Foxconn Workers at Wuhan Plant Threaten Mass Suicide

January 10, 2012 -

Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing company that made international news for the poor working conditions in its various China-based manufacturing plants, continues to have serious problems in China with its workers. According to a GameIndustry.biz report, 300 workers at a Foxconn manufacturing plant in China have threatened mass suicides after a request for a pay increase was denied by the company.

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Newzoo: Chinese Gamers Spend More on Games Than Koreans

November 8, 2011 -

New research released by Newzoo digs a little deeper into the lucrative Chinese and Korean online gaming markets. The research focused on the 190 million Chinese (76 percent) and 26 million Korean (60 percent) consumers ages 15 to 50 - who make up the majority of those who play games in those countries. Newzoo found that both countries were passionate about MMO games, with 100 million MMO gamers in China and 8 million in Korea. While both countries enjoy games, players in each country have different preferences when it comes to social and mobile gaming.

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Rovio Delighted With Illegal Angry Birds Products in China

October 31, 2011 -

While some companies might be upset that its games being pirated on a major scale in one region of the world (or their brand being copied blatantly for merchandising), Rovio is not one of those companies. Responding to evidence that its Angry Birds brand was being stolen in various ways, Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka took the stage at the recent Disrupt conference in Beijing, gleefully showing off illegal Angry Birds balloons that he purchased on the street.

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Shanghai Activist Accuses Apple of Selling Used iPhones

October 26, 2011 -

A Shanghai activist is accusing Apple's Beijing store of passing old iPhones as brand new. According to a story in the Shanghai Daily, activist Wang Hai - who is representing two citizens - filed a lawsuit against Apple in a Chinese court accusing the firm of selling refurbished iPhones. Both purchases were made at the company's store in Beijing, China.

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Angry Birds for China

July 29, 2011 -

Even China can't escape the allure of the Angry Birds franchise. Rovio Entertainment announced the opening of corporate and marketing operations in China. The goal of this move is to bring a tailored Angry Birds game to China. China is currently the second largest market for Angry Birds and represents what Rovio calls an "immense potential for continued growth." Rovio Entertainment expects 100 million Angry Birds downloads in China by the end of 2011.

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Ballmer: Piracy Cost Microsoft 95 Percent of Revenue in China

May 27, 2011 -

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said earlier this week that piracy costs his company 95 percent of potential revenue in China. Ballmer made the comments in a speech at the opening of the new Asia-Pacific R&D Group headquarters in Beijing. Ballmer rejected the notion that software piracy is rampant in China because PC Software costs too much. He claimed that if someone can afford to purchase a PC in China, they could afford to buy the software to run on it. Most people in China can't afford to own a computer, let alone Windows 7..

Ballmer went on to say that Microsoft earned six times more per PC sold in countries such as India compared to China, and that if Chinese IP protection were as strong as India's then the market would be worth "billions of dollars."

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China Uses Prisoners for Hard Labor, Gold-Farming

May 26, 2011 -

According to a report in UK-based paper The Guardian, China has been using its prison population as slave labor.. in MMORPG's. According to the report, prisoners were put to work breaking rocks and digging trenches in in the coalmines of Northern China. By night prisoners would be forced to play MMORPG's to earn virtual currency, which guards would trade for real-world money.

One prisoner, who served three years at the Jixi labor camp for pointing out corruption in his hometown, described the conditions at the camp in startling detail. Liu Dali told the paper that prisoners were forced to play online games to enrich the guards of the prison. The 54-year-old was a former prison guard who made the mistake of "illegally petitioning" the central government about corruption in his hometown in 2004. Dali says that the online slave labor is probably more lucrative than the physical labor that prisoners are forced to do.

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Foxconn Factory Fire Puts iPad Supply in Jeopardy

May 23, 2011 -

A recent fire at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu City, China has slowed down production of the iPad, which may lead to shortages of the device in the not- too-distant future. You may recall that Foxconn is the same global manufacturing company that saw a raft of suicides last year because of poor working and living conditions and complaints that the company was paying its workers what equated to slave wages.

The latest tragedy to hit the company is a fire at its Chengdu City plant where 15 were injured and three employees died. Foxconn's Chengdu site shipped around 25 - 30 percent of the total iPad 2 devices shipped in April, while its Shenzhen site made up the rest, according to unnamed sources speaking to Digitimes.

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Chinese People's Liberation Army Developing Military Simulation

May 17, 2011 -

The United States Army isn't the only military outfit that has a video game; the Chinese People's Liberation Army has apparently helped develop a similar first-person shooter alongside Chinese game development studio Wuxi Giant Interactive Group.

In development for nearly two years, the military simulation follows the daily grind of a typical CPLA soldier. The scenario takes players through the paces, learning various military tactics and culminates in a large-scale military battle. The game is called Mission of Honor and offers several modes including basic training, solo missions and team-based combat.

We assume the goal of Mission of Honor is similar to that of America's Army: as a recruitment and early training tool for young males in their late teens.

The game will be released soon, though how it will be distributed is still a mystery.

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Tencent Takes Majority Stake in League of Legends Developers

February 7, 2011 -

On late Friday, China-based Tencent Holdings announced that it had acquired a majority stake in Riot Games, makers of League of Legends - a DOTA-style online multiplayer game. Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck talked to Gamasutra about the deal extensively, revealing what his company expects to happen under the auspices of the Chinese company known for its diversified operations including instant messaging services, social networking, and online games. According to some reports, in 2010 Tencent held a 20 percent market share in the online games space.

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China: Parents Get Power Against Game Addiction

February 1, 2011 -

China, like Korea and other regions in the world, is trying to find ways to combat game addiction and what better way to do it then by letting parents take some control of the situation? Starting next month a new program called "parental watch project" will launch in China. It will require online gaming companies to provide parents access to a special call center and web site that lets parents monitor their children's activities online.

Besides the ability to monitor what their children are doing, parents will have a kill switch, allowing them to limit or ban their kids from online activities.

Child psychologists in the United States suggest that children should not have more than two hours of screen-time per day. The Ministry of Public Security says that children should only have about two hours of screen-time a week or spend more than $1.50 USD on online gaming services.

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China Beware: Android Apps May Contain Trojan

December 31, 2010 -

According to security firm Lookout, a Trojan called "Gemini" has been found in multiple games purchased via "third-party Chinese app stores." Apps such as Monkey Jump 2, Sex Positions, President vs. Aliens, City Defense and Baseball Superstars 2010 are affected, though only if purchased from a "third-party Chinese App Store." The original versions of the games from the Google Android Market are clean, according to the security firm.

"Though the intent of this Trojan isn't entirely clear, the possibilities range from setting up a malicious mobile ad network to creating an Android botnet," the company said.

While infected apps have yet to show up in other regions, Lookout warns that anything is possible:

"..possible infected apps could be posted to app stores targeting US users in the future," Lookout CTO Kevin Mahaffey noted.

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China GDC 2011 Call for Papers

December 29, 2010 -

Organizers of the China Game Developers Conference 2011 (July 28 – 30) alongside with the ChinaJoy Expo) have put out a "global call" for papers today. Developers, publishers and other industry professionals that would like to speak or present panels can submit proposals beginning today at 2011en.chinagdc.com.cn. Guidelines for submissions can be found in this PDF.

Topics should cover programming, art, game design, operation, management, security, testing, game audio and future game technologies. The speakers will receive VIP passes by the CGDC organizing committee, which will allow them entry into all of the sessions including the welcome reception. The deadline of submission is April 10, 2011.


Report: MMO Market to Reach $20 Billion in 2012

December 22, 2010 -

According to a new study by Arizona-based research firm ABI Research, the worldwide online gaming market will be worth slightly more than $20 billion in 2012. These revenues will be driven by demand in North American, European and Asia Pacific markets, and by new devices and technologies, the firm said.

The Asia-Pac region - most notably China - will be the "engine behind much of this growth." 

"According to industry analyst Michael Inouye, "World of Warcraft, for instance, generates significant revenue for Activision in Europe and North America on a subscription basis. But in China, despite a large ‘subscriber’ base, the revenues are far smaller: it's more of a pay-as-you-go model (prepaid game cards). This also creates a greater reliance on ‘cloud’ or server-based games."

 

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Senators Blast China on IP Enforcement

December 16, 2010 -

On Monday, two prominent U.S. Senators released a new government report (US International Trade Commission study) showing that "widespread counterfeiting and piracy in China" has had an impact on U.S. economic interests. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Senator Charles Grassley, who requested the report, are highlighting its findings because high-level US China trade talks are taking place this week in Washington.

