Opinion: How To Freak Out About A Video Game

August 5, 2011 -

The latest edition of Gus Mastrapa's Joystick Division column, Pretension +1, tackles the recent player rage over Blizzard's decision to require a connection when playing Diablo III. Let's jump straight to the main thrust of the column entitled "How To Freak Out About A Video Game":

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UFC Personal Trainer and Blurring the Lines on Violent Video Games

August 4, 2011 -

Is using a Kinect martial-arts simulator like UFC Personal Trainer like practicing martial arts or like playing a videogame? The answer is neither, according to a guest editorial on Wired's Game|Life written by Paul Ballas, a Philadelphia-area child psychiatrist. Ballas's editorial, "UFC Trainer Is Helpfully Violent," comes to the conclusion that, while UFC Personal Trainer is based on a violent fighting franchise, it could also have positive effects on kids' health.

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The Sun Totally Misreads Nintendo 3DS Price Cut

August 1, 2011 -

You have to love the dramatic and often over-the-top stories from The Sun. The UK newspaper loves to write stories that can best be described as fictional. Not to infer that they lie; rather they make connections that aren't always there.

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ACIG Praises U.S. ISP – Entertainment Industry Agreement

August 1, 2011 -

Australian Content Industry Group spokeswoman Sabiene Heindl pens an editorial in The Australian praising the recent deal between Internet Service providers and content creators in the United States (you know the deal that has basically turned ISP's into Internet traffic cops). Heindl starts out by calling the deal "good news for anyone who has released an album, made a movie, developed a video game or software, or written a book anywhere in the world."

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Survey: Campaign Mode Gets Little Love from Gamers

July 22, 2011 -

A new survey by video game price comparison and marketplace Playr2 reveals that the average consumer doesn't spend all that much time playing a new game's campaign mode (or single player) before their interest wanes. The short answer to that question is the time spent on the campaign mode is usually just a handful of days, according to a survey of 1,671 users. Breaking that question down among the most popular titles, the answers become even more surprising:

- Call of Duty: Black Ops - 2 days
- Terminator Salvation - 2.5 days
- Resident Evil 5 - 3.2 days
- God of War 2 - 3.3 days
- Uncharted 2 - 3.8 days
- Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands - 4.1 days
- Assassin's Creed II - 5 days
- Uncharted - 6.6 days
- Metal Gear Solid 3 - 6.8 days
- Grand Theft Auto IV - 8.2 days

This question did not include downloadable content or online modes.

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Andrew Eisen Rants, Episode I

July 12, 2011 -

Our favorite moderator and all around GamePolitics storm trooper Andrew Eisen offers an interesting rant on Nintendo not releasing games in North America, why it sucks, and why Nintendo and other companies that continue to ignore the global marketplace are losing copious amounts of cash (the rant is appropriately titled "Nintendo: Why Won't You Let Me Give You My Money?").

He even throws in a bit about Brown v. EMA in there to make it slightly relevant.. As a fan of EarthBound (Mother series in Japan) I fully endorse this message. I want Ness now. For some background information on Andrew's rant, you can check out his blog at IGN.

We hope Andrew will do more of these.

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Law of the Game Tackles Brown v. EMA Decision

July 11, 2011 -

Mark Methenitis finally delivers a Law of the Game column over on Joystiq that tackles the Brown v. EMA Supreme Court decision. First he apologizes for the delay, then jumps right into the important take-aways that impact the industry and the public.

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Survey Says: Adults Think States Should Have Right to Ban Games

July 5, 2011 -

A new survey from Rasmussen Reports reveals that around 67 percent of U.S. adults think that states should be allowed to bar the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. Around 28 percent of U.S. adults said states should be barred from enacting prohibitions on sales and rentals of such games to minors.

Around 39 percent said video game developers and publishers should be held liable if it could be proven that their games led to someone committing a violent criminal act, while 45 percent said that developers and publishers should not be held liable.

Finally, 79 percent of Americans believe that parents are more responsible than the government (4 percent thought the opposite) when it comes to limiting the amount of sex and violence children are exposed to in video games.

The survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports is based on nationwide interviews conducted with 1,000 adults. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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Denver Archbishop Calls SCOTUS Decision 'Wrong'

July 5, 2011 -

In a July 1 opinion piece in First Things, Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the California video game violence law (Brown v. EMA) is "wrong," and will add "poison" the country's future.

Chaput also wrote that the court's ruling "extends and elevates the individual’s right to free expression – or in this case, a corporation’s right to make a healthy profit - at the expense of family sovereignty, the natural rights of parents and the intent of the Constitution’s authors."

Chaput went on to write that the ruling overlooked the government's duty to protect "human dignity and the common good."

"A law which respects mothers and fathers trying to make good choices for their family does just that," he wrote.

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No Shortage of Opinions on Brown v. EMA Decision

June 30, 2011 -

Hey GPers!  Up for some opinions on the recent Supreme Court decision that gave Leland Yee’s violent video game law the Kuribo Boot?

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Battlefield 3 Boycott Gains Momentum on Reddit

June 13, 2011 -

A movement to boycott Battlefield 3 has gained momentum on Reddit, as fans note their displeasure at some of the pre-order goodies EA is offering for those who buy the game early. While pre-order bonuses are nothing new to gamers, it often feels like some bonus items can cause an imbalance in the game and give some players advantages in online play. The boycott was started by Reddit user Ramphastid. Here is the opening salvo against EA:

"As most of you know, EA recently announced an exclusive DLC for pre-ordering BF3," organizer Ramphastid writes on the popular website. "If you don't purchase the pre-order or limited edition version of BF3, you will have to pay extra for the Karkand expansion pack."

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Supreme Court Predictions

June 6, 2011 -

Entertainment Consumer Association president Hal Halpin offers his personal (note: not ours) opinion on the timing of the Brown v EMA (formerly Schwarzenegger v EMA) Supreme Court decision over at IGN. There has been much speculation that a decision will be released this week, and Halpin has his own predictions about it:

"Despite law maker Leland Yee’s prognostications, no one really knows when we’ll get the answer, but my money is on this Thursday.

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Republicans Unveil 2011 Tech Agenda

June 3, 2011 -

Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) detailed the Republican tech agenda, a one-page list of priorities for Republican lawmakers in 2011 and beyond. While Republicans loathe regulations that stymie productivity and put a burden on businesses, they don't seem to have a problem with regulations on consumers' lives when it comes to flying, purchasing goods, legislating morality, or doing things on the Internet. In other words, regulations that punish the everyday citizen are cool, but regulations that keep corporations in check - like net neutrality - are bad.

The bullet points of the Republican tech agenda  are mostly conceptual and non-specific at this point, but here they are:

 

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Denis Dyack Blames Used Games For Upsurge in Multiplayer Game Content

May 30, 2011 -

Silicon Knights head Denis Dyack always has something interesting - and occasionally controversial - to say about the effects of used games. Recently he said in an interview with IndustryGamers that the surge in multiplayer gaming is due mostly to used game sales. The result is due to developers and publishers trying to combat the sale of used games by offering more multiplayer game play and less single-player.

“What’s really happening now is people are starting to say ‘why is everyone pushing towards multiplayer?’ Because the used game sales are hurting the single player experience so much, they’re being forced in because of the economics, not because people who are doing single player games are saying, ‘We really want to do multiplayer’,” he said.

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Security Expert: PSN Relaunch Should Have Had Government Approval

May 16, 2011 -

In an article in The Australian Queensland University of Technology professor Bill Caelli says that Sony should keep the PlayStation Network and other services that were compromised by hackers in April offline until governments around the world are satisfied that the company has put enough security in place to protect customers.

Caelli, who the publication calls a "security expert," thinks the Japanese government has the right idea in putting Sony's services on hold while it verifies the strength and depth of new security measures.

"Why is it that in the IT industry enterprises certify themselves?" he said, adding that the general public has "no way of assessing the assurances given by the owners of the system themselves."

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Denis Dyack: Social Games Market Will Crash Hard

May 11, 2011 -

In a recent interview with IndustryGamers Silicon Knights front man Denis Dyack said that that the social games market will crash very hard. Dyack admits that current social gaming trends are adversely affecting the traditional games market, but will eventually see "a rapid contraction."

