PGA’s Els Backs Golf Game for Special Needs Users

September 22, 2010 -

The PGA Tour’s Ernie Els has teamed up with VTree LLC in order to produce a golf videogame that can be enjoyed by all users, even those with disabilities or special needs.

Powered by EA Sports technology, My Golf Game Featuring Ernie Els will be released for the PC the week of October 11 and supports the use of a variety of input devices, including a touch screen, foot pedals or voice recognition for disabled users, in addition to typical devices like a mouse, keyboard or Xbox 360 controller.

A percentage of proceeds from the game’s sales will go to the golfer’s The Els for Autism Foundation. Els stated, “I am proud to be associated with 'My Golf Game.' As a parent of a child with autism it is great to see such a high quality game available to a wider group of gamers that will help develop key coordination skills."

1 comment | Read more

Op-Ed Praises Utah AG’s Supreme Decision

September 22, 2010 -

The courting of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (pictured) by both sides in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA  U.S. Supreme Court case ended with him signing onto an amicus brief supporting the game industry, where he was joined by fellow attorneys general from Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Washington.

A disjointed op-ed in Utah’s Standard-Examiner praised Shurtleff’s decision, yet still managed to take some pot shots at the game industry.

Shurtleff stated that he backed the game industry because he was “convinced” that the First Amendment protects games, a point agreed with in the op-ed:

Is it right for the government to freeze speech -- in this case the video games -- because some people are offended by the violence? The answer is no.

Autodesk, EULAs and Games, Oh Boy

September 20, 2010 -

You may have recently heard of a court decision out of the Ninth Circuit involving horror stories about EULAs banning the right to resell games. There has been a lot of misinformation and fearmongering surrounding the case, with people shouting how it is the end of the world. It really isn't, and I'd like to take the opportunity to go over the actual decision, as well as the existing law behind it, to explain why this will have minimal, if any, effect on gamers.

Background on First Sale

40 comments | Read more

Online Billing Solution Provider Files Brief Backing Game Industry

September 20, 2010 -

In what may initially seem like a stretch, Vindicia, a “leading provider of on-demand strategic billing solutions,” has filed an amicus brief in support of the videogame side in Schwarzenegger vs EMA.

The brief (PDF) makes a bit more sense when put in the context that Vindicia has clients such as Activision Blizzard and Atari. The company stated that the law at the center of the case “substantially impacts Vindicia, its customers, and the consumers they serve… by creating uncertainty regarding the legal status of video game expression.”

Furthermore, the “the Act’s age verification mandate jeopardizes significant modes of online commerce.”

Among Vindicia’s arguments:

Scholars File Brief Opposing California Videogame Law

September 20, 2010 -

Eighty-two scholars and researchers signed their name to a brief voicing opposition to the California law at the center of Schwarzenegger vs EMA.

Noting that the issue now awaiting a Supreme Court ruling is subject to strict scrutiny because it attempts to regulate the sale of games based on content, the scholars’ brief argues that California has neither provided “substantial evidence” that games cause psychological or neurological harm to minors playing them, nor does the state “demonstrate that the restriction will ‘alleviate these harms in a direct and material way.’”

Additionally:

Indeed, California does not offer any reliable evidence, let alone substantial evidence, that playing violent video games causes psychological or neurological harm to minors. California confesses it cannot prove causation, but points to studies that it says show a “correlation” between the two. But the evidence does not even do that.

ESA and EMA File SCOTUS Brief

September 10, 2010 -

Billing the California law at the heart of the Schwarzenegger vs EMA Supreme Court case as the “latest in a long history of overreactions to new expressive media,” the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) have filed their argument against the restriction of videogame sales in California.

The brief contends that videogames are a form of expression “as rich in content as books and movies,” and that they “are fully protected by the First Amendment.”

It was written that “California’s argument is not saved by the fact that the State is purportedly acting to assist parents,” adding:

GOW 3 Contest Raises $150k for Child’s Play

September 10, 2010 -

Allowing gamers to decide the fate of Gears of War 3 character Clayton Carmine will result in the Penny Arcade-backed charity Child’s Play receiving a donation of $150,000.

The Fate of Carmine campaign let participants vote on whether or not the third of four brothers to appear in the series will live, or die as siblings Anthony and Ben did before him. Votes were expressed in the purchase of “Save Carmine” or “Carmine Must Die” t-shirts, both real and in the form of Xbox Live avatar garb.

While Carmine’s fate has been chosen, Epic Games isn’t letting the results be known yet, but the company’s Cliffy B and Rod Fergusson shot the embedded YouTube video to let the gaming community know about the princely sum raised.

Microsoft also supported the charity drive, which saw 80 percent of the funds raised going to Child’s Play, with 20 percent reserved for administrative, bandwidth, and other associated support costs.

Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH Comments

September 9, 2010 -

In response to Canadian Defence Minster Peter MacKay’s (pictured) disapproving comments about the Electronic Arts game Medal of Honor, an Ottawa Citizen columnist took to his pulpit in order to offer a spirited defense (defence) of videogames.

Referring to the ability to play as the Taliban in the game, MacKay had said that, “I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.”

In his column, Dan Gardner replied, “No one ever accused Peter MacKay of being Her Majesty's most cerebral minister…”

MacKay had also lamented that children might take on the role of insurgents in the game, a point which Gardner addressed:

Eagle Forum Founder Blast Videogames

September 9, 2010 -

Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the “pro-family” Eagle Forum has authored a column in which she takes a hatchet to videogames, while attempting to outline the fight by both sides in the Schwarzenegger vs EMA case to rally state attorneys general to their respective squads.

A few of the descriptors used by Schlafly to portray videogames in her piece include: “extremely violent and addictive,” “polluting,” “increasingly realistic bloodshed,” “highly disturbing,” “heinous acts of terrorism” and “evil products.”

In case you hadn’t guessed it yet, Schlafly is not a huge fan of games. A sampling of her more inane arguments against videogames follow:

Some games are programmed to become more violent while the game is being played, and parents usually don't or can't play the games.

Lawsuit Seeks to End Border Searches of Electronic Devices

September 8, 2010 -

When the President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is forced to log in to her laptop at an airport and a customs official disappears for 30 minutes with the computer, it’s probably a safe bet that some form of litigation will emerge from the encounter.

This is exactly what happened to Lisa Wayne as she was traveling home from Mexico in August of 2008. The incident, according to the National Law Journal, took place at the Houston, Texas airport and eventually resulted in her organization joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

6 comments | Read more

TEN Releases First Exergame Ratings

September 7, 2010 -

Just a few weeks after a child psychiatrist called for games to feature exercise ratings, a non-profit health advocacy group affiliated with Games for Health has released its own exergame rating system.

The Exergame Network (TEN) came up with its Exergaming Experience Rating System (EERS), which scores games first on their game play, interface and energy expended, and then grades on an additional seven criteria, including customization, accessibility, biometric feedback, intervention capability, socialization, sustainability and safety.

1 comment | Read more

No Mafia II for UAE

September 7, 2010 -

The United Arab Emirates’ National Media Council has banned the release of Take-Two Interactive’s Mafia II videogame in that country.

Nitin Mathew, of the Dubai-based distribution firm Red Entertainment Distribution, told Arabian Business that the game was banned because of its “excessive violence and nudity.”

Mafia II was going to be released at the end of August, but now it will share the same fate as its predecessor Mafia, which was also banished from the UAE. Other recent games outlawed in the UAE include Heavy Rain, Dante’s Inferno (which wasn’t even submitted to censors), Darksiders, God of War and Grand Theft Auto IV.

3 comments | Read more

Researcher Ferguson Urges Utah AG to Side with Game Industry

September 7, 2010 -

As Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff continues to decide whether to throw his state’s support behind an amicus brief opposing California’s violent videogame bill at the heart of Schwarzenegger vs EMA, Texas A&M International Associate Professor Christopher J Ferguson sent a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune urging Shurtleff to join the game industry’s side.

Ferguson, best known around these parts for his videogame research, outlined three reasons why Shurtleff should oppose the California bill:

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.

How Gearbox Ended up with Duke Nukem Forever

September 6, 2010 -

Since some politicians somewhere will be complaining about the depravity of Duke Nukem Forever at some point, you might as well know how Gearbox Software ended up with the rights to the game. You may recall, as original creator 3DRealms went bankrupt last year it had a disagreement with Take Two as well and ended up in court - mostly due to investments the publisher made in anticipation of eventually releasing the game.. at some point.

2 comments | Read more

Stardock Confirms Layoffs in Wake of Elemental Launch Problems

September 6, 2010 -

Brad Wardell confirmed that Stardock was forced to lay off several employees in the wake of the bungled launch of Elemental: War of Magic. On Friday reports from Shacknews and Joystiq said that the company had laid off several employees in anticipation of dwindling sales and a general lack of interest in the game.

Wardell had alluded to this late last week in a forum post on the Elemental boards, taking full responsibility for the sorry state of the game at launch and saying that there would be strong repercussions for the company. We assume these layoffs are one of those repercussions.

Here's what Wardell said in confirming the stories about lay offs in the Elemental Forums:

1 comment | Read more

EULAs Inability to Stop Lineage II Lawsuit

September 3, 2010 -

A judge’s ruling earlier last month that Craig Smallwood’s lawsuit against Lineage II maker NCsoft could continue (a suit in which Smallwood claimed he was addicted to the game), could have an impact on End User Licensing Agreements (EULA).

A lawyer at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy named Steven Roosa took to his blog (thanks Slashdot) to discuss the Smallwood case, using the headline “A Software License Agreement Takes it on the Chin.”

Roosa detailed NCsoft’s attempt to stop the lawsuit by using Section 12 of its User Agreement, which is entitled “Limitation of Liability.” The judge eventually only partially granted NCsoft’s motion to dismiss.

Roosa wrote:

11 comments | Read more

GameStop Stores on Military Bases Won’t Sell MOH

September 2, 2010 -

GameStop announced today that "out of respect for our past and present men and women in uniform we will not carry Medal of Honor in any of our AAFES based stores". AAFES, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, is responsible for commercial sales on military posts and often includes outside vendors such as GameStop.

Based on the language reported by Kotaku, it appears that the request actually came from AAFES and is simply being honored by GameStop. From the email to GameStop employees earlier today, "GameStop fully supports AAFES in this endeavor and is sensitive to the fact that in multiplayer mode one side will assume the role of Taliban fighter."

Extra Credits Outlines SCOTUS Case

September 2, 2010 -

The latest Extra Credits video, as seen on The Escapist, takes on the Schwarzenegger vs EMA Supreme Court case, offering a rather complete overview  for those who might not be totally up to speed on what this action could mean for gamers.

Thanks Andrew!

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

MS Exec: Kinect Could Help 360 Get to Market in China

September 1, 2010 -

As Microsoft continues to try and get its Xbox 360 to market in China, an executive for the company outlined why Kinect may be a valuable asset in its push and how MS plans to combat piracy in the Asian country.

Simon Leung (pictured), Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO for the Greater China region, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, first noted why China is such an attractive region, if it wasn’t already apparent, stating that China would soon be the world’s largest PC market, while it's already tops in the mobile phone and broadband categories.

Leung indicated that China is becoming a growing adopter of cloud computing, which could help protect Microsoft, as Leung stated, “… you cannot pirate a cloud application.”

Asked about selling consoles in China, Leung responded:

| Read more

Understanding the Cycle of Violent Videogame Stories

August 31, 2010 -

Kotaku points us towards an interesting Ted Talk in which David McCandless, a self-proclaimed “data journalist” discusses overcoming information overload by visualizing and designing information so we can focus on what’s important.

After showing a graph a “landscape of the world’s fears”, or a chart showing off popular scares over the last decade, which included Swine Flu, Bird Flu, SARS, the Millennium Bug, Asteroid Collisions and Killer Wasps, McCandless pulled up a slide charting the landscape of violent videogames.

3 comments | Read more

Utah Paper Against Possible AG Support of Game Industry

August 31, 2010 -

An editorial in The Salt Lake Tribune calls Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s decision to possibly support the videogame industry in the upcoming Schwarzenegger v. EMA SCOTUS case “baffling.”

It appears the paper has sided with pro-life groups and a handful of politicians in condemning Shurtleff (pictured) for a decision he hasn’t even made yet. Titled, “Let it Go,” the editorial stopped just short of labeling Shurtleff a hypocrite, saying instead that opposing the California law was ironic for someone representing a state “that trumpets its devotion to family values.”

4 comments | Read more

New Zealand Latest Stop for MOH Bashing Tour

August 31, 2010 -

Expect sales of Electronic Arts’ Medal of Honor to do a little better in New Zealand after that country’s Defense Minister Wayne Mapp (pictured) joined his UK counterpart in condemning the title.

Mapp, who is also New Zealand’s Minister of Research, Science and Technology, spoke out against the game because, presumably, of its multiplayer component, where gamers will have the ability to fight as Taliban forces.

In comments carried by GamePlanet, Mapp stated that, “Terrorist acts have caused the deaths of several New Zealanders.” He continued, “This game undermines the values of our nation, and the dedicated service of our men and women in uniform.”

Analyst: Global Games Market Worth $105 Billion

August 27, 2010 -

According to Paul Heydon, an investment banker with Avista Partners, the global games market "cap" has reached $105 billion - including online games. During a talk at Edinburgh Interactive Heydon said that most analysts don't factor in revenues from anything outside of the traditional PC and console sector - which usually hits the $50 billion mark. But when you factor in online games that number jumps to $105 billion. Further, he says that online games - which includes MMO, casual, and social - make up 71 percent of the market.

