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

GMA Takes a Look at Games and Health

August 26, 2010 -

Stephen Yang, a SUNY Cortland Professor and Games for Health advocate, appeared on Good Morning America earlier this month to discuss the impact games are having on the health field.

Yang demonstrated games such as the Wii-based Just Dance, billing it as chance to “imitate and have fun,” adding, “It’s for exercise, enjoyment, socialization… that’s the whole point of games, it brings us all together.”

Yang then showed off a prototype game from Red Hill Studios that's designed to (hopefully) improve the balance of Parkinson's sufferers.

Nothing really new, but always nice to see games championed in the media and the spotlight put on great initiatives like Games for Health.

2 comments

Police (& Media) Now Playing up D&D Connection to Murder

August 26, 2010 -

Yesterday we told you about a nasty rape and murder that occured in South Hill Puyallup, Washington, in which an 18-year old man raped and murdered a 16-year old disabled/developmentally challenged girl. The story mentioned that the man had returned home after the murder to play Dungeons and Dragons Online in order to try and “forget” the crime.

However in a new story published yesterday on The Seattle Post Intelligencer website, detectives in the case (or the author of the piece) appear to be playing up the videogame angle even more, as evidenced by the headline, “Murder Motive May Have Been Video Game Fantasy.”

15 comments | Read more

The Daily Show on Google and Net Neutrality

August 18, 2010 -

While public and private interest groups alike have skewered Google’s apparent Net Neutrality pact with Verizon, now the search giant has fallen victim to an attack by Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

To sum up Jon Stewart’s take on the matter, Google has gone from stating that “Net Neutrality will allow new Googles and Amazons to form,” to “NET NEUTRALITY WILL ALLOW NEW GOOGLES AND AMAZONS TO FORM!”

More form Stewart, “Google doesn’t get to write laws! They just photograph and post where everybody lives and republish every book ever written and negotiate with the Chinese government while building floating data centers in the ocean.”

Stewart also has a little fun with the protestors who lined up at Google's headquarters to make their voice heard.

Still a little strange to see a former media darling get bashed in the press.

3 comments

Lack of Boredom Breeds Absence of Civility?

August 17, 2010 -

In this increasingly connected electronic world, boys are increasingly turning to media that provides sensory entertainment, which, in turn, acts as an immediate and gratifying substitute for happiness, according to an article penned by a clinical psychologist.

In an article written for the New Atlantis, author Adam J. Cox argues that boredom provides an “availability of mental space” that “goes hand in hand with a civil mind.” Today’s kids, he writes, are enthralled for hours on end by electronica, such as games, phones and computers, leading to:

The adolescent mind is nowadays so hyper-stimulated that the absence of stimulation — boredom — is unsettling, while the chaos of constant connection is soothingly familiar. A languishing teenager feels irritable and instinctively knows how to rev up: go online, turn on the TV, call someone, text.

 

Continuous stimulation and communication comprise the new normal.

7 comments | Read more

Music Producer Condemns Music, Games for Impact on Kids

August 11, 2010 -

Musician and record producer Mike Stock lashed out against the current state of pop music, stating that the “industry has gone too far” as it serves up “soft pornography” to children.

Stock, perhaps best-known as one member of a trio of songwriters and producers known as Stock Aitken Waterman, which produced and wrote songs for an impressive list of musical acts ranging from Elton John to Judas Priest to Bananarama, saved some of his blame for videogames, stating:

Before children even step into school, they have all these images. The pop videos and computer games like Grand Theft Auto confronting them, and the parents can't control it. Talking to mothers' groups, they were saying that even they have lost faith in brands like Disney.

Moral Kombat now on Hulu

August 11, 2010 -

Spencer Halpin’s Moral Kombat, the 2007 documentary that focuses on the subject of violence in videogames, is now available for free viewing on Hulu.

The documentary features a wide assortment of game industry luminaries, pundits and critics weighing in on the topic of violence in games, including Lorne Lanning, Dean Takahashi, American McGee, Doug Lowenstein, Jason Della Rocca, Jack Thompson, Hal Halpin and Henry Jenkins.

It can also still be viewed on Amazon’s OnDemand Service, Babelgum, iTunes and Netflix.

