Research: Games That Require Strategic Thinking Offer Important Benefits

November 26, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New research from the Netherlands finds that young people who play games that require fast-paced strategic thinking and planning may improve learning, health and social skills, and strengthen cognitive abilities including problem solving, reasoning, memory and perception. Researchers say that these benefits can occur even when a game contains violent content. The research from the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands was recently published in the journal, American Psychologist.

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Infinity Ward: Battlefield's Success is Good for Call of Duty

August 6, 2013 -

Infinity Ward producer Mark Rubin welcomes the competition that the Battlefield series brings to the market because it makes Call of Duty a better product. He believes that competition from games like the Battlefield series helps push his studio to do more with its own games, and that's a good thing.

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Researchers Conclude FPS Games Good for Short Term Memory

April 29, 2013 -

Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands have come to the conclusion that first-person shooter games can games enhance the brain's working memory, according to a report by the BBC (by way of GameSpot).

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Research: Playing Shooters Improves Visual Search

March 15, 2013 -

New research coming out of the University of Toronto shows that playing shooters and driving games for even a short amount of time seems to improve the ability to search for a target hidden among distractions in complex scenes. The study was conducted by psychology professor Ian Spence and PhD candidate Sijing Wu, who compared action videogame players and non-players on three visual search tasks. They found that the experienced players were better at it.

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Raspberry Pi's First 'Adults Only' Game is OpenArena

January 28, 2013 -

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released OpenArena, an "adults only" multiplayer first person shooter based on the Quake III engine. Available now for Raspberry Pi systems, the game runs on a modified version of the engine that powers Quake III - id tech 3, and the gameplay has been heavily modified to work on the system. The copyrighted material from Quake III has also been removed to make the game truly open sourced. Obviously there are still some outstanding bugs in the software.

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DayZ Creator Still Upset Over The War Z Controversy

January 17, 2013 -

Last month, DayZ creator Dean Hall said he was very depressed by all the bad press surrounding competing zombie game The War Z.

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Halo 2 PC Servers to Go Dark in February

January 17, 2013 -

According to an announcement from 343 Industries community manager Jessica Shea posted on Halo Waypoint, multiplayer servers for the PC windows version of Halo 2 will go dark on February 15. So why would 343 Industries shut down those servers? Because, as Shea points out, nobody seems to be using them anymore:

"We're sad to report that the service end-date for Halo 2 PC Multiplayer will be February 15, 2013," reads the post.

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn Takes Aim at Call of Duty on CNN Segment

January 14, 2013 -

On CNN's State of the Union with host Candy Crowley, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TENN.) sat in on a panel discussion about gun control and the likelihood of legislation being passed by the current Congress. But instead of discussing gun control, Blackburn decided to take a few shots at Activision's Call of Duty series. Blackburn said that in preparation to appear on the show she watched some video of the game and was shocked at the violence she saw... she also called the game "Call to Duty."

EA Removes Links to Weapons Manufacturers from Warfighter Site

December 26, 2012 -

Remember that virtual showroom that linked Medal of Honor: Warfighter to real-life products from its gun maker marketing partners? Well Electronic Arts has decided that it needed to make some adjustments to that whole promotion/connection, according to this Polygon report..

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DayZ Creator Calls The War Z Steam Controversy 'Very Depressing'

December 20, 2012 -

DayZ creator Dean Hall says that all the bad press surrounding the release of rival title The War Z is so depressing that he considered quitting the industry because of it. Speaking to the Reddit community, Hall said the whole ordeal made him "pretty depressed" and made him "seriously question" his desire to be a part of the industry. He also said that the media inquiries and interview requests have caused him to retreat slightly.

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Newtown Boy Organizes Local Movement to Throw Away Violent Video Games

December 20, 2012 -

The Hartford Courant is highlighting a story about a 12-year-old Newtown, Connecticut boy who has started a campaign to "stop playing violent video games." Max Goldstein, a 12-year-old student who attends Newtown Middle School, says that he decided to stop playing games like "Call of Duty" after attending the funeral of one of his brother's friends who had been killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shoot

Czech Republic President Makes Plea to Greek President over Jailed Arma Developers

November 23, 2012 -

The president of the Czech Republic President pledges continued support for the two jailed Arma developers who are currently being held in Greece on charges of espionage. Earlier in the week President Václav Klaus wrote a personal letter to Greek President Karolos Papoulias - translated by Eurogamer urging him to give the case "special attention," but he also emphasized that he was not trying to meddle in the country's business.

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Analyst: Warfighter Likely to be a Disappointment to EA

October 22, 2012 -

Research firm Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz says that Medal of Honor: Warfighter is "likely to be a major disappointment." Set for release in the US, Europe and Australia this week, the game is set to face a tough shooter market that includes heavyweights like Halo 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops II. With that in mind, Creutz think that Warfighter will be a disappointment in terms of its sales numbers.

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EA Acquires Battlefield Battlelog App Developers ESN

September 27, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has acquired ESN, the small Swedish development studio best known for creating the Battlelog mobile and web apps for DICE's Battlefield series.

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Gotham City Imposters Officially Free-to-Play on Steam

August 31, 2012 -

Following up on a story from earlier this week about Gotham City Imposters going free-to-play, we can now confirm that it was more than just a rumor. This morning Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment officially announced that the online multiplayer action game is now available for free through Steam.

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Gotham City Imposters Free-to-Play Rumored

August 29, 2012 -

Is Gotham City Imposters going free-to-play? According to data on the Open Steamworks Content Description Record Database (by way of NeoGAF), signs point to "yes." The Open Steamworks Content Description Record Database is an unofficial record of games and their descriptions provided by Valve.

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Azerbaijan Developers Revisit the Nagorno-Karabakh War

August 21, 2012 -

A new video game developed by a 19-year-old student and promoted by the Azerbaijani government lets players change the results of the Spring 1992 capture of the Nagorno Karabakhi town of Shusha by Armenian and Nagorno Karabakhi forces. The battle marked the turning point in the conflict for control of the territory.

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Gearbox Denies Calling Borderlands 2 'Best Friends Forever' Skill Tree 'Girlfriend Mode' Internally

August 13, 2012 -

While having a super casual mode for your game is a great idea, what you call it in private can sometimes seep out and cause you a headache if you are not careful. That is exactly what is happening to Gearbox Software this morning after a Eurogamer report called a new super easy skill tree in Borderlands 2 "Girlfriend Mode." The offense comes from the inference that "girlfriends" are somehow not very good at games (or not very bright) and need a special skill tree to help them along. Gearbox is basically being accused of using a misogynist term to describe the mode.

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Battlefield 3 Server Operators Get More Perks With Upcoming Update

July 6, 2012 -

If you are one of those people dedicated (or crazy depending on your perspective) enough to pay $30 a month to rent a Battlefield 3 server from EA DICE, then today's announcement will make you feel like you are getting more bang for your buck. EA announced that an upcoming update will add new match features which give server owners and players the ability to coordinate and schedule matches.

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Report: Gotham City Impostors Glitch Wipes Player Data

February 16, 2012 -

According to an admin on the game's official forums (as reported by Joystiq), there is a glitch in Gotham City Imposters that resets earned stats and unlocked content. The thread already has 63 pages of angry Gotham City Imposters owners complaining at length about the problem.

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Study Finds Anecdotal Link to Game Addiction and Shooters, MMO’s

February 3, 2012 -

According to a new study conducted by the Institute for Special Populations Research in New York, some types of games are more addictive than others and have the potential to create "problem gaming" habits in a small percentage of gamers. While the mental health community is not quite ready to make the leap of faith it takes to proclaim that video game addiction is a real mental disorder like gambling and drug addiction, studies like this one are certainly trying to establish causation.

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Why Civilians are Off Limits in Battlefield 3

August 30, 2011 -

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an interesting article on Battlefield 3 that explains why you can't shoot civilians in the game. Apparently EA decided to make it so that players couldn't just gun down innocents in the game. It's an interesting policy considering that some might consider taking away that option as removing some of the realism that games such as Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 are promising.

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School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 Dropped from ModDB

March 24, 2011 -

Mod hosting site ModDB has succumbed to pressure from outside sources and has removed the Half-Life 2 mod, School Shooter: North American Tour 2012, from its database. In an open letter to its community, ModDB founder Scott "INtense!" Reismanis said that the site pulled the mod down after "getting quite a bit of mainstream press due to the controversial nature of the content." He went on to say that he got a lot of threatening mail from various sources and the authors of that mail believed that ModDB were the mod's creators.

The Half-Life 2 mod was created by mod group Checkerboarded Studios. The group was obviously pushing the enevelope when it came to its mod. "You are free to do whatever you want. As long as it involves shooting people," reads part of the mod's description.

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THQ Promises Homefront Title Update Soon

March 23, 2011 -

An update to fix a bug that causes the Xbox 360 version of THQ's Homefront to freeze is a day or two away from Microsoft certification, according to a Eurogamer report. The title update to the game addresses the Profile Corruption error, or "freeze bug" that some Xbox 360 users have experienced while playing Homefront. THQ says that this issue is its highest priority.

"We are also including a fix for multiplayer connectivity and ping time issues, where players are being sent to distant server locations at the expense of performance. We expect this update to be submitted to Microsoft really soon and we will be working with them very closely to get this approved and deployed as quickly as possible," said THQ on its Homefront blog.

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Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN Servers an Option

January 18, 2011 -

If you have already read our story about Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward blaming Sony for the rash of hacks and exploits, then you get a good sense of how the PS3 Call of Duty community feels. They are pissed off, frustrated and feel like no one wants to help them. No doubt, Infinity Ward and Treyarch are equally frustrated with the problems they have encountered on the PS3 related to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.

FPS Trainer to Debut in Edinburgh

December 17, 2010 -

Are you horrible at first-person shooters? Do your friends call you "butter foot" and other unsettling in-game terms when you play online? There may be help for you thanks to FPS Trainer, an online service that combines an AI-controlled coaching technology and advice from "world class players" to teach players the fundamentals of first-person action games.

According to Play2Improve, fewer than 40 percent of players choose to play online because they are "intimidated by the ferocious talent and skill shown by some of the most dedicated players." FPS Trainer offers gamers the chance to learn the basics of playing FPS games online and teach more experienced players some secret techniques to bring their online play to a higher level.

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EA Caves, Renames Taliban in MOH

October 1, 2010 -

Did not see this one coming, but via Kotaku (thanks Cheater87!), Electronic Arts has folded like a cheap suit and announced that it is renaming the Taliban forces in its upcoming Medal of Honor game to the more benign “Opposing Force.”

To be fair, Medal of Honor Greg Goodrich, in a statement on the game’s website, indicated that the renaming was done in response to “reverence for American and Allied soldiers.”

More from Goodrich:

Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH Comments

September 9, 2010 -

In response to Canadian Defence Minster Peter MacKay’s (pictured) disapproving comments about the Electronic Arts game Medal of Honor, an Ottawa Citizen columnist took to his pulpit in order to offer a spirited defense (defence) of videogames.

Referring to the ability to play as the Taliban in the game, MacKay had said that, “I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.”

In his column, Dan Gardner replied, “No one ever accused Peter MacKay of being Her Majesty's most cerebral minister…”

MacKay had also lamented that children might take on the role of insurgents in the game, a point which Gardner addressed:

Another MOD Criticizes MOH

September 7, 2010 -

The red phones connecting the world’s defense/defence ministers must be working fine, as yet another member of that group has jumped on the anti-Medal of Honor videogame bandwagon.

This time around Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay took issue with the Electronic Arts game, specifically over the ability to play as a member of the Taliban in Medal of Honor’s multiplayer mode. MacKay, via the Ottawa Citizen, had this to say about the game:

The men and women of the Canadian Forces, our allies, aid workers, and innocent Afghans are being shot at, and sometimes killed, by the Taliban. This is reality. I find it wrong to have anyone, children in particular, playing the role of the Taliban. I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.

What the Average American Thinks about MOH

September 1, 2010 -

In light of the controversy surrounding the ability to play as the Taliban in Electronic Arts’ upcoming Medal of Honor, Northern California’s Times-Herald solicited reader input on the title, in the form of letters to the editor, and listed them on their website.

The responses range from ambivalent to angry, and probably represent a decent enough cross-section of opinions. Samplings of the responses are shared below, led off with our personal favorite:

Aubrey Cosentino: I don't think they should have even made this game, let alone try and release it. I would never buy it. My brother is in the Navy and served over in Iraq. It's a slap in the face to Americans is what it is; first they want to build a temple, now this game, come on now ...

Linda Peterson: I would NOT buy it -- but I don't play or buy any war games at all. I think the Taliban option is in extremely bad taste. Offensive even.

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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
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
 

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