Todd Akin's 'Legitimate Rape' Comments Inspire Pinball Game

May 28, 2013 -

During the last election cycle Senatorial candidate Todd Akin said something so ridiculous that it caught the attention of people around the world. He used the term "legitimate rape" and that the "female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Obviously these amazing comments related to abortion cost him the Senate race in Missouri and made him the laughing stock of the entire political class.

2 comments | Read more

Filmmaker Seeks $20K for Documentary about Sexism in Video Game Industry, Community

April 29, 2013 -

Filmmaker Shannon Sun-Higginson has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a documentary on sexism and harassment in the video games industry called GTFO. The New York City-based filmmaker is looking to raise $20,000 to continue work on the film, with money going towards shooting expenses, travel costs, money to pay crew members, post-production expenses, licensing rights for any gaming footage or images appearing in the final film, and to create promotional materials.

3 comments | Read more

Man Gets Refund for Bioshock Infinite over Religious Objections

April 17, 2013 -

Valve has refunded the money of a man who says that a certain choice in Bioshock Infinite goes against his religious beliefs. We won't mention the specifics of the choice beyond saying that it relates to a Christian religious rite, so as to avoid giving any spoilers. Breen Malmberg, who says he is a Christian, found the choice to be unacceptable.

21 comments | Read more

The Binding of Isaac Reimagined

August 29, 2012 -

One of the most interesting games to deal with a horrible social issue (child abuse) is getting a make-over and a re-release. Edmund McMillen's critically acclaimed game The Binding of Isaac is being remade by a new team, with plans for a release on consoles and the PC sometime next year. One of the key features will be local co-op play.

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Divorce Rates in MapleStory Lower Than in Real Life

February 9, 2012 -

It's pretty sad when people have a better chance of staying married in a virtual world than in real life, but that is apparently the case, if you compare the divorce rates in the MMO MapleStory with real-world divorce rates. VentureBeat recently talked to marriage expert Athena Carrillo Lee of Mind Body Spirit Therapy in Los Angeles about MapleStory marriages and why people get involved in them.

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Man Dies While Gaming, No One Notices

February 3, 2012 -

A sad story from Sky News (by way of The Escapist) details how the dead body of a man in a New Taipei city, China cyber cafe went unnoticed for a full nine hours. The man, who was playing an undisclosed online game, died on Tuesday night according to local reports. The cyber cafe had 30 customers that night, some of which sat next to him, and didn't notice that he was no longer alive.

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A Virtual March to Stop Bullying Worldwide

January 10, 2012 -

On February 2 a virtual army will descend on the United Nations headquarters to protest against bullying. The protest will be virtual - in other words, no one is actually going to the real headquarters of the UN in New York. The protest is being put together by the U.K. not-for-profit group Beatbullying.org and will take place online February 2 using cute and adorable avatars.

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MovieBob Responds to PETA

November 23, 2011 -

We know that PETA has said that they were just kidding but that hasn't stopped a number web sites and internet video shows from taking a crack at the subject anyway. The Escapist's The Big Picture is one of those web shows offering a rebuttal to PETA's campaign against Mario for his Tanooki-suit wearing ways. We'll let show host MovieBob do all the talking.

Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the link.

Source: The Escapist

1 comment

MIT GAMBIT Game Labs Explores LGBT Characters in 'A Closed World'

September 22, 2011 -

New research efforts at MIT explore how games handle gay, bisexual and transgender characters and storylines... badly. Inspired by the lack of serious LGBT characters in mainstream video games, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab has developed a game called “A Closed World,” which hopes to answer straightforward questions such as "How can video games present LGBT content and what are the challenges that a development team faces when trying to include content about someone different from the perceived norm?"

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Video Games Frequently Cited as Reason for Divorce

September 20, 2011 -

According to a study by Divorce super site Divorce Online, estranged wives are frequently citing video games as the cause of their failing marriages. Of the wives that cited "unreasonable behavior" for ending their marriage, around 15 percent said that their husbands put gaming before them. According to Divorce Online, this new number represents a five percent increase over 2010. The most common games cited as the cause of the break-ups were World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. So basically Activision could be considered a home-wrecker.

