On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss last week's GamePolitics poll (should King be able to trademark the word "candy" ?), the controversy over YouTube content creators taking money from companies and not disclosing it to viewers, and even more talk about King including accusations that it cloned a game and that it is opposing Stoic's trademark related to The Banner Saga. Download Episode 85 now: SuperPAC Episode 85 (1 hour, 10 minutes) 80 MB.
According to a report on Ars Technica, Microsoft and Machinima colluded to get Machinima YouTube content creators to say nice things about the Xbox One for money and required that they not disclose the financial relationship to viewers.
Readers of Tech and gaming site Ars Technica helped raise over $23,000 through its annual holiday charity drive. The event for 2013 benefited children's charity Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. While the numbers are down from 2012 (the charity drive raised $28,700 that year), readers still stepped up to the plate and bid on various bits of game-related swag and prize packs to generate some much needed funds for both charities.
A crowd-funding campaign has launched today on Kickstarter to fund Area 5's latest project - a documentary series called Outland on the people and culture of videogames. The details on just what aspects of gaming culture the series will cover is fairly vague, but the group hints at covering some interesting topics like game preservation efforts and movements, and eSports. Area 51 is made up of former 1UP personalities Ryan O'Donnell, Matt Chandronait, Jason Bertrand, Cesar Quintero, and Rick Curnutte.
Former Penny Arcade Report writer Ben Kuchera has officially joined gaming site Polygon as its new Senior Opinion Editor. Kuchera's time with the editorial offshoot for the Penny Arcade site came to an end in November. In an article introducing himself to the Polygon community, Kuchera explained why he chose Polygon as his final destination amongst a number of options available to him.
Cultural historian Richard Slotkin talks about Newtown shooter Adam Lanza in a rather lengthy interview with journalist Bill Moyers. The interview touches upon some other topics as well, but a fair bit of it is spent discussing Adam Lanza's behavior, his fascination with guns and violent video games, and his deep study of school shootings dating back to the late 1800's.
While the news media in Australia is using headlines about how a man accused of murder was playing a violent video game prior to allegedly committing the crime, the unnamed game is never mentioned in court as some sort of catalyst or influence to the events that unfolded outside of an Ambarvale home in south-west Sydney on June 20, 2012. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped Sky News from using the headline, "Stabbing 'followed violent video game.'"
In our latest Letters to the Editor, freelance writer Jon Hochschartner posits that animal rights activists need their own "Bechdel test" to evaluate the mistreatment of animals in video games.
Animal activists need their own rubric to assess anthropocentrism in fictional work that's similar to the Bechdel test employed by feminists to gauge gender bias.
On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll, Dark Matter being released on Steam and GOG and then being pulled, the TotalBiscuit YouTube controversy, and Sony being upset over pics of a nude character model from Beyond: Two Souls. Download Episode 75 now: SuperPAC Episode 75 (1 hour, 10 minutes) 81.1 MB.
Indie developer Sean Lindskog pens an interesting editorial (a repost of a blog entry he wrote) on how reviewers like TotalBiscuit now understand the fear that game developers feel when they are at the mercy of someone else. Lindskog, who developed the indie space-themed action game Salvation Prophecy compares his feelings towards a negative review on GameSpot with the DMCA take-down request filed by developer Wild Games Studios against YouTube personality TotalBiscuit.
In last week's poll we asked our readers, "What do you think about Metacritic?." Around 367 votes were cast, with the majority of voters saying that the review aggregation site isn't a bad thing, it is just being used incorrectly.
Variety is reporting that The Escapist and Warcry parent company Alloy Digital and GameFront parent company Break Media (who also owns Break.com) will soon announce a merger of the two properties under a new 50-50 partnership. The new company will be called Defy Media. Variety claims that Defy Media will focus on creating video content aimed at the 14 - 34 year-old mostly male demographic.
An article on ABC News tries to determine how violent video games fit in with real-world violent behavior. The report focuses on what Michael Ritrovato said about Washington Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis' obsessive gaming habits.
Ritrovato, who has been name checked in a number of stories for these comments, tells ABC News that the former Navy reservist was obsessed with military-style video games:
Not to be left out of the "let's blame video games for every mass shooting that happens" narrative being pushed by American cable news outlets like MSNBC and Fox News, UK paper The Daily Telegraph offers an article on how Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis was "obsessed with video games." The title of the article?