Here's Heydon's breakdown:

Nintendo – $34.96 billion

Other PC/Console (without Nintendo) – $33.22 billion

Online – $23.46 billion

Mobile – $8.26 billion

Retail – $3.11 billion

Payment Services – $1.37 billion

Distribution/Accessories – $311 million

Outsourcing – $255 million

Source: MCV UK

1 comment

Telegraph Columnist Goes on Fox Hunt Over MOH Comments

August 26, 2010 -

An excellent piece on the UK’s Telegraph website rips Defense Secretary Liam Fox for his prattle about EA’s upcoming Medal of Honor game, while also outlining the impact Fox’s comments will have on game sales and how such attacks by “outsiders” raise the cackles hackles of gamers.

Fox totally missed the boat in his condemnation of the game as he argued for its ban in the UK, claiming that the game was “un-British,” even though British forces do not factor into the game at all.

If Fox wanted to make a reasonable argument about the game, as Nick Cowen explains, he could have chosen a different tack:

Pro-Family Groups Trying to Sway Utah AG’s Schwarzenegger Stance

August 25, 2010 -

As Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff considers submitting an amicus brief that would support the videogame industry side in the Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court case, "pro-family" groups and other legislators from his state held a press conference to try and get him to change his mind.

Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka, Laura Bunker (pictured), Chairwoman of United Families Utah and State Representatives Jim Dunnigan (R) and Julie Fisher (R) all gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday, according to a story in the Deseret News.

Bunker stated, “As the most family-oriented state in the nation, Utah should support this law that promotes the protection of children.”

31 comments | Read more

Use of Italian Plaza in GT5 Angers Official

August 23, 2010 -

Piazza del Campo is a historic space in Siena, Italy, famous for being the scene of a biannual bareback horse race named the Palio di Siena. The use of the space as a cart track in the upcoming Gran Turismo 5 however, as illustrated in the accompanying video, has angered at least one Italian official.

Kotaku reports that Anna Carli, CEO of the Consortium for the Protection of the Palio is reaching out to Sony officials in order to resolve this dispute.

16 comments | Read more

W&M Law School to Present Mock Schwarzenegger vs EMA Case

August 23, 2010 -

In what could be a preview of what might happen when the Supreme Court finally addresses the Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association case this fall or early next year, the Institute of Bill of Rights Law (IBRL) at William & Mary Law School will run through the violent videogame case as part of its 2010-2011 Supreme Court Preview.

The two-day event kicks off on Friday night, September 24 and will feature experienced Supreme Court advocates presenting arguments before the IBRL’s mock panel of Supreme Court Justices. Events will conclude in a 9am to 4pm session on Saturday, September 25.

This year’s participants include Lyle Denniston from the SCOTUS Blog, USA Today’s Joan Biskupic, The Wall Street Journal’s Jess Bravin, the New York Times’ Adam Liptak, University of California, Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemrinsky, U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General Beth Brinkman and William & Mary School of Law Dean Davison Douglas.

7 comments | Read more

UK Pol Calls for MOH Ban, Labels Game “Disgusting”

August 23, 2010 -

Upset over the ability to play as the Taliban in multiplayer modes of Electronic Arts’ upcoming Medal of Honor game, UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox has called for retailers in that country to forego selling the game.

Fox’s full rant appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Times, which is behind a pay wall, but fortunately CVG (thanks Cheater87) transcribed some of Fox’s thoughts on the game.

After calling the opportunity to play as the Taliban “disgusting,” Fox continued:

It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban.

I am disgusted and angry. It's hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game.

I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Which group is more ethically challenged?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Goth_SkunkNiiiiiiiiiiice!07/08/2015 - 2:03am
Andrew EisenThe original movie's Ecto-1 was a '59 Cadillac. I don't know cars but Twitter tells me this is an '84 Cadillac. The original Ghostbusters came out in '84. Cute!07/08/2015 - 1:14am
Andrew EisenHere's the back side: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61862135787884953607/08/2015 - 1:07am
Andrew EisenNew Ecto-1! https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61860585924191846507/08/2015 - 12:58am
Goth_Skunk"The New Totalitarians Are Here" from The Federalist. http://ow.ly/Pjz3b07/07/2015 - 11:31pm
MattsworknameThere was a time in america when we needed unions and they served a good purpose, but that time hasnt been tbe case for about 20 years or more. The same could be said of our current system for teachers in higher educatoin,but thats a whole nother story07/07/2015 - 10:22pm
TechnogeekIn large part, though, that's an extension of the level of unjust deference given to police in general. Kind of hard to find any real grievances to defend against when the organizational culture views "complains about coworker" as worse than "murderer".07/07/2015 - 8:45pm
TechnogeekThat's a police union.07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
TechnogeekNo, police unions are worse by far. Imagine every negative stereotype about unions, then add "we can get away with anything".07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: No, I do not agree they are union members.07/07/2015 - 7:48pm
E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician