Obama Seeks Greater Access to Online Communication

September 28, 2010 -

In order to combat the decreasing use of archaic telephones, the Obama administration is preparing a bill that would allow law enforcement and national security officials greater access to online communications.

As reported by the New York Times, such a bill would require online services such as Blackberry’s encrypted email system, or social sites like Facebook, to be “technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order.”

Some, like Columbia University’s Steven Bellovin, a Computer Science Professor, see a problem with the mandate, because hackers could figure out how to gain access through the new backdoors. Bellovin called it, “… a disaster waiting to happen.”

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On Presidents and Prime Ministers Appearing in Games

September 27, 2010 -

In light of President Obama’s appearance in Madden NFL 11 and the upcoming NBA 2K11, Kotaku took a look at the Politics of Presidential Appearances.

In both games, a representation of Obama is used to help celebrate a Super Bowl win or an NBA championship. While the President does have rights to his likeness, Villanova University School of Law Professor Michael Risch stated that, “A sitting president is probably never going to sue.”

Kotaku wrote:

Essentially, a president is the one A-list celebrity you get to use for free, provided you’re not too egregious about it. A sitting president filing a civil suit over the unauthorised use of his image is as bad a play politically as could be imagined, especially if the work in which he’s appearing is complimentary and respectful as is the case with Madden and NBA 2K.

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BrainPop Supports National STEM Video Game Challenge

September 22, 2010 -

BrainPOP has been tapped to serve as a founding outreach partner of the National STEM Video Game Challenge. The game design contest is part of the "Educate to Innovate" campaign the White House announced last week, and is headed by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media.

As a founding outreach partner, BrainPOP will provide mentors with free access to digital STEM content and professional development opportunities. BrainPOP will also contribute contest prizes and lend support to the competition's judging and promotional efforts.

"Making video games is a complex activity that involves critical 21st century skills such as systems thinking, iterative design, problem solving, collaboration and creativity, and builds a strong motivation for STEM subjects," says E-Line President and Founder Alan Gershenfeld. "We are always excited to see how enthusiastically youth embrace these concepts when presented in the context of video game creation." 

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Obama Removed from NJ Game, Political Pair Take His Place

August 13, 2010 -

A Seaside Heights boardwalk game that allowed patrons to bean a questionable likeness of President Barack Obama has replaced him with a pair of other polarizing political types.

A Star Ledger story reports that models of George W Bush and Hillary Clinton have taken over for Obama, in a move that the game’s operator said was meant to show that “we’re not anti-Democrat or anti-Republican.”

Secret Service agents also reportedly scouted out the game in order to see if game operators were egging on players to bean the President or “for patrons who expressed a desire to hurt the president.” No incidents of either type were reported.

The notoriety of the attraction has also apparently not brought in much new business either as “most tourists point to the game stand in recognition, but then keep on walking without playing.”

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Nvidia Banks $25m Pentagon Research Grant

August 10, 2010 -

Chip maker Nvidia has won a $25 million grant from the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in order to create high-performance supercomputers that leverage the power of graphics processing units (GPU).

Nvidia has long been an advocate, obviously, of the computational powers of GPUs, which have been adapted to a wide variety of uses, from CT scans, to research labs, to Wall Street. Venture Beat reports that the win will see Nvidia operate under a four-year contract and build “a new class of ‘exascale supercomputers’ that are 1,000 times more powerful than today’s supercomputers.”

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Carnival Games Let Populace Target Obama

August 9, 2010 -

While they aren’t electronic, these interactive games sure feature a political bent.

A game that allowed carnival goers to shoot an apparent likeness of President Barack Obama made news last week, before the President of the amusement company behind the attraction pulled the game.

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POTUS Gets Cameo in Madden NFL 11

July 27, 2010 -

In the past it didn't really mean anything - beyond your own personal satisfaction hidden deep in your heart - to win the Super Bowl in Madden. But in Madden 2011 EA Sports has brought in the President of the United States to make the occasion more important, more exciting, than it ever has been before.

Whether you are madly in love with President Barrack Obama or still insist he is not a legitimate citizen of the United States of America, you have to admit that this is how a Super Bowl victory in a game should be treated. No? Then I guess you'd better watch the wall to your left because it's time for the Kool-Aid Man bust through and to top off your glass.

According to ESPN.com, Super Bowl winners will be treated to much celebration including team specific commentary by Gus Johnson, a lavish parade with cheering crowds and boisterous celebrations, and a trip to the White House where your star player will shake hands and present him with the team's jersey.

Sassy. For those of you about to go into a rage, a comment on ESPN.com sums things up nicely:

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Deus Ex Screenshot Paints GWB in Unflattering Light

June 14, 2010 -

A recently-released screenshot from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which is set in the year 2027, features a wanted poster for an ex-President.

An eagle-eyed Examiner columnist noticed a wanted poster for the 43rd President of the U.S.—and new Facebook member—George W. Bush in a batch of screenshots for the Eidos Montreal and Square Enix production. GW’s picture is plainly visible under the banner “Wanted for Mass Murder.”

The game is due out in 2011, so we’ll have to just wait and see if GW’s image remains in the finished product.

11 comments

No Wonder Obama Can't Work the Xbox

May 14, 2010 -


Political cartoon site TobyToons offers the above illustration as a means to explain President Obama’s continued attacks on videogames and technology.

Just last week the President lamented the current state of technology, stating, “With iPods and iPads, Xboxes and PlayStations, information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.”

This follows Obama taking a shot at the Xbox in a 2009 speech, where he stated, “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.”


Thanks Rodrigo Ybáñez García!

28 comments

POTUS Bemoans Media Age Noise

May 10, 2010 -

President Barack Obama delivered a commencement speech at Hampton University in Virginia on Sunday, with a shout-out to certain entertainment devices that some may feel were a bit unflattering. Here's the quote, unfettered by commentary and in context:

"You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t rank all that high on the truth meter," said President Obama. "With iPods and iPads, Xboxes and PlayStations, information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment."

"All of this is not only putting new pressures on you; it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy," President Obama added.

This comment may bother some on both the left and the right, who will point out that, in 2008 during the presidential election campaign, then Senator Obama had no problem advertising on the Xbox 360.

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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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ConsterBasically, he's claiming there's a state statute that allows him to invoke section 2 of SB101 and be exempt from it.03/31/2015 - 5:48am
Conster"..military service veteran status, and any breach of this policy shall continue to be considered a material breach of the relationship with the City."03/31/2015 - 5:09am
Conster"no vendor, contractor, grand recipient, or anyone receiving public funds or benefits of any kind shall discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, or United States..03/31/2015 - 5:08am
ConsterGen Con is in Indianapolis, right? Because its mayor signed an executive order that discrimination against LGBTQ (and other groups) is still not allowed: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/30/greg-ballard_n_6972928.html03/31/2015 - 5:07am
Andrew EisenTo the surprise of no one, that HD remake of the first level of Super Mario 64 has been DMCA'd. http://mario64-erik.u85.net/Web.html03/30/2015 - 10:54pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.destructoid.com/dark-souls-ii-scholar-of-the-first-sin-upgrade-and-pricing-systems-detailed-289743.phtml Dark Souls 2 pricing revealed, is only mildly confusing.03/30/2015 - 6:02pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/yugiohtas/status/582642955489431552 Roger Slifer sent to the graveyard.03/30/2015 - 3:49pm
james_fudgeEZK: it sounds like a carry-over bug from Demon's Souls.03/30/2015 - 1:29pm
Andrew EisenJust watched a clip of one of his correspondent appearances on The Daily Show. Seems like he'll be a good fit.03/30/2015 - 1:26pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/arts/television/trevor-noah-to-succeed-jon-stewart-on-the-daily-show.html The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.03/30/2015 - 1:17pm
E. Zachary KnightApparently there is an item duping glitch in Bloodborne. I loved those glitches in old Final Fantasy games. They were great. Nothing like infinite Excaliburs for Ninja's to throw.03/30/2015 - 12:58pm
Papa Midnightis no market for these games. There will be no intreospection whatsoever. It's either that or they blame piracy.03/30/2015 - 11:35am
Papa MidnightI'd like to take this time to reiterate the utter mess of a PC port that is Dead or Alive 5, which is missing significant amounts of features on PC in comparison to it's console counter-part. When sales go poorly, I'm certain the excuse will be that PC03/30/2015 - 11:34am
E. Zachary KnightSleep and sanity? No need for that here. Check out our experience at Super! BitCon as we made a game while visitors got to play games. Game Jamming During A Game Convention: A Convention Jam Tale. http://tinyurl.com/ogx46t703/30/2015 - 10:43am
ZippyDSMleePlank? PPLLAAANNKKK!!!!! :P03/30/2015 - 10:05am
MaskedPixelantehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXYXuXX48m8 Take the "no-prank pledge" today.03/30/2015 - 9:11am
ZippyDSMleecrap around. It’s quite annoying but kinda fun like galaxy...even if has the power ups I hate the planets... oh and here comes a C&D in 3...2.....03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
ZippyDSMleeI was never that much of a fan they messed up the power ups, the level design was good enough for the time but ...meh.. Playing through sunshine again since I am no longer a south paw the controls are still stupid there's little to no options to change cr03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
Cheater87http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/parents-could-be-reported-to-police-if-children-play-violent-video-games-like-call-of-duty-and-grand-theft-auto-10141697.html03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2015/03/29/click-here-to-play-super-mario-64-in-hd03/29/2015 - 11:45pm
 

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