Obama Reacts to Kids Requesting Videogames

December 22, 2009 -

Videogames were the overwhelming answer President Obama received when asking a group of children what they hoped Santa Claus would bring them.

Obama was entertaining a group of children at a Washington D.C. Boys & Girls Club when he posed the question. TownHall.com reports that Obama was inundated with requests for games and consoles along with other electronic devices, such as cell phones and flat-panel television sets.

The focus on electronics prompted the President to ask, “What ever happened to, like, asking for a bike?”

This time around at least, the President took it easy on videogames, perhaps learning from calling them out in the past.

The President also reflected a bit on the actual meaning of the holidays, saying, “What's important is what kind of spirit you have. So I hope everybody has a spirit of kindness and thoughtfulness.”


|Photo via AP|

27 comments

Letter to Obama Seeks ACTA Transparency

November 4, 2009 -

As the 6th round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations get underway in Seoul, Korea, a dispatch has been sent to President Obama expressing concern over the “lack of transparency and openness” surrounding the initiative.

The letter notes that “Unlike nearly all other multilateral and plurilateral discussions about intellectual property norms, the ACTA negotiations have been held in deep secrecy.”

While a curious mix of entities have been allowed to see ACTA documents, after signing a non-disclosure agreement, the letter states that “there were no opportunities for academic experts or the general public to review the documents,” adding that “very few” public interest or consumer groups were included as well.

Among the signees of the letter were The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), Students for Free Culture and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

Countries negotiating the agreement include the U.S., Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland.

BoingBoing (thanks Torven) sums up a few leaked bullet points from ACTA, among them:

•    That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn't infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.

•    That the whole world must adopt US-style "notice-and-takedown" rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused -- again, without evidence or trial -- of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright.

•    Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose (e.g., to make a work available to disabled people; for archival preservation; because you own the copyrighted work that is locked up with DRM)

The EFF tears into the leaked material in a post on its website, saying that, “The leaks confirm everything that we feared about the secret ACTA negotiations.”

They continued:

The Internet provisions have nothing to do with addressing counterfeit products, but are all about imposing a set of copyright industry demands on the global Internet, including obligations on ISPs to adopt Three Strikes Internet disconnection policies, and a global expansion of DMCA-style TPM laws.


Disclosure: GamePolitics is a publication of The ECA

19 comments

War Game Imagines Obama on the Run

October 16, 2009 -

The year is 2011. President Obama has just outlawed the private ownership of firearms, announced that the Constitution has been dissolved and revealed that the United States is going to be replaced by the North American Union, an amalgamation of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Revolution breaks out. Your part in this is to help capture Obama and the renegade Cong (former Congressional leaders).

This is the premise of a new online community and game calling itself United States of Earth. The extensive site is almost overwhelming in the sheer amount of information it provides, but centers around a browser-based war game in which a player can train and amass troops with the intention of taking over counties in Virginia. Players can also challenge other United States of Earth users in real videogames on Xbox Live or the PlayStation 3 network in order to win points to be used on the site.

Once logged in, users have access to a series of stories and videos that revolve around the fantasy setting, Stories include: Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck Found Dead in Camp, Barack Obama Retreats to Virginia With Wife, Former V.P. Joe Biden Captured Outside Arlington and The Cong Loses Control, Pelosi Captured!

Obviously setup by a right-wing oriented person or organization, the United States of Earth website domain is registered under contactprivacy.com, a service designed to protect the name of whoever registered the domain. The terms/contact page of the website lists what they call a “virtual office” in Brooklyn, New York.

Also from the terms page:

We take the Constitution of the United States seriously here and apply many if not most of the freedoms contained within to our own United States of Earth. It is a shame that America itself no longer safeguards its citizens freedom as we enter this next glorious age of collectivism and decay promised daily by those in power, Republicans and Democrats. Will America survive? Only time will tell.

Via: Phillip and Fark

146 comments

Kojima on Obama Nobel Peace Prize

October 12, 2009 -

If you’ve been up nights wondering what Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima thought about U.S. President Barack Obama winning a Nobel Peace Prize, today’s your lucky day. Or not.

On his Konami blog, via Joystiq, Kojima put out some thoughts on the matter that may or may not have been lost in translation. He posed a few questions, “Has the era at last started shifting?” and “The start of the Peace Walker plan?” before adding that “Peace will not walk to you. You must both walk towards one another.”

In his possible defense, Kojima was blogging from the gym.

33 comments

Grassroots Campaign Seeks Copyright Protection for Artists

September 29, 2009 -

The Copyright Alliance has penned a letter to President Obama and Vice President Biden asking the Administration to “pursue policies of the rights of artists.”

The dispatch has been posted to the group’s website and is presented as a call to action, allowing artists and creators to sign the letter. At the time of this post, over 7,700 copies of the letter had been personalized.

The letter notes the following about those who affixed their signatures:

We enrich our culture with a wide range of creative expression, including music, film, software, video games, writing, photography, graphics, and other visual arts.


An appeal at the end of the communication implores Obama and Biden to:

Please pursue policies supportive of the rights of artists and the encouragement of our creative efforts. Without the proper respect for our rights and works today, it will become even more difficult for us to create in the future.


The campaign was drafted in response to The President naming Victoria Espinel as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, a move the Alliance called “a strong sign,” and one they will be “watching with optimism.”  The Alliance intends to deliver the letter this fall.

13 comments

Obama To Mention Xbox in Controversial Speech to Students

September 8, 2009 -

Amid protests and counter-protests, President Barack Obama will deliver a 20-minute speech on the value of education to America's students this morning.

The Back to School event has been banned from some school districts whose managers are apparently being influenced by the squeaky wheels among the anti-Obama crowd.

In any case, the White House has pre-published the text of the Prez's speech. And, once again, Obama will reference video games - specifically the Xbox:

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

 

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

 

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

 

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed...

199 comments

Bethesda: We Didn't Seek Bill Clinton For Fallout 3

May 23, 2009 -

Following up on yesterday's report that Blindlight, a Hollywood firm which recruits voice actors for video game projects, had approached Bill Clinton for the role of the president in Fallout 3, Chris Morris of Variety contacted F3 publisher Bethesda, which seemed non-plussed by the news.

Pete Hines, VP of PR for Bethesda, told Morris:

Before they would pitch us on someone like Clinton, they may first go ask if he would do something like that. In no way, shape or form, did we say is President Clinton is who we want for this role or [tell Blindlight to] go chase him.

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Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
E. Zachary KnightI don't see why it would be that difficult to maintain one. Especially for a news outlet with multiple people on the payroll.09/23/2014 - 9:37am
Matthew Wilsonthey can, but will they? more inportantly will the traditional sites be willing to do the extra work to maintain the list?09/23/2014 - 9:02am
E. Zachary KnightSo how will it reduce the power of the traditional games press? They can create curated stores too.09/23/2014 - 8:39am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good thing, but it does mean traditional games press will have less power than ever before. To be fair most of the gaming press were never big on pc gaming anyways.09/23/2014 - 8:33am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, is that a bad or good thing?09/23/2014 - 7:43am
MechaTama31When you say "youtuber", I picture some sort of customizable potato...09/22/2014 - 10:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthis change will only give youtubers more power.09/22/2014 - 9:54pm
prh99Steam has added a curator system. You can follow your favorites and see their recommendations http://store.steampowered.com/curators/09/22/2014 - 9:07pm
MaskedPixelantePlus there's the whole "we don't use accounts" thing that means if you lose your 3DS and have to get a new one, you have to deal with Nintendo customer service to get your downloads back instead of, you know, logging in and downloading them.09/22/2014 - 8:39pm
MonteIndeed. Their wallet system, the lack of sales, applying tax, the lack of price cuts, the eshop is pretty terrible. Only use it for indie games.09/22/2014 - 8:29pm
Andrew EisenThat's the one I'm eyeballing. Really dug the demo. Didn't care as much for EOIV though.09/22/2014 - 8:19pm
MaskedPixelanteOoh, an Atlus sale, it must be a day that ends in "y". I'd much rather get physical 3DS games because of Nintendo's outdated digital distribution policies, but EOU is near impossible to find anywhere nowadays... conflicted.09/22/2014 - 7:48pm
Andrew EisenOooh, Atlus sale in the 3DS eShop. I might have to bust open my piggy bank. http://www.siliconera.com/2014/09/22/shin-megami-tensei-iv-atlus-games-sale/09/22/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/2014/09/23/steam-update/ steam finally adds content Curation. I like that the user can pick which peoples recommendations they want to see.09/22/2014 - 7:16pm
MaskedPixelanteNintendo put three dual-gendered characters in Smash Bros 4.09/22/2014 - 7:13pm
 

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