U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chair Pushes CISPA

October 5, 2012 -

Throwing out the specter of a new cyber threat from a country not usually associated with such activities, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, is making a final push to get the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act through the lame duck session of Congress by saying that this threat from an unnamed source is on the horizon. In a speech this week before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Rogers tried to play up the threat and claimed urgency for the adoption of CISPA or something like it.

Kixeye Fires Four Employees after Complaints of 'Institutional Racism'

October 4, 2012 -

Following up on yesterday's accusation by an employee that social game developer Kixeye engaged in "institutional racism," four employees have been fired today. The accusations were made by an unnamed contractor who wrote a blog post under the name of Qu33riousity. He claimed yesterday that he was the victim of racial discrimination and has also seen it directed at others.

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Silly Rumor: Valve in Discussions with NCsoft and Nexon about Possible Merger

September 27, 2012 -

South Korean publication Joongang News (by way of GamesBeat) may be reading WAY TOO MUCH into a meeting between Nexon, NCsoft and Valve Software in South Korea this week.

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GameStop Offers Wii U Waiting List, But Only for PowerUp Rewards Members

September 26, 2012 -

Yesterday we reported that retailer GameStop halted its pre-orders for both models of Nintendo's Wii U console. Today the retailer wants those who didn't get in on the action to get in on a waiting list. The problem is it's only for PowerUp Rewards members. A cynical person would suggest that this is all some clandestine plan by GameStop to boot its PowerUp Rewards membership numbers.

From the FAQ:

2 comments | Read more

Saints Row The Third GOTY Gets Sexy Name

September 24, 2012 -

Continuing to push the envelope ever-so-slightly, THQ announced that the next retail release to its popular and sometimes adult themed third-person sandbox action game Saints Row The Third will happen on November 6 and will be called "The Full Package." No one will ever think there's something sexually suggestive about that title... Whatever happened to calling this kind of compilation a "Game of the Year" Edition?

3 comments | Read more

iOS Developer Outs 'Pay-for-Review' Sites

August 30, 2012 -

One developer who is angry over web sites charging for expedited reviews of mobile game apps has decided to publicly call the web sites out. Luckily most people who consider themselves even casual gamers have never heard of these web sites, but apparently they have been running a racket for quite some time.

3 comments | Read more

Black Isle Studios is Back... Sort Of

August 27, 2012 -

You may have heard the announcement that "Black Isle Studios is back," but is it really? The Interplay label responsible for such role-playing game hits as Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment, and many others may be back but it is in name only and the developers that once wandered its hallowed halls are somewhere else working on such games as the upcoming enhanced edition of Baldur's Gate and a South Park PRG.

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AC3 Creative Director: Japanese Developers Get a Free Pass from Journalists on Bad Story-Telling

August 17, 2012 -

In a recent interview with Computer & Video Games, Ubisoft's Alex Hutchinson, the creative director of Assassin's Creed 3, said that games journalists are engaging in subtle racism when they give Japanese games a free pass on bad or odd story-telling while putting Western games through the ringer. When asked about why Nintendo can get away with endlessly reiterating the same basic stories with games like Super Mario Bros., Hutchinson offered a blunt response.

6 comments | Read more

U.S. Wary of Proposed Internet Changes to Be Discussed at UN's ITR Meeting in December

August 3, 2012 -

While some hay is being made over the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union meeting in Dubai in December, most believe it is much ado about nothing. The way the Internet is regulated internationally will face a review in December, but the United States is already pointing out a number of changes that it will absolutely not allow under any circumstances. The regulations under review are from 1988.

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Megaupload Founder: Vice President Joe Biden Directly Involved in Megaupload Takedown

July 5, 2012 -

Speaking to TorrentFreak, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom alleges that Vice President Joe Biden ordered the Megaupload shutdown at the behest of former Connecticut Senator (D) and current Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) President Chris Dodd. He claims that he has information from a "reliable source" that the Megaupload case and the subsequent takedown of the file storage site was a "gift to Hollywood."

Ofcom Releases Draft 'Three-Strikes' Guidelines for UK Internet Users

June 26, 2012 -

Ofcom, the regulations body in charge of media in the UK, has released details of a proposed plan that forces British ISPs to send warning letters to subscribers accused of copyright infringement by video game, music, film and other media companies. Under these proposed guidelines, individuals who receive three letters in a 12-month period would have their personal data, downloading and filesharing history handed over to the copyright owners to help them prepare for a lawsuit.

3 comments | Read more

CISPA Isn't SOPA, but it is Vague and Scary

April 10, 2012 -

CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is something that opponents of SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA should be paying attention to. While the goal of the bill purports to be about "cybersecurity," the bill contains vague language that allows companies to spy on Internet users and collect and share this data with third-party companies or Government agencies. The loophole for companies is that they can simply say that violating users' privacy rights were necessary to protect against cybersecurity threats, to gain immunity from civil and criminal liabilities.

3 comments | Read more

RIAA Cries Foul in NYT Editorial

February 8, 2012 -

If you are a fan of propaganda and that classic art form of stretching the truth, then you might want to check out this New York Times editorial penned by RIAA CEO Cary Sherman. In it he claims that technology companies like Google and Wikipedia were the only driving force behind the letter writing campaigns to lawmakers and website blackouts that happened in protest of SOPA last month.

13 comments | Read more

Report Analyzes GoDaddy's Initial SOPA Support

January 2, 2012 -

A TechieBuzz report points out an interesting fact about GoDaddy's initial support of SOPA; that it may have been done as a way to deal with some problems related to some pending legal action against the company by some major Hollywood trade organizations. The report suggests that GoDaddy might have supported the bill to gain immunity from a court-case against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

1 comment | Read more

NBC Strongly Encourages Partners to Support SOPA and Protect IP

December 1, 2011 -

So imagine for a moment that you are an executive of a company that has a partnership with NBC and you get an email in your inbox telling you to take a position on several bills before congress. And when we say "telling," we mean "telling." Suppliers that want their content or media on NBC's family of networks were told that they'd better support the PROTECT-IP/SOPA bills that are currently before both legislative branches of the U.S. government.

3 comments | Read more

Modern Warfare 3 Developer Calls for Metascore Boost, Gets Flamed

November 15, 2011 -

Sledgehammer game is finding itself on the business end of internet hate after one of its developers encouraged fans to manipulate the user ratings for Modern Warfare 3 over at Metacritc.com. Sledgehammer Games lead Glen Schofield tweeted to fans asking them to bring the game's paltry 1.7/10 score up. Critics have been generally kind to the game, giving it an average score of 8.9/10.

6 comments | Read more

U.S. Congress Introduces 'The Stop Online Piracy Act'

October 27, 2011 -

On Wednesday Lawmakers in the United States introduced "The Stop Online Piracy Act," a bill that would give the government the ability to block web sites in the United States and abroad who traffic in counterfeit goods, illegal software, and other copyrighted goods.

9 comments | Read more

Westboro Baptist Church Promises Protest of Steve Jobs' Funeral

October 6, 2011 -

The Westboro Baptist Church pretends that it supports morality, but it's hard to take anything away from what the group does other than to draw the conclusion that they are in it for publicity and controversy. If you need an example of this, then I refer you a recent tweet by top church member Margie J Phelps. This morning she tweeted via her iPhone that the church planned to protest Apple founder Steve Jobs' funeral:

15 comments | Read more

How Political Forces Want to Use Facebook, Farmville for 2012 Election

September 26, 2011 -

According to a Gamasutra report pointing to an article in The San Francisco Chronicle Blog, a political consultant for Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn) Presidential campaign wants to use Zynga's popular Facebook game FarmVille to reach out to voters.

3 comments | Read more

Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

September 15, 2011 -

If you are a member of Sony's PlayStation Network, chances are you were greeted with an email from the company this morning telling you that that the terms of service for the network are about to change. The big change, in case you haven't received that email yet, relates to your ability to sue them. From section 15 comes this wonderful new clause:

ACIG Praises U.S. ISP – Entertainment Industry Agreement

August 1, 2011 -

Australian Content Industry Group spokeswoman Sabiene Heindl pens an editorial in The Australian praising the recent deal between Internet Service providers and content creators in the United States (you know the deal that has basically turned ISP's into Internet traffic cops). Heindl starts out by calling the deal "good news for anyone who has released an album, made a movie, developed a video game or software, or written a book anywhere in the world."

