Andrew Eisen Talks About Rating Sexism in Games Today on HuffPo Live

November 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

GamePolitics contributing editor (and co-host of the Super Podcast Action Committee) will join Kill Screen Daily's David Rudin, and NYMag.com Senior Editor Jesse Singal for an in-depth discussion about rating sexism in games on Huffington Post Live today at 4:23 pm ET.

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Sweden's Dataspelsbranchen Researching Gender Equality Content Ratings for Video Games

November 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Joystiq (thanks MaskedPixelante) reports that the trade group representing the video games industry in Sweden - Dataspelsbranchen - is doing research on a new content system that would rate how video games promote gender equality.

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Fugitive Pirate Bay Co-Founder Captured in Thailand

November 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Another co-founder of Swedish file-sharing site The Pirate Bay has been arrested. Hans Fredrik Lennart Neij, known by his hacker name TiAMO, was detained in the north-eastern town of Nong Khai while trying to cross into Thailand from Laos, according to what local police tell BBC.

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DreamHack Fires CEO

October 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sweden-based eSports leader Dreamhack has fired its CEO Robert Ohlén a month before the organization's annual winter event. Dreamhack started in Sweden in 1997, and it now organizes two annual events. The firing was confirmed by The Daily Dot, who spoke to Fredrik Nystrom, DreamHack's head of PR. Nystrom didn't offer comment beyond that confirmation, but The Daily Dot described the situation as an "internal power struggle" concerning the "public face of the company."

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SimBin Goes Bankrupt, Relaunches as Sector 3 Studios

September 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Swedish game developer SimBin Studios has gone bankrupt, according to what former company COO Christopher Speed has told Develop today. A total of 18 employees are affected by the bankruptcy. But even as SimBin goes into the history books, Speed has launched a brand new company called Sector 3 Studios, which will continue developing RaceRoom Racing Experience.

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Study: Swedish Children Learn English Better Through Playing Games

September 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Children in Sweden are learning English by playing western games - most notably Blizzard's popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. This is according to a new study (PDF) by Swedish academics Pia Sundqvist and Liss Kerstin Sylvén.

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Father Takes Sons to the Middle East to Show Them the Difference Between Real War and Video Game War

August 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

This Local.se report details the story of a Swedish father who is taking a little bit of heat from other parents for taking his two young sons on a trip to occupied Israel and Palestine in order to teach them about the realities of war. Yes, video games -- specifically Call of Duty -- is part of this story. Carl-Magnus Helgegren is a journalist, university teacher, and a father of two boys (ages 10 and 11).

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Buy The World's Only 'Sony GayStation'

July 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Stockholm, Sweden's week-long Stockholm Pride Festival kicks off today, and to celebrate Swedish retailer Webhallen is auctioning off a custom rainbow flag colored PS4 which it is calling the "Sony GayStation." Proceeds raised from this auction will go to the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights.

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Swedish Government's 'Democreativity' Reveals First Round of Games

June 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Swedish project Democreativity is getting ready to release the first round of games based on suggestions from the Internet community around the world. Back in March the Swedish government launched a web site called Democreativity, with the goal of crowd sourcing game ideas and elevating traditional and non-traditional ideas in the gaming space including democracy, creativity, and diversity. The site is part of a initiative created by Visit Sweden, the Swedish Institute, and Business Sweden in conjunction with that country’s video games industry.

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Swedish Government Wants Your Game Ideas

March 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Swedish government has launched a new web site called Democreativity that crowd sources game ideas and elevates concepts such as democracy, creativity, and diversity. The site is a new initiative created by Visit Sweden, the Swedish Institute, and Business Sweden in conjunction with that country’s video games industry.

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Starbreeze CEO: PayDay 2 Has Helped The Company Turn Around

February 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson Klint says that the success of its action game Payday 2 has driven a turnaround for the Swedish development studio. In the six month period that ended on December 31, 2013, pre-tax profit amounted to SEK 103.7 million and net sales during the same period rose from SEK 25.8 million a year earlier to SEK 130.4 million.

"To put the past six months in perspective," said CEO Bo Andersson Klint, "I would like to highlight that Starbreeze historically, from 1998 to June 2013, accumulated a total loss of SEK 94 million (£8,650,000).

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Bitsquid Secures Vinnova Research Funding from Swedish Government

April 30, 2013 -

Swedish game engine software developer Bitsquid announced this morning that it has received Vinnova research funding from the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.

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EA Acquires Battlefield Battlelog App Developers ESN

September 27, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has acquired ESN, the small Swedish development studio best known for creating the Battlelog mobile and web apps for DICE's Battlefield series.

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Cambodian Government Will Cooperate in Deportation of Pirate Bay Co-Founder

September 4, 2012 -

The Cambodian government will cooperate in the deportation of Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, who was arrested in the country last week for not showing up to serve his jail sentence for copyright infringement in Sweden.

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Game Developer Uses Sweden's Twitter Account to Confront Sexism and Misogyny in the Game Community

August 21, 2012 -

The official Twitter feed for the country of Sweden, @Sweden is being handled this week by Naseer Alkhouri, a game developer who describes himself as a "homeopathic swede" that "develops games for a living." Sweden has a policy of letting its citizens "guest-star" every week to speak their minds.

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EU Court Rules That ISPs Can Be Forced to Identify Alleged Pirates

April 19, 2012 -

The highest court in the European Union has ruled that internet service providers can be compelled by courts to turn over private information of subscribers suspected of engaging in piracy or copyright infringement. Shortly after Sweden's anti-piracy legislation, IPRED, became law in 2009, five book publishers asked a local court to force ISP ePhone to hand over personal details on a subscriber who they allege stored more than 2000 audio books on his server. They claim that 27 of those audio books infringed on their copyrighted works.

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New Study Questions Video Game Violence Debate

April 9, 2012 -

Is the teenage gamer cursing your mother over Xbox Live acting so aggressively because he’s played too many violent games?  Or is it simply because he sucks at the one he’s currently playing?

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The Pirate Bay Founders’ Appeal Rejected by Sweden’s Supreme Court

February 1, 2012 -

The Pirate Bay founders are going to jail, after failing to get an appeal hearing before a Swedish court. Sweden’s Supreme Court announced this morning that it will not hear an appeal by The Pirate Bay’s founders Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström. That means that fines and jail time these men faced from lower courts in the country will be upheld.

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Swedish Media Council Concludes Games Don't Generate Aggressive Behavior in Children

December 6, 2011 -

A new report from the Swedish Media Council comes to the conclusion that, while violent games may make the children that play them more aggressive, there's no conclusive evidence that "the games themselves cause kids' aggressive behavior." The Media Council is a Swedish government agency whose mission statement is to "reduce the risk of harmful media influences among minors and to empower minors as conscious media users."

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P2P Mobile Traffic Gets Throttled in Sweden, Claims Report

November 22, 2011 -

According to a new report on Net Neutrality from Sweden users of mobile broadband services will be sad to hear that not all of their traffic is being treated fairly. While most internet traffic is left unhindered, a report from the organization responsible for Sweden’s .SE national domain reveals that some operators have been systematically slowing down BitTorrent transfers, while others are blocking them altogether.

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Dead or Alive Dimensions May Be Child Porn in Sweden

May 21, 2011 -

According to several sources, Nintendo of Europe will not be distributing Dead or Alive Dimensions in Sweden and possibly Norway and Denmark.

Why?  Well, there’s no official word but rumor has it that the distributor is afraid the game may break a Swedish child pornography law.

“But wait!”, I hear you say.  “How could the game be child porn when there’s no children or porn?”

That’s a very good question.  There is a mode in the game that allows players to take pictures of the characters in canned poses.  According to a post on NeoGAF, “the law says that if someone is picturing a girl under the age of eighteen, fictional or not, in a pornographic situation, that accounts for being child pornography.”

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Anti-Piracy Group Helps Nab 'Major Pirate'

March 9, 2011 -

Anti-piracy group Antipiratbyrån claim to have helped police arrest a man it claims to be a "major player" in the "warez scene." The man, who is "around 30 years old," was arrested in the small Swedish city of Gävle by local police and agents from Sweden’s anti-piracy unit.

APB’s Henrik Pontén made the announcement yesterday, adding that his organization played a pivotal role in bringing this man in to custody. The police used information collected by the group to bring the man down, though what his name is remains a mystery.

"He is one of the elite pirates," Pontén said. "It is good that the police have a broad focus in their work and can act against the advanced and illegal sources of BitTorrent users."

"It was a major crackdown," said Paul Pintér, Coordinator at the Intellectual Property Crime Department at Stockholm police.

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Modern Warfare 2’s Loss is DICE’s Gain

November 4, 2009 -

A fan of the upcoming Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was so impressed with developer DICE’s efforts to include dedicated server support in the title he sent the company a check for $60.00.

The $60.00 was sent in lieu of Eddie from New Jersey (the letter writer) using the funds to purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which is opting to use a matchmaking service in place of dedicated servers for PC users. Eddie suggested to DICE that they use the funds to aid development on the upcoming game.

DICE posted a copy of the letter and check on their Battlefield website (thanks Joystiq), thanking Eddie and writing, “It's moments like this that make all the late nights and weekends of crunching to make the best game possible all worth it.”

