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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
Sony announced that it will have "full PlayStation Network services" in Japan sometime this week. This will bring all of its services online in the region nearly two and a half months after being attacked by hackers. Later this week Sony hopes to have its PlayStation Store back online, allowing Japanese PlayStation Network users access to its games marketplace and online music.
The attack on Sony’s data centers in San Diego compromised more than 100 million customer accounts and will cost an estimated 14 billion yen ($173 million) for the company this fiscal year.
Most of the delay in Japan was due to a Japanese government request in May to institute "preventive measures against data breaches," and to ease customer worries over having their information stolen. Apparently Sony has finally satisfied these requests, as well as requests from credit card companies who were seeking details on its new security measures.
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.
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.
Sony's Welcome Back program content is now available to PlayStation Network users. For the PlayStation Network and the PlayStation Store being down for nearly a month, Sony is offering consumers an apology in the form of two free games for the PS3 and two free games for the PlayStation Portable. Here's the message Sony posted on its PlayStation blog: