Happy New Year

December 31, 2010 -

The staff at GamePolitics would like to wish all of our loyal readers a safe and Happy New Year.

I hope that 2011 will be the year when..

..the highest court in the land rules that video games are protected under the first amendment and that only parents have the right to control what their children play.

..that the FCC protects consumers from usage-based schemes and content services (Netflix, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Steam, etc.) from broadband service providers.

..that DRM becomes less popular with developers and publishers.

..that the governments of the world realize that there must be some sort of balance when it comes to protecting intellectual property rights.

..that rights holders or their lawyers decide that there is no money in suing thousands of file-sharers.

8 comments | Read more

Happy Holidays From GamePolitics

December 24, 2010 -

The staff at GamePolitics would like to wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season. We are thankful for your continued support, criticism, occasional smart aleck comments this year, and look forward to more of the same in 2011. We hope your holiday is full of joy, family, fun, and gaming. May all of your holiday dreams come true! Happy Holidays!

Best Wishes,

James and the GamePolitics crew 

Posted in
8 comments

Giant Robot's Christmas Game Night

December 17, 2010 -

According to Game, Set, Watch, this weekend Giant Robot Los Angeles will host its fourth Game Night get-together and it will offer some special Christmas fun. Giant Robot's Game Nights are free bi-monthly parties that celebrate indie titles and invite people to play games in a casual, friendly environment.

With the help of Attract Mode and Meat Bun, this Saturday's event will feature the following:

- An X-mas edition of Vlambeer's hit indie game Super Crate Box made exclusively for Game Night

- Arthur Lee's Merry Gear Solid games

- A custom "holiday pack" edition of 8-BITar Hero, which mixes the Rock Band experience with old-school Nintendo games

| Read more

Delaware Pols in ESRB PSA Campaign

October 1, 2009 -

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has drafted a pair of Delaware politicians for use in its holiday PSA drive.

State Representative Helene Keeley (D) and State Senator Bethany Hall-Long (D) appear in print, radio and retail ads designed to urge parents to check ESRB ratings when purchasing or renting a videogame.

Representative Keeley, (whose ad is pictured left) said:

Virtually all video game retailers have voluntary store policies restricting the sale of Mature-rated games to anyone under the age of seventeen. Parents can show their support for companies that have and enforce these policies by shopping for games at those stores.

Ads will run in Delaware shopping malls and radio stations beginning this month and running through December. The ESRB will also distribute a ratings education brochure to participating retailers for additional consumer education.

3 comments

VP Was Gonna Buy Wii For Prez, But He's Already Got One, You See

August 25, 2009 -

Clearly, Vice-President Joe Biden does not read GamePolitics.

If he did, he would have already known that President & Mrs. Obama got their daughters Malia and Sasha a Holy Grail Wii for Christmas.

From the Los Angeles Times:

One White House official recalls the vice president fretting over what to get Obama for his 48th birthday earlier this month. Biden wanted to go with a Nintendo Wii. Told that Obama's daughters already have one, a disappointed Biden said, "You're kidding." Instead, he went with a golf range-finder to help the president judge distances to the hole.

Via: Kotaku

8 comments

Happy 2009 !!!

January 1, 2009 -

Best wishes for a fab 2009 to everyone in the GamePolitics community!

I'm taking Mrs. GP to a movie today (Milk), then dinner with the folks and maybe catch some of the Rose Bowl (rooting for Penn State).

How are you spending your day?

Posted in
28 comments

Nintendo's Holiday Card: Better Late Than Never

December 28, 2008 -

Nintendo's 2008 holiday card arrived on December 27th, but it's still cool.

The theme, of course, is Animal Crossing....

6 comments

Guy Got a Wii Instead of the Gift He Wanted, Fights with Girlfriend

December 28, 2008 -

They say that Christmas is all about the giving.

But a man in Portsmouth, New Hampshire apparently missed the memo.

The Associated Press reports that Heath Blom, 26, and his girlfriend Randi Young, 24, were arrested after an argument over Christmas gifts turned into a brawl.

From the AP:

According to Portsmouth police, Blom was disappointed when he did not receive the $1,000 airplane he had asked for from his grandparents, and was underwhelmed by the gift he received from Young: a Nintendo Wii video game console...

An argument ensued, and Young allegedly hid the gift and began packing her bags. Insults flew, and a fist fight between the two allegedly ended in a two-story tumble down the stairs.

“He dragged me down two flights of stairs, by the hair,” Young claimed on Friday... "This was the worst Christmas ever."

 The Boston Herald has more.

55 comments

Happy Holidays from GP

December 25, 2008 -

I want to take a moment to wish everyone a great holiday, however you choose to celebrate.

2008 has been an amazing year for the GamePolitics community. We couldn't do it without you!

Have a great day.

Posted in
14 comments

Christmas-themed Games in Short Supply

December 25, 2008 -

Video games with Christmas themes are in short supply, writes Kombo.com.

In fact the site can only come up with one, Christmas Nights Into Dreams for the Sega Saturn (see video).

The Kombo article discounts games in the Nightmare Before Christmas series as "not produced with gamers in mind."

Via: What They Play

 

Posted in
9 comments

Pong Toss Publisher Serves Non-Alcoholic Holiday Card

December 25, 2008 -

GamePolitics readers will likely recall the controversy surrounding Beer Pong, a downloadable game for the Wii. Following objections by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenhal (D) and others, publisher JV Games renamed the game Pong Toss.

Adding to our holiday card collection, JV has issued a slightly tongue-in-cheek reminder of the Beer Pong flap with a non-alcoholic card that features sparkling cider.


Video Documents Mass Hysteria Over Wii For Christmas

December 24, 2008 -

Pwn Or Die has posted a video which shows a bunch of kids wigging out as they tear the Christmas wrapping from a Wii.

John Herrman from Gizmodo watched the video and seems on target with this comment:

Remember Nintendo 64 kid? Apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg. Much kudos if you can sit through this whole video without weeping, returning everyone's gifts or scheduling a vasectomy.

31 comments

Awesome LEGO Santa Crab

December 24, 2008 -

By way of Gizmodo comes this excellent killer Santa crab, rendered in LEGO.

Andrew Colunga is the builer and he has more cool LEGO designs on his Flickr page.

17 comments

Happy Holidays from the ECA!

December 23, 2008 -

Hal Halpin and the rest of the crew at the Entertainment Consumers Association want to wish GamePolitics readers a happy holiday season.

It has been a great 2008 for the ECA and its gamer-members. 2009 will be even better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

27 comments

Ubisoft Holiday Card Makes You Work For Your Fun

December 23, 2008 -

Ubisoft's 2008 holiday card is complicated, but cool.

Upon arrival it looks like what you see at left. The card has pieces that you can punch out and assemble to make figures from the Rayman: Raving Rabbids series.

It seems that there are four different possibilities. GP's card included the black rabbid pictured here, which was assembled by a team of experts at GP HQ.

The nice thing is that you're left with a toy that will last the whole year through.

Like the Jelly-of-the-Month Club, it's the gift that keeps on giving...

UPDATE: Ubi, full of good cheer, also has an animated holiday card.

3 comments

2K Holiday Card

December 23, 2008 -

In our continuing quest to share game biz holiday spirit, here's a nice card from the folks at 2K...

4 comments

More Cool Holiday Cards: Net Recon/Sneaky Games

December 22, 2008 -

Here's a cool interactive holiday card from Net Recon and Sneaky Games...

Give it a click.

Posted in
3 comments

8-bit Jesus: Christmas Carols Performed in Retro Game Style

December 22, 2008 -

Here's some holiday gaming awesomeness, just in time for December 25th.

GameCyte reports that Doctor Octoroc is offering 18 classic Christmas carols, arranged in 8-bit game style.

The mp3 files are free to download and a physical CD, complete with appropriately retro cover, is available for a mere $15.

Here's the track list. Note the fun that the good doctor had with the titles:

  • We Three Konami
  • 8 Days of Master Robots
  • Ryu, The Red Nosed Ninja
  • We Wish You A Merry Faxanadu
  • Silent Knight Man
  • Carol Of The Belmonts
  • Contraland
  • Little Drummer Nemo
  • Joy To Commando
  • Super Jingle Bros.
  • Bubbles We Have Heard On Bobble
  • What Guardian Is Legend?
  • Deck The Kremlin
  • Icarus! The Angels Sing
  • The Legend Of Noel
  • O Come, All Ye Vampires
  • Kraid, Rest Ye Merry Mother Brain
  • Have Yourself A Final Little Fantasy
7 comments

Bethesda's Fallout 3 Holiday Card

December 20, 2008 -

Bethesda mailed out 2008 holiday cards featuring a Fallout 3 theme.

Very nice.

UPDATE: Joystiq is running their own gallery of game-themed holiday cards.

Posted in
10 comments

Sony's Awesome Holiday Card Features Little Big Planet Theme

December 20, 2008 -

Sony's 2008 holiday card is the best one we've received this year.

The card features Sackboy from Little Big Planet on the front The inside folds out in three panels to depict a snowy, LBP-themed scene.

There's a greeting on the back side along with an enclosed signature sheet from the SCEA P.R. gang.

Nicely done!

5 comments

GameTap Holiday Wishes...

December 20, 2008 -

Not much happening today in the way of news so I thought I'd share some holiday cards with you...

This one arrived via e-mail from GameTap.

Posted in
4 comments

ESRB Holiday Card

December 20, 2008 -

A nice card from the ESRB arrived in yesterday's e-mail...

16 comments

Clever 8-bit Holiday Card from Minus World

December 18, 2008 -

This very cool holiday card arrived via e-mail yesterday from the nice folks at video game comedy site The -Minus World...

10 comments

Detroit Prosecutor Updates Her Games-to-Avoid List, Finally

December 15, 2008 -

At least Kym Worthy has updated her list.

We last peeped the Wayne County Prosecutor during the 2007 holiday shopping season. At the time she was blaming games for the crime problem in Detroit and pushing an outdated list of ten games to avoid.

Ms. Worthy is back, reports the Detroit Free Press, with a brand-new list but the same old line:

The last year has convinced me more than ever that children are at risk of becoming desensitized to violence and can exhibit more aggressive behavior if they repeatedly play certain violent video games.

 

The [Sorensen murder] investigation revealed that the youths would often play violent video games. I believe that certain video games are connected to the proliferation of violent crimes being committed by youthful offenders such as Orlewicz and Letkemann.

Perhaps Worthy picked up on GP's criticism that last year's top ten list was embarrassingly outdated. This year's edition is cadged from the National Institute on Media and the Family's 2008 Annual Video Game Report Card:

  • Blitz the League II
  • Dead Space
  • Fallout 3
  • Far Cry 2
  • Gears of War 2
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Legendary
  • Resistance 2
  • Saints Row 2
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming

GP: If you think that this stuff is insignificant, consider that Worthy's 2007 list was picked up and subsequently regurgitated by the government of Thailand during its August video game crackdown.

37 comments

Education Expert Slams Video Games as Gifts for Boys

December 14, 2008 -

Fat, angry and stupid is no way to go through life, son...

At least, that's what an education consultant seems to be saying as he cautions parents against buying video games as holiday gifts for their teenage sons.

In a guest column for EdNews, Bill Costello writes:

Boys are spending more than thirteen hours a week playing video games. As a result, they're spending less time outdoors playing and exercising. Perhaps this is partially why they are four times more likely to be obese than they were thirty years ago.

Research consistently confirms that the more time boys spend playing video games, the more likely they are to do poorly in school—regardless of age. At a time when boys are already underperforming in school, video games only make the situation worse.

Many recent studies suggest that playing video games saps the motivation of boys and disconnects them from the real world... Violent video games are especially harmful. A definite link has been established between violent video games and antisocial behavior. Games like Grand Theft Auto and Halo can make your son more aggressive.

So if you're thinking of buying video games for your son this holiday season, you might want to reconsider.

62 comments

"Morally Responsible" Investment Firm Goes Gay Bashing in Games

December 2, 2008 -

The Timothy Plan, a Florida investment firm which bills itself as "conservative Christian," is warning holiday-shopping parents away from what it calls the 30 "most offensive" video games.

While the usual suspects (GTA IV, Saints Row 2, Blitz the League II) make the list, there are some surprises as well, including the T-rated Bully: Scholarship Edition and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

In its game rankings, the organization displays an obvious anti-gay bias. While it evaluates titles for sex and nudity, a gay/lesbian rating is also included, meaning that a game with a gay sexual encounter might get a double whammy when compared to a game where the sex is of the straight variety. This effect, for instance, pushes Fable II onto the group's most offensive list. Along that line a report prepared by the Timothy Plan contains this rather bizarre comment:

Army of Two: Homosexual Encounters: ...Somewhat homo-erotic undertones between the two main characters are present.

WoW made it onto the dirty thirty, thanks to a high "addiction" rating as well as a high rating for alcohol use (curse you, Noggenfogger elixir!).

How the group determined the addiction rank is really quite unfathomable. WoW received a 3, for example, the worst possible rating, while Lord of the Rings Online got a 1 and Age of Conan a 2. In fact, all of the MMOs were tagged for addiction as well as some multiplayer games like Halo 3. A few games (The Darkness, Devil May Cry 4) were punished for "demonic" references.

Timothy Plan president Art Ally (left) comments:

Many, if not most, parents who buy their kids video games really don't know the extent of sex and violence imbedded in them. From drug use, prostitution, murder and mayhem to vulgar profanity and blasphemy these games have become a powerfully negative influence on our kids...

 

I believe, if parents would take a moment to look at the report we've created, their game selections would be quite different.

The group maintains a corporate "hall of shame" which includes game publishers EA, Take-Two and Microsoft. The Timothy Plan also offers to screen your portfolio to see if any of your mutual funds have investments in shameful companies.

So helpful!

Document Dump: Get the Timothy Plan's game score card here. The group's press release with holiday shopping warnings is here.

Wii, Wii Fit Crack List of Top 10 Black Friday Buys

November 30, 2008 -

Black Friday kicked off the holiday shopping season and, for third straight year, Nintendo's Wii console remains a smoking hot gift choice, according to PriceGrabber.com.

The well-trafficked price comparision site lists top products searched for by consumers. Its most recent results, which include Black Friday data, show the Wii at #1 and the Wii Fit exercise board/game at #4.

Despite recent economic conditions, a press release cites an 11% uptick in Black Friday traffic at PriceGrabber over 2007's numbers. Pointing to sales driven by retailer discounts, PriceGrabber Ron LaPierre remarked:

Prior to the Black Friday weekend, 71 percent of shoppers intended to spend less money this holiday season compared to last year and 66 percent planned to give practical gifts. Thanksgiving and Black Friday traffic shows that value drives consumer spending. Consumers are responding to aggressive promotions and price drops on popular electronics.

Although the PriceGrabber list is heavily populated by Ugg boots, digital cameras, laptops and flat-screen TVs, there are several game items in the top 200. Following the Wii and Wii Fit are:

  • #21 Xbox 360 Premium System
  • #34 80GB PlayStation 3
  • #37 Xbox 360 Pro 60GB
  • #54 PSP Slim
  • #112 Xbox 360 Elite Bundle
  • #114 PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4 Bundle
  • #147 Xbox 360 Elite
  • #160 Cobalt/Black DS Lite
  • #163 Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit (PS3)
  • #164 40 GB PS3
  • #165 Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit (Wii)
  • #167 Xbox 360 Arcade Holiday Bundle
  • #168 Gears of War 2
  • #169 PSP Core System
  • #187 Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit (360)

Via: Test Freaks

19 comments

Holiday Shopping: 10 Best Game Shirts

November 29, 2008 -

With the t-shirt serving as the centerpiece of many a gamer's wardrobe, The Examiner's Carol Orsini pens a fun article listing her choices for the top 10 gaming shirts for the holidays.

With the holidays right around the corner, nothing says 'I love you' to that special button-masher in your life more than the gift of garb. As one fanatical gamer to another, these are the absolute best t-shirts that loudly proclaim; 'Yes. I play games.' ...And as an incentive to you non-gamers, buying your gamer a shirt rather than a game equals more time they spend with you wearing it and less time that they're glued to the TV.

Check it out, and feel free to link to your own favorites.

16 comments

Leland Yee Urges Parents to Avoid Violent Games for Holiday Gifts

November 28, 2008 -

State Senator Leland Yee (D), author of California's contested video game law, has issued a press release urging parents to avoid violent video games when shopping for their children during the holiday season.

In doing so Yee referenced a recent longitudinal study which linked violent games to aggression in Japanese and American children:

There is mounting evidence that such ultraviolent video games have negative effects on children, and can cause real behavioral changes....

 

Eighty-seven percent of children between 8 and 17 years of age play video or computer games and about 60 percent list their favorite games as rated M for Mature, which are games designed for adults. It is vitally important that parents and grandparents consider the content in video games before making holiday purchases.

Yee cited the National Institute on Media and the Family's Annual Video Game Report Card, which includes a list of ten violent games to avoid. The Democratic State Senator also offered these guidelines to parents:

  • Be aware of advertising and marketing to children. Advertising pressure contributes to impulse buying.
  • Check the age ratings video game descriptors found on the box.
  • Read other reviews, such as www.mediafamily.org, www.commonsensemedia.org, www.parentstv.org, and www.whattheyplay.com
  • Become familiar with the game.
  • If there are violence and sexual themes in the title and cover picture, you can assume these themes are also in the game.
  • Look for games involving multiple players to encourage group play.
  • Pick games that require the player to come up with strategies and make decisions in a game environment that is more complex than punch, steal, and kill.
  • Avoid the “first person shooter” and “third person shooter” killing-machine games.
  • Discourage games that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior.

