The nonprofit started by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has launched an online game to teach children about their local government. O'Connor is spending her time in retirement pushing the idea that children and Americans in general need to learn more about their state, local, and federal governments. The game is called Counties Work, and was put together by O'Connor's group iCivics and the National Association of Counties.
Local and State Law enforcement and parole officers in Washington are invited to take part in a one-day training program that deals with crimes in virtual worlds. The course is the result of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance to Drakontas and Drexel University.
The free one-day course, "Addressing Crime in Virtual Worlds & Online Gaming Worlds," aims to help law enforcement personnel "identify, investigate, and prevent crimes involving virtual worlds and online video game worlds."
Video Game Law, 2nd Edition is now available, for those interested in the new book that delves into the various legal issues that the videogame industry faces on a regular basis. The book was written by Jon Festinger, Q.C., Chris Metcalfe & Roch and Ripley, and published by LexisNexis Canada.
The $80, 300-page paperback covers the overlap amongst various issues including intellectual property law, freedom of speech issues, defamation, privacy issues, best practices for licensing, employment issues, and more.
This year's Games for Change Festival is set for June 18-20 in New York City. The event dedicated to promoting social change through video games will offer plenty of activities this year including case studies, roundtables, lectures, demos, and more. Featured speakers for this year's event include Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author (Grand Theft Childhood) and co-founder of SuperBetter Labs; leading researcher, Dr.
Epic Games has inked a long-term deal with Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA). The Virtual Heroes Division of Applied Research Associates creates collaborative interactive learning solutions for healthcare, federal systems, and corporate training markets. Virtual Heroes will use Unreal Engine technology to create interactive educational and training software to be used by various U.S. government departments and agencies.
The University of Minnesota has developed an online video game called Distraction Dodger, which teaches young drivers about the dangers of doing stupid things while driving. You know, eating, drinking, using your cell phone, texting - those kinds of things. In the game, players drive a virtual pizza delivery truck with the goal of delivering those pizzas while facing a number of distractions like eating and using a cell phone. At the end of the game session, the player is given feedback on how they did.
Mark Methenitis of the Law of the Game Blog updated the site with news that he will be hosting a panel at Game::Business::Law 2012 called "Paying and Playing." The panel will take place on the afternoon of the second day (January 25). Details on the panel are forthcoming. You can read about all of the panels and discussions that will take place at the annual event here.
A team of 19 Greek game developers have donated their time and effort to create a videogame for international human rights group, Amnesty International. The game is part of the group's ongoing campaign to raise international awareness about human rights violations and push for the global ban of the death penalty.
As we mentioned in a previous post, the new Xbox 360 Dashboard has been quickly making its way to users today.
As with any new product, you get the fine print of Terms of Service, and Microsoft is following on the heels of Sony and Electronic Arts with their own "no sue" provision in their updated wall of text.
A Manhattan judge has cleared the way for a video game maker to continue a $100 million lawsuit against singer Beyonce.
The suit, originally filed in April, had been on hold pending whether the case should be thrown out, but without explanation, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos ruled the case for breach of contract by Gate Five LLC could move forward.
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has teamed up with the Verizon Foundation to celebrate Constitution Day by launching a national contest for middle schools students. The goal of the contest is ultimately to teach youngsters about the importance of our country's most important document and about the important role of civics in modern society.
Insomniac Games CEO and President Ted Price will serve as the first keynote speaker for Game::Business::Law 2012. The annual event dedicated to video games and the law will take place January 25 and 26, 2012 at SMU in Dallas, Texas. In his keynote, Price will discuss the strategy behind the soon-to-launch social games subsidiary, Insomniac Click. Insomniac is headquartered in Burbank, CA and has a second studio in Durham, NC. The 2012 event marks the fourth year of the two-day event.
On the second day of the conference, the Texas Entrepreneur Network will hold a two-hour games funding forum for up and coming developers. A panel of attorneys, video game business development officials, and venture capitalists will evaluate four organizations' requests for funding to hopefully bring their projects to life.
The 8th annual Games for Change Festival kicks off today in New York City. The event, which runs until June 22, is taking place at the NYU Skirball Center. The event is dedicated to using games to deal with the most pressing social and political issues that affect the world today by breaking down cultural barriers, shifting perspectives and driving actions in the real world.
This year's event features several sessions addressing games from an international perspective including one focusing on Games For Change in Europe.
In May 2011 the Chamber of Commerce in Valenciennes launched the first European Games for Change Festival. Highlights from the first event will be shared with the audience, including some of the new games and European award winners. The session will be presented by Jean-Michel Blottiere, Owner, NX Publishing; Sandra Faggioni, Digital Creation Project Manager, CCIV / POLE IMAGE NPDC and several European award-winners.
New York City-based social games developer Playmatics has managed to raise $1 million from several Swiss-based angel investors. The company will use the investment to further develop its social networking game Shadow Government.
Shadow Government uses real countries, political systems, and worldwide events as its key elements to allow players to build, manage, and destroy virtual nations. Playmatics is working with government-modeling software developer Millennium Institute for the project.
Along with the simulation tools, which real-world organizations have been using to test responses for real-world events, Playmatics is using economic and sustainability data to create Shadow Government. The Millennium Institute hopes this educational game will eventually be incorporated into school curricula.
The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab is hosting a series of video talks that explores everything from ratings systems in Europe and North America to game censorship. The first in the series, available now, is called "Blood, Sex, and Politics in Video Games: How Censorship Is Done (or Not): "'Die!' Censoring Game Violence." Below is the tease from the GAMBIT Game Lab site:
Just a friendly reminder that the Commonwealth Club will host a panel featuring California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco); George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard; and Michael McConnell, the Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
The trio will debate whether playing violent video games leads to violence in the real world. They will also discuss at length AB 1179, the notorious anti-game legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2005 but never put into effect because of a court-ordered injunction. Now the case is before the Supreme Court.
The debate will take place this Thursday (March 17) at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco () at 6:00 PM local time. More information from the Commonwealth Club follows:
A popular PAX Prime panel will debut in Boston to discuss legal issues in gaming. In a year when the Supreme Court considers that annoying California Game Law, this panel is more relevant than it ever has been. The panel will discuss the Supreme Court case involving sales of violent games to minors, lawsuits aimed at various publishers (Activision, EA, and others) and a number of legal issues facing publishers and indie developers this year. The panel will also offer a question and answer session aimed at legal issues related to independent developers.
Panelists include Dan Rosenthal (Contributing Editor, GamePolitics.com), Tom Buscaglia (Director, IGDA), Greg Boyd (Attorney, Davis & Gilbert), Ross Dannenberg (Partner, Banner Witcoff), and Seth Krauss (Executive VP and General Counsel, Take-Two Interactive).
You may recall that a long time ago (see this story on February 9) we mentioned that the Commonwealth Club would host a video game debate. On March 17 George Rose, Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, and Leland Yee, California State Senator (and San Francisco mayoral candidate), will get together with Michael McConnell, Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. The roundtable / debate / deathmatch will be moderated by John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.
The organizers of the event wanted those that are not capable of making it to the event that they can watch a web cast of it live via its LiveStream Channel. It will run live on March 17 at 6 PM Pacific Time.
Los Angeles-based law firm Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP announced the promotion of Steve Goldstein to Partner. Steve Goldstein is a video game industry attorney and former business development executive who joined the company in 2008. Why his promotion is important to note is because he will now head up the firm's Interactive Entertainment and Video Games Practice Group as its Chair. Before joining the firm in late 2008, Goldstein spent the prior three years as the Director of Business Development and General Counsel for Flagship Studios.
The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy offers an exhaustive analysis of Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association in an article called "The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association."
Beatrice M. Hahn dissects every aspect of the case - from the positions of both sides and the lack of data supporting the state's case, to free speech issues and the definition of obscenity. While the lengthy review of the case is interesting, readers will be more fascinated with the conclusions: the Supreme Court will probably rule against California's 2005 video game law.
From the last three paragraphs of the article:
The "Video Game Bar Association," an organization that aims to connect lawyers working in or representing the interactive entertainment industry, has formally launched. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the group's ultimate goal is to be a worldwide organization supporting individuals that represent the industry on all types of legal matters. According to a GameIndustry.biz report, the group has sent over one hundred invitations to legal professionals in the United States and Europe.
Board members include George Rose, executive vice president and chief public policy officer at Activision Blizzard; David Anderson, vice president of business and legal affairs for THQ; and Patrick Sweeney, head of Reed Smith's Video Game Practice.
It might be a deathmatch at The Commonwealth Club March 17 when George Rose, Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, and Leland Yee, California State Senator (and San Francisco mayoral candidate), get together with Michael McConnell, Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. The roundtable discussion will be moderated by John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.
The roundtable (debate?), which starts at 6:00 PM, tackles the thorny topic of video games, children and the California law before currently the Supreme Court. While Lee and Rose will argue their respective positions, McConnell will detail the constitutionality of the law (and perhaps) give an insight in how the Supreme Court might tackle the complex free speech issues of the case.
Here's the teaser:
Tickets for the 2011 Gamification Summit have sold out according to the event's organizers. Organizers say that, for those who were not able to purchase tickets, live streaming coverage via Fora.tv will be available. Those who register to watch the live streaming coverage before January 14 will receive special $149 early bird pricing. After January 14, the rate will go up to $199. In case you've never heard of it, gamification is the use of game mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences in a non-gaming environment.
At the event, Liz Gannes of AllThingsDigital will interview Jane McGonigal, author of "Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Happy and How They Can Help Us Change the World." Liz Gannes has been covering Silicon Valley business technology since 2004 and is the founder of NewTeeVee. Additional speakers include the CMO of RecycleBank Samantha Skey, Ian Bogost of Georgia Institute of Technology and Evan Tanna of Shopkick.
According to documents on the web sites of PS3 hacker George "geohot" Hotz and hacking group fail0verflow, Sony Computer Entertainment America has asked a court to issue a temporary restraining order against parties involved in circumventing its console's "technological protection measures." The motion further seeks to take those circumvention "devices" offline.
The websites of both parties feature court documents and a warning that "any legal fund donation things you see are 100% fake as of now, don't get scammed."
The complaint filed by Sony also accuses Hotz of gaining "financial benefit through his unlawful conduct" via a PayPal account. The motion also names group fail0verflow and its alleged members: "Bushing," Hector Cantero, Sven Peter and "Segher," as well as a number of "John Doe" defendants.
Conservative gadfly Phyllis Schlafly put together a list of New Year's resolutions that incoming freshman republican lawmakers on the state and federal level should adopt, in her estimation. Schlafly tackles all the usual conservative bullet points including school choice, healthcare, the Boy Scouts and video games. Here is one of the resolutions she proposes in her Townhall.com column:
"VIDEO GAMES: 'There shall be no sale, rental or arcade-playing of extremely violent video games by children without parental consent.' Explanation: Video games are increasingly graphic and harmful."
Police in Thames Valley, England have created a "video game" campaign where participants choose an action in a scenario similar to ones they might encounter when out in pubs and bars related to sexual assault. The video game is called Seal the Deal and is available on both YouTube and Facebook.
But the game is only one part of the campaign; another part involves true confessions from convicted rapists.
For example, a 41-year-old from Oxford calling himself "John" admits to raping his girlfriend when he was drunk in 2001 "following a difficult period in their relationship." He agreed to be interviewed as part of the new Don’t Cross the Line serious sexual assault campaign. He said during his interview that he felt "entitled to sex."
The campaign encourages young men to consider the consequences of their actions towards women - particularly when drinking is involved.
Organizers of the Game::Business::Law Summit announced several panels that will be featured at the third annual international conference on the business and law of video games, taking place Jan. 26 – 27, 2011, at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas.
Hosted by The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, SMU's Dedman School of Law and The Center for American and International Law, Game::Business::Law is a gathering of game industry leaders, developers, publishers, lawyers, and members of the venture capital and financial sectors. This group gets together annually to discuss evolving trends in the digital games marketplace from various perspectives.
Three panels recently added to the growing schedule include the following:
An interesting game called "Leaky World" attempts to turn Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's essay on conspiracy ("Conspiracy as Governance") into a web game.
In the game, players are tasked with connecting dots between political powers - show as red dots on a world map. As lines are connected between these red dots, some begin leaking information. These leaks appear in the game as new headlines. The goal at this point in the game is to sever ties with the source of the leaks.
Of course, it is a bit more complicated than that. Check out the game for yourselves at www.molleindustria.org.
A U.S. District judge has certified a class-action antitrust case involving the alleged price fixing of Electronic Arts' football titles.
According to the decision, any consumers who purchased Madden, Arena Football or NCAA football games in 2005 can sign on as plaintiffs on the case and be represented by a single law firm.
According to a story on Gamasutra: