Nothing Can Stop IndieCade

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite the weather and hundreds-if-not-thousands of canceled flights due to a terrible snow storm battering the eastern coast of the United States, IndieCade is still happening this weekend in New York City. The three-day festival being held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York started today with an opening keynote from Rami Ismail, co-founder of Ridiculous Fishing and Nuclear Throne developer Vlambeer.

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Jane McGonigal, Jenova Chan, and More to Keynote 11th Annual Games For Change Festival

February 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Organizers of the 11th annual Games For Change Festival announced today an impressive line-up of keynote speakers scheduled to appear during the event scheduled to take place in New York City April 22 - 24 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Last month organizers announced that this year's event will run in tandem with the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. Headlining the Games For Change Festival will be academics, authors, researchers, and award-winning game designers.

Watch This Delancey Underground Video, Help Raise Money for the Nonprofit Technology Network

December 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While it is not necessarily something we'd normally cover here on GamePolitics, it is almost Christmas and doing one small gesture will help a good cause, so it's worth giving it a little virtual ink today.

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Rights Groups Take Aim on NSA Spying Tonight at Manhattan Rally

October 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new video detailing the National Security Agency's (NSA) broad spying programs on Americans will be on display tonight at 9:00 PM ET in Manhattan, projected onto a building for everyone to see. Internet freedom groups Fight for the Future and Demand Progress have teamed up with Golden Globe nominee Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit) to produce a 5-minute crowd funded video that explains the NSA’s surveillance programs and calls for an end to them.

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PSA: Twitch Hosting New York Comic Con Live Stream Beginning Oct. 11

October 10, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

If you can't make it to the New York Comic Con, you can at least watch all the goings-on via Twitch. Twitch announced today that it will begin live-streaming from the event on Oct 11, giving viewers a look inside all the most important things taking place during the show this year.

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NYU-Poly Roundtable Discusses Supporting the Video Games Industry in New York City

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Twenty-five executives and experts in the interactive entertainment industry are taking part in an event to discuss how New York City lawmakers can attract and support an industry that generates nearly $5 billion a year today. The event is being hosted and sponsored by Polytechnic Institute of New York University (in Brooklyn, NY).

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Staten Island Trio Impersonate Police to Avoid GameStop Line for Grand Theft Auto V

September 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Three men from Staten Island were so excited to get their copy of Grand Theft Auto V that they used an unconventional means to get to the front of a long line: they posed as police officers.

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Crowd Funding Campaign for 'Get Schooled' Opens

May 8, 2013 -

S.O.S. Gamers has launched a crowd-funding campaign for Get Schooled, an initiative that supplies underprivileged schools and community centers in the New York City area with access to educational technology including computers, calculators, and recreational items such as video game consoles and games.

Sony to Sell NYC HQ for $1.1 Billion

January 18, 2013 -

Sony announced that it plans to sell its U.S. headquarters, a 37-story building located on Madison Avenue in New York City. The PS Vita and PlayStation 3 maker will gain an estimated $1.1 billion from the sale. The buyer is a real estate consortium headed by The Chetrit Group. Sony expects that the transaction will close in March 2013. After paying back debt related to the building, Sony plans to pocket around $770 million from the sale.

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Connecticut Governor, NY Politicians Lash Out at NRA's iOS App

January 16, 2013 -

New York Senator Charles Schumer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized the National Rifle Association for releasing its iOS shooting range simulation app NRA Practice Range on the one month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut. Pressure from politicians around the country ultimately forced Apple to change the rating from age 4+ to a rating of 12+. Schumer had called for a rating of 17+.

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The Pixel Academy's Winter Workshop Sampler Hits Brooklyn Dec. 29

December 10, 2012 -

On December 29 The Pixel Academy will set up shop in the ArtsCetera on 212 Smith Street in Brooklyn to create a 21st century digital media lab for kids. Open house ALL DAY (10am-8pm) - Instructors will be teaching classes on a range of creative technologies and answering questions about Pixel Academy and their educational programs.

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Pixel Academy Seeks Funding to Continue Teaching Children Video Game Design and More in NYC

November 27, 2012 -

Pixel Academy, a New York City-based company founded by former Lead Game Designer at Nickelodeon (Mike Fischtha) has been conducting workshops for children ages 8-12 all over the city at locations such as homes and public libraries. These workshops teach children video game design, 3D printing, Arduino fashion design, and other fun technology based courses.

Some Activision Games Lose Online Functionality Because of Hurricane Sandy

October 31, 2012 -

While it is only a minor thing compared to some of the tragic losses (55 people have died so far in the United States, millions are without power and thousands have had their property severely damaged or destroyed) caused by Hurricane Sandy, Activision community manager Dan Amrich points out on his blog that the storm has affected online functionality for all Guitar Hero games and several Call of Duty titles.

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Code for America NYC Event Planned for October 24

October 10, 2012 -

Jennifer Pahlka, founder and Executive Director of Code for America ("the Peace Corps. for geeks") sent us some more information on the October 24th event scheduled to take place in New York City and some details on why they planned the vent in the first place. In case you are not familiar with Code for America, they are a group of web designers, programmers and other passionate geeks that work with local governments to create innovative solutions using all kinds of technology - including video games.

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Gate Five's Lawsuit against Beyonce Set for This Summer

May 11, 2012 -

We thought that a Manhattan judge had already green lighted a lawsuit filed by game developer Gate Five to sue pop icon Beyonce for $100 million way back in December of 2011, but a new New York Post story about the lawsuit says that Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos has ruled that the singer will have to face the "breach of contract" lawsuit filed by the company sometime this summe

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Student Math Masters Vie for $60K in Scholarships

May 12, 2011 -

More than 100 elementary and middle school students from New York City and around the country will compete using DimensionU video game software on May 21. Students tackle fast-paced math problems over several stages in order to advance and win $60,000 in scholarship funds.

The U Games National Scholarship Tournament brings together more than 100 students who were smart enough to secure a spot in the final national competition after participating in one of 12 qualifying rounds that ran from November - April.

Using the DimensionU Games for math, the tournament is hosted by the game's developer Tabula Digita in partnership with Intel and Dell. The tournament finals will be held Saturday, May 21 at Hunter College in New York City.

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New Indie Games to Debut at No Quarter May 12

May 10, 2011 -

This Thursday at the New York University Game Center, the No Quarter Exhibition of Games returns for its second year to debut some brand new independent games and offer some other interesting surprises. At last year's event, Mark "Messhof" Essen unveiled his dueling game Nidhogg. It went on to win an Independent Games Festival award.

This Thursday No Quarter will feature games from VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh, Ramiro Corbett (worked on Glow Artisan while at Powerhead), and game designer Charley Miller.

This year's No Quarter will also see the debut of NYC Winnitron, a free-to-play custom arcade cabinet featuring independent games. It was apparently modeled after the Torontron/Winnitron machines that are used on the indie scenes in Toronto and Winnipeg.

No Quarter begins on May 12 at 7 PM with an opening party. The event runs until the end of the month. For more information, visit http://gamecenter.nyu.edu/.

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Report: New York State AG Subpoenas Sony over Security Breach

May 5, 2011 -

According to this Bloomberg report, the New York State Attorney General has subpoenaed Sony over its ongoing security breach. Citing sources close to the situation, Bloomberg reports that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking further information on the security breach of Sony's PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment.

Specifically his department is taking a closer look at what Sony told customers about the security of its networks and when it told customers. The probe is supposedly part of a "consumer protection inquiry," according to the Bloomberg report.

From the report:

3 comments | Read more

NYU Game Center Adds Game Designer and Author Zimmerman

August 25, 2010 -

The NYU Game Center had added Game Designer Eric Zimmerman (pictured) to its ranks as Visiting Assistant Art Professor.

Zimmerman is co-author, with Katie Salen, of the game design book Rules of Play and was a co-founder of Gamelab, which created a range of games including Diner Dash. Zimmerman has already helped to plan the curriculum for the GameCenter over the past year and will teach Introduction to Game Design and Advanced Game Design courses at the school.

NYU Game Center Interim Chair Frank Lantz said of Zimmerman’s appointment, “His addition on a full-time basis is an indication of the Game Center’s commitment to bringing together the most important and influential scholars and designers in the field in order to build a world-class program in game design.”

The NYU Game Center was started in 2008 and is described as “an independent, multi-school center for the research, design and development of digital games.”

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Charity Shuttered for Improper Spending, Some of it on Games

June 30, 2010 -

A charity organization for the homeless has been ordered shut after an investigation into its finances showed that money was not being used to help the disadvantaged, but was instead put towards meals, online purchases, cable TV service and videogames.