Halpin offered:

| Read more

Game Theory with Scott Steinberg Goes Live

August 3, 2010 -

Game Industry TV has launched a new video game show and online magazine, "Game Theory with Scott Steinberg." New episodes and articles are now available at www.gametheoryonline.com. The site and show promise to provide game developers, executives and journalists with an "enlightened forum" to publicly discuss and debate the industry's most pressing issues and offer readers "more informed industry analysis in a language that all can understand."

The first season opens with a multi-part documentary exploring the evolution of the games business, from social games and motion controls to cloud computing and 3D gaming. Hosted by Scott Steinberg, the features appearances by industry leaders including Will Wright, Sid Meier, Trip Hawkins, Peter Molyneux, Cliff Bleszinski and others. The website will offer a blend of commentary, features and analysis with editorials from the likes of hi5 president Alex St. John, futurist Jane McGonigal, ECA president Hal Halpin and others.

For more information on the show and website, visit www.gameindustrytv.com.

Posted in
3 comments | Read more

Chinese MMO Creator Buys into TV & Film Businesses

July 29, 2010 -

Beijing-based Perfect World Co. Ltd., an online game operator and developer with titles such as Legend of Martial Arts, Perfect World, Chi Bi and Hot Dance Party, has made investments into two fellow Chinese media companies.

Perfect World will dump 110 million yuan (approximately $16.2 million U.S.) into Beijing Xinbaoyuan Movie & TV Investment Co., Ltd. and an additional 82.3 million yuan (approximately $12.1 million U.S.) into Shanghai Baohong Entertainment and Media Co., Ltd. Both investments were described as majority stakes for the game company.

Both Xinbaoyuan and Baohong—headed up by “renowned” director Zhao Baogang—were labeled as “engaged in the film and television program production and distribution business.” Xinbaoyuan also operates an entertainment agency business, representing over 20 Chinese celebrities.

| Read more

How to Save U.S. Newspapers: Sue

July 23, 2010 -

Las Vegas-based Righthaven has been buying the copyrights of newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that use articles without permission - his business model for this seems to be the tactics used by the RIAA against file sharers. CEO Steve Gibson says that he's already making money on his plan, though he doesn't offer any numbers.

Gibson’s plan is to monetize news content by sifting through the internet looking for websites and blogs that are infringing on client newspaper articles and then suing them for damages. This model relies on harsh penalties from Copyright Act — up to $150,000 for a single infringement - and quick settlements. Since its formation in March of this year, Righthaven claims to have filed around 80 federal lawsuits against websites and bloggers who have allegedly re-posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the company's first client.

17 comments | Read more

PC Zone to Cease Publication

July 15, 2010 -

UK-based PC gaming magazine PC Zone is to cease publication after issue 22, which is set to hit newsstands Sept. 2. According to Computer and Video Games, the website for Future Publishing mag dedicated to PC Gaming featured a rather cryptic message about the magazine that gave readers pause.

The website message reads "PC Zone's final issue - the end is nigh. Yes, it's true," before then claiming "Following a strategic review of Future's PC games portfolio, the company is now consulting the PC Zone team about the proposed closure of the magazine, with effect from issue 225 (on-sale 2nd September)."

Further inquiry from GameIndustry.biz with publisher James Binn got a more coherent and in-depth response on the matter:

Posted in
| Read more

The Man Who Hated Deus Ex

June 29, 2010 -

As part of a series of articles looking back at the Deus Ex series, Rock, Paper Shotgun decided to track down the one critic who hated the game: Tom Chick. Chick, who runs the Fidgit Blog over at SyFy.com, is no stranger to controversy and strong opinion; In May of this year he penned an article explaining why he wouldn't sign the ECA's violent videogame petition, and his reviews of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Killzone 2 for Crispy Gamer certainly raised the ire of fanboys worldwide.

Agree or disagree with his opinions, Chick is an articulate and interesting character. The RPS interview is a guilty pleasure for game journalists looking for a little nostalgia and an "inside the sausage factory moment" for gamers wondering how this American game journalist often comes to conclusions that are sometimes at odds with everyone else.

Here's a sample from the interview:

10 comments | Read more

Joystiq Giving Away Microsoft E3 Freebies

June 14, 2010 -

Update: Bitmob's Dan Hsu will be giving away his Xbox 360 Slim to the Bitmob community soon.  Check out Hsu's Twitter feed for details (thanks Pete).

Original Story:If you happened to catch Microsoft's E3 press conference you may have heard that Microsoft was giving away the new Xbox 360 slim away to journalists that attended the event. Thankfully sites like Joystiq - if they are allowed to - will not be keeping many of these new systems. Instead, according to this post, they will give away as many of these system as they can "as soon as they can."

While this is great for fans that enjoy free things (who doesn't?) it is also great for journalism and shows that, while readers may not always agree with Joystiq's reporting methods, they at least have the integrity that journalists should have. As for the fellow who stood up and cheered when Microsoft said it would be giving attendees of the press event a free Xbox 360 slim: you should be embarrassed.

5 comments | Read more

FTC Backpedals on Newspaper Rescue Plan

June 11, 2010 -

It looks like the folks at the top of the Federal Trade Commission are distancing themselves from the fairly controversial proposal to save the newspaper industry - if the Wall Street Journal is to be believed. The "working paper on reinventing the media" was released on May 24 and widely criticized by most everyone as ludicrous. The report looked at ways to save the newspaper industry by charging fees to news aggregator sites that source newspapers, and taxes on electronics like iPads, laptops and Kindles. Money collected from these and other methods would then be redistributed to traditional media outlets.

So how is the FTC distancing itself from the plan? From the top down. No doubt after seeing a Rasmussen poll that showed a majority of Americans loathed such a plan, the FTC's top man has backpedaled as if he had nothing to do with it at all. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Wednesday, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz called the plan to tax devices "a terrible idea." But tax aside, it seem that the FTCV has not abandoned the idea altogether.

14 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

Link to Videogames for Homegrown Accused Terrorists

June 7, 2010 -

A report on NPR this morning about the two young New Jersey men arrested at New York’s JFK airport as they attempted to travel to Somalia, with the alleged intent of joining a terrorist organization, piqued our interest because of the mention of videogames.

24-year old Carlos Eduardo Almonte and 20-year old Mohamed Mahmood Alessa were arrested and charged with trying to join the terrorist group al-Shabab. The pair apparently had no ties to the group and were traveling to Somalia, by way of Egypt, with the hopes that al-Shabab would welcome them into their organization.

A New York Daily News story on the two men reported that “they often went to mall stores and played first-person-shooter computer games - assuming the terrorist role.”

8 comments | Read more

PC Gamer on Ubisoft DRM

May 27, 2010 -

In the inaugural edition of PC Gamer's Soapbox, Editor-in-Chief Logan Decker offers Ubisoft an alternative to Ubisoft's "always connected" DRM: steal ideas from your competitors. But before explaining all that, it is important to note PC Gamer's thoughts on Assassin’s Creed 2; last month the magazine told its readers to avoid the game like the bubonic plague. They did this not because Assassin’s Creed 2 is an awful game (in fact it is an awesome game), but because of its absolutely horrible DRM solution:

Posted in
18 comments | Read more

No Net Brutality is a Student Project

May 13, 2010 -

It turns out that No Net Brutality, mentioned here yesterday, was actually the work of six students for entry into a competition and ended up costing a grand total of $173.95 to produce.

3 comments | Read more

ASA: UK Heavy Rain Ads Not All Wet

May 12, 2010 -

A series of television ads run in the UK for the PlayStation 3 game Heavy Rain rankled a few feathers due to their timing and violence.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reported receiving 38 complaints in response to four Heavy Rain ads, with viewers criticizing the violence of the ads and a perceived glamorization of violence. The objectors also worried that the ads were run at a time of day when children could view them.

The last complaint about the ads was that they were run around the same time that a shop keeper in Huddersfield was killed in an armed robbery. The Heavy Rain ads all depicted a scene in which a shop keeper was repeatedly threatened by an armed man with Heavy Rain character Scott Shelby watching. The versions differed in how the Shelby reacted to the situation; he either intervened, attacked or negotiated with the armed robber.

6 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

Best Buy, Future US, Planning Game Mag

May 11, 2010 -

Kyle Orland reports via his The Game Beat Blog, that Best Buy and Future Publishing US are teaming up to create a game magazine exclusively for the electronic store chain. The magazine, which is being called "@Gamer," will be helmed by former IGN Editor in Chief Andy Eddy. Orland dug up the following tidbit from Eddy's profile on Facebook. It reads:

"I'm working at Future US in the Future Plus group on a new publication called @Gamer, the "official games magazine of Best Buy."

We hope to have more details on this magazine soon over at sister site GameCulture. Stay Tuned.

Posted in
6 comments

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

Media Seeks Details of 'iPhoneGate' Warrant

May 6, 2010 -

MSNBC reports that the Associated Press and other news organizations have asked a judge to unseal the search warrant affidavit used to raid the home of Gizmodo.com editor Jason Chen. The warrant used for the raid was already made public and indicated that it was related to a "suspected felony." No charges have been filed and the confiscated material - computers, hard drives, digital cameras, cell phones, financial documents, etc. - remains in the hands of law enforcement.

Steve Wagstaffe, spokesman for the San Mateo County district attorney's office, said that the confiscated items "are not being examined while prosecutors consider arguments that the search was illegal." Meanhwile Chen's attorney, Thomas Burke of Davis Wright Tremaine in San Francisco, said in a recent interview that the search warrant should have never been issued because California law protects journalists from such searches without a special hearing.

Posted in
9 comments | Read more

Psychologist: Violent Games & Media Create Bad Samaritans

April 27, 2010 -

A segment on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show last night discussed pedestrians in New York City repeatedly ignoring a dying man on the street and somehow turned into a referendum on videogames.

A NYC man was stabbed after apparently attempting to help a female fend off an attacker and then collapsed on the street as people kept passing by, eventually dying of his wounds. In discussing the story, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, filling in for Cooper, brought on board psychologist Dr. Michael Bradley (pictured) to talk about what might make people ignore a mortally wounded person lying on a sidewalk.

A transcript of the discussion follows (in video on the CNN website, the segment with Gupta and Bradley begins around the 17.25 mark)

55 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

Dr. Olson on What She Plays, Media Hysteria

April 21, 2010 -

When Grand Theft Childhood co-author Dr. Cheryl Olson first became active in generating videogame research, she said that she wasn’t prepared for how controversial the subject actually was.

In an interview with This Is My Joystick, Olson stated that as her research progressed, she felt “morally obligated to correct myths and misinformation that make parents worry needlessly, and may cause them to overlook more subtle but real problems.”

On the pro-gaming side, we all should be thankful for Olson’s sense of obligation. Her latest mass media appearance on CNN saw her inject a heavy dose of logic into the RapeLay debate. Olson commented on the panic that these types of reports attempt to induce:

5 comments | Read more

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

Blame Games for Education's Growing Gender Gap

April 8, 2010 -

Could videogames be responsible for a widening education gap between U.S. men and women?

The author of a piece in the Wichita Eagle seems to think so. Citing a drop in the number of American males earning college degrees, the article claims that women are not forcing males out of the classroom; instead, “Women are taking empty seats as males fall by the wayside.”

While some groups have pinned the fall of man on recent education reforms or the “feminization of the classroom,” the piece’s author notes that, “Males are dropping out of academics in all developed countries,” and, “Whatever is depressing boys' school performance is cutting across cultural and political boundaries and widely disparate educational systems.”

The “whatever” mentioned above does not remain unnamed for long, as the author offers, “This decline in boys' scores coincides with the emergence of video games.”

49 comments | Read more

Violent Game Targeting MP Gets His

April 8, 2010 -

The tide of youthful anarchy will no longer besmirch and shame the UK.

A wonderful lampoon video released as part of Namco’s media blitz for the upcoming Dead to Rights: Retribution.

Good dog.


Via BrandflakesforBreakfast

12 comments

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
MaskedPixelanteDid Capcom ever give us a timeline for when they planned on putting the Megaman stuff on Wii U?07/27/2014 - 2:23pm
MaskedPixelanteIf by "distance themselves from Google Plus" you mean "forcing Google Plus integration in everything", then yes, they are distancing themselves from Google Plus.07/26/2014 - 12:20pm
MechaTama31I wish they would distance G+ from the Play Store, so I could leave reviews and comments again.07/26/2014 - 11:03am
Matthew Wilson@pm I doubt it. Google seems to be distancing themselves from G+07/25/2014 - 9:31pm
Papa MidnightGoogle+ Integration is coming to Twitch!07/25/2014 - 8:41pm
MaskedPixelanteThis whole Twitch thing just reeks of Google saying "You thought you could get away from us and our policies. That's adorable."07/25/2014 - 2:52pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician