you think spoilers are bad, then you might want to stop reading right now.

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Techland Not Shocked About Dead Island Ban in Germany

November 29, 2011 -

Dead Island has been banned in Germany, and while that's not a surprise to gamers around the world, what is surprising is developer Techland's response to it. Speaking to GameIndustry.biz Germany, a Techland spokesperson said that they expected this to happen.

"This isn't unexpected," said a Techland spokesperson. "Germany has its unique regulations regarding video games and violence and the industry can only comply. "Both Deep Silver and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning."

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Counter-Strike Keeps Mars Sim Experiment Members Sane

November 8, 2011 -

The six crew members of the $15 million Mars500 experiment each paid 3 million roubles ($98,300) to participate in a 17-month long test to see if people stay healthy and sane on a trip to the red planet. The all-male crew of a 520-day mock mission to Mars had to find ways to ease tensions. After all, if you are on a trip to Mars it's probably not a good idea to pick a real fight with your comrade, who is more than likely a specialist in some field you are going to need. According to a Reuters report the crew turned to video games to ease their tension during the 17-month sim.

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Why Blackwater Game Creators Want to Avoid Controversy

October 4, 2011 -

Speaking to the Associated Press, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and Zombie Studios lead designer Richard Dormer talk about why their upcoming Kinect game based on the controversial security firm has decided to steer clear of blood, killing civilians, swearing, and moral dilemmas.

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Up in Arms: Winnipeg Police Union Upset over GTA IV in Manitoba Jail

August 22, 2011 -

The Winnipeg police union is up in arms over inmates at Headingley Correctional Centre in Manitoba having access to Grand Theft Auto IV... in 2008. The union calls the situation "absolutely disgusting" and says that prisoners were treated to a game that glorifies violence, crime and cop-killing.

10 comments | Read more

ACL Calls for Ban on Games in Wake of Norway Massacre

July 25, 2011 -

The Australian Christian Lobby has called for games to be banned if they contain violence that is "excessive or gratuitous." The call came as the world digests the bizarre rambling of a 1500-page manifesto written by Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik and released online shortly before he killed 76 people in and around Oslo, Norway.

The Australian federal government said yesterday that Breivik committed his crimes because there is "something clearly intrinsically wrong with him", not because he played violent video games.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge did say that Modern Warfare 2 should be reviewed to have a more restrictive R18+ rating in the country. It is currently rated MA15+.

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Dead or Alive: Dimensions Gets 'PG' Rating in Australia

May 31, 2011 -

Australia is an interesting country. On the one hand it has struggled for years to get an adult level video games rating classification (R18+) and on the other it allows a game that has been censored in other countries to be released there with little or no controversy. The game in question is the 3DS tactical fighter Dead or Alive: Dimensions. Several countries have banned the game because it features sexualized depictions of children. The children are three teen characters named Ayane, Koroke and Kasumi who game makers describe as "under 18 years of age."

To be fair, the censoring has been done mostly by Nintendo, based on concerns about child pornography laws in Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) that say it is illegal to show young girls as animated characters in a sexualized way. The concern is mostly with the game's photography mode, which allows players to look up characters' dresses when they are in certain poses.

6 comments | Read more

Playing Columbine Now Available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video

May 31, 2011 -

Playing Columbine is now available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and soon will be available via Netflix. The documentary chronicles the controversy surrounding the making of Super Columbine Massacre, a game that let players jump into the boots of the Columbine killers. The game was downloaded more than a half a million times and caught the attention of the mainstream media who strongly condemned it as wrong and as a "murder simulator." Here's an excerpt from the film's about page":

2 comments | Read more

Disney Wants to Cash in on 'Seal Team 6'

May 17, 2011 -

According to a Forbes report, Disney has applied for the trademark "Seal Team 6," the military unit responsible for the death of notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden. A day after the raid (which took place May 3 in Pakistan), Disney applied for a trio of patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office related to "entertainment and education services," toys, games, and Christmas stockings, ornaments and snow globes.. Yes, Christmas items.

Disney has not publicly commented on the outed patents.

5 comments | Read more

Too Human Makers Get Green Light on Epic Lawsuit

March 31, 2011 -

After many years of waiting, it looks like a Silicon Knights lawsuit against Epic Games has been given the green light by a judge. You may recall the 2007 lawsuit in which Too human developer Silicon Knights alleged that Epic Games had neglected Unreal Engine licensees to develop its own game, Gears of War.

The Canadian studio alleged the four-year development period for Too Human was due to Epic misleading the company about what Unreal Engine 3 was capable of. Further, SK alleges that Epic prioritized the development of Gears of War above all the development studios that had licensed Unreal Engine 3. Curiously enough, no other development studio sued Epic.

7 comments | Read more

 
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Which group is more ethically challenged?:

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InfophileI know the ZE series was in the red in Japan, but international series boosted it to profitability. That may not mean it's more profitable in the west, but it does mean ZE3 wouldn't exist without the western market.07/04/2015 - 7:54am
Consterwhy aren't "Video game players" an option on the poll? :P07/04/2015 - 5:19am
Andrew EisenThat was quick! Pretty accurate cosplay of the new Ghostbuster uniform and proton pack: https://twitter.com/mirabellemusing/status/61673135125394227207/03/2015 - 6:23pm
Matthew Wilson@mast I dont know, but I do know it got a cult fallowing here.07/03/2015 - 6:22pm
MastermuneWasn't the Zero Escape series more popular here than in Japan?07/03/2015 - 6:19pm
Matthew Wilson@mast given the game was revealed in the US, I wouldnt be shocked if it was released at the same time.07/03/2015 - 6:15pm
MastermuneI don't trust the big AAA worldwide simultaneous releases though.07/03/2015 - 5:57pm
Mastermune@Infophile I have come to the conclusion that smaller games like zero escape, JRPG's and the like are actually worth preordering sinc they are limited quantities and since they usually release in japan first we know if there are any issues.07/03/2015 - 5:56pm
Infophile@Matthew! Awesome news. I'd preorder on that shout alone if I didn't have a policy against preordering anymore.07/03/2015 - 5:16pm
Matthew Wilsonzero escape 3 was announced today.07/03/2015 - 4:21pm
Matthew Wilson@pnx I am guessing a ddoss since that is what happened to neogaf, but sony needs to do a investment in psn as a whole. steam is still the most reliable and fastest digital platform I use.07/03/2015 - 3:06pm
PHX Corphttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/psn-is-down-sony-investigating/ not again: PSN is down, Sony investigating07/03/2015 - 3:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/digital-extremes-trespasser-keystone-pc/ if true, this is funny and embarrassing for Digital Extremes. companies need too have better security.07/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
 

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