Former Global VR CTO Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

January 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a report in the San Francisco Gate, a former video game executive has been sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of $5,000 for secretly copying and selling games for his own profit.

The 48-year-old man named David Foley pled guilty in January 2012 to conspiracy to defraud the company, Global VR of San Jose, and a bank.

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'All You Can Arcade' Offers Arcade Game Machines for $75 a Month

August 12, 2013 -

Seth and Timothy Peterson have come up with an interesting business idea for California: an arcade game rental service that charges a monthly fee to get classic arcade game cabinets in the hands of classic arcade gaming aficionados. The San Francisco-based company is called "All You Can Arcade," and lets customers rent such arcade classics as Tron, Ms. Pac Man, and Donkey Kong for $75 a month. The brothers launched the service last month.

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Game Developer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank, Mail, and Wire Fraud

January 10, 2012 -

On Monday federal prosecutors announced that a Los Gatos, California game developer pled guilty to several charges including conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, the former owner of UltraCade Technologies said that some of what the government announced on Monday was "inaccurate."

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R.I.P. Bill 'The Game Doctor' Kunkel

September 5, 2011 -

Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel, who is also known as the "Godfather of Videogame Journalism," passed away on September 4. The cause of his death was unknown at the time of this writing. Bill Kunkel, along with Arnie Katz, created the first major video game magazine to be sold on newsstands. The success of that first publication led to the creation of Electronic Games magazine.

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The State of Georgia v. Ms. Pac-Man

August 2, 2011 -

Last week officers from the Georgia Department of Revenue showed up at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta and seized eight of the establishment's vintage arcade games because for "vending law violations." Seized doesn't mean taking physical possession of the machines; instead the machines were unplugged and tagged with bright red violation stickers.

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New England Town Keeps Video Game Ban in Place

May 9, 2011 -

You may remember our report on a small coastal Massachusetts town that banned coin operated games from grocery stores and bars in 1982. Well recently, the town of Marshfield voted on lifting the ban and the results were surprising. By a vote of 655-554 at a recent Marshfield Town Meeting, residents rejected lifting the town's ban on coin-operated video games. It has been 29 years since the people of Marshfield chased Donkey Kong out of town and it looks like him and his ilk are still unwelcomed.

George Mallet, a long-time resident who petitioned the town to consider repealing the law at annual Town Meeting, thought resident had come around.

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Pac-Man To Be Honored at International Video Game Hall of Fame

August 5, 2010 -

Pac-Man will be the first game to be inducted at the International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa with four days of ceremonies starting Thursday. Certainly The ghost chomping, power pellet eating Pac-Man deserves such an honor. The Hall will have 29 inductees that includes Pac-Man as the first game with the help of Shigeru Miyamoto, Namco founder Masaya Nakamura, and gaming champs Billy Mitchell, Steve Wiebe and Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel.

Supporters of the International Video Game Hall of Fame are hoping that this event will spur some funds for the museum, which has a goal to eventually collect more than 100,000 coin arcade and home video games produced in the last 25 years. A tall order for sure, but something that the founders - like William Day of Twin Galaxies - are committed to. Day and Otummwa officials compare the museum to the great sports museums in the United States like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY or the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Ma.

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Congressman, Iowa Guv Support Push For Video Game Hall of Fame

August 14, 2009 -

If you build it, they will come...

Oops - wrong Iowa attraction reference.

But in Ottumwa, Iowa yesterday some 3,500 people turned out to show support for the building of a proposed Video Game Hall of Fame. Among those is attendance were Congressman David Loebsack (D) and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D), according to Kotaku. Judge read a proclamation from Gov. Chet Culver (D) which deemed Ottumwa as the "Video Game Capital of the World."

Chris Hoeksema, a member of the committee exploring the idea of building the Hall of Fame, was stunned by the turnout:

It's really been amazing. We were not expecting this much outpouring of support from the community and the state. And the entire world, really. We've had donations from overseas and some people flew in from the United Kingdom to attend. It's been an amazing amount of support.

A Radio Iowa report adds that the Hall of Fame project enjoys backing from city, county and state government officials. Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uehling, among the Hall's supporters, commented on some of the nuts-and-bolts issues which must be addressed:

We're very hopeful that we can become the video gaming capitol of the world... We need to get a comprehensive study done on exactly what is needed... Part of this will depend on what is the attraction going to be? We visualize that we would have international competition here as a part of this so we need something that's going to have some capacity.

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In Soviet Russia, Retro Arcade Games Play You

July 1, 2009 -

If you're into the back-in-the-day arcade scene, Offworld has a nice report on the Soviet Arcade Games Museum located at Moscow State Technical University:

Art Lebedev's design studio... has given the museum a full website makeover, complete with a growing collection of its games recreated and playable online.

Of the collection, the most playable is Sea Battle (...dig the fantastically ambient faint whirr of its machinery as you play, and its rustically smudged viewfinder), but there's also the Street Racer-esque game Magistral... [and others]

The only thing it currently lacks is a full English translation... but presumably they're being added over time, as the museum itself continues to restore and collect more historical information on each game...

GP: I took the virtual version of Sea Battle out for a spin. It was very much like a torpedo game that I recall playing on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ as a kid. The online periscope view wasn't quite right, but that can probably be tweeked.

THANKS TO: Jake of 8bitjoystick for the tip!


UPDATED: Iowa City Annoints Itself Video Game Capitol of the World

April 30, 2009 -

Forget Tokyo, Seattle and Austin.

The real video game capital of the world can be found in America's heartland: Ottumwa, Iowa. At least, that's what Ottumwa officials believe. The Des Moines Register reports that the small city also hopes to build a video game hall of fame.

Ottumwa's claim to video game notoriety dates back to 1982 when Billy Mitchell registered a world record on Donkey Kong at a local arcade. Mitchell, who appeared in the 2007 documentary The King of Kong, told the Register that a hall of fame could do wonders for Ottumwa:

It had to seem like a silly idea to most anybody who heard about it, but [the Baseball Hall of Fame] was something that absolutely memorialized Cooperstown. Ottumwa is on the edge of that.

Walter Day, who owned the arcade in which Mitchell set the record and who owns Twin Galaxies, which the Register desribes as "the official scorekeeper of video games," added:

You would be able to go for world records. This will become a very, very big vacation destination.

In the pic at left, Mitchell is sporting the mullet while Day is wearing the referee jersey.

UPDATE: I've re-worked this story (now with 40% less snarkiness) after hearing from some readers as well as one exceedingly irate editor at game scorekeeping site Twin Galaxies, who writes:

The reason that Ottumwa started this movement has NOTHING to do with Billy Mitchell's former Donkey Kong record... the arcade [in Ottumwa] was the original Twin Galaxies and was the birthplace of all World Record Video Gaming, where hundreds of World Record scores were once set by hundreds of gamers.
 
Your article gets this part of the story terribly wrong.  Billy was just one of countless gamers who set World Records there, and one of the countless reasons why Ottumwa began this movement.

GP: Objection noted. However, the Des Moines Register - upon whose reporting this article was originally based - gave the Mitchell record prominent placement in regard to Ottumwa's movement to build a video game hall of fame.

The DVD version of King of Kong has been sitting in my Amazon shopping cart for some time. I will have to pull the trigger and order it. A friend advises that the film offers a lot of context to Ottumwa's bid to become video game capital of the world.

Let me say in closing: Ottumwa, if you build it, I will come.

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Obama Circuit Court Nominee Issued 2000 Ruling Upholding Video Game Legislation

March 18, 2009 -

While an overwhelming majority of federal court judges have found state and local laws restricting video games to be unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge David Hamilton is an exception. In 2000, Hamilton ruled in favor of an Indianapolis law which would have barred unaccompanied minors from playing violent games in coin-op arcades.

Hamilton's eight-year-old opinion in American Amusement Machine vs. Kendrick, while subsequently overturned by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court, could once again be a source of concern to the video game industry.

The Associated Press is reporting that President Barack Obama has nominated Hamilton for an opening on the 7th Circuit, which covers appeals arising from federal district courts in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. From the AP:

Obama on Tuesday nominated [Hamilton] to serve on [the 7th Circuit], his first act in reshaping the federal judiciary and preparing for a possible Supreme Court opening...

 

Three of the appeals courts [including the 7th] can gain a majority of Democratic-appointed judges if Obama's nominees are confirmed for existing vacancies...

 

The White House acted before Hamilton's nomination to make sure that his home-state Republican senator, Dick Lugar, was on board... Lugar's support for Hamilton would make it difficult for Republicans to filibuster his nomination...

 

The American Bar Association gave Hamilton a "well qualified" rating...

GP: As a practical matter, the chances of video game legislation reaching the 7th Circuit any time soon seem slim. Illinois, burned financially by disgraced ex-Guv Rod Blagojevich's 2005 video game law, is unlikely to try again. That leaves only Indiana and Wisconsin. While both have dabbled with legislative proposals aimed at video games in recent years, neither has gotten very far with such proposals.

Moreover, the 7th Circuit already has a precedent-setting video game case in the Kendrick ruling.

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In Casablanca, Explosion Kills One at Video Game Arcade

March 11, 2009 -

Was it a bomb?

The Associated Press reports that a video game arcade in Casablanca was rocked by an explosion which left at least one person dead this morning:

Hassan Sajeed says the explosion occurred at about 8:45 a.m. in front of or inside a video game arcade on his street, the Boulevard el Joulane.

Sajeed said he believed the explosion was a bomb, and that windows were blown out as far as 40 meters (yards) away.

However, an unnamed official at the Moroccan Interior Ministry said that the blast appeared to be caused by natural gas.

The AP notes that Casablanca experienced a series of deadly terrorist bombings in 2003.

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Texas Legislator's Office Features Retro Mario Bros. Game

January 23, 2009 -

In most legislative offices, the most exciting thing you'll find are brochures.

In Rep. Joe Pickett's office, however, you can try your hand at classic Mario Bros.

As reported by the Austin American-Statesman, Mario isn't the only thing that's different about the Texas Democrat's office in the Capitol Building in Austin.

At his own expense, Pickett has remodeled his digs to look like a 1950s-era burger joint, complete with juke box. Visitors are offered free gumballs, soda and ice cream. As for Mario, the game helps keep state politics from getting too tense: 

[Pickett's] chief of staff, says the old "Mario Bros. " video game is a mood elevator. One day a guy who wanted to argue some issue or other marched in with a fierce face, ready to rumble.

 

"He walked in and saw the old Mario Bros. video game," Chambers recalled. "He looks and says, `Awwwwwwww, I love that game.' It even destressed him."

13 comments

Illinois Village Taxes Arcade Out of Business

January 15, 2009 -

An Illinois village's tax on video game machines has forced a small arcade to abandon its games, according to a report in the Courier News.

The Name Your Game store, located in the village of Hampshire, is described by its owners as a "favorite wholesome after-school hangout" that, in addition to games, offers snacks, collectible cards and clothing.

But proprietors Bob and Gina Pearson claim that a steep village tax of $250 annually per machine led them to dispose of their 10-game inventory. For local kids that means no more Glow-in-the-Dark Air Hockey, NASCAR Racing or Ms. Pac-Man. Said Gina Pearson:

We didn't renew the licenses because the machines don't even make what you charge in these astronomical fees... The game companies tell us this is one of the highest fees in Illinois. We wonder if the village really researched how big this should be or if they just slapped a number on it...


We had become a pretty big hangout for kids after school and weekends. But not having the video games this year has made a big impact in just the first two weeks.

A village official told the Courier News that officials set the fee high with the understanding that the game machine distribution companies pay. However, Gina Pearson indicated that such arrangements only occur with establishments which serve alcohol.

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E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
AvalongodBesides, what better way to make her point for her than to respond to her opinion by behaving like a misogynistic asshole. Sure, it may be a troll account, but that doesn't make it "ok"08/29/2014 - 12:19pm
AvalongodWhether Sarkeesian is "right" or "wrong" is not relevant, neither she nor any other woman should have to expect that her opinion will be met with death threats or even just sexist language.08/29/2014 - 12:18pm
Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
 

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