"China continually fails to protect and enforce American intellectual property rights and discriminates against American businesses," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement that accompanied the report.

"Small steps and empty promises won't cut it when American jobs are on the line. This week's US China trade talks are the perfect opportunity for China to make serious commitments to address these issues. It is time for action," Baucus added.

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Wikileaks: U.S. Bags on North Korean Leader's Son for Gaming

December 9, 2010 -

One document leaked by Wikileaks (from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai) shows that at least some in the U.S. State Department might have a dim view of gamers. Buried in a leaked cable entitled "SHANGHAI SCHOLARS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER DELAY IN SIX-PARTY" (September 2008 ) is an interesting evaluation of North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Il's three sons and a mention of video games.

Amidst the details on six-party talks, Kim Jong-Il's health, the benefits of removing North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terror list, and "future leaders" of the country, is a mention of KJI's youngest son and his fascination with video games:

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Report: Blizzard Dealt With Data Leak as Cataclysm Launched

December 8, 2010 -

While Blizzard was launching its biggest product of the year, behind the scenes it was having some serious problems with a data leak in China, according to a report on VentureBeat. According to that report, citing several news stories from MMOGameSite, Blizzard's release schedule and subscriber numbers were leaked from its China offices, and the general manager of the studio, Ye Weilun, was subsequently fired for it - allegedly.

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UBM Wins GDC China-Related Lawsuit

November 29, 2010 -

GDC China organizer UBM has finally won a lawsuit it filed in 2009 against the Publishers Association of China Game Publication Committee (CGPA) related to the annual Chinese game developers event.

CGPA and partner Beijing Howell International Trade Fair Co. Ltd, were accused in the lawsuit of unfair competition, false promotion, and commercial slander. The entities first worked together on GDC China 2007, but after a falling out CGPA and Howell decided to create a rival event with a similar name the following year called China Game Developers Conference. The companies also claimed to be the true organizer of the 2007 event, which did not sit well with UBM.

UBM further alleged that this rival event had attempted to block its members from participating in GDC China, and engaged in what it called "misleading promotion."

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Analyst: StarCraft II in Chinese Approval Pipeline

November 18, 2010 -

While we can’t find correlation anywhere, Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz states in a research note that China’s NetEase has submitted Activision Blizzard’s StarCraft II to Chinese government authorities for approval.

In his note Creutz wrote that “Although the timing of governmental approval is (as always) uncertain, we believe the submission likely means a launch of 'Starcraft II' sometime in 2011.”

The analyst called this “welcome news,” as the game represents NetEase’s “next clear growth catalyst."

NetEase issued third quarter results today, reporting total revenues of RMB 1.4 billion (approximately $215.1 million) for the three-months ending September 30, versus total revenue of RMB 879.4 million in the same quarter one year earlier.

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China Telecom Copies the Wii with New Service

October 27, 2010 -

If you can't get the real thing, a knock-off will do. While consumers cannot officially buy a Wii or Xbox 360 in China because the government has blocked the sale of both systems in the region, Chinese companies are doing what they can to fill the entertainment gap. China Telecom has started offering a Wii-style gaming service under the auspices of its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) subscription package.

Called "Tigan Youxi" (Somatic Gaming in English) the console offers motion-sensing controllers much like Nintendo's to give TV gamers some fun distractions. China Telecom showed off the console earlier this month at an exhibit in Beijing, where users could play a simple Ping Pong game.

The "console" is not stand-alone, sadly; it is an add-on to the IPTV services, and is not meant to compete with other consoles. The company is offering the gaming service in provinces located in southern China, where its IPTV services are available.

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Chinese Game Pits Vendors Against Authorities

October 26, 2010 -

The tense, often bloody relationship between Chinese law enforcement and street vendors has led to the creation of a free downloadable game inspired by that confrontational environment.

Hawker War City Management appears to be the name of the title, and, according to a piece on the game on TheWorld.org website, the downloadable title features plenty of social commentary, designed to highlight the plight of common citizens “left outside in the cold as China’s economy grows.”

Correspondent Mary Kay Magistad offered this description of the game:

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Huge Piracy Ring Smashed in Taiwan

October 21, 2010 -

A seven-month long investigation culminated in members of Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Rights Police Team arresting four individuals believed to be responsible for a hefty videogame piracy ring operating in Taiwan and China.

