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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Sony: Full Services Return This Week in Japan

July 5, 2011 -

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.

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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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PlayStation Network 'Welcome Back' Content Now Available

June 3, 2011 -

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:

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PlayStation Store Overload Causing Connection Errors

June 2, 2011 -

If you try to log on to the PlayStation Store this morning, you may encounter some technical difficulties. Apparently the massive amounts of traffic slamming the network is spitting out an error message to some users. Sony says that this is entirely due to extremely high traffic volumes and that this should ease up as the day goes on.

"There are so many of you accessing the store at the moment that due to the excessive load, it is a little slow," said SCEA's Nick Caplin. "We are improving it as I write this, so you will see improvements in speed as the day progresses."

This sort of thing is to be expected considering that the store dedicated to PS3 and PSP has been down for well over a month.

Source: Destructoid


PSN Identity Theft Protection Program Sign-Ups Open

May 26, 2011 -

Sony announced that PlayStation Network and Qriocity users in the United States can begin the process of enrolling in a 12-month subscription plan for identity theft protection by visiting us.playstation.com. Before announcing the news on the official blog, some PSN users were informed via email. Here's more from the official blog:

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Gone Phishing: Sony Thailand Site Hacked

May 23, 2011 -

Antivirus and security firm F-Secure said over the weekend that it found a "live" phishing site active on Sony’s servers in Thailand. The malicious site was found on Sony’s official web site for Thailand, running under " hdworld.sony.co.th" and targeting an "Italian credit card company."

From the F-Secure website:

"We know you're not supposed to kick somebody when they're already down… but we just found a live phishing site running on one of Sony's servers.

However, this incident has nothing to do with the Sony PSN hack."

The security firms says that Sony has "been hacked again" but adds that the "server is probably not very important." The company closes by saying that its software has blocked the site for its customers.

F-Secure adds that it has told Sony about the site.

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PS Store Relaunch, Release Schedule Gets Mixed Reactions From Developers

May 20, 2011 -

A leaked memo yesterday revealed that Sony expects to have its PlayStation store back online on or around May 24 (next Tuesday). The company also revealed its planned release schedule, but some publishing partners are not happy about it at all.

According to an Edge report, the news is getting mixed reactions from partners. The biggest complaint is the doubled up weekly release schedule. Developers feel that their games will be buried under a deluge of new content and quickly forgotten as even more content is piled on top in the weeks to follow.

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Parent Angry over Adoption Joke in Portal 2

May 18, 2011 -

A North Carolina father has gotten his 5 - 10 minutes of fame by complaining about adoption jokes in Portal 2. Charlotte news channel WBTV indulges the complaining parent in a story that goes out of its way to malign one of the best games of 2011. According to the report, Neal Stapel was playing Portal 2 with his adopted daughter and enjoying it until jokes started to fly about one of the characters being adopted. Stapel found himself utterly offended. None of the other jokes and occasionally crude humor bothered him, apparently.

"It throws the question, the most ultimate question that that child is ever gonna have for you and it just throws it right in your living room," he said. "It says it's rated "E" for everybody and I'm thinking maybe it's rated "E" for everybody except for orphans."

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Playdom Pays $3 Million FTC Settlement over Acclaim COPPA Violations

May 14, 2011 -

Disney's wholly-owned social game development studio Playdom has agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission a settlement totaling $3 million for its part in collecting the private information of underage customers. The settlement is related to games operated by Acclaim (which Playdom bought last year) that the FTC said violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC claims that 403,000 children registered on Playdom's general audience sites between 2006 and 2010, with an additional 821,000 signing up for kid-friendly MMO Pony Stars.

During that time period Acclaim apparently illegally collected the email addresses of children and didn't provide the proper amount of parental controls.

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Sony Japan: Services Fully Restarted By May 31

May 9, 2011 -

Sony Japan says that its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services may not come back online until the end of May. Speaking to http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-09/sony-s-playstation-qriocity-ser... ">Bloomberg by phone, spokesman Shigenori Yoshida told the publication on Sunday that the services would remain offline and that the company is uncertain as to when they will be back online. Sony shut down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity April 20 because of security breach initiated by unknown hackers.

Yoshida added that the company is testing and adopting improved security measures and that the service would "restart the services fully by May 31."

Of course "fully" means fully operational with all services intact. Sony has said in the past that it would restart some of the services sooner than later.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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More PlayStation Network Questions and Answers

April 29, 2011 -

Another day, another series of questions and answers from Sony. The latest batch of questions and answers attempt to explain what users can expect when the PlayStation Network comes back online. Topics covered include download history/friends list/settings, Sony Online Entertainment's games, PS+ cloud saves, the state of trophies, and if Sony will offer some sort of good will content as an apology to users. Bullet points follow:

 

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Richard Blumenthal Sends Letter to Sony Over PSN Data Theft

April 26, 2011 -

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is not happy with Sony's revelation today that user data and credit card information may have been stolen from PlayStation Network users (thanks to gellymatos). He is so unhappy that he has sent a letter to Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. In his letter to SCEA, Blumenthal noted that SCEA failed its customers by not informing them sooner.

"When a data breach occurs, it is essential that customers be immediately notified about whether and to what extent their personal and financial information has been compromised… I am concerned that PlayStation Network users’ personal and financial information may have been inappropriately accessed by a third party,"

The full letter can be found below:

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How to Reach Level 85 in World of Warcraft Without Killing Anything

April 11, 2011 -

Could you imagine finishing World of Warcraft (hitting the highest possible level) without killing a single thing? It is hard to imagine, but it is apparently very possible to do. Incredibly hard? For sure. Impossible? No. According to one player named Everbloom he managed to hit level 85 without killing a single creature. How did he accomplish such an arduous task, you ask?

He claims that he spent the last five months picking herbs, digging up bones, exploring the wilderness of Azeroth, and doing all manner of tedious tasks to gain experience. He did this by taking advantage of the Professions system, gaining small amounts of experience for advancing in various extracurricular activities.

Below is his announcement, taken verbatim from the Battle.net forums:

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ITIF's Daniel Castro on the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act

April 1, 2011 -

Ars Technica offers a sit-down interview with Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). He is also a co-author of a2009 paper on Internet piracy, which was influential on the development and adoption of the U.S. government's Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) legislation.

In the interview, Castro says that the United States government needs to blacklist and censor web sites that traffic in pirated and counterfeit goods. Further, U.S. credit card companies would be "forbidden" from doing business with any of these blacklisted sites and U.S. advertising networks would not be allowed to advertise in these places.

Here is a choice quote about why COICA is the right way to deal with piracy:

PEGI Defends We Dare Rating, Ubisoft to Put Warning on Box

March 8, 2011 -

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) rating board, the organization responsible for rating games in Europe, defended its decision to rate We Dare for 12 year olds and above (PEGI 12) this week, even as Ubisoft takes extra precautionary measures to warn parents about the game's content. It's interesting because it undercuts PEGI's stance.

A statement by the ratings board (found on Cubed3D) defends the decision to rate it for such a young age group, stating that "it contains mild swearing, minor assault on a human-like character and words/activities that amount to obvious sexual innuendo, explicit sexual descriptions or images and sexual posturing."

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PC Gaming Alliance: Big PC Gaming Growth in 2010

March 1, 2011 -

The PC Gaming Alliance published a preliminary part of its third annual Horizons research reports, revealing the state of the PC gaming industry in 2010. Prepared by research firm DFC Intelligence, the report covers 2010 and offers projections for the market worldwide through 2014. The full report will be shared with PCGA members a week after GDC - going on this week in San Francisco.

According to data from the report, the worldwide PC games market reached a record $16.2 billion in 2010 - a 20 percent jump from 2009.

China was the largest and fastest growing market in 2010, with record revenue of around $4.8 billion. Korea, Japan, the US, UK and Germany also all showed growth in 2010. Together these markets increased revenue by 19 percent in 2010 to $7.3 billion.

PCGA president and Intel analyst Matt Ployhar says the 2010 numbers show that the focus has returned to the PC.

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Saudi Man Accused of Targeting Former President Pegged as a 'Gamer'

February 26, 2011 -

A Saudi national who was arrested for plotting to "blow up" former President George W. Bush's Texas home and other targets in America has been connected ever so slightly to violent video games - particularly the Resident Evil series from Capcom. The 20-year-old chemical engineering student at Lubbock's South Plains College, described by authorities as a "jihadist" plead not guilty to charges last Wednesday in a Texas federal court. The charge was attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. According to an affidavit in the Northern District of Texas, Aldawarsi, who was came to the US in 2008 on a student visa, had allegedly researched how to make a chemical-based, improvised explosive device (IED) online.

The New York Post reports that enjoyed watching game videos from five titles in the Resident Evil series on YouTube - information the paper found while sifting through his blog.

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Rumor: Sony Building 'Hack-Proof' PS3

February 22, 2011 -

Citing a report on Everything HQ, Computer and Video Games is reporting that Sony is working on a new SKU of the PS3 to deal with the leaked security key it is currently suing George Hotz and group Fail0verFlow over. The "hack-proof" model (is there such a thing these days?) is already "deep in development" and is not susceptible to the security issues that current models are vulnerable to.

Another rumor is that the company will lower the price of its current PS3 units to clear inventory. Old models will allegedly go for around £170 (roughly $274 USD). The hack-proof model is said to be a slim PS3 boasting a 300GB hard drive. The report claims it will cost £186.99 (roughly $301.USD)

A release window for this system is unknown and the system itself is not confirmed by Sony, but according to the report it will be a slim PS3 with a 300GB hard drive.

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Crytek: 'PC Gaming is Very Important to Us'

February 15, 2011 -

While Crytek CEO Cervat Yerli expressed disappointment earlier this week concerning the leak of Crysis 2, he still has mad love for the PC gaming scene. Writing on the MyCrysis message boards, Yerli said that his deep disappointment in this week's events have been eclipsed by the kind words and support from the community:

"While we are deeply disappointed by these events, we are all completely overwhelmed by the support we have received from you, our community," said Yerli.

"We can assure you that PC gaming is very important to us and will always be important to Crytek in the future. We are all still focused on delivering a great gaming experience to our true and honest fans," he continued. "I hope you will enjoy Crysis 2 on PC, as we think it is our best PC game yet!"

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Online Petition Urges Controller Remapping for Consoles, Games

February 8, 2011 -

Chuck Bittner is disabled, a gamer, and in need of your John Hancock for a good cause. Chuck, who is the star of the web site, AskACapper.com, has put up an online petition asking video game console makers and game developers to allow consumers to reconfigure button configurations. Companies he is making this appeal to include Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Zipper Interactive, Infinity Ward, and Treyarch - though in general he would like ALL game developers to support remapping controller functions in games.

The reason he wants to have the ability to remap keys in games and on consoles is to make setting up configurations for those with disabilities a lot easier. You can read the entire petition below, but I urge you to visit it online and sign it:

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The Dangers of Playing Your PSP in Public

February 4, 2011 -

What happens when you are playing a game in the subway and you don't pay attention? A ten-year-old boy from Milan, Italy found out when he fell off a subway platform and onto the tracks below because he was engrossed in playing a PSP game. Luckily a police officer nearby sprung into action and lifted the boy back up onto the platform.

On a personal note, I have a 10-year-old son and I could see the same thing happening to him. But it wouldn't matter if he was reading a comic book or playing a video game - sometimes he pays little attention to what is going on around him. It happens.

Anyway, watch the dramatic video to your left. Yes, I’m overselling it.

Thanks to nightwng2000 for the tip.

Source: MSNBC

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Nintendo Bullish on Anti-Piracy Technology inside 3DS

January 28, 2011 -

Earlier this week Nintendo said that it was implementing anti-piracy measures into its upcoming 3-D hand-held that will help the company quell the use of third-party devices - like the R4 device for DS. Of course device makers probably haven't had a chance to design such a device yet, so Nintendo should probably bring its "A game" to this fight. And honestly, it has been a fight for Nintendo to stop the use of R4 devices all over the world, despite some pretty successful legal victories around the world.

Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton believes that better protection methods and consumer awareness does have a significant impact on the overall problem of piracy.

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Indie Developer: Piracy Helped Sell My Game

January 25, 2011 -

Indie developer Daniel Amitay credits piracy with a doubling of sales (thanks to The Escapist). The developer behind the iPhone game "Punch 'Em!" says that his game being pirated ultimately helped double the sales of his game. This is not what you usually hear from game developers about piracy. Punch 'Em! is a 99 cent game that lets users fight each other using the iPhone camera. He was going to write about how the holiday shopping season gave him a big boost in sales until he examined the sales data and found that it was something else driving sales: piracy.

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Research: 25 Percent of Pirate Bay Files Are Fakes

January 24, 2011 -

An interesting report from Ars Technica, citing a research paper (presented at the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) conference last month in Philadelphia) from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid shows that around 25 percent of files downloaded from The Pirate Bay are fakes. Besides antipiracy companies seeding fake files into the mix, a fair share of the downloads are from hackers and other mischief makers looking to infect computers with viruses and Trojans.

From the article:

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Wonderkarpme and my GF and Brother are going for Star Wars when it releases. We booked everything the moment the release date was announced.05/06/2015 - 8:35pm
Matthew WilsonI went as a kid. no real desire to go back.05/06/2015 - 8:34pm
Andrew EisenI'll go there someday. Just don't have the money or time right now. Need someone to go with too and that makes it even more of a logistical challenge.05/06/2015 - 8:32pm
Wonderkarpthis year I'm going to Disney World so I cant wait till Winter.05/06/2015 - 8:30pm
WonderkarpWinter is the worse....for my wallet05/06/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenWinter is the worst for me. Especially around Christmas time.05/06/2015 - 8:26pm
Wonderkarpknow what I hate? Month of May. my Sinus's are on fire.05/06/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenIn other news, I just realized what a mistake it was to start my 30 Days of Netflix project on YouTube the same month Age of Ultron came out.05/06/2015 - 8:24pm
Goth_SkunkI know. :P05/06/2015 - 8:13pm
Andrew EisenGoth - Great. Just don't be a dick about it! (not aimed at you)05/06/2015 - 8:13pm
Matthew Wilson@goth do it in a reasonable manner thought. do not harass her.05/06/2015 - 8:13pm
Mattsworknamelots of gamers fall into that p roblem, as do some feminists and other grooups05/06/2015 - 8:11pm
Goth_SkunkI think when someone is as influential as Sarkeesian is, having and espousing that opinion is dangerous. It has to be challenged. She has to be told, 'No, you're wrong about this.' And her influence should suffer as a result.05/06/2015 - 8:11pm
Mattsworknamegg has its bad actors and most moderate ggs dislike or outright work against them. be careful not to let your own hate or bias make you act like those you accuse05/06/2015 - 8:10pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Hell, sometimes minorities (peoples, opinions, whatever) themselves are just so damn scary to a number of the majority that they get marginalized whether there were so called bad actors or not.05/06/2015 - 8:09pm
Mattsworknamemechacrash, my point was that groups get marked by the actions of minoritys among them. as andrew points out, this isn't just feminist or gg, it's universal due to the wide spread use of social media05/06/2015 - 8:07pm
Andrew EisenI meant there's nothing wrong with having that opinion, not that it's completely unassailable. It's certainly not.05/06/2015 - 8:07pm
Andrew EisenOf course she does. She's linked to several of them.05/06/2015 - 8:05pm
Goth_SkunkI'm disagreeing with your statement that there's nothing wrong with the opinion. And I certainly am NOT fine with her opinion. I'm fine with her right to say it.05/06/2015 - 8:05pm
Andrew EisenGoth - I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with. You're fine with her opinion, you don't agree with it and think it should be challenged. Great! We're on the same page!05/06/2015 - 8:04pm
 

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