The University of Minnesota’s Distraction Dodger

February 2, 2012 -

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.

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Law of the Game Invades Game::Business::Law 2012

December 30, 2011 -

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.

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Greek Team Creates Amnesty International Game

December 19, 2011 -

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.

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Stop Suing the Game Companies Because They Said So

December 7, 2011 -

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.

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Judge OKs Developer's Suit Against Beyonce

December 7, 2011 -

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.

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Retired SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Launches Civic Impact Challenge

September 16, 2011 -

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.

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Insomniac's Ted Price to Keynote Game::Business::Law 2012

July 26, 2011 -

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.

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Games for Change Festival Invades NYC

June 20, 2011 -

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.

Playmatics Gets a $1 Million for Shadow Government

April 22, 2011 -

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.

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Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Talk Ratings, Censorship

March 29, 2011 -

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:

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Reminder: Commonwealth Club Video Game Debate March 17

March 15, 2011 -

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:

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PAX EAST Panel: Legal Issues in Gaming

March 7, 2011 -

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).

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Commonwealth Club to offer Live Stream of Yee- Rose Debate

March 4, 2011 -

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.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP Promotes Game Attorney Steve Goldstein

February 23, 2011 -

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.

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Duke Journal Analysis: Schwarzenegger v.EMA

February 10, 2011 -

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:

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Video Game Bar Association Launches

February 10, 2011 -

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.

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Commonwealth Club Deathmatch: Leland Yee, George Rose

February 9, 2011 -

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:

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2011 Gamification Summit Sold Out

January 12, 2011 -

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.

Sony Fights PS3 Hackers in Court

January 12, 2011 -

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.

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Conservative Commentator Targets Video Games in New Year

January 4, 2011 -

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."

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UK Police use PSA's, Games to Talk About Rape

January 3, 2011 -

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.

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Game::Business::Law Summit Panels Revealed

December 28, 2010 -

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:

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Assange's 'Conspiracy as Governance' Essay as a Video Game

December 27, 2010 -

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.


EA Price-Fixing Case Gets Class Action Status

December 23, 2010 -

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:

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Alberta Police Use Game to Recruit Young People

December 13, 2010 -

Alberta Police have an interesting way of luring youngsters in to learn more about being a police officer: a video game. The Police department is using new approaches to get youngsters interested in a career in law enforcement and what works better than video games?

The official game of the Alberta Police Department is appropriately called Alberta C.O.P.S. Impaired Driver and was developed by Edmonton-based software company Firetext International. C.O.P.S. stands for Career Opportunities in Police Services.

Alberta C.O.P.S. Impaired Driver begins by letting the player select one of five police officers who come from different backgrounds. Next, the player is briefed on objectives for the day, and then sent out in a patrol car to investigate and arrest suspects who appear to be breaking the law. The player has 12 minutes to complete three tasks. For every achieved objective the player is awarded a badge.

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Wikileaks: The Game

December 13, 2010 -

A Flash game from Jeuxjeuxjeux called WikiLeaks: The Game lets you play jailed Wikileaks frontman Julian Assange as he sneaks into President Barack Obama’s office to steal secret documents off his computer. Players wait for the President to fall asleep, then must sneak into his office to steal 300,000 classified documents off his laptop using a USB flash drive.

You can try out WikiLeaks: The Game right now by clicking here. It's harder than it sounds.

Source: TechCrunch

1 comment

Video of ECA SCOTUS Rally

November 29, 2010 -

As readers of GamePolitics well know, November 2 was a momentous day for the videogame industry as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Schwarzenegger vs EMA case.

That same day the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) held a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court steps in which gamers from all walks of life stood up for their favored medium.

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Facebook Flick Prompts SCOTUS Philosophical Debate

November 18, 2010 -

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer recently saw The Social Network and admitted that the film puzzled him.

But, according to an MSNBC article, he used the film to claim that modern conditions and technologies should be considered by Justices when they are interpreting the U.S. Constitution, as in the case of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA.

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Green Bay Developer Reaps WI Tax Incentive

November 17, 2010 -

Wisconsin’s Film Tax Credit Program is paying off for one Green Bay-based developer.

Self-described “punk rock” game development company Frozen Codebase will receive $35,315 in tax credits according to a release issued by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. The developer, which has two current teams made up of 29 employees total, will receive the funds for its work on a currently-in-production videogame, which has a total project budget of $141,257.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle stated “I am pleased that we could assist Frozen Codebase, LLC in expanding its products,” adding, “Projects like these ensure that we develop the infrastructure and skills necessary for the entertainment industry to thrive in Wisconsin.”

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North Carolina Tenth Graders Ape SCOTUS, Rule for Game Industry

November 17, 2010 -

On the same day (November 2) the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Schwarzenegger vs. EMA in Washington D.C., students at Pinecrest High School in North Carolina took part in their own reenactment of the landmark videogame case.

Tenth graders from a civics class took part in the faux-trial, with eight students taking on the role of Associate Supreme Court Justices while a local attorney named Bruce Cunningham assumed the role of Chief Justice. Four students argued for each side.

One student, arguing for California, stated that “When you're a child, your brain hasn't developed that part where you don't understand the consequences,” while a counterpart on the EMA side contended that, “Speech, even though it is not pleasing, is still entitled to freedom.”

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SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonWell that is the free market... they learned a valuable lesson restricting supply will drive up prices.04/14/2014 - 1:57pm
 

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