G4 Network is dead. There's no denying that fact. Turn on the network and all you see is Cops and Cheaters re-runs, American Ninja Warrior, and Campus P.D. these days. The shows that made the network great have been canceled and the people who made those shows are working somewhere else now. I say all these horrible things because today's news about the network not being rebranded as The Esquire Network is no reason to have any hope that it will somehow be returned to its former glory.
UK-based games industry-focused publication Develop has announced that it has shuffled a number of its editors around this week, mostly spurred by the departure of Intent Media founder Stuart Dinsey. Intent Media owned both MCV and Develop, and operates the London Games Conference. Intent Media was acquired by New York-based NewBay Media in December 2012.
Writer Sophie Prell has launched a Kickstarter to fund a bi-monthly web show that focuses on video games, the people that make them, and the fans (who will get a chance to interact with the games industry in various ways). The show will be called "Sincerely Sophie" and will run two shows a month for ten months if she can meet her funding goal of $16,000.
Here's more from the Kickstarter page:
Update: Politico is reporting that the White House knew that David Miranda would be stopped at London's Heathrow Airport before it happened, but it also denied any involvement in the incident.
"This is a decision that they made on their own and not at the request of the United States," White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Giant Bomb co-founder and longtime GameSpot writer Ryan Davies died on July 3 of unknown causes, Giant Bomb announced this morning. He was 34-years-old. Fans, colleagues, friends and the games industry expressed their deep sorrow on Facebook and Twitter as the news broke. Giant Bomb's Matthew Rorie conveyed his deep sadness in a short post on the site today:
Former IGN Editor-in-Chief Hilary Goldstein has joined Epic Games' ChAIR. ChAIR Creative Director, Donald Mustard made the announcement on Epic Games blog. Hilary Goldstein will serve as the "Integrated Media Manager," a special position created just for him it seems. He'll work closely with ChAIR to bridge the gap between the developer and its fans.
In a "Friday Follow-Up" segment that aired on her show, Katie Couric admitted that her recent show on video game violence that featured a "who's who" of anti-video game voices was one-sided. The show, "Are Video Games Ruining Your Life?" aired on April 29 and featured Daniel Petric, who cited video games as being a "catalyst" for shooting and killing his mother on October 20, 2007. It also featured Dr.
UBM Tech announced that it will print the last issue of Game Developer Magazine in July, shutting down the publication dedicated to game developers of all stripes after a 19 year run. The parent company of the magazine and website Gamasutra did not disclose what will become of the magazine's staff at this point, though we do know that contributor Brandon Sheffield is out, as is Gamasutra news editor Frank Cifaldi.
On this week's show we try a live Google + Hangout - something we plan on doing once in awhile so our fans can interact with us more directly. Hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by James Fudge to talk about Sony's two-hour long PlayStation 4 Press Conference and the sad news of layoffs at IGN, GameSpy, UGO and 1UP. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 42 (1 hour, 14 minutes) 189 MB.
Joystiq is reporting that Ziff Davis will be shutting down popular and long-running gaming sites 1UP, GameSpy, and UGO. The new owner of IGN also laid off the editorial staff at all three sites, as well as some employees at IGN. Ziff Davis's parent company J2 Global bought IGN and its various web properties earlier in the month, and today it has decided to focus on its core brands - IGN and AskMen.
An investigation conducted by UK gaming publication Computer & Video Games shows that some online retailers are not doing their best to keep under-age children from buying mature-rated video games online. The investigative report (which includes some video) shows a person purchasing three games online without any age verification checks blocking his purchase. The UK-based retailers found to be lacking in this area include Amazon UK, HMV and Zavvi.
IGN is now owned by Ziff Davis, parent company J2 Global today confirmed with GameSpot. Terms of the deal to buy the IGN assets from News Corp. were not disclosed as of this writing.
Earlier reports suggested J2 Global had inked a deal on IGN, paying "considerably" less than the $650 million News Corp. purchased the company for in 2005. In fact, some have speculated that they paid considerably less than what News Corp was asking for in today's market: $100 million.