5 comments | Read more

Australian Classification Board Revisits We Dare Rating

June 16, 2011 -

The Australian Classification Board said this week that it will rethink the current PG (Parental Guidance) rating for Ubisoft's We Dare, a game which received heavy criticism earlier this year for its adult content and sexually suggestive mini-games. The review will be carried out on June 17 and will be conducted by the Classification Review Board. The re-review is the result of a formal complaint filed by Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor. Chances are it will result in a higher rating for the title.

In March the board took some heat from the public over its decision to give the Ubisoft-published adult party game for the Wii a PG rating for "mild sexual references." A number of early media reports blamed the board for inappropriately rating the game, because of the trailer, which showed two couples engaged in some saucy and suggestive situations inspired by the game's mini-games.

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Eurogamer Digs Into Divorce Online Video Game Claims

May 31, 2011 -

Adding to the debate on this story about 15 percent of divorces filed via UK-based Divorce Online being related to online gaming and game addiction, Eurogamer picks apart the numbers in this story.

That study conducted by Divorce Online suggested that 15 percent of divorces filed with the company are a result of video game addiction - usually World of Warcraft or Call of Duty. But a deeper look at the methodology, the actual numbers, and what is required to file a divorce in the UK paints a slightly different picture.

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Divorce Online: 15 Percent of Divorces Due to Game Addiction

May 31, 2011 -

Divorce Online, a website dedicated to getting rid of that dead weight in your marriage, claims that 15 percent of the divorces it has handled can be attributed to spouses that are addicted to online games such as world of Warcraft and Call of Duty.

According to a press release issued by Divorce Online, an examination of 200 unreasonable behavior petitions filed by women using its service between January - April of this year found that 15 percent complained that their husbands were happier playing video games than they were paying attention to them. They called their "gaming addiction" an unreasonable behavior that lead to the divorce they were seeking.

The release also offers comments from one disgruntled 21-year-old wife from London named Jessica Ellis, 24, who married husband Michael in 2008.

6 comments | Read more

Connected Tennessee Rewards Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee

May 26, 2011 -

Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids "Preparing Tennessee's Next Generation for Success" program awarded the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee with more than 150 brand new computers this week. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded the project, which deploys computers, academic support programs, and workforce training to two at-risk, populations: those in the state's foster care system who are "aging out" as they turn 18, and youth who are active in the state’s 76 Boys & Girls Clubs. Over the next three years, the program hopes to impact the lives of nearly 60,000 youngsters across the state.

State Senator Bill Ketron, an enthusiastic supporter of the program since its launch a little over three years ago, said that the program's impact in Middle Tennessee is "significant."

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Playmatics Gets a $1 Million for Shadow Government

April 22, 2011 -

New York City-based social games developer Playmatics has managed to raise $1 million from several Swiss-based angel investors. The company will use the investment to further develop its social networking game Shadow Government.

Shadow Government uses real countries, political systems, and worldwide events as its key elements to allow players to build, manage, and destroy virtual nations. Playmatics is working with government-modeling software developer Millennium Institute for the project.

Along with the simulation tools, which real-world organizations have been using to test responses for real-world events, Playmatics is using economic and sustainability data to create Shadow Government. The Millennium Institute hopes this educational game will eventually be incorporated into school curricula.

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America 2049: A Social Game With a Message

April 19, 2011 -

A new Facebook social game that combines elements of an ARG (alternate reality game) and an RPG with video footage and serious messages is getting lots of attention this week. Set in a dystopian future, America 2049 charges players with confronting human-rights issues that plague the society. Players serve as agents in the Council on American Heritage, who deal with such issues as sex trafficking, racial discrimination, abortion, immigration, labor, religion and LGBT issues. This is all played out in storyline that spans 12 weeks.

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Lorne Lanning and Spencer Halpin Headline New Media Film Festival

March 16, 2011 -

Lorne Lanning (Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey), and Spencer Halpin (director of the documentary MORAL KOMBAT) will be joining founder/director Susan Johnston for the second Annual New Media Film Festival, to be held May 20-21. Showcasing the best in new media and featuring award nominated and winning filmmakers, the New Media Film Festival is dedicated to the creation, development, and distribution of new media content in all forms and across all platforms.

Spencer Halpin's Moral Kombat is a documentary that offers both those for and against video games a chance to speak their minds. The documentary explores whether violent games should be banned or be protected as free speech under the First Amendment. Lorne Lanning is the creator of the Xbox launch title Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey and co-founder of the video game development company Oddworld Inhabitants.

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Survey Says: Online Gamers Aren't Dorky Loners

February 7, 2011 -

A new survey from Bigpoint reveals that the stereotypes associated with online gamers are false. A global survey of 6,663 "online gamers" found that most considered themselves well-rounded individuals with real world friends, good looking, and in relatively good health. The Bigpoint Gamer Survey presents a different image of online gamers - attractive, healthy, cultured, and popular with the opposite sex.

Around 62 percent of players said they had more friends in real life than online. Around 55 percent of players under 20 said they have more real friends than online friends, and 73 percent over the age of 50 claimed to have more real-life friendships. A total of 28 percent of the people met most of their friends online and went on to meet them in real life. Only a tenth of all gamers said that their only real friends were online gamers.

2 comments | Read more

President Taps Commerce for Internet I.D.

January 10, 2011 -

Correction: The U.S. Commerce Department contacted us to let us know that the national I.D. program is completely voluntary. In our earlier report we erroneously reported that it was not a voluntary program. Our original wording was "The Internet I.D. would give every American a unique online identity overseen by the Commerce Department."

According to the public affairs officer for the Commerce Department, "Every American will not need an ID and private organizations or others that conduct online transactions would opt in to a system that is led by private industry in partnership with federal agencies like DOC."

Details on what the program consist of can be found at www.nist.gov/nstic.

3 comments | Read more

Xenophobic Spanish Political Game Taken Down, Developer Blamed

November 17, 2010 -

A game appearing on the website of a Spanish political party, in which players shot down illegal immigrants, was quickly yanked from the Internet after objections to its content.

The game, entitled Rescue, appeared on the website of the Catalan branch of the conservative Partido Popular (or People’s Party). Further describing the game, the Telegraph indicated that the goal was to “shoot down targets including ‘illegal immigrants’ parachuting from a plane and donkeys intended to represent Catalan separatists."

Once culminated, the game urged players to vote for the PP in the November 28 elections.

6 comments | Read more

New Game Takes on Global Warming

November 4, 2010 -

UK developer Red Redemption is finishing up work on a global strategy game for the PC that will have players attempting to solve a variety of world crises, including climate change, over population and an under abundance of food.

Fate of the World is set in the year 2020, and will have players serve as the president of the Global Environmental Organization, described in the New York Times as a “fictional group with the ability to dictate economic, environmental and social policies around the world,” or, as a Red Redemption developer labeled it, “a U.N. with teeth.”

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Chinese Game Pits Vendors Against Authorities

October 26, 2010 -

The tense, often bloody relationship between Chinese law enforcement and street vendors has led to the creation of a free downloadable game inspired by that confrontational environment.

Hawker War City Management appears to be the name of the title, and, according to a piece on the game on TheWorld.org website, the downloadable title features plenty of social commentary, designed to highlight the plight of common citizens “left outside in the cold as China’s economy grows.”

Correspondent Mary Kay Magistad offered this description of the game:

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Study: 17 Percent of Social Gamers Say They are 'Addicted'

September 10, 2010 -

A Lightspeed Research study reveals that 17 percent of respondents who played social networking games believed that they were "addicted" to them. Lightspeed did not define what they meant when they said that they were "addicted" - were they simply overly enthusiastic about playing their favorite social game or actually suffering from a "psychological dependency" to the game? We do not know.

Lightspeed also said that 58 percent of users said they had played a social game, with 68 percent saying they had played a social game in within the last year. 53 percent of social gamers played daily, with the 55 - 64 age bracket proving more frequent players than those age 18 - 34. 17 percent of identified social gamers played on mobile devices as well; 34 percent of social gamers said that they took advantage of marketing-promoted in-game rewards; 18 percent had followed an advertisement to do so, while 3 percent had signed up for a new credit card that offered bonus virtual goods.

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Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San Francisco

August 23, 2010 -

Social game powerhouse Zynga may be the most powerful force on Facebook but it may find itself faced with a challenger it can't overcome: the San Francisco City Attorney's office. The San Francisco City Attorney's office is going after Zynga for what it is calling an "illegal and actionable" act involving a marketing campaign to promote the company's latest product in the Mafia Wars franchise - Mafia Wars: Las Vegas.

In a letter released today, Deputy City Attorney Alex Tse said that Zynga committed "documented acts of sidewalk vandalism" to advertise the new Mafia Wars game using fake $25,000 bills that were glued to sidewalks in San Francisco. The fake bills contained a message directing people to a Mafia Wars website. While the stunt might sound amusing to the casual observer, the City Attorney isn't laughing.

9 comments | Read more

Surely Jessi Slaughter Could Have Benefited from an Anti-Cyberbullying Game

July 26, 2010 -

If you haven't been living under a rock, you've probably heard about "Jessi Slaughter", a.k.a. "Kerligirl13", and her controversial attention-seeking videos on Youtube and other video sharing sites. Now, it's nothing new for kids to act like fools on Youtube. But Jessie took her videos just a bit too far, and the Internet struck back.

After becoming something of an internet meme for posting threats like "I'll pop a glock in your mouth and make a brain slushie" she aroused the unstoppable ire of /b/, which began a campaign of trolling her videos. And so it began, with /b/ posting her personal information, and bombing search engine results to make things like "Did Jessi Slaughter's dad give her PCP?" a trending topic. You know, the usual stuff.

19 comments | Read more

Sales of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 Crash

July 16, 2010 -

It’s been a long year already for Tiger Woods and sales figures from his latest Electronic Arts videogame probably aren’t going to provide him much, if any, respite.

Venture Beat notes that, in its first month at retail, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 has sold only 32 percent of what the previous iteration of the game did one year earlier, causing Dean Takahashi to conclude:

The results apparently show that reputation matters in all sorts of businesses, including video games, and that gamers aren’t necessarily blindly devoted to buying certain kinds of games year in and year out.

An EA spokesperson blamed the soft sales on a “number of factors,” including the overall softness of the Wii game market.

Tiger is currently battling competitors at St. Andrews in the 2010 British Open Championship.

3 comments

Why Are So Many Chinese Fanatic Online Gamers?

June 30, 2010 -

As part of a bid to understand why so many Chinese gamers are obsessed with online games, a “preliminary” study was conducted with hopes that the findings could assist in the prevention and treatment of those afflicted.

Researchers Wei Peng and Ming Liu began by defining online gaming dependency as “a psychological state characterized by psychological discomfort experienced by online gamers when they are unable to play online games as they wish.”

The study (PDF) sampled 166 Chinese online gamers, who, on average, had been playing online games for around six years. On a normal weekday, those queried averaged 3.06 hours in-game, a figure that shot up to 5 hours per weekend day.

The main contributing factors to online gaming dependency, according to the researchers, were:

9 comments | Read more

GFH: Games Assisting with Psychotherapy

May 26, 2010 -

While there is very limited information on the intersection of games and psychotherapy—studies are extremely few and far between, and by some accounts, only a single “game” broaches the subject—one child psychiatrist is using videogames in a different way; as an icebreaker.

Dr. T. Atilla Ceranoglu is an instructor at Harvard Medical School and a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, in addition to running his own practice. In a session at Games for Health, Dr. Ceranoglu detailed how he makes use of videogames.

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Canadian MP Turned off by Games, Media

May 11, 2010 -

In light of Canadian kids receiving an “F” grade from Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) for time spent in front a screen, MP Dr. Keith Martin (pictured) is proposing a “national turnoff day.”

The proposed date would encourage kids to switch off TVs, computers and videogame systems in a bid to stimulate physical activity. The StarPhoenix writes that Martin will present a motion to Parliament that would “…encourage the federal government to work with the provinces to promote a one-night a week TV/video game free night."

“It's just kids are not physically active. They're sitting down for an appalling length of time. We weren't designed to live like that as human beings,” stated Martin, continuing, “Kids need to be active and parents need to lead by example by getting their children away from the TV and video games to engage in free play.”

19 comments | Read more

Arizona Boycott Prompts Move to LA for One Game Dev

May 5, 2010 -

Boycotts of Arizona in reaction to the state’s controversial immigration law SB-1070 are having a trickle-down effect on a lot of businesses, including a local indie videogame developer.

Mojo-Bone Software Studios is on the cusp of producing its biggest title to-date, but the company is now having trouble luring the 30 cast members needed for the production to Arizona, according to AZ Family.com.

56 comments | Read more

 
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quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
 

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