Resistance 3 Invades London's Theater Scene with Punchdrunk

August 31, 2011 -

London's theater world is apparently about to get a taste of video game culture thanks to Sony, Resistance 3 and London theater group Punchdrunk. Running September 1, through Sunday, Punchdrunk performs "…And Darkness Descended," an "interactive theater experience based on the game Resistance 3, where participants must survive, by cooperating against alien invaders (or not cooperating, as the case may be). Punchdrunk is keen on performing in a way that encourages lots of audience participation and this particular performance should be no exception.

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Artix Experiments with 'Death Ads' in MMO

August 29, 2011 -

MMO developer Artix has been experimenting with ads that players only see when they die in the online game AdventureQuest Worlds. The practice is getting some interesting reactions from players, according to CEO Adam Bohn, who spoke at length with [a]list Daily in a recent interview. The ads are what are commonly called "house ads," or ads promoting the company's own products and services such as other game titles and the company's store:

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Scott Steinberg: EA's Mud-Slinging is a 'Smart Move'

August 23, 2011 -

EA's trash-talking to Activision about its Call of Duty franchise may be frowned upon in some circles, but Scott Steinberg of TechSavvy Global sees it as a clever ploy on the company's part to draw attention to its Battlefield series.

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Minecraft Creator Challenges Bethesda to Quake 3 DM Over Patent Case

August 17, 2011 -

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson has offered a novel way to settle the impending trademark litigation Bethesda might bring against his company Mojang for its upcoming game "Scrolls" - and it involves deathmatch.

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Dragons, QuakeCon, and Motherhood

August 9, 2011 -

Someone was extra excited about seeing Skyrim on the big screen - so much so that it sent her into labor - at QuakeCon. According to a Game Informer story, during Bethesda's 40-minute presentation of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at QuakeCon, expectant mother Stevi suddenly started having labor pains, much to the surprise of her fiancé Chaz.

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Trip Hawkins: We Don't Own the Land We are Tilling

July 14, 2011 -

Electronic Arts founder and Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins has accused Nintendo of presiding over what he calls a "feudal dark age" in the industry in which developers "don't own the land that they are tilling." He has a point, but Nintendo certainly isn't the only platform holder guilty of that.. At GamesBeat in San Francisco today, Hawkins talked at length about the power of platform holders and how they often limit creativity in comparison to open platforms.

"Look at the world wide web and how many great companies have been built on that open platform," he said. "Nintendo is a great, amazing company, but how many companies have been built on the back of Nintendo's platform in the past 25 years?"

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The Trials and Tribulations of Getting a Colbert Report Game Started

July 12, 2011 -

Prithvi Virasinghe, creative director at Comedy Central's internal game studio, would like to see a game based on Tak Jensen, a character created on Comedy Central's Colbert Report. Speaking to Joystiq, Virasinghe said that Tek Jansen, and the Colbert Report are subjects he'd like to make into games. Naturally such games would require the green light from Colbert and the network.

"I've honestly tried to do this many, many times," he said of concepts for a Colbert-themed game. "One of the ideas we had for Colbert was we wanted to do 'Colbert Quest,' which was kinda like an homage to the Police Quest or Space Quest games." Apparently his team at 345 even went as far as to put together a "design treatment" for "Colbert Quest," which he detailed by saying, "You're sort of in this world that's humor-based, that's kind of situational and quest-based, and it would have Colbert as some sort of overlord of this domain."

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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.

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Astonishing E3 Tales: Kotick Wanted Private Showing of Battlefield 3

June 9, 2011 -

It's kind of a funny story, though it might be more folklore than fact; Computer & Video Games has a report about a personal assistant to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick trying to get him in to see Battlefield 3 behind closed doors. As you can imagine, EA said no to the request.

According to the C&VG report (citing "a senior informant who witnessed the exchange first-hand") Bobby Kotick's personal assistant discussed the chances of a hands-on trial of the game with EA reps at the door of the publisher's private meeting room. The female assistant jumped to the front of the line on Wednesday morning to request a personal showing of the game for Kotick. After mulling it over inside the private meeting room, an EA representative declined the request, saying that "it would not be possible."

The PA put up a small fight in front of those waiting to get in and then left in a huff, according to the witness.

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The Death of Osama, SMB Style

May 9, 2011 -

Modders and creative types are having fun mocking the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of an elite U.S. Navy Seals, but one of the best pieces of video game-related comedy on the subject comes from a French television show that uses Super Mario Bros. as the backdrop. Instead of Mario and Bowser, the animation features former U.S. President George W. Bush chasing down Osama in various stages until the 2008 election where Obama takes over. Check out the video to your left to watch the hijinx.

Source: Go Nintendo by way of Kotaku

2 comments

Schwarzenegger Confirms Stan Lee Project

April 4, 2011 -

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is only anti-game when it suits him apparently. Even as the Supreme Court deliberates over the validity of the 2005 anti-gaming law, Schwarzenegger confirms that Stan Lee is making a comic book that will inevitably be made into a video game. The comic book will be called "The Governator" and will be written by the legendary comic book icon Stan Lee. The comic book follows the exploits of a governor who leads by day and fights crime by night as a costumed super hero.

"First will come comic books, then a TV series and after that we will develop the games and then a movie," Schwarzenegger said at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend. "Maybe then we'll be back in Cannes for that."

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Wyoming Valley Counselor Disturbed by School Shooter Mod

March 31, 2011 -

The Times Leader reports on a drug and alcohol counselor who is agitated over the Half-Life 2 mod, School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. The CEO of Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services wants parents, teachers, school administrators to be aware of its existence and the possibility that it might be "available soon."

Showing that he doesn't understand the concept of a mod or that it is being developed online and to be given away for free, Ambrosino said he has warned the superintendents of area schools, federal and state legislators, as well as major retailers such as Kmart, Walmart and Target about the game.

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Really NCIS Writers, Really?

March 10, 2011 -

Does it hurt to do a little research before writing an episode of NCIS? Apparently it's a major hassle for whomever penned an episode of the popular CBS crime drama about an MMO, as evidenced in this clip from the show. The storyline features a fake MMO called Fear Tower 3 and a "high scorer" named "MaxDestructo." Are they playing breakout or an MMO? Maybe they meant to convey that these gamers were playing an online game like Quake Live or Battlefield Heroes. I do not know, so watch the video and judge for yourselves.

Source: Kotaku

13 comments

No We Dare for North America

February 28, 2011 -

Ubisoft has confirmed that We Dare is a European only release. The saucy, adult themed Wii game that challenges couples to engage is some risqué behavior to score points and "get a little closer" is apparently too hot for U.S. gamers.

While the reaction to the We Dare commercial was mostly disbelief, it would be hard to say that journalists on this side of the pond found it to be offensive - silly, and a little too suggestive for our taste, maybe - but inappropriate for America? No way. If we can have Dennis Franz showing his big ass on TV, we can handle a couple taking turns spanking each other in a commercial.

Ubisoft must have felt some embarrassment at the trailer being so widely noticed online and ended up yanking it off YouTube under the guise of a regional copyright issue. In other words, it contacted YouTube to violate itself. Strange.

Ubisoft told IGN that We Dare would "absolutely not see release in the United States."

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Gold Reseller Touts Fresh Colorful Design

February 14, 2011 -

I am sure that Blizzard (and other MMO companies) is delighted with today's press release from World of Wacraft gold reseller outfit BYGamer. While the press release isn't particularly thrilling one could imagine that the China-based gold farmers are not well liked on this side of the world.

The company issued a press release to announce changes to its web site - BYGAMER.com - which now offers visitors a plethora of fancy colors, improved navigation and lovely new frames. Are they mocking Blizzard? It sure seems that way.

The company tops off its wonderful announcement with customer testimonials:

"It’s amazing! What a beautiful site and Buy WOW Gold here is absolutely a good choice!, said new customer Monica to one of BYGAMER’s call center operators.

The company says that this new design is already proving to help "increase traffic and sales."

Full release below:

Kevin Butler Tweet Accidently Shares PS3 Root Key

February 9, 2011 -

As a general rule, everyone loves the antics of Sony Computer Entertainment America's fictional executive, Kevin Butler. His TV commercials are hilarious, and even his online chatter is good for an occasional chuckle. But a recent back and forth on Twitter may have put some egg on the face of SCEA’s marketing department. During a short exchange of tweets with Linux and Mac enthusiast Travis La Marr, Butler inadvertently retweeted the PS3 root key to all of his followers. The story is particularly embarrassing for Sony, who is in a mad dash to stop people from sharing that root key on the Internet.  

La Marr tweeted the code at Butler, and signed off with "come at me @TheKevinButler." Whoever handles that Twitter account for Sony did not notice the long string of code in the message. That person retweeted the entire message, adding the comment: "Lemme guess ... You sank my Battleship?"

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Duty Calls Downloaded More than One Million Times

February 7, 2011 -

The official Bulletstorm Twitter feed reports that its parody download of Call of Duty (to promote the upcoming action game Bulletstorm) has been downloaded approximately 1,250,000 times.

From the Twitter feed:

"1.25 million Duty Calls downloads!"

"We say thanks with Duty Calls Wallpapers over at our Facebook page."

Duty Calls is a parody of the Call of Duty series - and of the first-person shooter genre in general - designed to promote the upcoming release of People Can Fly's and Epic's first-person arcade action game Bulletstorm.

The game is set for release on multiple platforms February 22.

Source: C&VG

3 comments

Judge to Hacker: Put Your Skills to Better Use

January 13, 2011 -

A South Australian judge has given a 21-year-old hacker a break, sentencing him to a three-year suspended sentence. Anthony Scott Harrison was accused of hacking into thousands of computers in Australia and abroad, and infecting them with a virus he developed that stole credit card numbers.

Judge Paul Rice said Harrison told the defendant that he should put his skills to better use, and that his offense was the result of an obsession with computers and learning how to hack.

"You are a person not without a lot of ability but you just used it in the wrong way," the judge said. "I accept this offending was born out of your passion for computers, your naivety and youthful curiosity."

"Whether you can now gain employment in the security IT industry is problematic," he added.

Harrison was given a suspended sentence, which should keep him out of jail if he stays out of trouble.

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Twisted Pixel CEO: No Legal Action Planned Over Capcom's MaXplosion

January 12, 2011 -

Twisted Pixel is probably the coolest collection of cats on the planet. Not only do they have a decent sense of humor and an affinity for developing clever games, but they are also humble realists. When asked about a recent Capcom mobile game (MaXplosion for iOS) that some say blatantly rips off Twisted Pixel's popular 'Splosion Man, the company’s CEO gave an honest answer:

"We're definitely not going to pursue legal action," Wilford told Joystiq. "While I think the similarities are pretty nauseating, we're too small to take on a company like Capcom. That, and we owe them one for inventing Mega Man, so we'll let them slide."

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Some Amusing Letters to Santa

December 23, 2010 -

A series of letters to Santa from the third grade class at Goessel Elementary School (Marion, Kansas) might just give you the Christmas spirit. The most amusing questions that children asked were why Santa was so fat and why his wife wouldn't help him deliver presents.

Naturally the most asked for items were video games and video game systems. One third-grader even asked for Call of Duty: Black Ops. I hope that Santa does not fulfill that particular request. Below are a few amusing samples:

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The CIA Says WTF to Wikileaks

December 23, 2010 -

The Central Intelligence Agency has launched a special task force to deal with Wikileaks called "WTF," according to The Washington Post. The acronym doesn't equal the Internet standard - it stands for the "WikiLeaks Task Force," but apparently the CIA offices equate it to the popular catchphrase according to the Washington Post.

While we might get a giggle or two from that factoid, the truth is that the CIA is taking the numerous leaks of U.S. documents very seriously, and just what this task force will do in response to future leaks is unknown.

The CIA has remained relatively unscathed from the monumental amount of leaks at other U.S. agencies, mainly because the CIA's systems are separate from the rest of the government. That and the fact that the secretive agency is not in the habit of sharing information with outside sources.

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Report: Madden Curse Could Be EA's Blessing

December 21, 2010 -

Forget about a game based on the Madden NFL games, EA is looking to make a movie based on the curse that goes with each new edition of the game. If you are a fans of the series then you have probably heard of this curse. The folklore goes that anyone who appears on the cover of the game has seriously bad luck. Some get injured, some get fired, some go to jail, etc.

But what EA wants created is a comedy based on "the curse" of being on the cover of its Madden series. Here's some more on the story (unconfirmed as of yet):

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16, Pregnant, and Kind of Lame

December 15, 2010 -

An episode recap of the MTV's 16 and Pregnant reality show entitled "There's Nothing Wrong with Video Games" follows the trials and travails of teen parents Megan and Nathan. Nathan seems to be more preoccupied with lip rings and dungeon dwelling than being a father, while Megan hasn't grown up enough to give up rainbows and ponies.. There is also a lot of talk about a lack of tough love, but who cares? Let's get to the video game references:

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SCOTUS Fight: Kagan Likes Kindle, Scalia Digs iPad

December 14, 2010 -

Forget about Liberals vs. Conservatives, Glen Beck v. Keith Olberman, and Republicans v. Democrats - the real fight is Kindle v. iPad and it is playing out in the Supreme Court. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it seems many on the bench are technologically savvy.

"I have a Kindle that my briefs are on," Kagan tells C-SPAN. "It's endless reading ... There's lots of reading. And that's a big part of the job, and if a Kindle or an iPad can make it easier, that's terrific."

Justice Antonin Scalia prefers the iPad to read legal briefs.

The C-SPAN interview is the first public outing for Kagan since joining the court. It will be used for a C-SPAN Supreme Court documentary.

The full interview airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. ET. Check out the sample clip from the interview right here, to your left.


Blockbuster Laughed at Netflix Partnership Proposal in 2000

December 11, 2010 -

An interesting article on C|Net points out Blockbuster's biggest blunder in the last decade: not collaborating with Netflix when it had its chance. In fact, the former leader in video rentals actually scoffed at the idea many years ago. Now, with the company in and out of bankruptcy, Blockbuster might want a do-over.

In 2000, Blockbuster CEO John Antioco was approached by Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings about putting together a partnership, according to Barry McCarthy's recollection of events detailed in an interview ten years ago with the Unofficial Stanford blog. C|Net found the interview while researching a story about the Netflix CFO's exit from the company.

From the article:

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Research: Negative Comment Threads Are Longer

December 7, 2010 -

..And in other news, the sky is blue. What makes some comment threads longer than others? Bad attitudes and surly comments, apparently. That is the conclusion of a study about online interaction conducted by a team of Slovenian and British researchers .

A group of Slovenian and British researchers used a technique called "sentiment analysis" to identify emotional content in BBC's online discussion forums and digg.com.

The team's special algorithms searched for keywords, emoticons, and "subtle linguistic markers" like misspellings, which were then used to calculate a "happiness score" for each post. The researchers found that longer discussion threads tended to be overwhelmingly emotional and negative than shorter discussions threads. The longer threads tended to begin with negative comments, researchers found.

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PETA Game Lampoons Super Meat Boy

December 1, 2010 -

PETA is at it again, with another game making fun of something having to do with MEAT. PETA despises meat almost as much as I enjoy a juicy Porterhouse (medium rare), with a side of delicious mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and delicious ponds of gravy..

The latest target is the wonderful indie game Super Meat Boy. PETA has made a Flash game called Super Tofu Boy, which jabs fun at Super Meat Boy's gameplay, storyline and characters. The game offers ten levels featuring the soy-based life-form as he platforms much like our meaty friend, complete with pro-vegetarian messages here and there to drive home the point that meat is bad and vegetables are wonderful. For the record, I love vegetables too.

You can play Super Tofu Boy at the PETA web site.

Source: Kotaku by way of Rodrigo Ybáñez García.

13 comments

Seven Zombies Awarded $165,000

August 23, 2010 -

"Brains! Brains!" That is what seven plaintiffs must have screamed as police arrested them for dressing up as zombies in a sassy protest against mindless consumerism in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Star Tribune reports that the Minneapolis city attorney's office has decided to pay seven zombies and their attorney $165,000. The settlement, which was approved by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday, is the end result of a federal lawsuit the seven filed after they were arrested and jailed for two days simply for dressing up like zombies and shambling along the streets of downtown Minneapolis on July 22, 2006, to protest "mindless" consumerism.

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From Game Developer Dreams to a Topless Reality

August 9, 2010 -

Carrianne Howard had a dream: to design videogames for a living. That dream went awry when she realized that a degree she spent almost $70,000 on wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Now she's a stripper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It sounds like the punch line to a joke, but Howard isn't laughing.

Howard dreamed of developing video games, so she enrolled in a program at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, a for-profit college partially owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. But after spending $70,000 on the degree she came to the conclusion that it was worthless. When she went to find a job with her diploma proudly in hand, she figured out that it meant nothing and that it wasn't recognized by most employers in the sector. Howard settled for a $12 an hour job recruiting employees for video game companies. She lost that job, which wasn’t even close to what she was looking for, a year later when her department was shut down.

These days the 26-year-old woman makes her living by stripping at a topless club.

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RIAA: Great Moments in Spending

July 19, 2010 -

Last week The Recording Industry vs. The People blog uncovered financial documents that showed the RIAA - the trade group that represents the music industry - spent around $16 million in legal fees on a handful of cases in 2008 to recover $391,000 USD from P2P lawsuits. Ouch.

This week the Denver Westword blog highlights the industry's proclivity for wasting cash with ten tongue-in-cheek (mostly) examples. Among their examples are Sony-BMG's DRM on the Neil Diamond album "12 Songs," and Jive Records' $1.5 million investment in hip-hop artist Papoose who was supposed to give them enough tracks for an album (it never happened).

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Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
 

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