GP: We should note that the findings of the longitudinal study referenced by Yee have been called into question by at least one other prominent game violence researcher.

41 comments

Florida A.G. Once Fretted About Wiimote, Now on ESRB Bandwagon

November 28, 2008 -

When gamers last heard from Bill McCollum, the Florida Attorney General was fretting that the motion-controlled Wii version of Manhunt 2 would have a generation of kids practicing to be killers. As GamePolitics reported in June of 2007, McCollum apparently got that idea from Jack Thompson.

These days, McCollum is, like many political colleagues in other states, urging parents to follow ESRB content ratings while shopping for holiday gifts. A press release on his official website quotes the Republican A.G.:

Though the holiday season is one of the busiest times of year, it is also perhaps the most important time of the year for consumers to make sure they know what they're buying for their loved ones. The ESRB rating system provides parents and others with age and content information which can be informative tools when purchasing games for family and friends.

McCollum's press release also quotes ESRB head Patricia Vance as well as ESA CEO Michael Gallagher.

But not Jack Thompson.

133 comments

 
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Andrew EisenThe story you just linked to? The story you asked if anyone had seen? Yes, THAT obnoxiousness. I've heard it parroted for nearly two years now.11/27/2014 - 7:57pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: That shes an ex con man?11/27/2014 - 7:54pm
Andrew EisenI've heard the same obnoxious horse poo for years. It's nothing new.11/27/2014 - 7:45pm
ZippyDSMleeAlso anyone see this? http://guardianlv.com/2014/11/anita-sarkeesian-unmasked-feminist-icon-or-con-artist/11/27/2014 - 7:28pm
ZippyDSMleeEvil within is a badly designed game.11/27/2014 - 7:28pm
Andrew EisenSure but you said "widens," hence my confusion. Looking into it, yep, there's a tweak to completely re-frame the image, adding more info at the top and bottom. You apparently need a fairly beefy rig to keep it running smooth when you do that though.11/27/2014 - 6:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthere is vertical fov, not just horizontal fov11/27/2014 - 6:38pm
Andrew EisenWell, you can widen it to 3:1 or even 10:1 but I don't know why you'd want to. From what I understand it's the missing visual info at the top and bottom that some object to, not that there isn't enough on either side.11/27/2014 - 6:36pm
Matthew WilsonI think it widenss the fov, so you get to see more.11/27/2014 - 6:31pm
Andrew EisenI don't see how as doing so would not add any visual information to the top or bottom of the screen.11/27/2014 - 6:04pm
Matthew Wilsonfrom what I read, getting rid of the black bars and stretching it out made for a better play experience.11/27/2014 - 5:59pm
Andrew EisenFrom what I hear, there's a ton of "look up and shoot at the guys above you" stuff in the game that the wider frame doesn't accommodate such actions well.11/27/2014 - 5:55pm
Andrew EisenHaving a game run in scope is not necessarily a bad thing but like any aspect ratio, you have to compose your shots correctly.11/27/2014 - 5:55pm
Neo_DrKefkaThe Evil Within was pretty bad and to make it worse the way the screen size made it hard for you to see even on a big screen it really hurt the game. Being Artistic is great but when you focus on art rather than what sells you run the risk of that happen11/27/2014 - 5:33pm
Matthew WilsonI kinda hope this is not true. http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/11/nintendo_might_not_be_making_more_gamecube_controller_adapters_at_the_moment11/27/2014 - 1:34pm
Matthew WilsonI saw that. I wish people would stop preording, but sadly that will never happen.11/27/2014 - 1:26pm
Papa MidnightUbisoft has cancelled the Season Pass for Assassin's Creed: Unity (http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/2ni2ac/ubisoft_cancel_season_pass_for_ac_unity/)11/27/2014 - 1:08pm
NeenekoBut now I can use the christmas discount justification too,11/27/2014 - 11:46am
NeenekoI am also sorely temped by Civ:BE, mostly because I have a demo coming up and I know my productivity will tank.11/27/2014 - 11:45am
MaskedPixelanteThe Evil Within is only a month old, right? And it's already 66% off...11/27/2014 - 10:29am
 

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