'Halo Online' modders undeterred by Microsoft's DMCA takedown

April 6, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier in the month Microsoft announced a free-to-play Halo game called Halo Online, but revealed - much to the chagrin of Halo players around the world - that it would only be made available in Russia.

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HTC Chairwoman Walks Back Comments on 'Half-Life' VR Game

March 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Yesterday, HTC's chairwoman suggested that the company was working alongside Valve to create a special version of Half-Life for the new VR headset, the Vive. But it turns out that HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang may have misspoken. Following Valve denying that a VR-version of its popular game was being developed, Wang acknowledged her error to the BBC.

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Ad Men Pitch 'We Want Half-Life 3' Marketing/Harassment Campaign

October 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

An Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to create an ad blitz (some are calling it a harassment campaign, and in incredibly poor taste given the current climate on social media) for the sole purpose of pressuring Valve Software to get Half-Life 3 into the hands of its fans, has launched. While the game has long been rumored to be in development at Valve, the company has never confirmed its existence.

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Research: Playing Shooters Improves Motion Perception - While Walking Backwards

September 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new study by the School of Psychology at the University of Leicester comes to the conclusion that first-person shooters can help players better perceive motion... while walking backwards. The research was recently published in a paper called "Selectively enhanced motion perception in core video gamers" in the journal Perception.

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Director J.J. Abrams Talks About Portal, Half-Life Movie Plans

February 6, 2013 -

Speaking to Polygon, Star Trek and Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams says that plans for movies based on Valve Software's hit franchises Portal and Half-Life are in the early stages and that that he's personally interested in bringing those universes to film. Abrams made his comments to the publication at the 2013 DICE Summit going on this week near Las Vegas.

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Player Protests Against Valve Falls Short

February 6, 2012 -

A protest against Valve for its lack of information on Valve's "lack of information" regarding Half-Life 2: Episode 3 seems to have missed its mark slightly. The protest - which had the support of 30,00 players who pledged that they would play Half-Life 2 on Steam over the weekend - saw only half of those players playing over the weekend. They increased the usual amount of players playing Half-Life 2 by about 10,000.

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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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Jack Thompson Threatens Valve over School Shooting Mod

March 17, 2011 -

We have to write a story about Jack Thompson today. The anti-video game firebrand and former Florida attorney fired off a letter to Valve Software threatening to do something (we're not sure what he is threatening to do because he hasn't indicated the consequences in his letter to Valve's CEO) if the company doesn't do something about the Half-Life 2 mod, "School Shooter: North American Tour 2012."

Before we get into what Valve can actually do about a mod it has nothing to do with, here is Thompson's letter:

School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 Courts Controversy

March 1, 2011 -

Checkerboarded Studios is testing the boundaries of good taste and free speech with a new game modification for Half-Life 2 where the goal is partake in a school shooting called School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 (thanks Andrew Eisen). The Escapist caught up with mod maker known only as "Pawnstick," who attempted to explain the motivation of creating such a mod.

The gist of his comments on the game are not about how shocking, horrible, or in bad taste a mod such as his is, but about how there haven't been any exciting games representing school shootings. He calls Super Columbine Massacre "fucking boring." His inspiration for the mod came from Bully: Source, which he says tries to "educate the player" and calls "almost always fucking garbage."

Here is what he had to say about media coverage of Columbine:

 

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U.S. Navy Wants to Build Gordon Freeman's Power Suit, Sort of...

November 4, 2008 -

Gizmodo reports that the Office of Naval Research has funded a team at the University of California San Diego to begin developing what amounts to a power suit similar to that worn by Gordon Freeman, protagonist of Valve's uber-popular Half-Life series:

The system will monitor a few biomarkers for deviations from safe levels, at which point it will automatically medicate its wearer...

 

...the military applications are what's exciting about this. Take a current soldier's body armor, night vision goggles and communications equipment, throw in an automatic medical treatment unit and voila! You've basically got Gordon Freeman's HEV suit. There is no indication that the suit will make the satisfying "uhhuummuhhuummuhhuumm" sound like Mr. Freeman's, but there's no indication that it won't, either.

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Awesome Half-Life 2 Mod Features Obama & McCain in Debate Setting

November 2, 2008 -

USC grad student John Brennan dropped GamePolitics a line to show us this amazing Half-Life 2 machinima featuring John McCain, Barack Obama, and an authentic HL2 head crab.

By way of explanation, John writes:

I'm an MFA student @ USC's interactive media program.  My thesis project is a series of modifications to Half-Life 2 that will operate in the same space as political cartoons.  I'm playing with format right now, but so far it is Modding and Machinima as self expression and political commentary:)

I have a process for quickly getting 'news-makers' (providing enough photography) into Half-Life 2, access to MoCap data, and some good people helping out.

I'm just launching my first piece now, but it is sizable enough that I'd like to bring it to your attention.  It includes McCain, Obama, a debate stage, and is just in time for the vote.

 
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Poll: Is it censorship when a private retailer decides not to sell a particular video game?:

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Matthew Wilson@AE when they tend to misrate games its normally because of moral panic surrounding it.05/28/2015 - 3:38pm
E. Zachary KnightReally awesome short film here. Predator: Dark Ages. Very well done. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRD8jAk274I05/28/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenBut hey, misrating less than five out of thousands of game ain't too bad a track record. No one's perfect.05/28/2015 - 3:32pm
Andrew EisenIt's a racing game. Despite what the ESRB says, there's no gore and it's hard to consider it violent. Yeah, there's supposed to be a driver in the vehicle and they do explode when they crash and there is a slight bloodstain when they do but come on.05/28/2015 - 3:30pm
Wonderkarpnever played it....atleast I dont think. May have rented it once from Blockbuster05/28/2015 - 3:27pm
Andrew EisenAnd I STILL say the ESRB misrated Forsaken 64. There is absolutely no reason that should be rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenI just hope there a children and small animals in the game. Like dogs and cats. And elderly people on walkers and in wheelchairs.05/28/2015 - 3:20pm
Andrew EisenOh you meant "would have gotten an M rating 15 years ago" not "an M15 rating years ago." Oops!05/28/2015 - 3:19pm
Wonderkarpbut whatever. its a moot point. I'm curious if the game allows mods. I'd make the blood confetti with rainbows :P Turn the....is he really a protagonist?.... into Nathan Explosion cause seriously. Brendan Smalls gonna sue somebody05/28/2015 - 3:17pm
WonderkarpI know M is 17, but M can get sold in Walmart or Target, but they wont carry AO05/28/2015 - 3:14pm
Andrew EisenM is 17 but whatever. I'm wondering why Hatred still hasn't shown up in the ESRB's database.05/28/2015 - 3:13pm
Wonderkarpsomething like that, yeah. If like what Matthew said. "How did it get a AO rating to start with?" in comparison to games like Postal. If Postal gets an M and Hatred gets an AO, what other games could get AO that would have gotten an M 15 years ago?05/28/2015 - 3:11pm
Matthew Wilson@Wonderkarp the slippery slope is a fallacy. 2 Australian is bound by law, the esrb is not.05/28/2015 - 3:10pm
Andrew EisenKarp - I'm not following. Are you concerned that even more games are going to be rated AO or something?05/28/2015 - 3:08pm
WonderkarpI'm more worried that its a slippary slope to more Australian style ratings strictness.05/28/2015 - 3:06pm
Matthew Wilsontranslation the media overreacted to Hatred , and wrote a bunch of click bait article. I agree with the reviewer. how did it get a AO rating to start with?05/28/2015 - 3:00pm
Andrew EisenDestructoid has the first review of Hatred that I've seen. http://www.destructoid.com/review-hatred-292912.phtml05/28/2015 - 2:54pm
Wonderkarptransformers was so disapointing. I liked the first one because of the potential of the series, but then......ugh. shoot me now05/28/2015 - 1:52pm
james_fudgeGod I hate those Transformers movies so much.05/28/2015 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenDefinitely a contender!05/28/2015 - 1:40pm
 

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