5 comments | Read more

Survey: Average Gamer Will Spend Nearly Two Years Playing Games

July 14, 2011 -

According to a survey conducted by video game price comparison site Playr2.com, gamers age 18 - 40 may end up dedicating almost two years of their lives playing video games. The company conducted a survey of 1,452 of its members, asking a variety of questions about their gaming habits. The survey found that the average gamer will spend about 1.8 years of their life playing games on various platforms. 

The average starting age of gamers was around 9.1 years. Most said they spend an average of 9.2 hours a week playing games. Most surveyed said they planned on giving up gaming when they turned 45 years old.

4 comments | Read more

Illegal Streaming Bill Clears Senate Judiciary Committee

June 16, 2011 -

A bill that proposes a felony charge to anyone that "illegally streams copyrighted content online" has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today and will head to the full Senate for a vote. The bill, S. 978 (or "Commercial Felony Streaming Act"), brings the penalties for illegal streaming in line with the penalties for illegal downloading. What used to be a misdemeanor will now become a serious crime if the law gets passed. In other words, illegal streaming could get you a five year sentence in jail. Websites that offer illegally streams of copyrighted content 10 or more times during an 180-day period can be prosecuted if the bill becomes law, although it is unclear how the bill deals with individual streamers.

13 comments | Read more

AT&T's Generous Contributions to Lawmaker-Linked Charities

June 1, 2011 -

How do you give money to politicians without actually giving them a big fat check directly? Write a check to a charity they are closely associated with. That is just what AT&T has been doing, and it is getting the attention of the public and media outlets.

AT&T has given a substantial amount of money to charities connected to several lawmakers including Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), who just happens to be the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission. A charity associated with Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), who just happens to be on the Senate Appropriations Committee. AT&T also gave a generous contribution to a charity associated with Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), the No. 3 House Democrat. His daughter, Mignon Clyburn also happens to be a member of the Federal Communications Commission.

2 comments | Read more

The Sun 3DS Reports False, Say Retailers, Nintendo

April 5, 2011 -

A British tabloid report of record returns on 3DS units to retailers are apparently grossly overblown, according to Nintendo. British tabloid The Sun reported that the 3DS "left thousands with dizziness and headaches", leading to a record number of returns. But all parties involved - from retailers to Nintendo, say that the report is erroneous.

For example, retailer GAME told Eurogamer that they have had five consumers complain about the 3DS:

"We've had less than five people complain that they feel sick and want to return [the 3DS]," a GAME rep. told the publication.

Retail chain HMV thinks that The Sun may have become confused over figures for trade-ins for games and hardware, which retailers used to reduce the cost of the new 3DS. The retailer added that they are not "refunding fully" the price of the 3DS as The sun has claimed.

Nintendo also denied the claims:

5 comments | Read more

The People’s Court: Wii Modding Moron Edition

March 11, 2011 -

An episode of The People's Court litigates a case involving Wii copyright infringement, piracy, and mod chips. But the case isn't really about all that - it's about a guy that wants a couple of hundred bucks over a modding deal gone sour. The judge, the plaintiff and the defendant never grasp the fact that something very illegal is going on here. Luckily for Nintendo, everyone's name is splashed on the screen for more dramatic litigation down the road - should they find out. We have a feeling they probably will..

And frankly, these two guys get what they deserve for going on a nationally syndicated show to fight each other over both committing multiple DMCA violations. Watch the video, be amazed at the stupidity. Thanks to Andrew Eisen's nameless friend who passed this hilarious video along.

2 comments

"Violent Games Lead to Rape" Doc Cites Sources

February 15, 2011 -

This Valentine’s Day, a girl gave me something I honestly wasn’t expecting.  Granted, she also gave it to everyone else in her address book but hey, I’m not jealous.

Yes, yesterday, Carole Lieberman finally provided the blogosphere with “examples of research linking video games to real life violence (including rape).”  Do the various studies, papers, and opinion pieces she provided actually back up her claims?  I’ll leave that to you.

-American Psychological Association’s Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media

-How Fantasy Becomes Reality (Karen Dill)

-Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (1986)

15 comments | Read more

WOW Gold Sellers Feel the Wrath of PayPal

February 1, 2011 -

World of Warcraft gold sellers using PayPal as their preferred method of payment are getting a surprise from the wholly-owned eBay subsidiary: a threatening letter.

Last week Blizzard sent out complaints to PayPal, accusing gold and virtual property resellers of " intellectual property." This week PayPal jumped on a number of companies, issuing the following letter:

"You were reported to PayPal as an Intellectual Properties violation by Blizzard Entertainment Inc. for the sale of World of Warcraft Merchandise.

If you feel your sales do not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of the Reporting Party, please complete the attached Objection to Infringement Report by January 21, 2011."

Companies can certainly appeal the ruling (to what end we do not know), but to be compliant they have to cease their activities and remove all incidents of "intellectual property violations. "

2 comments | Read more

Wikileaks Docs Reveals U.S. Influence on Spanish Copyright Law

December 6, 2010 -

According to Boing Boing, 115 leaked diplomatic cables from the latest Wikileaks document dump were related to the upcoming intellectual property law in Spain.

El Pais, a Spanish newspaper that has all of the 115 documents from the US Embassy in Madrid, has released 35 of them. The first batch of documents confirms what has been widely believed to be true: that the U.S. trade representative (working in conjunction with U.S. trade groups) wrote the country's upcoming copyright/Internet law.

Spain's new copyright law is being put to a vote this month. Boing Boing has some text in Spanish released from El Pais. Admittedly, trying to translate it via various online services (I’m looking at you Google), doesn't do the text justice.

1 comment | Read more

Fox Publishing North Korean-Developed Mobile Games

September 7, 2010 -

A unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has published a pair of North Korean-developed mobile games, causing some pundits to wonder about the legality of such dealings.

As detailed by Bloomberg, North Korea’s General Federation of Science and Technology developed the games: a 2007 bowling game named Big Lebowski Bowling and another based on the Men in Black movies. Both games were sourced through the Nosotek Joint Venture Company, which is billed as the “first western IT venture” in North Korea, and offers to provide invoices through “a Hong Kong or Chinese company.”

 
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james_fudgeI blame Andrew for this.06/30/2015 - 8:10am
Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
Goth_Skunknor suggest that the games industry and culture is rife with toxicity because of it and needs to change for the good of the medium. There is room in the market for progressive games to co-exist with games like Hatred, not replace them outright.06/30/2015 - 3:04am
Goth_SkunkAnd if the overly violent content of most AAA games or the perceived mistreatment of women in such games bothers one, by all means criticize it, but do not under any circumstances suggest that it such content shouldn't exist or be promoted,06/30/2015 - 3:02am
Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
Goth_Skunkand only just by the slimmest of margins. Homosexuality is sadly still a hot button controversy in the USA, which makes developing a noteworthy game with a hardcoded homosexual lead or theme a dangerous risk to take.06/30/2015 - 2:37am
Goth_SkunkThe United States is the largest single customer base for video games in the world, and it only just mandated by rule of its Supreme Court that marriage ought to be just as much an inalienable right for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals,06/30/2015 - 2:35am
Goth_SkunkFor example, it would be difficult for a developer to produce a AAA quality game where the protagonist is hardcoded to be MtF transgender, and convince enough people to buy it in order to make it worth its production costs.06/30/2015 - 2:31am
Goth_SkunkNo Mecha, not woe unto those who ask for representation. By all means, ask and be represented. I don't have an issue with it, nor would I say anyone in GamerGate does either. But be reasonable about asking too.06/30/2015 - 2:27am
Goth_Skunkthat would've made Benedict Arnold raise a glass in toast.06/30/2015 - 2:25am
MechaCrashGamers are more than straight white men, but woe unto those who actually ask for representation!06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkBut Games Journalism, who in the past has stood up for gamers and developers, when their hobby was under attack by idealogues and governments for being overly violent, suddenly switched sides in a move06/30/2015 - 2:24am
Goth_SkunkYet the media continues to push that narrative, and they will continue to do so until their medium dies out from obscelesence or when the old guard retires and is replaced by people who were raised by gamers, people who know the score.06/30/2015 - 2:20am
Goth_SkunkGamerGate, by my view, is far more diverse and inclusive that the purveying culture surrounding games journalism right now. The stereotypical gamer is a straight white male, but GamerGate has shown, time and time again, that this is not really the case.06/30/2015 - 2:18am
Goth_SkunkAfter all, you did just call it a "problem."06/30/2015 - 2:15am
 

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