Ubiquitous throughout Manhattan, The United Homeless Organization (UHO) charged homeless people $15 to rent a table to be used as a donation center. The homeless were allowed to keep all donations accrued throughout the day (minus the $15 charge). Investigators charge that UHO’s founder Stephen Riley, and its Director, Myra Walker, used the proceeds from the table rentals as a “personal slush fund,” and used the funds to buy a variety of items, including purchases from GameStop.

New York’s Attorney General’s office ordered the organization to close, but AG Andrew Cuomo offered, “This organization's bad behavior should not undermine the public's willingness to donate to legitimate charities.”

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NYC: Net Neutrality Hearings Today

November 20, 2009 -

The New York City Council Committee on Technology in Government is holding public hearings today on the subject of Net Neutrality.

A live stream of the hearings is available on LiveStream. The Council is live Tweeting coverage as well here. Also look for hashtags #netneutrality or #reso712A.

Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) Vice President and General Counsel Jennifer Mercurio gave testimony earlier today in support of Net Neutrality.

A sample of her testimony:

ECA is strongly in support the proposals you’ve outlined in Resolution 712A-2007 and of the concept of Network Neutrality, the principle that protects one’s choice of content and equal opportunity on the Internet. Like President Obama, who has pledged to make Network Neutrality the law of the land, we believe that Network Neutrality is a key right for consumers, insuring continued enjoyment and use of the Internet for a variety of applications including recreation, creativity and economic expansion.  This is especially true for video game players (gamers), because our hobby is increasingly tied to the Internet.  Of the 117 million active gamers in the US, 56 percent play games online, accounting for over 65 million Americans.


Disclosure: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics

14 comments

NYC School Adds Games to Curriculum

September 18, 2009 -

A Manhattan, New York-based school is taking a new approach to teaching its kids, one that introduces videogames to its curriculum.

Quest to Learn (Q2L) located on East 23rd Street, will use games such as Spore and Little Big Planet, alongside other tools such as PhotoShop, Flash, Google Earth and Maya, in a bid to leverage digital and interactive tools to foster the learning experience. More conventional board games and card games will also be utilized according to a story on MetropolisMag.com.

The Institute of Play, a nonprofit, came up with the idea, and is supported by the Parsons School of Design. Financial backing comes from the Gates Foundation, Intel and the MacArthur Foundation.

Katie Salen, a Professor of Design at Parsons and Executive Director of the Institute of Play commented:

There has been a cultural shift in the past few years. Parents and teachers recognize a kind of engagement children have with games and digital media that could lead to a new way of learning.

22 comments

In NYC, Teens Game Their Way to a Better World

June 28, 2009 -

Yesterday in the Big Apple, socially-aware teens held the first-ever NYC Youth Media & Technology Festival. The event spotlighted the work of teenagers who create video games and other digital media projects in order to advance social causes.

Organizers expected about 100 attendees for the Festival. The gathering was intended to produce a citywide dialogue about the role of new media and technology in teens' lives and how it can be utilized to promotes issues kids care about.

A group of young designers affiliated with the New York Public Library were scheduled to showcase their designs and conceptualizations for serious video games about subjects like celebrity drug use, media consolidation and genocide.

Meanwhile, teens from the Global Kids Virtual Video Project premiered an animated short film about child sex trafficking in the United States.  Members of MOUSE discussed their efforts to advance technology in New York City public schools by developing open source labs, advocating for the One Laptop Per Child campaign and other efforts.

The invitation-only event was held at the Parsons The New School for Design.

-Doug Buffone, Entertainment Consumers Association intern

9 comments

Games For Change Festival Underway in NYC

May 28, 2009 -

Somewhat lost in the pre-E3 buzz is the 6th Annual Games For Change Festival, currently underway in New York City.

The show has a terrific lineup of speakers, including Ian Bogost, Henry Jenkins, Clive Thompson, Lucy Bradshaw, N'Gai Croal, and James Paul Gee.

For updated G4C Festival news, check out the official Games For Change Twitter feed.

1 comment

Report: 9-Year Old Dies in Fatal Imitation of Smackdown vs. Raw

April 16, 2009 -

A 9-year-old Brooklyn boy died this week after jumping from the roof of his apartment building with a makeshift parachute.

The New York Daily News quotes a playmate as saying that the fatal plunge taken by Damori Miles was inspired by THQ's WWE Smackdown vs. RAW. However, a WWE official denied that parachutes are used in the T-rated game:

Shakar, Damori's best friend, said his pal was imitating his favorite PlayStation2 game, "WWE SmackDown vs Raw."

"He tried to do a swan dive like Jeff Harding does in 'SmackDown.' That was his favorite game. He played it all the time," Shakar said...

A a spokesman for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), said the video was designed for ages 13 and up and none of the characters use parachutes or jump off buildings.

"The death of Damori Miles is a tragedy and our condolences go out to his family," he said. "We should allow the authorities to conduct a full investigation... including insecure roof access, before conclusions are made about this unfortunate incident.

68 comments

NY City Council Speaker Will Call for Retail Boycott of Rape Game

February 23, 2009 -

The Speaker of the New York City Council is expected to denounce a controversial Japanese rape simulation game this morning on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan.

Councilwoman Christine Quinn (middle left) will hold a news conference in protest of RapeLay at 11:00 A.M. As GamePolitics has reported, the hentai game was recently removed from product listings on Amazon.com where a re-seller had been offering it for sale.

Quinn will be joined by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. A press release announcing the event includes the following description:

A teenage video "game" simulating brutal gang rape and other horrifying sexual violence — just pulled by Amazon.com — will be the subject of a news conference hosted by [Quinn]... who will call on all U.S. video distributors to refuse its distribution or sale...

 

The "game" is now available in the U.S. market...

We should point out that RapeLay, while despicable, is not a product of the U.S. video game industry and is not rated by the ESRB.

UPDATE: Newsday has the first mainstream media coverage of today's press conference:

Amazon and eBay have already banned the sale of the game... but New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Monday that the game is available on other Web sites...

UPDATE 2: The photo at left is from the news conference. Speaker Quinn is in the middle. At left, holding artwork from RapeLay, is  Harriett Lessel, Executive Director of The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. Of the game, Lessel said:

Video games of this nature are beyond appalling, and people of good conscience need to speak out against them. Sexual violence is a major problem in America and video games like this send the exact wrong message to young people. It tells boys it’s okay to sexually assault girls, and it tells girls they are worthless. The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault is hopeful that American distributors will reject this game and the aberrant behavior it promotes.

272 comments

NYPD Spokesman Outraged by Saints Row 2

October 14, 2008 -

GTA knockoff Saints Row 2 launches today, and a spokesman for the NYPD has criticized THQ's new crime game for its graphic depictions of virtual violence against police officers.

As reported by the New York Daily News:

A blood-soaked new video game boasts enough violence, guns and gratuitous sex to make Grand Theft Auto seem as tame as Pac-Man - and it has cops hopping mad.

The over-the-top Saints Row 2 encourages players to butcher cops with chain saws, smoke drugs, annihilate rival gangsters and run prostitution rings... Many in law enforcement and politics don't find any of it remotely entertaining.

Patrick Lynch, who heads the NYPD union, told the Daily News:

These horrible and violent video games desensitize young people to violence while encouraging depravity, immorality while glorifying criminal behavior.

The newspaper also has a quote from our old pal Jack Thompson:

Jack Thompson, a Florida lawyer and longtime critic of violent video games, called Saints Row 2 a "Grand Theft Auto ripoff."

"As is true with pornography, as is true with violence, the subsequent products tend to push the envelope even more," he said.


An unnamed THQ spokesman defended SR2:

Saints Row 2 is not a gang simulation game. It's a tongue-in-cheek game.
 

Meanwhile, the Daily News does acknowledge some of the satirical elements in the game:

Despite the outrage, some of the scenarios depicted in the game seem hilariously over the top. Players can commit insurance fraud by faking injuries, spraying the contents of a septic tank to bring down property values or appearing on a "Cops"-like reality TV show.

If things get boring, competitors can just strip and run around naked.

New Game is NYC Subway Simulator

October 13, 2008 -

GP is an admitted sucker for simulation games, so it's no surprise that World of Subway caught our eye.

German developer TML Studios launched their first foray into subway sims in 2005 by adding the Berlin underground to Microsoft Train Simulator, a game which enjoys a following among hardcore rail enthusiasts. Top News has a report:

The game allows players to manoeuvre between New York City and New Jersey, picking up passengers along the way. Publisher Aerosoft says the program will win people over with its realism: slow motion is used to convey the sensation of movement. The three-dimensional cockpit starts vibrating at high speeds.

The program's creators do not intend stopping at New York. A series is planned focusing on the world's most interesting subway stretches.

GP: Here's hoping that the London Tube is TML's next sim project. Mind the gap, and all that...

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Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
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
 

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