Senator Jay Rockefeller Introduces Bill to Study How Violent Video Games Affect Children

December 19, 2012 -

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D - West Virginia) has introduced a bill that would have the U.S. National Academy of Sciences study how video games and other media like films and television affect children. The bill would also expand studies already conducted by the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

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Wii U Parental Control Details

November 12, 2012 -

Despite what those rascally anti-videogame folks would have you believe, all modern video game consoles have parental controls and Nintendo's Wii U is no exception.

Available for purchase in North America this Sunday, Nintendo's new console puts the parental controls right on the Wii U's main menu as opposed to burying it somewhere in system settings.  It's that pink icon in the second row.

Here's what the controls can do:

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'Experts' Weigh in on Interactive Games and Entertainment Association Australian Survey About Games

November 5, 2012 -

Seizing on a new national survey in Australia, two "experts" have used it as an opportunity to warn parents of the dangers of video gaming. A survey conducted by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association with the help of Bond University, found that right around 95 percent of boys between the ages of 6 and 15 described themselves as gamers. The survey of more than 1200 Australian households also found that the most popular genres among this age group were first-person shooters, action and fighting games and role-playing games.

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Biggest Debate Night Loser: Xbox Live

October 4, 2012 -

While some might still be arguing over who won or lost last night's first presidential debate showdown in Denver Colorado last night (Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS pundits all agree President Obama had a bad night), Kotaku points out the biggest loser at last night's debate was Xbox Live. You may recall that Microsoft had been pushing live streaming coverage of the debate last night, along with interactive real-time reactions from fans.

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Research: Children Who Spend Two Hours of Screen Time a Day Drink More Sugary Drinks

August 24, 2012 -

New research from the University of Alberta (Canada) comes to the conclusion that preschoolers from low-income neighborhoods and children who spend more than two hours of screen-time a day either watching TV or playing video games have a "thirst for sugary soda and juice."

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Dehydrated Teenager Hospitalized After 4-Day CoD Marathon

August 8, 2012 -

CBS Cleveland News is reporting that 15-year-old Tyler Rigby has been hospitalized after a 4-day gaming marathon left him severely dehydrated.  Reportedly, the Columbus teen locked himself in his room to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  According to his mother, he emerged for the occasional potty and snack break.

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Habbo Hotel Now Available to Teens in Turkey

August 8, 2012 -

Apparently the troubles are behind Sulake's Habbo Hotel, because the popular virtual hangout for teens is opening up to teens in Turkey. The new destination for Turkish teens is located at www.habbo.com.tr. The site, like every other region supported by Habbo Hotel, is free to play.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 14

August 6, 2012 -

In episode 14 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the UK researcher who thinks parents should be arrested for buying their children age inappropriate games, Ubisoft's rootkit controversy, the results from last week's poll at GamePolitics about Humble Bundles, EA's lawsuit against Zynga, the death of the Cybersecurity Act in the Senate, and a whole lot more.

UK Researcher: Parents Should Be Arrested for Buying Children Age-Inappropriate Games

July 31, 2012 -

A Health Canal report details the concern of a critic of the UK's new video game ratings system saying that it will fail because it doesn't deal with "irresponsible parenting." Yesterday the new PEGI ratings system went into effect in the UK. The new system includes penalties for retailers that sell age inappropriate games to children that do not meet the ratings guidelines.

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PEGI Officially Enforceable in the UK

July 30, 2012 -

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) ratings system is officially in effect in the United Kingdom today, with the reins of the video game ratings bureaucracy leaving the auspices of the  BBFC. The change means that retailers in the region that sell video games rated for 12-, 16- or 18-year-olds to children below those age limits would be subject to prosecution and other legal actions. Packaging for games in the UK will now contain age ratings, and descriptors for language, drug use, discrimination, gambling, sex, violence, online gameplay, and more.

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Disney to Spend $4.7 Million on Online Safety Campaign for Club Penguin

July 5, 2012 -

In the wake of Sulake's problems with Habbo, Disney has decided to spend $4.7 million on an internet safety campaign for its popular massively-multiplayer online game for kids, Club Penguin. The announcement was made by the game's co-founder Lane Merrifield today. The internet safety campaign hopes to target more than 100 million children and parents around the world who use Club Penguin.

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Game Companies, Parents Sue Over South Korea's 'Shutdown Law'

June 27, 2012 -

South Korea's new "Shutdown Law" was supposed to keep teens from gaming during a six hour block every night to focus on "more important things" like studying, but two groups have already filed lawsuits that question the legality of the new nanny state law concocted by lawmakers in the country. A group of game makers doing business in the region including NCsoft, Neowiz, and Nexon, have filed a lawsuit claiming that the Shutdown Law is unjust and unfair to them.

Sulake Begins Relaunching Habbo with More Safety Features in Select Regions

June 26, 2012 -

In the aftermath of a Channel 4 investigation into pedophiles targeting young users of the virtual hangout Habbo, owner Sulake has begun a soft launch of chat services in select regions. Sulake CEO Paul Fontaine announced via the company's blog that a new and improved Habbo (with more security measures in place) has launched in Finland, Spain and Brazil - with more regions being relaunched in the next few weeks.

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Study: Active Games Do Not Change Sedentary Behavior in Children

June 25, 2012 -

A new study disputes the claims that using exercise video games at home can change the sedentary lifestyles of children in any significant way. A study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas found that children overcompensated in "other areas" after playing active video games - basically making any calories burned a zero net gain.

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Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers Attack Parents over Video Games

March 26, 2012 -

The head of Britain's Association of Teachers and Lecturers thinks parents are doing a crappy job by ignoring game ratings and letting their children play violent video games. They are pulling the proverbial fire alarm, in this BBC report like a teenager might do a one-off prank to send the principal into a tizzy fit (thanks beemoh).

