Singapore Man Waits 29 Hours for Gears of War 3

September 20, 2011 -

How long would you wait for your favorite video game to be released? Four hours? Eight hours? How about 29 hours? That's how long one man waited in Singapore to get his hands on his copy of Gears of War 3 on Monday. Nanyang Polytechnic student William Ten sat at the Funan DigitalLife Mall on Monday so he could be the first gamer in Singapore to own the latest game from Epic Games and Microsoft. Despite the wait the 22-year-old was in good spirits and good health thanks to his family members who made sure he was okay. The local launch event drew more than 1000 fans.

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SCE Asia Extends Nanyang Polytechnic Partnership

September 9, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment Asia has extended its partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore for five more years. The partnership gives final-year students of the school's game design courses access to Sony development kits to create projects. The extension of the deal allows students to also create code for the PlayStation Vita. The partnership began in 2009, and helped to create the NYP Games Resource Centre - the only PlayStation development and educational facility in South East Asia.

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Gamer Compares WOW to New Girlfriend

October 6, 2009 -

A study conducted by Singapore’s National Institute of Education reveals that its youth rack up an average of 27 hours a week playing videogames.

The group has polled over 3,000 students during the course of the three-year study, which The Straits Times reports is still ongoing. Lui Tuck Yew, acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts was reportedly “quite surprised and a little bit shocked” at the number of hours spent gaming.

Lawrence Lee, a 16-year old World of Warcraft player, called four hours of gaming a day “nothing,” and compared the game to fledgling love:

It is the novelty, like getting a new girlfriend. You want to spend every minute with her.

Singapore has formed an inter-ministry committee to address “cyber-wellness” issues.

Read the entire scanned article at the Education Soon blog.

19 comments

Report: Singapore Gamers in Suicide Pact

September 8, 2009 -

The Associated Press is reporting that eight teen gamers in Singapore joined a suicide pact last month. However, after watching two of their number leap from a ninth floor window, the rest backed out.

The teens were reportedly fans of a video game called Slayers.

Citing a report Singapore's New Paper, the AP writes:

According to a police investigation, 16-year-old Ku Witaya, a self-proclaimed Taoist medium, convinced his younger brother and six other boys that they had to die to become `slayers' who would kill demons in a World War III.

While we are not familiar with Slayers, a Wikipedia entry seems to indicate that games in the series are quite old:

Slayers is a series of over 50 light novels... Slayers is a Dungeons & Dragons inspired narrative...

Several Slayers role playing games have been released in Japan. Slayers was released by Banpresto on Super Famicom on June 24, 1994. Another game entitled Slayers was released for NEC PC-9801. Slayers Royal was released by Kadokawa Shoten for Sega Saturn on July 25, 1997. and by ESP Software for PlayStation on June 25, 1998. A sequel, Slayers Royal 2 was released on Sega Saturn by ESP Software on September 03, 1998 and on PlayStation on July 11, 1999. Slayers Wonderful [screenshot at left] was published by Banpresto for Sony Playstation on October 22, 1998...

There is more info in the Straits Times.

42 comments

Researcher Disputes Study Equating Violent Games w/Aggression & Prosocial Games w/Helpfulness

June 18, 2009 -

Yesterday GamePolitics reported on a study detailed in the current issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin which found that violent game players displayed aggressive behavior while those who player more prosocial games exhibited helpful behavior. The study actually encompasses three seperate research projects which took place in Japan, Singapore and the United States.

But a researcher from Texas A&M disputes those findings. Prof. Chris Ferguson, who has frequently studied video game issues, commented on yesterday's report which was authored by, among others, University of Michigan's Brad Bushman and Douglas Gentile of Iowa State.

Of the Bushman-Gentile study Ferguson told GamePolitics:

You know trouble is brewing right in the beginning as they start with the false premise that there is an established relationship between video games and aggression. The authors engage in what's called citation bias, which means they only cover research they like and ignore anything they don't like. This is just not good science. Since this literature review is so slanted, that worries me about how they collected and analyzed their data.  

In [one study] they note that there is a high correlation between prosocial exposure and violent game exposure. This suggests that these may be some of the same games that have both kinds of content! They then suggest that there wasn't a problem with multicollinearity (basically means if you include 2 predictors that are too similar it can screw up your results), yet they only say they had no VIF less than 10...yet even something as low as 4 or 5 is pretty high. So multicollinearity may have been a bigger problem than the authors try to suggest.  Therefore, there may be some serious problems with their analyses here.  

[Also] the authors say that prosocial exposure and violence exposure were very highly correlated and then claim they have completely opposite effects. That is just highly unlikely.

In [another study] the standardized coefficient between playing prosocial games and prosocial behavior... suggests that playing prosocial games had almost no overlap with prosocial behavior one year later. Here we have yet another example of a "significant" finding being touted even though it's so small you'd never notice it in the real world. They also assert causality from correlational data which they can't do no matter how they analyze it.

The final study is probably the best of the three, but it's also the most artificial. Indeed, a fair number of their participants express suspicion about what went on. These kinds of studies have a high risk of "demand characteristics" In other words, students will give you the results they think you want and they won't admit to it afterward. Also the resultant effect sizes are all pretty small.

So, at best, a mountain is being made out of a molehill here, and at worst there are some pretty serious flaws in all analyses. I do worry about the "tone" from this research group. They do not comprehensively cover the literature honestly, and appear to have a hypothesis that they favor from the get-go. That tone would lead me to question their objectivity and, as such, the quality of their analyses.

Bottom line  - I doubt you'd see prosocial games solve the world's ills anymore than violent games have caused any outbreak of youth violence. 

28 comments

Singapore Okays GTA IV Expansion's Full Frontal

February 21, 2009 -

Government censors in Singapore have cleared Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, despite the game's well-publicized snippet of male nudity.

The Straits Times reports that Singapore's Media Development Authority reviewed the game:

Mr Ernest Khoo, head of video games and media content at MDA, said that whether full-frontal male nudity is allowed depends on the context in which it occurs.

In this expansion pack, he said, the depiction is 'non-sexual and can hence fall within the M18 rating', which is also the rating given to the original GTA IV. He added that with the M18 rating, only those 18 years old and above will be buying the game and its expansion pack.

Going by the video game classification system MDA introduced last year, games for online download do not need to be sent for classification before sale here.

Okaying GTA IV L&D is another indication that Singapore has loosened its approach to game content since briefly banning Mass Effect in 2007.

18 comments

Singapore Politician: Why Isn't GTA IV Banned?

September 18, 2008 -

A member of Singapore's Parliament has questioned why Grand Theft Auto IV is permitted to be sold there.

As reported by The Electric New Paper, Christopher de Souza (left) suggested that underage players would get their hands on the game and questioned how the life of crime portrayed in the game fit in with government efforts to discourage drug use, crime and gangs:

The question ought really to be if this game should enter the market in the first place.

By way of response, Minister for Information Communications and the Arts Dr Lee Boon Yang pointed out that GTA IV's rating was consistent with that found in the United States, U.K., Australia and Japan:

When rating the game, the MDA [Media Development Authority] took careful consideration of the content, themes and storyline found in the game, recognising that adults are better equipped to discern fact from fiction.

43 comments

Gumbeat: Fight Oppression with Bubble Gum

September 9, 2008 -

Singapore's The Straits Times reports on an in-development game in which players use the "cheery pink power of bubblegum" to fight government oppression.

Gumbeat is a Flash game being developed as part of a cooperative effort between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and digital media students in Singapore. So how does Gumbeat play? From the report:

...the heroine chews on candy and blows them into big pink bubbles beside unhappy citizens in the unnamed country in which the candy is banned. This cheers them up enough to entice them to join the protagonist in a revolution, mustering enough angry citizenry to overthrow the oppressive government.

 

This is the aim of the game, said National University of Singapore undergraduate Sharon Chu, who presented her team's game to reporters earlier on Tuesday... The game was made to show that games with serious-themes like say, 'political oppression', can be fun, said Ms Chu.

Chu left the issue of whether the repressive country in question was Singapore up to the "player's interpretation." GamePolitics readers may recall that Singapore's government banned Mass Effect for a time last year over a brief lesbian love scene.

7 comments

In Singapore, Gamers Say Don't Ban GTA

August 8, 2008 -

Singapore may have banned Mass Effect last year (and later un-banned it), but gamers there do not want to see a Grand Theft Auto ban.

As reported by the Electric New Paper, gamers in Singapore are concerned that last week's cabdriver murder in Thailand may prompt a video game backlash:

'It's a game, it's just for fun,' said student Julius Wong, 20, who completed [GTA IV]... 'What makes the game popular is that you get to do things you don't normally get to do in real life.' Playing the game was 'stress relief'.

 

Student Poh Koon Kiat, 23, was also against a ban, saying it would be a knee-jerk reaction. 'I don't think games affect how I act in real life,' he said.

ENP reports that GTA IV was a huge seller in Singapore, with 20,000 copies sold during its first week at retail. Local distributor IAHGames said it was unaware of any move to ban the game.

11 comments

Singapore's Game Pirates Are Wary of Investigators

June 20, 2008 -

Attention from investigators has driven video game pirates away from Singapore's town center, according to the Electric New Paper:

[Some] shops appeared more suspicious of potential buyers. To convince them, you'll have to strike up a conversation - or even buy a few original games - before they'll show you the pirated ones. Only one of the four shops... that we visited was willing to let us examine the cart before we bought them. Others insisted that we buy them.

The ESA, which represents the interests of video game publishers in the United States, maintains a presence in Singapore. From the report:

Mr Cyril Chua, counsel for the [ESA], said that checking on shops in heartland estates is more difficult than investigating stores in central locations.

 

'They often sell pirated wares only to regular customers,' he said.

 

Another problem is that pirated games can now be downloaded from the Internet, then installed on ame consoles by the users themselves.

 

'Piracy over the Internet is more difficult to track than retail piracy,' Mr Chua noted.

 

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E. Zachary KnightThe Daily WTF has a nice run down of some of the impact to software that the US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage has. http://thedailywtf.com/articles/i-m-not-married-to-the-idea07/02/2015 - 7:45am
MechaCrashGee, how did people ever get the idea Gaters are morons who argue in bad faith? It's such a mystery.07/02/2015 - 7:03am
E. Zachary KnightGoth, again, no one is saying that we shouldn't be writig uncomfortable subject matter. What people are saying is that chances are you are going to write it poorly so it would be better to not have done it at all.07/02/2015 - 7:00am
Goth_Skunkdiscussed or portrayed in an expressive medium. Such an opinion only serves to stifle discussion. And as I said before, the only thing not worth talking about is what shouldn't be talked about.07/02/2015 - 6:50am
Goth_Skunk@Info: The same reason why I would entertain the notion that the Wired article writer could be right: Curiosity. Except in this case, I'm not curious at all. I'm not interested in hearing anyone's opinion on why uncomfortable subject matter shouldn't be07/02/2015 - 6:49am
IvresseI think the problem with the Batmobile is that they made it a core aspect of the game that you have to do continuously. If it was basically a couple of side games that were needed for secret stuff or a couple of times in the main game, it would be fine.07/02/2015 - 5:38am
Infophile@Goth: If you're not willing to entertain the idea you might be wrong, fine. That's your right. But why should anyone else entertain the idea that you might be right? If they go by the same logic, they already know you're wrong, so why listen to you?07/02/2015 - 3:53am
MattsworknameEh, I love the new batmobile personally, it's a blast to mess aroudn with. Plus, the game is set in a situation that mroe or less leaves batman with no choice but to go full force. And even then, it still shows him doing all he can to limit casualties.07/01/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenAgreed. Luckily, we don't seem to be in danger of that of late. No one's suggesting, for example, that tanks shouldn't be in video games, only that the tank in Arkham Knight is poorly implemented and out of place from a characterization standpoint.07/01/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameConfederate flag, Relgious organizations, etc etc. Andrew isnt[ wrong, just remember not to let that mentality lead to censorship.07/01/2015 - 11:20pm
Mattsworknamefind offensive or disturbing, and that mindset leads to censorship. It's all well and good to say "This would be better IF", just so long as we remember not to let it slide into "This is offensive, REMOVE IT". IE , the current issues surroundign the07/01/2015 - 11:19pm
MattsworknameAndrew and goth both have points, and to that point, I'll say. Saying somethign is improved by changing something isn't a problem, on that I agree with , but at the same time, on of the issues we have in our society is that we want to simply remove things07/01/2015 - 11:18pm
Andrew EisenSee? Suggestions for improvements that involve taking things away do not mean the work is garbage or performing poorly, critically or commercially.07/01/2015 - 9:29pm
Andrew EisenSkyward Sword is spiff-a-rific but it would be an improved experience if the game didn't explain what each item and rupee was every single time you picked them up!07/01/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenHere's another: De Blob is a ton of fun but it would be improved without motion controls. Incidentally, THQ heard our cries, removed motion controls for the sequel and it was a better game for it!07/01/2015 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenI'll give you an example: Arkham Knight is a ton of fun but the tank sucks and the game would be even better without it.07/01/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWell clearly we're diametrically opposed about that.07/01/2015 - 9:03pm
Andrew EisenNot even remotely true.07/01/2015 - 8:59pm
Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
 

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