The investigation resulted in the September 27 raid of a warehouse in Sanchong City, Taiwan, where 140,000 pirated game discs for the PlayStation 2, Wii and Xbox were discovered, reports Focus Taiwan. The value of the seizure was estimated to be over $8 million U.S.

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Research: Chinese Gamers Sick of MMOs

October 5, 2010 -

Chinese gamers are apparently getting sick of the thousands of me-too MMORPGs on the market and are shifting towards more casual online offerings. That is what research firm and Chinese market analyst Niko Partners says, anyway. A new report from the firm says that gamers in the region are shifting away from hardcore MMOs in favor of casual games. This shift is driven by the monotony of the games on offer in China.

"We believe that the Chinese market has taken up SNS (social networking site) gaming in earnest, and that the hard-core gamers have shifted their preferences to include these games alongside the casual gamers who naturally appreciate them, " Niko Partners' Lisa Cosmas Hanson told GamesIndustry.biz.

"The hardcore gamers are growing weary of the monotony of themes in the Chinese MMORPGs, and they want to extend their social interactions to games that attract a more diverse user base. People want to play games that enable them to have something to bond over when chatting with schoolmates or colleagues at the water cooler. "

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GDC China 2010 Registration Opens

September 15, 2010 -

Registration is now open for the 2010 Game Developers Conference China, should you want to make the trek to China on December 5. Now in its 3rd year, GDC China offers game developers in China various panels, and lectures from local talent and international talent.

Bill Roper from Cryptic Studios will deliver this year's keynote address, speaking out about his time working for Blizzard Entertainment and Flagship Studios. The event will also feature the second annual Independent Games Festival China, highlighting the best games from the region's independent game development community. The three-day event will take place December 5-7, 2010 at Shanghai International Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

GDC China offers a 25 percent discount is available on registrations before November 5. Online registration ends on November 30. For more information about the event, check out www.gdcchina.com.


China’s Shanda Buys Korean Developer, Links up with CNTV

September 9, 2010 -

Chinese online game operator and developer Shanda Games is apparently enjoying the fruits of operating in a near recession proof industry, as it has snatched up a Korean developer and entered into an alliance with China Network Television (CNTV).

Shanda announced its intention to gobble up Eyedentity Games for around $95 million U.S. Eyedentity was described as “a private developer of online games with over 100 game developers.” Its latest game, Dragon’s Nest, was released around the world and  billed as being “one of the most successful new online games in China this year.”

Shanda said that the deal would strengthen its international presence.

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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:

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Lenovo Planning Console for non-Hardcore Chinese Gamers

August 27, 2010 -

Computer maker Lenovo has established a new company as part of a push to make its own videogame console.

Beijing eedoo Technology Ltd. will oversee development of an internally developed Lenovo console named eBox, reports the Wall Street Journal. Planned for release in China by the end of this year, the eBox will be “compatible” with high-definition televisions and allow users to download content from the Internet. Users will be able to interact with the device by using a camera.

eedoo plans to launch the console in China first, since “regulations of game consoles are murky and rampant piracy poses a big challenge for console game sales.”

China Daily, which features a pair of concept drawings of the product, reports that the eedoo team consists of some 40 software engineers. Pricing for the eBox is expected to be “slightly lower” than that of the Xbox 360.

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Chinese Gamers to Feel Lich King Wrath at Month’s End

August 24, 2010 -

Blizzard and Chinese game operator Net Ease will officially launch the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King just a few short weeks after it was finally approved in the Asian country.

According to a joint press release from Blizzard and Net Ease, the expansion will go live in mainland China on August 31, almost two years after it was launched (November 2008) in Europe and North America.

Net Ease CEO William Ding stated, “We are fully prepared on all fronts to provide great service and support to all of the new and returning players throughout China, and we look forward to welcoming them to Northrend.”

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Youth Study: Games Good for Mental Health, Bad for Academics

August 23, 2010 -

A study of 626 Honk Kong Chinese students, who averaged about 10 years old, indicated that while playing massively multiplayer online games appears to contribute to a kid’s psychological well-being, overall time spent playing computer games had a negative correlation with their academic performance.

Dr. Angel Nga-man Leung and Prof. Catherine McBride (pictured) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Department of Psychology carried out the study (PDF), which indicated that students spent 67 minutes per day, on average, playing MMOs, 44 minutes on solitary computer games, 44 minutes per day using handheld games and 31 minutes a day playing home video consoles. In gender specific results, boys played more minutes per day in each category when compared to their female counterparts.

The students were also asked to compare their real-life friends against friends from their online games. The results caused the researchers to declare:

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Myopia Rises in Honk Kong Youth, Games Share Blame

August 23, 2010 -

A study undertaken by researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong indicates that near-sightedness (myopia) has increased significantly over a 10-year period in the youth of that region, and handheld videogames were given most of the blame.

The study was actually carried out between 2006 and 2007 and involved over 800 kids between the ages of two and six. Results were then compared to a similar study undertaken in 1996. It was reported that the number of cases of near-sightedness rose from 157 kids to 222, and that the number of children wearing glasses rose from 2.3 percent in the older study to 6.3 percent in the newer one.

Dennis Lam Shun-chiu, Chairman of the school’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences pinned the blame on “playing video games - especially in moving vehicles - and watching television or using a computer for a long time and sitting too close to screens…” according to The Standard.

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Whose next half decade of superhero films are you most looking forward to?:

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quiknkoldhttp://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/10/femme-doms-of-videogames-bayonetta-doesnt-care-if.html10/30/2014 - 1:15pm
quiknkoldIf he calls himself the Effing Robot King, I can die happy10/30/2014 - 1:14pm
Michael ChandraAlso, yay for him being Ultron. :D10/30/2014 - 1:08pm
Michael Chandra"We become who we are. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can by its first few chapters. And most certainly by its last."10/30/2014 - 1:07pm
prh99""We are what we repeatedly do..."10/30/2014 - 12:30pm
Andrew EisenI would, however, call someone who routinely kills time by playing random games on their phone a gamer.10/30/2014 - 12:15pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, AE, Yeah, that is why I have a hard time understanding critics of Sarkeesian. I look at her videos as a Feminist review of video games, but for some reason, others look at them as personal attacks.10/30/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightDefinitely a good answer. That is the way I lean. If you actively chose to stop gaming, or just stopped out of habit, then yeah, you are no longer a gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
Matthew WilsonAE i agree, but it is worth pointing out the fact that that is whats happening.10/30/2014 - 11:45am
quiknkoldbehavior to warrant having a Title that doesnt involve a piece of paper.10/30/2014 - 11:43am
quiknkoldwaiting in line. Thats not being a Gamer. Thats akin to me reading a Pamphlet in line and calling myself an active reader. or watching a movie trailer on a tv in walmart and calling myself an active movie goer. There has to be some form of repetitive10/30/2014 - 11:42am
quiknkoldbeing A Gamer is a Conscious decision. I am consciously engaging in this form of media and showing some form of enthusiasm. The only person I Wouldnt call a gamer is somebody who has a random game on their phone just to kill 5 minutes cause they are10/30/2014 - 11:41am
E. Zachary KnightSo how much time must pass since the last time you played a game before you are no longer a gamer?10/30/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew Eisen"Plays" is present tense so the clarification doesn't seem necessary to me.10/30/2014 - 11:18am
quiknkoldI would change that from "One who plays games" To "One who currently plays games". Like my friend as a kid playd games but then he stopped and hasnt for the last decade+ so I wouldnt call him a Gamer.10/30/2014 - 11:16am
Andrew EisenHmm, that sounds like a great idea for a series of articles! I bet they'd be well-received and not taken the complete wrong way at all!10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenThat's right, gamer simply means one who plays games. That's it. The idea that "gamer" refers to something very limited and specific, well, that's no longer applicable in this day and age of mainstream gaming.10/30/2014 - 11:12am
Andrew EisenMatthew - As I said last night, that is not a bad thing. Different types of reviews to serve different interests is a GOOD thing and should be encouraged! There is not, nor should there be, only one way to review a game or anything else.10/30/2014 - 11:01am
ZippyDSMleeAnyone see this? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/29/1339617/-Cartoon-Gamergate-Contagion-Spreads?detail=facebook10/30/2014 - 10:55am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Matthew, yeah, there is no "wrong" way to review a game. It all depends on who the reviewer wants reading the review.10/30/2014 - 10:48am
 

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