Another MOD Criticizes MOH

September 7, 2010 -

The red phones connecting the world’s defense/defence ministers must be working fine, as yet another member of that group has jumped on the anti-Medal of Honor videogame bandwagon.

This time around Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay took issue with the Electronic Arts game, specifically over the ability to play as a member of the Taliban in Medal of Honor’s multiplayer mode. MacKay, via the Ottawa Citizen, had this to say about the game:

The men and women of the Canadian Forces, our allies, aid workers, and innocent Afghans are being shot at, and sometimes killed, by the Taliban. This is reality. I find it wrong to have anyone, children in particular, playing the role of the Taliban. I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.

What the Average American Thinks about MOH

September 1, 2010 -

In light of the controversy surrounding the ability to play as the Taliban in Electronic Arts’ upcoming Medal of Honor, Northern California’s Times-Herald solicited reader input on the title, in the form of letters to the editor, and listed them on their website.

The responses range from ambivalent to angry, and probably represent a decent enough cross-section of opinions. Samplings of the responses are shared below, led off with our personal favorite:

Aubrey Cosentino: I don't think they should have even made this game, let alone try and release it. I would never buy it. My brother is in the Navy and served over in Iraq. It's a slap in the face to Americans is what it is; first they want to build a temple, now this game, come on now ...

Linda Peterson: I would NOT buy it -- but I don't play or buy any war games at all. I think the Taliban option is in extremely bad taste. Offensive even.

32 comments | Read more

Anti-Mosque Game Created by Austrian Political Party

September 1, 2010 -

An online videogame backed by the right wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), launched in advance of regional elections to be held on September 26, depicts the province of Styria as overrun with mosques and tasks players with stopping further ones from being built.

A Reuters story claims that the “Bye Bye Mosque” game has drawn over 60,000 visitors since Monday, in addition to criticisms from the local Islamic community, Social Democrats and the Green Party. A local Islamic leader named Anas Schakfeh called the game “tasteless and incomprehensible,” adding, “This is religious hatred and xenophobia beyond comparison.”

As the game ends, a message reads, “Styria is full of minarets and mosques. So vote for Dr. Gerhard Kurzmann (pictured) and the Freedom Party on September 26 so that this doesn’t happen.”

26 comments | Read more

Officer’s Immersion in Plants vs Zombies Allows Jail Break [Updated]

August 9, 2010 -

One police officer’s profound interest in the game Plants vs Zombies allowed five inmates to easily escape a jail cell in the Filipino municipality of Cagayan de Oro City.

The officer was so deep into his game session that he left the keys to a cell within reach of prisoners, according to a story on Global Nation. While four of the escapees were quickly rounded up, a fifth, Reynard Marturillas, is still at-large.

Officials believe Marturillas integrated himself with a trash pickup in order to escape detection, though local Department of Public Services stated that the inmate would “have surely collapsed from the stench of food slop collected from the jail.”

It was noted, however, that “a convicted prisoner, who is due to be shipped out to the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinglupa, would surely find the will to endure a ride that smells to the high heavens.”

1 comment | Read more

Take-Two, Apogee Settle Duke Suit

June 15, 2010 -

Take-Two Interactive and Apogee Software have dismissed lawsuits against each other over the long in development Duke Nukem Forever.

Attorneys for Apogee signed the document on May 18 of this year (thanks ShackNews), while Take-Two’s law firm affixed its signature on May 28. The document stipulates that plaintiff Take-Two, counterclaim-defendant 2K Games and counterclaim plaintiff Apogee agreed to dismiss with prejudice all claims within per a May 14, 2010 agreement. Each party will pay for its own costs of the litigation.

The lawsuits erupted following developer 3D Realms letting go its staff in May of 2009, which Take-Two took as indicating that the game they had partially funded since 1998 was no longer in development. The 3D Realms and Apogee countersuit claimed that, despite a full roster of employees, the game was still in the works.

4 comments | Read more

Mortal Kombat Returns

June 10, 2010 -

Mortal Kombat, one of the games responsible for the formation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), thanks to its bloody fatalities raising the ire of politicians like Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman and Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl, will return to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011.

The title will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and is in development by NetherRealm Studios, which is wholly owned by the WB. Legendary Ed Boon is helming the project and promised, “This game really is a response to what players have been demanding: mature presentation, reinvented 2D fighting mechanic and the best, most gruesome fatalities ever!”

In a nice bit of timing, Gamasutra today is running an excerpt from the book Replay: The History of Video Games by Tristan Donovan that focuses on the uproar violent videogames caused in the 1990s.

4 comments | Read more

Benzaie Takes on RapeLay

June 7, 2010 -

If you’ve always wondered exactly what type of gameplay is in the infamous RapeLay, head on over to That Guy With Glasses and allow Benzaie to give you a walk through.

As Banzaie notes, “The sexual nature of whatever you are doing [to] these 3D rendered cartoon characters might shock you,” but, “If you’re not American, please ignore this warning since all there is to see is a bunch of polygonized girls in undies wiggling their asses in the air.”

There is some coarse language as well, so the video is probably not work safe.


Thanks Andrew!

6 comments

Irish Eyes Not Smiling Over Red Dead Redemption Character

May 20, 2010 -

The Irish aren’t too happy about the name of a town drunk in the just-released Red Dead Redemption.

An article on the Herald website notes that “The stereotype of the drunken Paddy will again be taken advantage of, as the game's town drunk is called "Irish". A description of the character, which the Herald took from a “popular gaming forum”, describes Irish as “the town drunk. Usually found stumbling around and getting into trouble with sober townsfolk while attempting to talk his way out".

Rockstar itself painted the character as “A teller of tall tales, who’ll try to talk his way out of anything.” Another piece of character artwork offered has Irish, while brandishing a liquor bottle, stating, “I was real drunk. You know how it is.”

19 comments | Read more

GameStop Fired RapeLay Commenter to Save $$, Stop Boycotts

May 12, 2010 -

A GameStop employee fired for discussing piracy and RapeLay in a college newspaper says that he was canned in order to avoid costing the videogame retailer “millions of dollars.”

Derek Littlejohn told Kotaku that following publication of The Globe article, his District Manager was contacted by a GameStop Vice President, who said he was getting calls about an article in the Globe, which the VP thought alluded to the British tabloid of the same name. Littlejohn’s manager told him that he was fired because “people were threatening to boycott and picket GameStop, which would cost the company millions of dollars.”

Littlejohn indicated that the author of the Globe piece, Ann Straub, was a friend of his, but that he “Didn't know she was gonna cite me as an employee of Gamestop, which is what they were able to use as for firing me…”

20 comments | Read more

GameStop Employee Canned for RapeLay Comments?

May 10, 2010 -

Being interviewed for an article on RapeLay may have cost a GameStop employee his job.

GameStop employee Derek Littlejohn was interviewed for a piece on the controversial game which ran in the Point Park University publication The Globe. Littlejohn was quoted in the story stating, “I’ve both heard about and played RapeLay myself, and I find it as nothing more than a game.”

Littlejohn went on to offer some theories on Japanese culture before discussing banned games, saying, “It’s relatively easy to pirate these games, when all one has to do is type in the name of what they want and add ‘torrent.'" He added, "Usually, some sort of link turns up.”

GameRant claims LittleJohn, employed for about two years by GameStop in Oakland, was fired shortly after the article was published.

43 comments | Read more

Gamer Offers Counterpoint to Girl against RapeLay

April 26, 2010 -

In response to last week’s story by Charleston, South Carolina’s News 2 on a 14-year old girl who started petitions against the game RapeLay, a local gamer called the station and offered a point of view on the dangers of banning any games.

While he empathized with the plight of Elena Lyons, thirty-two year old Dondi Wiggins took issue with the banning of any game, saying that gamers, “…should have the right to decide for ourselves” what to play.

Wiggins, President of a local gaming group called Lowcountry Anime and Gaming (a group that is a chapter of the Entertainment Consumer Association [ECA]), said that he personally would not play Rapelay.

Wiggins added, “I don’t think video games should be banned.  I think we as gamers should decide what we want to play as an adult.  We have free speech.”

60 comments | Read more

RapeLay Coverage Hits Home for Teen Girl

April 23, 2010 -

While we often make light of reactions to RapeLay from the media and politicians, the recent reemergence of the game into the spotlight has caused a 14-year old victim of sexual assault to come out and publicly denounce the title.

Well-meaning teen Elena Lyons contacted Charleston, South Carolina’s News 2 in order to voice her concerns over the game, saying, “This game is wrong.  It needs to be stopped.  No game like this should ever be put out there. Rape is not a joke.  People seem to think that it is.  They don’t take it seriously, but rape isn’t a joke. It is very hurtful.”

Lyons, who says she was sexually assaulted by a non-family member at age eight, has started an online petition against the game and is organizing a walk that she hopes will stop the game.

Unfortunately, short of destroying all the tubes that comprise the Internet, there’s not much that can be done about the availability of RapeLay, perhaps someone should have told Lyons that.

54 comments

Argentina Reacts to RapeLay

April 21, 2010 -

No doubt motivated by CNN’s sensationalistic coverage of the game, an Argentinean politician has taken the bait and warned that the controversial game RapeLay violates the country's criminal codes.

Argentina's Ministry of Justice called RapeLay (translated) a “clear vindication of the crimes of sexual abuse, violation, against sexual integrity and discrimination against the women,” and warned the populace that the sale or commercialization of games featuring explicit sexual activities is in direct opposition to article 128 of Argentina’s penal code. Those who break such laws are subject to prison terms ranging from six months to four years.

18 comments | Read more

Manga Artist Objects to CNN RapeLay Coverage

April 6, 2010 -

In response to CNN’s RapeLay coverage, a Japanese artist has penned an open letter to the network decrying its reporting of the matter.

Nogami Takeshi wrote that his career began drawing hentai manga (sexually explicit anime comic), though most of his current work was described as non-hentai manga. As such, Nogami calls himself “well qualified to object to the views you present.”

After noting that, “... we Japanese enjoy one of the most safe and peaceful societies on Earth,” Nogami admits that Japanese society does have its problems, but that, “I frankly do not think that you are the ones to tell us [about the problems]."

He continued:

33 comments | Read more

Swiss Game Ban May Feature Only a Little Censorship

April 5, 2010 -

According to the politician behind the law, a recently-ratified, but not yet enacted, Swiss violent game ban would not blindly outlaw all violent games.

Swiss Social Democrat Evi Allemann (pictured) was recently interviewed by the Swiss publication 20 Minutes Online (translated) and indicated that the ban would apply only to “individual games.” She estimated that, “like in Germany,” only 12 or so games would wind up being banned, including titles such as Mortal Kombat and Manhunt (which are banned in Germany), but not the likes of Counter-Strike.

RapeLay Resurfaces on CNN

March 31, 2010 -

RapeLay, the difficult-to-defend game that’s a favorite target of politicians, is the focus of a CNN story which attempts to paint a picture of the game’s rising viral popularity.

While a voiceover says, “the game infuriates women’s rights groups,” the video cuts to Taina Bien-Aime, Executive Director of Equality Now. She states, “These sort of games that normalize extreme sexual violence in women and girls really have no place in our communities”

Bien-Aime later adds:

What we are calling for though, is that the Japanese government ban all games that promote and simulate sexual violence, sexual torture, stalking and rape against women and girls, and there are plenty of games like that.

69 comments | Read more

Swiss Pass Violent Game Bans, Actual Laws to Follow

March 19, 2010 -

So much for remaining neutral—a pair of Swiss resolutions dealing with violent videogames have been passed by the country’s National Council.

As detailed last month, the first resolution, proposed by Christian Democratic Party member and National Councillor Norbert Hochreutener, would make it illegal to sell PEGI 16 or 18-rated games to minors, while a second resolution, backed by Social Democrat Evi Allemann, called for a complete ban of violent and adult-themed videogames.

Six Days in Fallujah Completed

March 3, 2010 -

Atomic Games President Peter Tamte indicated late last year that his company was “committed” to finishing the controversial Six Days in Fallujah videogame and it appears he has remained true to his word.

A story on IGN, citing a “source close to the game’s development,” reports that the game has been completed, though a release date for the game, or publisher, was not disclosed.

Konami had initially backed the project and was going to serve as its publisher before a series of negative public reactions to the game became public. The families of military personnel wounded or killed in the Iraqi war, and even some soldiers themselves, believed that it was too soon for such a game to be released, as the war was still ongoing (and indeed still is today) at the time of the announcement.

Other groups expressed dismay over the project due to heavy civilian losses reported in the real fight over Fallujah. Additional reports that insurgents may have helped contribute to the game’s development did nothing to lessen the controversy surrounding the title.

Konami eventually bailed on Atomic Games and Six days in Fallujah in April of last year, citing negative reactions to the game.
 

Thanks Andrew!

12 comments

Forecast Calls for No Heavy Rain in UAE

February 23, 2010 -

The Quantic Dream-developed PlayStation 3 title Heavy Rain, which releases stateside today, will not see the light of day in the United Arab Emirates.

The Khaleej Times reports that the UAE’s National Media Council, in what sounds like a late reaction, stopped the release of the game. The paper speculated that a scene from the game in which a character is forced to perform a topless dance at gunpoint was most likely among the reasons for the game’s ban.

A Sony PR rep confirmed the game’s ban, noting that Heavy Rain “has been conceived from the earliest stages as a genuinely adult experience. This means that it deals with strong content including blood and nudity, but treats this content in amature and sensitive manner.”

Problem solving UAE residents that wish to play the game will probably not have too hard of a time finding the title according to one gamer, who said, “There’s a flourishing gray market out there and the title will be available there, if it already isn’t.”


Thanks Andrew and Gellymatos!

11 comments

Swiss Violent Videogame Resolutions Move Forward

February 18, 2010 -

The topic of violent and adult-rated games has once again bubbled up in Switzerland.

MCVUK and TechEye both report on a resolution that passed unanimously in the Commission for Legal Affairs and would make it illegal to sell games rated PEGI 16 or 18 to under-age minors. Swiss parliament will now have a chance to vote on the measure, which was originally introduced by Christian Democratic Party member and National Councillor Norbert Hochreutener in 2007.

TechEye writes that Hochreutener believes the law is needed to “enforce ratings and make sure kids cannot play what are called 'killer games' in the German-speaking part of Europe.”

A second, and more troubling motion, would call for a complete ban of violent and adult-themed videogames within the country. This motion passed too, though with a closer vote of nine to three, and will also head off to parliament for vote. One of the backers of this proposal is Social Democrat Evi Allemann (pictured).

Allemann’s website offers some of her thoughts (translated) on the banning of such “killer” games:

Such games do not make each one a killer, but they increase the willingness of those who are already vulnerable. A blanket ban on such games therefore seems appropriate and proportionate, especially since they do not have any worth protecting cultural and social content and there are thousands of other exciting games that work without such extreme violence.

One way to implement the motion lies in the operationalization of Article 135 of the Criminal Code. This prohibits the display, manufacture, importation, storage, promotion, etc. of sound and visual recordings of cruel violence.

Another country to keep an eye on in the future.

Edit: Fixed the link for the translated section of Alleman's website.

Game Based On Homeless Hits U.S.

February 17, 2010 -

A controversial online game has launched stateside.

Billed as Europe’s most popular browser-based game, Bumrise, from German developer Farbflut Entertainment, starts with players in the role of a homeless person. The aim is to eventually rise socially, with an ultimate goal of achieving elite Manhattanite status. Players can earn money by collecting bottles or by learning to play an instrument and busking for money on the streets. Players can team up with their friends to play the game together.

The game has rankled feathers around the world, with the Telegraph reporting on outrage from French homeless groups after the game’s launch in that country. A spokesperson for the Red Cross called the game, “…a disgrace, it's degrading, it's humiliating to make the homeless the butt of derision.”

For its part, Farbflut claims that part of the proceeds from the game have been “regularly” donated to homeless organizations. The company added:

Although Bumrise holds many cliches and stereotypes, it is set upon a satirical and exaggerated context. With help from our users, we assist the homeless people in Hamburg, and soon New York, with a portion of our revenues, thus bringing attention to their situation.

The game is also available on FaceBook under the name StreetRivals, “a more global name to incorporate all international versions into one game.”

8 comments

Violent Games Assailed by Church of England

February 12, 2010 -

The Church of England has issued a call for tighter regulation of videogames.

The Church, which perhaps still has a bad taste in its mouth from the use of Manchester Cathedral in Resistance: Fall of Man, addressed the issue of violent games in a meeting of its general synod on Thursday night.

Following an introduction, in which speakers were cautioned not to mention the names of specific games because “there is a risk of legal proceedings,” Tom Benyon (pictured), a former MP, took the microphone.

Benyon labeled the Byron Report “good in parts,” but said that it “did not go far enough.” He proceeded to read a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes which he felt “encapsulates the essence of what we are about today in the matter of violent and sexual DVDs.”

God's plan made a hopeful beginning. But man spoiled his chances by sinning. We trust that the story will end in God's glory. But, at present, the other side's winning.

He continued:

A bubbling sewer of gratuitously violent and sexual pornography in DVD games are washing all around us. Byron relied on the proposition that parents have a liability or are interested in controlling what their children do. We think, sadly, that that is optimistic and a prize hope.

Benyon went on to recount the story of a “family member” who “saw one so-called game some years ago and had nightmares. He was a teenager. He was an innocent and he was profoundly shocked. The damage that he suffered was substantial. The images remained with him for months.”

Benyon also had a compilation of violent games on CD that he was going to show, but he decided not to ruin the “evenings or supper” of attendees by showing it.

He added, “I know that the Devil is said to have all the best tunes. Without any question of doubt he has the monopoly of violent and pornographic videogames.”

The Archbishop of York offered analogies to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, selecting a quote from the latter, that “law cannot legislate for morals, but it can actually regulate it.” He added, “On this great day of celebrating 20 years since Mandela came out of prison, can we help our young people to come out of the prison of these awful, awful videogames.”

Full audio of the hour-long meeting can be listened to here.


Via The Guardian

Distributors, Retailers React to Proposed Brazilian Game Ban

February 8, 2010 -

Early in December, word came out of Brazil that the country was considering legislation to make it a crime to create, import or distribute videogames “that affect the customs, traditions of the people, their worship, creeds, religions and symbols.”

The bill was sponsored by Brazilian Senator Valdir Raupp, who, as Brazilian website UOL reports (translated), is not in the habit of playing videogames himself and could not name any particular game that might fall under the proposed legislation.

Raupp did, however, diss Brazil’s rating system for games—the Department of Justice, Ratings, Titles and Qualification (DJCTQ)—saying he was “certain” that people were not following its guidelines. David Ulysses, Director of the Department of Justice, would not address Raupp’s comments directly, but believes that it is not necessary to censor games in Brazil, saying that the current system supports freedom of expression and consumer choice.

Marcos Khalil owns UZ Games, a retail videogame establishment in Brazil with 22 locations. He stated that such a ban could further impact what is already a “small domestic industry” and could lead to him closing stores and laying off employees, not to mention increasing illegal sales or piracy of games.

Level-Up! Managing Director Julio Vietez, whose company serves up digital copies of games via the Internet, was concerned over the term “offensive” used in the bill, noting that what is offensive to one person or group might not necessarily offend a different person or group.

Glauco Bueno, Director of Marketing and Strategy of Latin America for distributor Synergex, also expressed dismay should the bill become law, “It would be a setback to the advancement of the entertainment media in Brazil, with serious effects on the chain…”


Thanks Maurício!

7 comments

Dante’s Inferno Banishes Itself from Middle East

February 8, 2010 -

Electronic Arts’ Dante’s Inferno will not be released in the Middle East.

EA didn’t even bother to submit the game to censors reports GamesLatest, apparently realizing that a game focused on the nine circles of Hell would be destined for banning, much like the treatment Darksiders, God of War and Grand Theft Auto IV received in the past from the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, EA said, “Electronic Arts has decided not to release Dante’s Inferno in the Middle East after an evaluation process which is based on consumer tastes, preferences, platform mix and other factors.”

If a circle of Hell had to be applied to this story, the First Circle appears most appropriate—Limbo.


Thanks gellymatos!

13 comments

Brazil Discussing Violent Game Ban

December 3, 2009 -

Brazilian Senator Valdir Raupp (pictured left) has authored a bill that would make it a crime to make, import or distribute “offensive” videogames in the South American country.

A story on the Brazilian website UOL (translation here) reports that the Education Commission of the Senate has approved the measure, which will now go to vote in the Committee on Constitution and Justice.

Raupp’s goal is to, “curb the manufacture, distribution, importation, distribution, trading and custody, storage, the video games that affect the customs, traditions of the people, their worship, creeds, religions and symbols.”

He continued, “Therefore, we seek to protect the principle of equality - for many the greatest of constitutional principles - with the characterization of such discriminatory conduct as a crime by making provision in the law.”

The bill seeks a penalty of one to three years imprisonment for those committing an offense.

The story notes that Brazil has banned games such as Carmageddon, Postal and Grand Theft Auto in the past.


Thanks Maurício

21 comments

Lanning On Why Violent Games Are Still a Talking Point

November 18, 2009 -

A recent screening of Spencer Halpin’s Moral Kombat documentary featured a post-show panel of game experts discussing some of the topics presented in the film.

The screening took place on November 11th in San Francisco. Members of the roundtable included Wired’s Chris Kohler, Dean Takahashi from Venure Beat, Lorne Lanning of Oddworld Inhabitants and Spencer Halpin.

Perhaps the most interesting response was that of Lanning’s in response to the question of why violence and videogames is still such a hot topic:

They (media groups) want the sensationalism. They will broadcast anytime there’s a shooting; they will find people that have a very specific, loud, sensational, fearful opinion of it, and they will give them prime airtime. If you add up those minutes of airtime it’s actually a fair amount of penetration into the public mind.

But then, we look at the court cases and the Supreme Court decisions and court decisions in nine states, at the time I looked into it. And all of them, throughout all of these cases… they were sham cases. Those court cases, and the results of that, never get any airtime, because that’s not selling news. So we wind up with a very distorted opinion from the public perspective, those that rely on the corporate media. The results of the court case maybe be on page 9, probably on page 19 and take up a tenth of a page.

Meanwhile, when the sensationalism happens… the critics, with false claims that they are never held to, get a lot of exposure and that exposure compounds. We see this in so many things… in the lead up to the war, in healthcare… When it was a hot topic, we could count on the coverage being in a certain direction and I think we can continue to count on that because the media behavior isn’t changing for the better, if anything it can pretty much be proven it’s changing for the worse.


The full post-film discussion is available on YouTube in four segments: part one, part two, part three and part four.

Disclosure: Filmmaker Spencer Halpin is the brother of Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin. The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

12 comments

TiVo Alert: Fox News to Tackle MW2

November 10, 2009 -

It was only a matter of time before Fox News got involved in the issue of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and we have confirmation that they will tackle the game tomorrow morning during the Fox & Friends show.

The ECA, which operates GamePolitics, received an email from FOX News around 11 a.m. EST today asking to speak to an "expert gamer" about the controversies surrounding the game. The pertinent part of the email:

Hello,

I write to inquire about a possible interview tomorrow on Fox & Friends. We're the morning show of the Fox News Channel, and are planning on doing a segment on the new Xbox game, Modern Warfare 2. We're hoping to have a debate on the game, and would love to speak to an expert gamer on the controversies surrounding the game. The debate is for 6:50am tomorrow morning, on camera.

The email came to Jason Andersen, the ECA's director of PR. When he responded that the ECA might be interested but they needed more information, he did not receive an answer. So it appears that the ECA will not be the representative side of the games industry.

Hal Halpin, president of the ECA, said that he heard from other sources that FOX wanted to "discuss the ethics and morals that game developers employ when making decisions about what content/direction to employ when they're creating games."

GP: We all know what a pillar of integrity FOX News can be when it comes to covering video games, remembering in particular their coverage of the alien sex simulator that was Mass Effect. Cooper Lawrence, an author used by FOX to bash Mass Effect, later recanted her comments saying:

"Before the show I had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said it's like pornography. But it's not like pornography. I've seen episodes of Lost that are more sexually explicit."

So it will be interesting to see how they handle this, seeing as there is already a lot of misinformation about the Modern Warfare 2 terrorist sequence in the mainstream press. Hopefully, whoever responds for "the gamer" will be able to hold their own as well as Geoff Keighley did against Cooper Lawrence.

Watch the episode tomorrow at 6:50 a.m. and tell us what you think.

Update: For a cartoonist's take on the Fox News coverage, check out Crispy Gamer's Backward Compatible.

45 comments

PC Version of Manhunt 2 May Carry an AO Rating, But How Will It Get Sold?

August 26, 2009 -

As noted by Joystiq, the ESRB is currently listing the upcoming PC version of Manhunt 2 with an Adults Only (AO) rating.

GamePolitics readers will likely recall that the console versions of Manhunt 2 generated a major controversy in the summer of 2007 when the game was banned in Britain and tagged with an AO here in the States. Rockstar subsequently released a toned-down version that earned an M (17+) rating for the U.S. market.

That was a critical milestone, because the Big Three console makers won't license AO-rated games for their systems, which makes it tough for a publisher to earn a return on its investment. That's why you don't see any AO-rated console games. While the open architecture of the PC negates licensing concerns, an AO-rated Manhunt 2 would still get thumbs-down from major retailers like GameStop and Wal-Mart.

That means that Rockstar is either planning a digital distribution campaign for Manhunt 2 or that it will edit the PC version - as it did with the console editions - to earn an M from the ESRB. Of course, there is a third scenario: Rockstar could ship an M-rated version to retailers while distributing an AO-rated version online.

We wonder how Valve might react to handling an AO game if its Steam service, which currently distributes Rockstar's GTA IV online, is under consideration as a potential digital distribution source for Manhunt 2.

Shadow Complex Boycott a Non-Starter?

August 26, 2009 -

Calls to boycott Xbox Live Arcade offering Shadow Complex because it is based on the works of anti-gay rights author Orson Scott Card may be falling on deaf ears, reports gamezine.co.uk.

Card is part of the National Organisation for Marriage: founded in 2007 to act as an organised opposion against same-sex marriage. Card has personally campaigned against gay marriage, which he believes would mark an end to democracy. He further argues that homosexuality is a dysfunction...

Whatever the case, it looks like the boycott didn't work. Following rave reviews, Shadow Complex has romped to the top of the most played Xbox LIVE Arcade titles, even entering the top ten of all Xbox 360 games played online.

89 comments

Old Gay Bashing Game Resurfaces, Sparks Eastern Euro Controversy

July 20, 2009 -

A Flash game in which players must shoot naked men in order to avoid being sexually assaulted has sparked controversy in Eastern Europe.

As reported by The Observers, Watch Out Behind You, Hunter! was originally released in 2002 on the French Uzinagaz portal, but subsequently banned following protests by gay rights advocates. More recently, the game has surfaced on a site hosted in Georgia.

Gay Armenia writes:

This is totally disgusting. The website has to be shut down unless they take this game out of their server... I wonder, where are the voices of those religious-minded people in Tbilisi, Georgia, who swear in the name of Georgian patriarch and constantly cite Bible to ‘justify’ their homophobia and hatred. Is this their (un-)‘orthodox’ way of bringing up children by creating an image of enemy (=gays) and teaching how to deal with it (=kill them)?

Jean Christophe Calvet, who operates Uzinagaz, defended the game:

We launched this game [in 2002] and it worked very well. It was only a few years after it came out that a gay rights association took legal action against us. So we withdrew the game. It's no longer available on French sites, but it's impossible to wipe it from all foreign sites too.

I have to say that at the beginning, we really didn't understand why the association was attacking us. The guy who came up with the game... wanted to mock hunters and red-necks, not gay men.

Our games are not politically correct. They're aimed at teenagers (12-18) and it's true that they're of a juvenile humour. I realise now that this one in particularly could be found shocking, but I believe that you should be able to make this kind of joke in the name of freedom of speech...

Via: GameCulture

30 comments

 
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MattsworknameAndrew: Even if you low ball the number of games on that list, or were to discount those that don't have exclusively female protaganists, that list is 36 pages long, 10 per page, thats HUNDREDS of games. how does that not show that woman are far better07/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Andrew EisenI never said you said sexism or harassment doesn't exist and didn't mean to imply it either. No, I'm not cherry picking. Obviously.07/28/2015 - 5:11pm
Andrew EisenNo, gaming companies are not on their knees. That's silly. They're free to listen or not listen as they see fit.07/28/2015 - 5:09pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, you are not labeled a misogynist for simply disagreeing with people like Sarkeesian or Quinn. That is completely untrue.07/28/2015 - 5:08pm
Andrew EisenSorry for the all caps but we don't have the ability to bold in the the Shout box.07/28/2015 - 5:08pm
NatirI never said sexism and harassment doesn't exists, just those few women are making it seem way worse. Are you literally cherry picking one part of the entire conversation going on here?07/28/2015 - 5:08pm
NatirAndrew, if you disagree with people like Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn, you are labeled as misogynistic. Gaming companies are at their knees when it comes to people like them and gaming journalism. You disagree with them, your reputation is on the line.07/28/2015 - 5:07pm
Andrew EisenNatir - This is what you said: "The point is that these women do very little for the gaming industry but paint it to be a very bad place. From just constant harassment from (male) gamers to just SEXISM IN THE WORKPLACE. Stuff that just isn't true."07/28/2015 - 5:06pm
NatirI'm not arguing anything about sexism and harassment in the workplace... What are you talking about?07/28/2015 - 5:04pm
Andrew EisenYes, you've linked that several times and several times I've explained why that list isn't exactly what it says it is nor is it reflective of the actual criticism.07/28/2015 - 5:04pm
Mattsworknamehttp://www.giantbomb.com/female-protagonists/3015-2287/games/07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
MattsworknameFor the record, here is a list of games with female protagnists from they year 2014, as per giant bomb.07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
Mattsworknameandrew, I think natir may have ment a differnet point. I don't think he was aruging the workplace side, I think he was aruging the diversity in the games themselves, maybe.07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAnd I'll repeat this as many times as it needs repeating: no one (except maybe some random, anonymous numb nuts on Twitter) is calling anyone a misogynist simply for disagreeing with Sarkeesian and her ilk.07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenNatir - What lie? What movement? What does that snide quote have to do with anything?07/28/2015 - 5:00pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Completely disagree. Any thinking person can see that just like with gamers, the most toxic elements, while the most attention getting, are not the majority or representative of the whole.07/28/2015 - 4:59pm
Andrew EisenNatir - Harassment and sexism in the workplace is true. It's been extensively observed and documented. That doesn't mean everything is bad. But that all doesn't mean shining a light on it to try and make it even better is an undesirable move either.07/28/2015 - 4:57pm
NatirThe movement they started is based on a complete lie and that is the real problem. Most people don't realize or those that do, ignore it because of the reprisal they get for disagreeing. You disagree with them and call them out? You are misogynistic now.07/28/2015 - 4:57pm
NatirHere is a good quote from the wordpress site: "Zoe Quinn with her little twine game commands the attention to be in documentaries, to be quoted on Kotaku, as Anita Sarkeesian is claimed to be one of the 100 most influential people in the world."07/28/2015 - 4:55pm
MattsworknameAndrew: its very true what you say, but with Feminism, the toxic fringe has become the main stream face of the movment, to the point where the US rep to the un on womens issues has called feminism a toxic word.07/28/2015 - 4:55pm
 

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