Introducing 'Rob Ford: The Game'

April 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A new game making fun of Toronto mayor Rob Ford is finding some early success, according to its creators. The free flash game, "Rob Ford: The Game" drops a rotund Mayor Ford into a one-screen platformer made up of Canadian flags. The object of the game is fairly straightforward: collect power-ups like marijuana leaves, crack pipes, and bottles of booze, while avoiding journalists and the police.

The game also features sound bites from Ford, including the infamous comment he made about having oral sex with his wife.

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Grand Theft Auto V Lets Players Smoke Pot

August 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this year a trailer for Grand Theft Auto V gave the public a glimpse at an odd vending machine that apparently allowed players to buy marijuana. At first people thought it was a bit of a goof, but it turns out that pot smoking is in GTA V, alongside the usual amounts of violence, criminal activities, sexual content, and other drug use.

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Australian Classification Board Reaffirms 'Refused Classification' Status for Saints Row 4

July 29, 2013 -

It looks like the unedited version of Saint's Row IV will not manage to get an R18+ rating in Australia. Re-reviewing the original decision, a three-person panel of the Australian Classification Review Board reaffirmed the ban and refused to classify the game. This effectively bans the sale of the game in the region on all platforms.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 62

July 29, 2013 -

On this week's show (Episode 62) hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the very public meltdown and rage-quit of Fez developer Phil Fish, Nintendo's decision to remove content from the next Super Smash Bros. game because of the Internet, Australia's hypocrisy when it comes to game ratings and drugs; and the results of last week's poll on Game Politics. Download Episode 62 now: SuperPAC Episode 62 (1 hour, 1 minute) 56.5 MB.

Is Taking Drugs in a Game Worse Than Selling Them? The Australian Classification Board Seems to Think So

July 26, 2013 -

The Australian Classification Board has refused classification on several games in recent weeks because they featured interactive drug use, but as web site Stevivor points out (thanks to Cheater87 for the link), different rules seem to apply to making and selling drugs.

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Facebook Game Warns of the Dangers of Buzzed Driving During the Holidays

July 3, 2013 -

The Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have teamed up to create a Facebook game called "Buzzed. Busted. Broke." The goal of the game is to raise awareness on buzzed driving - which is more likely to happen on a holiday like the Fourth of July. The game uses photo matching gameplay and images related to buzzed driving. The game was created with the help of Play API.

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State of Decay Refused Ratings Classification in Australia

June 26, 2013 -

Undead Labs' State of Decay is the second game to be refused classification in Australia under the country's new ratings system. The game was refused classification because it includes interactive drug use that "aids in gameplay progression," or rewards the player for engaging in drug use.

Writing on the Undead Labs forum, executive producer Jeff Strain shared the bad news with fans.

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Australian Classification Board Reveals Specific in Saints Row IV Ruling

June 26, 2013 -

Yesterday we reported that Saints Row IV had earned the dubious distinction of being the very first game to be refused classification under Australia's new age rating system for games. Now GameSpot has figured out exactly what got the game banned. Two things managed to get the game bumped from an expected R18+ rating to basically being banned in Australia.

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Toronto Mayor Gets His Own Game

June 24, 2013 -

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who was allegedly caught on video smoking crack, can now enjoy some fresh new ridicule via a new medium: a video game. In the game - available via Google Play for Android devices - players control the mayor as he avoids crack pipes and the media long enough to earn money to buy back that allegedly incriminating video tape. From the game's description:

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AMC's Breaking Bad as a LEGO Video Game

May 1, 2013 -

Here's something you won't see every day: a video showing what a LEGO game version of AMC's hit series about making meth - Breaking Bad - might look like. The parody video created by animator Brian Anderson mixes the popular show's plot and characters with the humor of a LEGO video game with amusing results. On the YouTube page for his video, Anderson offers the following disclaimer:

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NJ Gov. Chris Christie: Video Games and Other Factors Should be Discussed to Curb Gun Violence

January 9, 2013 -

In an interview on CBS This Morning Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that a frank discussion on a myriad of issues will be the only way to seriously curb gun violence in America beyond a discussion about gun control. That discussion should include violence found in some video games, substance abuse, and mental illness.

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Indie Developer Challenges Conventional Wisdom on Marijuana Laws with New Game Drugbound

November 16, 2012 -

Developer Slouch Couch (a one-man studio featuring the talents of indie developer Dave Homan) has created a game that he hopes will raise awareness about marijuana legalization. The game is called Drugbound. Drugbound is an HTML5 developed "endless runner" game where players run away from law enforcement while collecting "medicinal herbs" and avoiding bosses.

Homan wants to use his game to question the illegality of marijuana use in America. In a press release today he explained his position on the issue:

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Cheech and Chong's The Fatty App Released

September 18, 2012 -

With all the talk of legalizing the use of marijuana at the state and federal level (for and against), it seems only appropriate that the 70's most iconic stoner comedy team should release an app on Android and iOS. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have teamed up with developer MEDL Mobile to create and deploy Cheech and Chong's The Fatty. The app is a mix of gags, gameplay and fun but useless utilities for the modern age stoner.

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Judge Lucy Koh, Part-Time Comedian

August 17, 2012 -

Our chuckle of the day is sponsored by the BBC, who reports the surprising and mildly amusing response of Judge Lucy Koh after reading Apple's Witness list. The judge in the high-stakes, high profile US patent trial between Apple and Samsung made her comments after Apple attorney William Lee named 22 people in a 73-page witness list he wanted to call to rebut the testimony of Samsung's witnesses.

After looking at the list, Judge Koh offered the following response:

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Jamaican Authorities Find 24 Pounds of Cocaine in Xbox

June 13, 2012 -

A short story on Boston.com details yet another criminal using an Xbox 360 to smuggle drugs. According to Jamaican authorities, they have seized 24 pounds of cocaine concealed inside the shell of an Xbox. The seizure was conducted by the Jamaica Customs Department, who say that they discovered the cocaine at Kingston's airport shortly after a Guyanese traveler cleared customs with a laptop and a suitcase.

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Man Arrested for Cocaine Concealed in an Xbox 360

May 5, 2012 -

A traffic stop in El Paso, Texas led to the arrest of a local man who found an exciting new way to hide his drug. While his method for concealment was certainly current generation thinking, it wasn't clever enough to trick the El Paso County Sheriffs' office. During a routine traffic stop because the driver failed to use his turn signal, police discovered three bundles of cocaine - two of which were hidden inside an Xbox 360 console - in a bag on the passenger seat of his older Mercedes.

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Xbox Live: Great for Making New Friends, Setting up Drug Deals

April 26, 2012 -

Xbox Live is a great place to meet new friends and - apparently - the perfect venue for scoring a pot deal. But today we offer you a cautionary tale on making such deals: don't use the postal service to deliver that package. Nineteen-year-old Garrett Bryant is learning that lesson first-hand. Lawrenceburg, Kentucky police and the postal inspector allege that Bryant had a pound of marijuana mailed to him under a fake name.

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Bad Idea: Snorting Ritalin and Xbox 360 Gaming

August 8, 2011 -

According to a report from New Zealand’s TVNZ, a high school boy bought Ritalin to stay awake and play Xbox 360 games, but ended up in the hospital. The report claims that the boy was brought into the hospital "White as a sheet and hyperventilating" after he used a "makeshift device" to snort Ritalin he scored from a classmate. The 15-year-old told his father that he obtained the drug through a classmate and had been using it for quite some time.

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Culture Magazine Highlights Marijuana Usage of Pro Gamers

July 8, 2011 -

While professional video game players don't have the equivalent of performance enhancing drugs such as steroids, pro medical marijuana publication Culture Magazine thinks that many use Marijuana to enhance their abilities prior to tournament play. The publication cites a comment made by Alex Walker, the Australian World Cyber Games tournament director, to game publication GamePlayer.

"I’ve seen a number of players at national tournaments who came in ‘baked’ purely so they could play better," said Alex Walker, the Australian World Cyber Games tournament director, in a recent interview with Gameplayer.

8 comments | Read more

Swedish Teens Spend More Time Gaming, Less Time Doping

July 7, 2011 -

A team of Swedish researchers have conducted a study about drugs, alcohol and the effects of video games on teens. The research (unearthed by C&VG) concluded that boys who play games tend not to get involved in drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

The team of researchers from the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN) surveyed 46,000 teens in the country, asking them about their drug and alcohol usage. Researchers discovered that the percentage of Swedish 15-year-olds who drink alcohol has dropped to the lowest level in decades.

The level of 15 and 16-year-old boys who have at least tried alcohol in the past year also declined to 55 percent - the lowest since CAN began investigating teen habits in 1971. A decade ago, that figure stood at 77 percent. Figures for smoking and drug-usage also showed a decline.

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U.S. Senators Rail Against Drunk Driving Checkpoint Avoidance App

March 23, 2011 -

Four United States Senators are not happy with an application that they say helps drunk drivers avoid checkpoints and they are demanding that a number of app stores yank it immediately. Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Tom Udall (D-NM) have asked Apple iPhone head Scott Forstall, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt and Research in Motion's (RIM) co-CEOs, James Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis to pull an undisclosed number of apps.

"Giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern," the senators said in a letter to the executives of the three companies. "We hope that you will give our request to remove these applications from your store immediate consideration."

9 comments | Read more

Iranian Government Backs Anti-Drug Game

October 25, 2010 -

As part of a bid to educate its youth about the dangers of drugs, the Iranian government will turn toward a wide range of cultural solutions, including development of an anti-drug videogame.

Iran’s Fars News Agency reports on the initiative, which will see The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, Iran's Drug Control Headquarters and the National Foundation for Computer Games collaborating on a solution.

Ahmad Esfandiari, head of Iran’s State Welfare Organization, stated, “When you intend to take something (drugs) away from children and young adults, you need to provide a substitute for them and nowadays video games are the best replacement.”

1 comment | Read more

Second Life “Meth Apartment” Aids Addiction Research

October 13, 2010 -

A UCLA student created a “meth house” in the virtual world of Second Life in order to assist a study into how environmental cues factor into addiction.

Chris Culbertson, a doctoral student at the school, was inspired by “reports of alcoholics and smokers developing cravings while visiting virtual worlds devised by addiction researchers” according to Scientific American, and created his own adaptation. Once built, he invited 17 meth addicts to UCLA to try it out, measuring their heart rates and having them fill out questionnaires as they navigated the 3D space.

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Chinese Anti-Drug Campaign Leverages Game Operators

June 2, 2010 -

The Chinese government is calling on the sizeable network of game operators within its borders for assistance with an anti-drug campaign.

Over 50 online game operators, including the likes of Shanda Entertainment and Giant Online, have said they will take part in a competition to create anti-drug public service advertisements at their own expense. The consortium was put together by Shanghai’s anti-drug commission, according to a story on China.org.cn.

The PSA’s judged to be best will eventually be shown on the city’s mobile TV network and in Internet cafes.

Of China’s 30 million online gamers, “most” were billed as being men, under the age of 35, which coincides with numbers estimating that 75 percent of all new drug users in Shanghai are people under 35. Xu Chuan, an “official” from the Shanghai anti-drug commission, noted, “Online gamers and drug users have similar demographic characteristics in most of the cases."

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No Apologies: A Writer’s Cocaine-Fueled Game Addiction

March 23, 2010 -

A young man with a promising future as a writer seemingly gave it all up to in order to give in to the unhealthy combination of Grand Theft Auto IV and cocaine.

The Observer has an article up written by Tom Bissell, the former essayist himself. Bissell begins by outlining the period from 2001-2006, which saw him author two books and a series of magazine articles. During this time he says he “rarely felt disciplined,” and his productivity seemed to happen in spite of itself.

The author's dive into gaming kicked off with GTA: Vice City, which he called, “the first video game I can recall having to force myself to stop playing,” before he moved on to GTA: San Andreas and eventually GTA IV. When the latter game came out, a friend introduced Bissell to cocaine and the pair played the game for 30 hours straight.

Bissell attempted to put a finger on the attractiveness of the game:

8 comments | Read more

Developer of iPhone Drug-Dealing Game Fears Apple Banhammer

July 10, 2009 -

The top dog at U.K developer A-steroids, creator of Underworld: Sweet Deal for the iPhone, is worried that his company's game is going to be rejected by Apple over its drug-dealing theme.

As readers may recall, this is a bit of an ongoing saga. GamePolitics reported in December, 2008 that A-steroids had renamed the game, originally called DrugLords, in an effort to avoid an App Store ban. A few days later, an Englishwoman who lost her daughter to heroin abuse called upon Apple to ban the game, whatever its title.

Apparently the issue is still up in the air, based on an e-mail GamePolitics received today from Andrey Podoprigora, Head of Studio for A-steroids:

We have recently released our first game on the AppStore - Underworld: SweetDeal. The game was previously known as DrugLords, location-based MMO about dirty trade...

This week, we have submitted the game in it's original drug-trade setting to the AppStore. We were hoping that after the iPhone 3.0 came out with it's parental controls improved, there is a chance for the game to finally come through.

Now, we have got an update from Apple, saying they require "unexpected additional time for review". Which is sort of bad because we are already familiar with responses like that - in December, 2008 this led to months of silence and then ended up as a reject. Would be sad if it means nothing changes in Apple's app reviewing policy.

7 comments

BBFC Says It Investigated Crystal Meth Recipe in GTA IV

June 22, 2009 -

The British Board of Film Classification, which last week lost the battle for control of U.K. video game ratings to industry-favored rival PEGI, once investigated whether Grand Theft Auto IV contained a genuine recipe for manufacturing crystal meth.

The Times reports that the discovery prompted "crisis talks" with developer Rockstar. In testimony last year before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons, BBFC head David Cooke discussed his organization's review of GTA IV:

We did examine [GTA IV] extremely thoroughly and we are the only regulator I know of who looked, for instance, at the particular issue where... there was a concern about whether you were being given instructional information about how to make the drug crystal meth.

 

We actually took independent advice on the point and eventually were able to satisfy ourselves that some of the crucial ingredients and techniques were missing so it was not a genuine cause for concern.

UPDATE: College News (leave it to those crazy college kids) explains where the so-called crystal meth recipe can be found in GTA IV:

The suspected recipe for crystal meth can be discovered in the video game as a posting on the fictional Web site Craplist --a parody of the popular real life Web site Craigslist.

27 comments

Second Life's Virtual Meth Lab Will Help Train Police

June 10, 2009 -

While Second Life has many uses, law enforcement training has not historically been among them. But that may be changing.

New World Notes reports that consultant Fred Fuchs, who goes by Gus Plisskin in Second Life, designed a virtual meth lab to help cops recognize when they've stumbled upon the real thing. Such labs are not only illegal, they're extremegly dangerous as well.

Said Fuchs/Plisskin of his virtual meth lab project:

We hope to encourage use of SL for training law enforcement and social workers. We found that a walk-thru helped other types of clients think about ways they could use SL... Accuracy in simulations is 'my thing'.

5 comments

Don't Tase Me, Bro... Second Life Zapped by TASER Lawsuit

April 21, 2009 -

TASER International, which manufactures the controversial electric stun guns that bear its name, has given a jolt to Linden Lab and a number of its corporate executives with a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona.

TASER, which faces numerous lawsuits of its own filed by individuals who have been tased (or, in some cases, their survivors) is concerned that virtual TASER replica items are being sold in Second Life as gear for SL avatars (see pic at left).

TASER also alleges that its brand will be damaged via association with virtual sex and virtual drug use occuring within Second Life. From the 102-page complaint:

All of the defendants that sell virtual property like Plaintiff's real ones, under the mark TASER for use in Second Life programs and grids, also sell adult-only explicit images and scenes... thus attaching such content to the TASER mark... and also sell unlawful drug materials... thus attaching such content to the TASER mark...

TASER 's claims are primarily based on trademark considerations. The company seeks damages in excess of $75,000.

Via: Massively

UPDATE: New World Notes has more...

UPDATE 2: GamesLaw offers a legal analysis of the TASER suit.

UPDATE 3: New World Notes reports that Linden Lab, owner of SL, contacted an in-world vendor of virtual items and requested that "Taser" be replaced with "stun gun."

60 comments

Report: Dad Finds Ecstasy Tablets in Used Copy of Grand Theft Auto

April 8, 2009 -

A British man who purchased a pair of used Grand Theft Auto games discovered what appeared to be ecstasy tablets wrapped in plastic and hidden in one of the game manuals.

The Telegraph reports that Richard Thornhill, 34, bought the second-hand games at a GameStation in Gloucestershire:

When I opened the box up, the cling film wrap fell out. I could not believe it. I have two children and my son plays Xbox all the time. He could easily have opened the box and found them.

I dread to think what the consequences would have been if he had. He is only 12. He could have died. It was a pre-used game, but that should not make a difference. My wife is beside herself over this because she keeps thinking about what could have happened and so do I.

The retailer and local police are investigating.

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
 

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