"It is damaging traditional gaming for sure but... how it's going to work out is anyone's guess," he said to IndustryGamers. "The trend that I see is it's probably going to be one of the biggest bubbles and explosions that our industry's seen in a long time and I think when it crashes it's going to crash very hard. I don't think there's an economy there."

When asked specifically about Zynga - currently valued at upwards of $10 billion - his comments were less sure but just as disparaging:

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Extra Credits Chastises EA's Marketing

February 24, 2011 -

From fake protesters to scaring the crap out of your mom, EA has cut loose with some, shall we say, odd marketing choices of late.  Oh sure, there’s no such thing as bad press and EA’s games certainly aren’t hurting for attention but irking the people who actually buy your games in addition to the people who routinely lambast them might not be the best move.

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Lieberman Discusses FoxNews Comments

February 10, 2011 -

"WTF?"

That was certainly the reaction of many a gamer when they read Dr. Carole Lieberman's comment in FoxNews' Bulletstorm article earlier this week: “The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.”

As we saw a couple weeks ago with Dr. Walid Phares' opinion on a link between Modern Warfare 2 and the recent Moscow airport bombing, sometimes talking points can be taken out of context.  With this in mind, we decided to see what Lieberman had to say in regards to how her comments were presented by FoxNews.

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Editorial: Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2, But Who Cares?

February 3, 2011 -

In an editorial entitled "Your mom will hate 'Dead Space 2,' but does anyone care?," writer Tim Dunn ponders why EA's marketing department has used a technique usually used for teens and children for a mature rated game. Further, he wonders why EA would even think about using such a campaign when the Supreme Court is hearing a case about keeping ultra violent video games out of the hands of you children.

While his comments might seems a little overblown, he points out some valid concerns as well. He mentions mature games such as Heavy Rain and Red Dead Redemption, which carry a mature rating because they are telling stories and tackling topics that are geared towards adults. The Dead Space 2 campaign plays on "juvenile notions of maturity gamers have worked hard to change." In other words, the marketing for the game takes that fight a step back.

Here is more from Dunn:

Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN Servers an Option

January 18, 2011 -

If you have already read our story about Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward blaming Sony for the rash of hacks and exploits, then you get a good sense of how the PS3 Call of Duty community feels. They are pissed off, frustrated and feel like no one wants to help them. No doubt, Infinity Ward and Treyarch are equally frustrated with the problems they have encountered on the PS3 related to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.

Opinion: On Banning Music, Movies, and Video Games

January 13, 2011 -

Another editorial on violent media has made its way to the Internet by way of Sandiego.com's Pop Goes The Culture Blog.

While the author admits he has not played video games since the days of Pong and Atari, he makes some interesting points about music, movies, talk radio, and video games.

First he talks about how the media claims that the Tucson, Arizona killer "got fired up listening to angry talk radio programs." He calls this "incredibly silly logic" and believes that people who listen "to Rush Limbaugh – and you yell at the radio, or you call in and agree with him" it gives you an outlet to express your anger.

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Opinion: Violent Media Culpable in Arizona Tragedy

January 13, 2011 -

In Niall O'Dowd's latest Periscope column he takes a crack at pinning Jared Loughner's senseless act of violence on the influence of violent films and video games. Of course, there is no evidence connecting Loughner to either, but why let the facts get in the way of commentary, right?

O'Dowd opens his column by saying that "other factors" are lost in the discussion of whether or not political rhetoric influenced or inspired the Tucson killer. What influences does he speak of? The culture of violent media that the youth of America are so immersed in, of course. The first target is movies:

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Huffington Post: Courts Should Protect People, Not Corporations

January 11, 2011 -

Former philosophy professor and regular Huffington Post contributor Myriam Miedzian pens an editorial on Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association urging the court to "protect people, not corporations." Her opinion piece opens with a discussion of Doom:

She then talks about how video games are not the works of individual writers but corporations, and how the Italian mafia and a certain Arizona killer factor into the equation:

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Teen Op-Ed: CA. Game Law Should be Struck Down

January 11, 2011 -

If you have read 16-year-old Sonoma Academy junior Daniel Willens' editorial supporting the California Game Law, then you will be interested in reading this rebuttal in the Press-Democrat. 18-year-old Sonoma Academy Senior Jonny Moon opens his editorial with a discussion of afternoon adventures. Just like his parents sitting before the television watching re-runs of Gun Smoke or Bonanza, Jonny speaks of exploits in the Wild West:

"I came home from school and jumped into the saddle of my American Standardbred. I galloped through the plains of the Midwest and dueled my way to fame. I shot criminals, hogtied bandits and saved a revolutionary's wife. My good deeds saved the life of innocent people, but these actions may soon be banned, as I did this while playing 'Red Dead Redemption,' an alleged 'overly violent video game.'

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Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

January 10, 2011 -

Not every teenage boy backs the video game industry when it comes to banning the sale of violent video games to children in California. Take 16-year-old Daniel Willens, a junior at Sonoma Academy -- a preparatory school in Santa Rosa, California, for example.

The teenager penned an editorial in the Press Democrat called "PRO: Minors shouldn't be allowed to buy violent games." Daniel sounds like many of the other supporters of the 2005 law written by California State Senator (D-San Francisco). Daniel opens with the following statement:

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Conservative Commentator Targets Video Games in New Year

January 4, 2011 -

Conservative gadfly Phyllis Schlafly put together a list of New Year's resolutions that incoming freshman republican lawmakers on the state and federal level should adopt, in her estimation. Schlafly tackles all the usual conservative bullet points including school choice, healthcare, the Boy Scouts and video games. Here is one of the resolutions she proposes in her Townhall.com column:

"VIDEO GAMES: 'There shall be no sale, rental or arcade-playing of extremely violent video games by children without parental consent.' Explanation: Video games are increasingly graphic and harmful."

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Cory Doctorow on Net Neutrality

January 3, 2011 -

Cory Doctorow, best known as the genius behind Boing Boing offers some opinions on the recently approved FCC rules on net neutrality in an editorial called "Net Neutrality for Writers: It’s All About the Leverage." The column is from the January 2011 issue of Locus Magazine.

He starts out by bashing the compromise the FCC accepted when it enacted new rules. For one, the whole transparency thing is worthless because it does not stop service providers from shaping or managing traffic.

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Activision's George Rose on Schwarzenegger vs. EMA

December 30, 2010 -

Activision Blizzard vice president and chief public policy officer, George Rose pens an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle explaining why the "California ban of violent video games must go." One would expect that the opinion of a pro-industry lawyer would be that the law penned by State Senator Leland Yee and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 would be that it is wrong-headed over regulation and overreach on the part of the state.

The bulk of his ire is pointed at supporters of the law, who grasp at straws like "Postal" and cite studies that back up their positions on violent games:

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Ask a Psychologist: Video Games and Relationships

December 28, 2010 -

Dr. Stacey Soeldner, a clinical psychologist and "life coach" with Riverhill Psychological Associates in Manitowoc, Wisc., loves to answer reader questions in her column "Ask a Psychologist." Today's question has to do with a wife's angst over her husband's "obsession" with video games. The question:

Q. My husband and I have been having difficulties lately, and I believe it is due to the amount of time he spends playing video games. We are always arguing about this, and he just tells me that I am crazy. I do not understand anything about these games, so maybe I am wrong. I just think that this is an obsession for him. Am I the crazy one?

Her Answer? No, she is not crazy. The good doctor does point out that, while the "American Psychological Association has not identified playing video games as an addiction or obsession, it has been researching it."

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Michelle Malkin: Net Neutrality like 'Obamacare' for the Internet

December 22, 2010 -

An editorial penned by conservative firebrand and regular Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin calls net neutrality "Obamacare" for the Internet. Malkin says that net neutrality is really about expanding the government's control of the Internet, and less about protecting consumers from big corporations. Speaking about the FCC's vote on Tuesday, Malkin describes it this way:

"The panel will devise convoluted rules governing Internet service providers, bandwidth use, content, prices and even disclosure details on Internet speeds. The "neutrality" is brazenly undermined by preferential treatment toward wireless broadband networks."

She goes on to compare it to Obamacare, in that it provides less access, not more:

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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
 

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