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FTC, California AG's Office Address Children's Safety at Digital Kids Conference

March 20, 2012 -

Representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and California's Attorney General's office will address mobile app safety for children at the Digital Kids Conference on Wednesday, April 25 from 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. (Room 1, Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA). Federal Trade Commission Staff Attorney Kenneth H. Abbe and Travis LeBlanc, Special Assistant Attorney General for Technology for the State of California will deliver their remarks on the topic as part of conference's Digital Kids Safety Track.

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Wizard101 Creators to Keynote Digital Kids Conference

March 14, 2012 -

Wizard101 creators Todd Coleman and Josef Hall of KingsIsle Entertainment will be the keynote speakers at the sixth annual Digital Kids Conference, a two-day event that purports to provide companies with "the critical information they need to reach digital kids and connected youth through online and mobile technologies." Speakers from the NFL, Spin Master, Cartoon Network, Ubisoft, SOE, Cookie Jar, and many others will also deliver talks April 25-26, 2012 in Los Angeles.

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SOPA Protest Aftermath

January 19, 2012 -

After just one day of Internet protests and a concerted effort by the Internet community, the mainstream media finally took notice of the war between the entertainment industry and the Internet over SOPA and PIPA. Every broadcast and cable television network - much to their chagrin - was forced to say something about sites like Wikipedia and Reddit going dark, and Google's redacted logo had a huge impact as well. With the increased media attention and a deluge of phone calls and emails from constituents, several lawmakers panicked and withdrew their support from the bill.

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Exploring The Gamification of Politics

November 14, 2011 -

Some people are getting sick of hearing about gamification, but marketers and other groups are finding the idea of making the mundane fun to be a fascinating concept. Politicians and political campaigns are also starting to tap into the concept of gamification as different candidates attempt to break through to constituents of varying age groups. Political strategists think gamification is a powerful tool for identifying and engaging the public.

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IGN Closes What They Play

October 21, 2011 -

Website What They Play, the parent-focused gaming web site operated by IGN has suddenly been shut down, with the URL of the site being redirected to IGN's front page. The staff at the site that enjoyed four years of operation claim that they were not informed of IGN's intentions to close the site. Still, it's not hard to understand why IGN decided to pull the plug - it has not been updated since February of this year.

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How to Opt-Out of Sony's PSN Terms of Service

September 21, 2011 -

A GiantBomb report claims that, even though you may have agreed to the new PlayStation Network Terms of Service recently, there may still be an option to allow an opt-out. In a nutshell, the new ToS asks users to agree to not sue the company as part of a class action, and requires that you agree to it to gain entry to the network. The paragraph in question from section #15 of the ToS:

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A Mother's 'Long-Overdue Reaction' to Brown v. EMA

September 15, 2011 -

I'm all for letters to the editor, but one written by one Tina L. Bechtel, is particularly over the top and needs to be read to be believed. The Marysville, California mother of at least one son (at least the one she mentions in her letter) delivers what she calls her "long-overdue reaction to the 'supreme sellout' of our children," referring to the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year in the Brown v. EMA case.

Research: Nagging Parents May Drive Kids to Play More Games

September 9, 2011 -

An interesting research project from Michigan University that polled middle-schoolers about their game playing habits found that nagging parents may be driving their kids to play even more video games than they normally would. Of course, researchers say that children could simply "perceive" that their parents are nagging them about their gameplay.

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Sony: PSN Doing Better After Security Breach

September 1, 2011 -

Sony says this week that, following one of the worst security breaches in recent memory for any company, that sales via its online gaming service are exceeding numbers from before the attack occurred.

As part of a Sony conference at the IFA electronics show, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said that the PlayStation Network has recovered and is now doing better than ever, with 3 million new customers since coming back online earlier this year.

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Microsoft Withdraws Patent Infringement Claim Against Datel

August 31, 2011 -

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft plans to withdraw its patent infringement claims (337-715, U.S. International Trade Commission - Washington D.C.) against Datel Design & Development Ltd. over controllers for the Xbox 360. In response to the patent lawsuit, Datel took it upon itself to simply redesigned its controllers and stopped importing earlier versions of the TurboFire2 Xbox 360 Wireless that were the at the center of Microsoft's complaint filed with the U.S.

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Home Consoles Still The Devices of Choice for Streaming Media

August 25, 2011 -

According to new data released by ABI Research, the most popular method of streaming Netflix content continues to be through a video game console. The new data also shows that console owners spend a substantial amount of time --seven to eight hours a week-- watching online video through their console devices.

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OnLive Adds Parental Controls and More in Latest Update

August 24, 2011 -

Cloud-based games-on-demand service OnLive released an update today that adds a number of new features including parental controls, group voice chat, and Facebook achievement sharing. Parental Controls are probably the most important feature for the fledgling service, which wants to go toe-to-toe with Xbox 360, Wii and PS3. After all, most major consoles offer these kinds of safeguards for parents..

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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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UK Father Warns of the Deadly Combination of DVT and Video Games

August 1, 2011 -

A South Yorkshire man whose son died after playing video games for 12 hours straight due to complications with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), is now campaigning to create a greater awareness about the condition and how it can be exacerbated with the excessive use of video games.

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Good Parenting More Effective Than Banning Violent Games

July 16, 2011 -

We’re not going to point fingers but there are those who would attempt to protect children by banning violent video games.  Is that the best way?

Not according to Kansas State University professor Charles Smith.  He says, and you may want to sit down for this radical concept, that good parenting is a far better method than banning violent games.

I know, right?

"There is a mass hysteria about violence and video games, but it's the context and type of video game, and more importantly, it's the type of child,” said Smith, a professor of family studies and human services and parenting expert.

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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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