Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 90

March 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about buying level 90 characters in World of Warcraft, a story about a UK mom who complained about her son buying thousands of dollars worth of FIFA DLC, the EU tackling free-to-play games, gay leads in video games, and a tax incentives bill that discriminates against violent video games. Download Episode 90 now: SuperPAC Episode 90 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 83 MB.

Hollywood Complains About Piracy While Employees Engage In It

December 26, 2012 -

While Hollywood talks about the billions of dollars in lost revenue it loses from piracy it seems that its employees have a different philosophy. According to this TorrentFreak report - using data from BitTorrent monitoring company Scaneye - employees of major studios love downloading movies, TV shows and video games.

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As Canadian Politicians Push Anti-Piracy Legislation, Staffers Enjoy Stealing Software

January 3, 2012 -

Another day, another group of government officials pushing anti-piracy laws while they are blissfully unaware that their staffers are downloading stolen games, movies and other forms of entertainment. This time out it's the Canadian Conservative majority government. Recently the ruling party in Canada introduced the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act Bill C-11, which would criminalize the act of software circumventing - including the making available to the public software or techniques used to circumvent digital rights management software locks.

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RIAA's Hand Gets Caught in the Torrent Cookie Jar

December 19, 2011 -

It must be tough to push hard for bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP when your employees or members are downloading illegal files. According to a report on TorrentFreak, someone from both Homeland Security and the RIAA (the trade group that represents the music industry) have been downloading popular music. The IP addresses associated with these groups were unearthed on YouHaveDownloaded.com, a site that databases the IP's and downloads of Torrent users.

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Atari Lawyers Take Aim at Retro Community Developers

August 23, 2011 -

According to two reports - one on Atari User and another on 8-Bit Rocket, lawyers representing Atari are taking aim at the retro Atari community. The most recent actions on Atari's part include sending a cease and desist letter to atari2600.org, a website that has been registered by Andrew Davie since 2000.

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The State of Georgia v. Ms. Pac-Man

August 2, 2011 -

Last week officers from the Georgia Department of Revenue showed up at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta and seized eight of the establishment's vintage arcade games because for "vending law violations." Seized doesn't mean taking physical possession of the machines; instead the machines were unplugged and tagged with bright red violation stickers.

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China Uses Prisoners for Hard Labor, Gold-Farming

May 26, 2011 -

According to a report in UK-based paper The Guardian, China has been using its prison population as slave labor.. in MMORPG's. According to the report, prisoners were put to work breaking rocks and digging trenches in in the coalmines of Northern China. By night prisoners would be forced to play MMORPG's to earn virtual currency, which guards would trade for real-world money.

One prisoner, who served three years at the Jixi labor camp for pointing out corruption in his hometown, described the conditions at the camp in startling detail. Liu Dali told the paper that prisoners were forced to play online games to enrich the guards of the prison. The 54-year-old was a former prison guard who made the mistake of "illegally petitioning" the central government about corruption in his hometown in 2004. Dali says that the online slave labor is probably more lucrative than the physical labor that prisoners are forced to do.

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FCC Commissioner Turned Lobbyist Defends Comcast-NBC Job

May 16, 2011 -

Caught with her proverbial pants down, former FCC Commissioner and soon to-be Washington D.C. lobbyist for Comcast-NBC Meredith Attwell Baker issued a statement regarding her new job, the approval of the Comcast-NBC merger and the appearance of impropriety taking a job at the company has caused her.

The Republican commissioner issued the statement on Friday after several publications including the New York Times called into question her role in the merger and taking a job with the same company a mere four months after her vote. From her statement (found in full here - PDF):

"Not once in my entire tenure as a Commissioner had anyone at Comcast or NBCUniversal approached me about potential employment. When this opportunity became available in mid-April, I made a personal decision that I wanted to give it serious consideration.

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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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Report: Sonderkommando Revolt Mod Shelved

December 20, 2010 -

Sonderkommando Revolt, the Wolfenstein mod that reimagined an 1944 Jewish uprising against the camp guards at Auschwitz, has been shelved. One of the key developers on the homebrew project, Maxim Genis, said that online criticism about the subject matter, and an abusive response from the internet community have made working on the project too difficult.

"I did a lot of research for the game," said Genis. "I wanted to show the Jews really did fight back against the Nazis. I wanted to honour them. My intentions were pure and pro-Jewish in every way."

In a response to a Kotaku inquiry about the game last week, the Anti-Defamation League had urged Genis to cancel the launch in January, calling it "a crude effort to depict Jewish resistance during this painful period." As we pointed out last week the ADL praised the film Inglorious Basterds for doing basically the same thing.

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Author Anne B. Ragde Says One Thing, Does Another

December 16, 2010 -

Norwegian author Anne B. Ragde is a staunch advocate of intellectual property rights. As an author, that stance is not very surprising, considering that she makes her living off people paying for the things she writes. She has made her share of strong statements about the subject of piracy too, as highlighted in this excellent story from The Escapist:

"Piracy scares the hell out of me. I do not know what to say. I lose sleep at night over it," she said in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. "I have figured out that I've lost half a million kroner ($72,500) on piracy of my books, maybe more."

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L.A. Times: Don't Appeal California Video Game Law to Supreme Court

February 28, 2009 -

While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown ruminate over whether to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court over a 9th Circuit ruling that California's 2005 video game law is unconstitutional, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times offers some advice:

Don't.

From the L.A. Times editorial:

The [California] law raised a multitude of constitutional concerns. First... one of the definitions of "violent" was too broad. A game was violent if a player "virtually" harmed not only human beings but "characters with substantially human characteristics" (good news for centaurs and bipedal hedgehogs). But even when that language was severed from the rest of the law, the appeals court said the statute was unconstitutional...

Important as it is, the court's legal analysis doesn't identify an easy alternative for parents who are justifiably concerned about the effects of violent video games, films or comic books on their children. But the primary responsibility for protecting minors from potentially harmful influences lies with parents, as it did long before video games were a twinkle in a programmer's eye. Parents don't need a law to urge makers of video games to strengthen their current voluntary ratings systems. More important, they don't need permission from a legislator or judge to keep an eye on what their children are doing -- or playing.

GP: BTW, the pic at left is none other than Gov. Schwarzenegger as portrayed in a violent video game. It's safe to assume that he was paid for the use of his likeness...

21 comments

Delicious Irony: Judge Who Nixed Blagojevich's Game Law approved FBI Wiretap of Crooked Illinois Guv

December 9, 2008 -

Pop Quiz - the following line is from:

  1. A Grand Theft Auto cut scene
  2. The potty mouth of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich

I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f***in’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.

The answer, as you might have guessed, is Rod Blagojevich.

The foul-mouthed Guv was picked up on FBI wiretaps trying to figure out how to trade his constitutional ability to name a replacement for Barack Obama's remaining term in the Senate for something of value to himself. The chicanery over the Senate appointment is but one of several corruption charges against Blagojevich.

And, in a yummy twist of fate, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly, who ruled in 2005 that Blagojevich's video game law was unconstitutional, was one of two federal judges who authorized recent FBI wiretaps that led to Blagojevich's downfall.

In fact, a reading of the FBI's complaint against Blagojevich shows that both the Guv and his wife have a penchant for dropping the F-bomb. And this is the guy who was so concerned about the mature content in GTA?

In still more LOL-type Blagojevich news, GP reader amuler1 reminds us that - at least according to Jack Thompson - Blagojevich asserted that violent video games were behind February's shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University. In a February 16th press release, Thompson wrote:

Today at 3:55 pm, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was interviewed on the Fox News Channel about yesterday’s massacre at Northern Illinois University.  When asked why these school shootings are occurring, the Governor stated, “A lot of people smarter than I can be asked that question, but I believe we have to look to the violent entertainment that glamorizes and motivates and trains people to engage in these behaviors, most especially video games.”

The Governor echoes what Miami attorney Jack Thompson said on Fox News this morning at 10:15 am this same day, as he noted that the Virginia Tech and other school shooters have been immersed in these murder simulators.

At the time we were unable to confirm Thompson's assertions regarding Blagojevich's linking of NIU and violent games, although we have no reason to doubt that Thompson is correct concerning what the disgraced Guv may have said.

49 comments

Game-legislating Illinois Guv Busted on Corruption Charge

December 9, 2008 -

He claimed to be incensed about the content of the Grand Theft Auto series of crime games, but federal prosecutors allege that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was himself a criminal.

Blagojevich and his closest advisor are in FBI custody today, reports CNN

Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois.

 

Federal prosecutors say Blagojevich, Harris and others conspired to gain financial benefits in appointing President-elect Barack Obama's Senate replacement, according to the statement.

 

Blagojevich, Harris and others are also alleged to have withheld state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of Wrigley Field. The statement says this was done to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members who were critical of Blagojevich.

The Chicago Tribune cites remarks by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald:

The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering. They allege that Blagojevich put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.

GamePolitics readers will recall that it was Blagojevich who championed his state's 2005 video game sales law. The statute, however, was ruled unconstitutional before the year was out. Ultimately the failed legislation would force Illinois  taxpayers to reimburse the video game industry more than a half-million dollars in legal fees.

In 2004, Blagojevich lobbied to to have ads for GTA San Andreas removed from Chicago Transit Authority buses.

GP: Naturally, we're adding Blagojevich to our list of anti-game hypocrites.

Big thanks to: GP readers Norm and BlindJustice15 for the tip!

47 comments

Bill O'Reilly Whines About Heidi Klum's Guitar Hero Commercial

November 14, 2008 -

On Fox News program The O'Reilly Factor, pundit Bill O'Reilly tries to drag Heidi Klum's Guitar Hero commercial into the culture wars, but even his two conservative female guests don't want to go there.

At issue is Heidi's Risky Business-inspired Guitar Hero shredding routine. O'Reilly is apparently concerned about the the moral effects of the commercial, featuring a lingerie-clad Klum, airing in prime time.

Then again, O'Reilly has never been much of a fan of video games. Or iPods. Or Blackberries. But Mr. Morality does enjoy a good loofa.

GP: Thanks to GP jack-of-all-trades Andrew Eisen for the sharp eyes...

74 comments

 
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Poll

Will the New Nintendo 3DS be region free?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
prh99I would be shocked if Nintendo said it was region free, or even made it optional like XBox 360 for that matter.09/02/2014 - 7:22pm
Matthew WilsonI should say the recent past.09/02/2014 - 6:58pm
Matthew Wilsongiven their past, I do not blame people for thinking they will not change. I think they will keep region locking too.09/02/2014 - 6:48pm
E. Zachary KnightMan. People have no confidence in Nintendo regarding region locking the New 3DS.09/02/2014 - 6:20pm
Andrew EisenThat doesn't mean there has to be a movie though. Having said that, I've no doubt that we will eventually get a Black Panther movie. But Stan Lee will probably learn about it around the same time you and I do.09/02/2014 - 2:34pm
MaskedPixelanteWell they have to get to him eventually. Captain America's shield didn't grow on a tree, the minerals to make it had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is Wakanda.09/02/2014 - 2:31pm
E. Zachary KnightYes, but it has never been confirmed as in development, or even pre-production.09/02/2014 - 2:21pm
MaskedPixelanteBlack Panther's been on the short list for a while.09/02/2014 - 2:18pm
E. Zachary KnightIt is possible that Stan Lee mispoke. I don't think he knows everything Marvel movies. But it is a sweet idea if true.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
Andrew EisenSo says Stan Lee who almost certainly wouldn't know.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.cinemablend.com/new/Marvel-Black-Panther-Movie-Confirmed-By-Stan-Lee-66993.html Black Panther is apparently getting a movie. And maybe one for Black Widow, even though I think it's too late for her.09/02/2014 - 1:53pm
Cheater87Look what FINALLY came to Australia uncut! http://www.gamespot.com/articles/left-4-dead-2-gets-reclassified-in-australia/1100-6422038/09/02/2014 - 6:49am
Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
 

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