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is due out March 2, 2010 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

34 comments

Youth Care Foundation: Game Addiction a “Pandemic“

September 17, 2009 -

A Swedish youth advocate, who earlier this year likened World of Warcraft addictiveness to crack cocaine, is the recipient of a profile piece in an online news site in which he claims game addiction is a problem of “pandemic proportions.”

The article goes on to note that, in light of its WOW/cocaine correlation, the Youth Care Foundation and Sven Rollenhagen have been “flooded with inquires from across the globe looking for more information about how to address the problem.” The requests prompted the group to translate their materials into English and to create the Centre of Computer Game Addiction.

Rollenhagen added:

These are smart guys, highly intelligent, capable of being anything – doctors, engineers, whatever. But they find themselves tempted by computer games and end up just wasting time in front of a screen.

34 comments

New Swedish Anti-Piracy Law Causes Web Traffic Drop

August 7, 2009 -

New anti-piracy regulations implemented by the Swedish government triggered a 30% drop in web traffic on the day they came into effect, reports AFP.

Some Swedish experts maintain that illegal downloading accounts for 50-75% of all web traffic and the slump indicates that would-be file-sharers were deterred by the tougher laws, which became effective on April 1st.

Under the new regulations, copyright holders may forces ISPs to give up user data on file-sharers. This information could then form the basis for legal action against individual Swedes.

Swedish Games Industry Association spokesman Per Stroemback praised the new law:

[It is] a historic example of effective legislation... No one could predict such a dramatic decrease in illegal traffic and not only that there's also been a huge increase in the legal [download] services.

However, Christian Engstroem (left), who serves as deputy leader of Sweden's Pirate Party as well as a member of the European Parliament, argued that Internet users will be unjustly punished by the new regulations:

This is a completely unequal law, where ordinary people will become scapegoats and will be asked for hundreds of thousands or millions of (Swedish) crowns by the industry. I don't think it will be efficient in the long run. I believe the traffic is going to climb up again after some months.

-Doug Buffone, ECA Intern

39 comments

Sold Your MMO Character? Sweden's Taxman May Want a Cut

July 20, 2009 -

If you're a Swede who has unloaded an unwanted MMO account for a few extra Kronas, the taxman would like a word.

On the other hand, if you're an American who has sold your account to a Swede, the taxman would still like a word.

GameCulture points out a Stockholm News report detailing efforts by Swedish tax officials to come to grips with e-commerce. To that end, the Skatteverket is even taking a look at small fish like gamers:

The Swedish Tax Agency hold that you have to pay tax for selling an avatar from a computer game. The agency has investigated the trading in avatars during a 14 month period and found the advertised sum of avatars for sale by Swedes to be 662 million SEK. But no one has ever declared any income for trading in avatars to the Tax Agency.

But even U.S. citizens could be subject to Swedish taxation on such virtual transactions, according to the Economics of Virtual Worlds blog:

[Note that] a sale has taken place in Sweden if the seller is a Swedish trader who sells [to]... a private person in Sweden or another EC [European Community] country. A sale from a foreign trader to a Swedish trader has also [legally] taken place in Sweden. The same applies if a trader from outside the EC sells services to Swedish private persons.

Thus, even U.S. citizens are subject to Swedish taxes in virtual worlds, as long as one of the participants is Swedish. The implication is that if similar tax rules are adopted around the globe, U.S. citizens could end up owing taxes to Sweden, Japan, South Korea, and other nations (depending on which and how many worlds they are part of) – all because they played some games...

Skatteverket states that gamers should send invoices to each other. It’s unreasonable stuff they’re talking about. The [game] users [typically] don’t know who they’re interacting with...

32 comments

Pirate Bay Seeks Retrial... Judge Has Ties to Copyright Groups

April 23, 2009 -

Although the operators of popular BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay were convicted in a Swedish court last week, their lawyer is demanding a retrial.

As reported by the Associated Press, Attorney Peter Althin said that new information shows that the judge in the trial, Tomas Norstrom (left), is a member of several anti-piracy groups. Of his plan to seek a new trial, Althin said:

I will point that out in my appeal, then the Court of Appeal will decide if the district court decision should be set aside and the case revisited.

While Judge Norstrom denied any improper influences, Pirate Bay defendant Peter Sunde said that the case had become a "farce."

Meanwhile, ZeroPaid names three pro-copyright organization which Judge Norstrom belongs to and cites a comment by Eric Bylander, Associate Professor of Procedural Law at the School of Gothenburg:

It is very clear that [Judge Norstrom] never should have taken the case.

66 comments

Swedish Youth Advocate: WoW is Crack Cocaine of Game World

February 28, 2009 -

A youth advocate in Sweden has likened World of Warcraft to crack cocaine in terms of its supposed addictiveness and the Swedish National Institute of Public Health has endorsed that view.

As reported by the UK's Daily Mail, Sven Rollenhagen of Sweden's Youth Care Foundation has authored a report describing WoW in ominous terms:

The most dangerous game on the market... There is not a single case of game addiction that we have worked with in which World of Warcraft has not played a part...

It is the crack cocaine of the computer game world. Some will play it till they drop.

35 comments

Trial for Pirate Bay Operators Gets Underway in Sweden

February 16, 2009 -

Four Swedish men who founded the popular torrent site The Pirate Bay face criminal accusations today in a Stockholm courtroom.

As reported by afterdawn, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstroem are charged with "promoting violations by other people of laws protecting royalties." The quartet is also being sued for US$17.6 million by the video game, movie and music industries.

Meanwhile the Guardian reports that The Pirate Bay crew has worked to create a festive air around the court case:

The Pirate Bay team held a press conference on Sunday complete with a small brass band, which they have posted on mobile video site Bambuser. In fact, there is a 'spectrial' channel on Bambuser to follow breaking developments...

While the hashtag is useful, some of the best Twitter coverage is coming from Sofia, a Swede in San Francisco. Due to the 140-character limit on Twitter, she is using a abbreviations, which she explains on her blog. Blogger Zondron also has a good list of links for live audio feeds and blogger coverage of the trial.

However, a lawyer for the film biz isn't buying into the fun. Monique Wadsted said:

It's not a political trial, it's not the trial that has as its purpose to shut down some kind of people's library or to prohibit any file-sharing technique. It's a trial that regards four persons that have conducted the commercial activity, earning a lot of money in providing the possibility for others to make pirate copies of big commercial productions, movies, music and popular computer games.

The operators of The Pirate Bay face up to two years in prison as well as large fines if convicted.

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Andrew EisenThe story you just linked to? The story you asked if anyone had seen? Yes, THAT obnoxiousness. I've heard it parroted for nearly two years now.11/27/2014 - 7:57pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen: That shes an ex con man?11/27/2014 - 7:54pm
Andrew EisenI've heard the same obnoxious horse poo for years. It's nothing new.11/27/2014 - 7:45pm
ZippyDSMleeAlso anyone see this? http://guardianlv.com/2014/11/anita-sarkeesian-unmasked-feminist-icon-or-con-artist/11/27/2014 - 7:28pm
ZippyDSMleeEvil within is a badly designed game.11/27/2014 - 7:28pm
Andrew EisenSure but you said "widens," hence my confusion. Looking into it, yep, there's a tweak to completely re-frame the image, adding more info at the top and bottom. You apparently need a fairly beefy rig to keep it running smooth when you do that though.11/27/2014 - 6:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthere is vertical fov, not just horizontal fov11/27/2014 - 6:38pm
Andrew EisenWell, you can widen it to 3:1 or even 10:1 but I don't know why you'd want to. From what I understand it's the missing visual info at the top and bottom that some object to, not that there isn't enough on either side.11/27/2014 - 6:36pm
Matthew WilsonI think it widenss the fov, so you get to see more.11/27/2014 - 6:31pm
Andrew EisenI don't see how as doing so would not add any visual information to the top or bottom of the screen.11/27/2014 - 6:04pm
Matthew Wilsonfrom what I read, getting rid of the black bars and stretching it out made for a better play experience.11/27/2014 - 5:59pm
Andrew EisenFrom what I hear, there's a ton of "look up and shoot at the guys above you" stuff in the game that the wider frame doesn't accommodate such actions well.11/27/2014 - 5:55pm
Andrew EisenHaving a game run in scope is not necessarily a bad thing but like any aspect ratio, you have to compose your shots correctly.11/27/2014 - 5:55pm
Neo_DrKefkaThe Evil Within was pretty bad and to make it worse the way the screen size made it hard for you to see even on a big screen it really hurt the game. Being Artistic is great but when you focus on art rather than what sells you run the risk of that happen11/27/2014 - 5:33pm
Matthew WilsonI kinda hope this is not true. http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/11/nintendo_might_not_be_making_more_gamecube_controller_adapters_at_the_moment11/27/2014 - 1:34pm
Matthew WilsonI saw that. I wish people would stop preording, but sadly that will never happen.11/27/2014 - 1:26pm
Papa MidnightUbisoft has cancelled the Season Pass for Assassin's Creed: Unity (http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/2ni2ac/ubisoft_cancel_season_pass_for_ac_unity/)11/27/2014 - 1:08pm
NeenekoBut now I can use the christmas discount justification too,11/27/2014 - 11:46am
NeenekoI am also sorely temped by Civ:BE, mostly because I have a demo coming up and I know my productivity will tank.11/27/2014 - 11:45am
MaskedPixelanteThe Evil Within is only a month old, right? And it's already 66% off...11/27/2014 - 10:29am
 

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