Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets Pushback

May 31, 2012 -

Several opinion pieces take aim at the latest trailer for Hitman: Absolution. The trailer, dubbed "Saints," borders on being offensive, according to some because it depicts the sexualization of violence against women. In a nutshell the trailers play out a fight between Agent 47 and several fem fatales disguised as nuns. Under those Catholic uniforms are the buxom forms of women who are clearly not dedicated to the service of the church. As the group of nuns approach the hotel room where Agent 47 is staying they strip off their disguises to reveals skimpy leather outfits.

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Virginia Attorney General and George Mason University Team Up to Fight Gang Recruitment with Games

May 3, 2012 -

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA) and George Mason University President Alan Merten announced the creation of a series of interactive and educational computer and mobile phone game applications that teach youngsters about the risks and consequences of joining gangs. The goal of these programs is easy enough: to slow down gang recruitment levels in the state.

During the spring semester, GMU students used their programming skills and tapped into the attorney general’s office information of gangs to create several games and apps.

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The ACLU on Congressman Joe Baca's Video Game Labeling Bill

April 24, 2012 -

The ACLU blog has an interesting comparison of what the comic industry did when German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham published "Seduction of the Innocent" a book that claimed that comic books were harming the nation's youngsters. After Congress flexed its muscle and grand-standed on the issue, the comic book industry decided that the best path was to create the Comics Code Authority, which self-regulated all comic books released in the U.S. The system was abandoned just last year.

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Jennifer Ann Group's 'Life. Love. Game Design Challenge' Accepting Entries

March 28, 2012 -

The fifth annual Life. Love. Game Design Challenge is officially underway and entries are now being accepted. The game design contest was created by Jennifer Ann’s Group with the goal of promoting games that deliver awareness on the dangers of teen dating violence. This topic is particularly important to the group's founder, Drew Crecente, who lost his daughter.

ECA Action Alert: Help Fight The 'Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012'

March 21, 2012 -

The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued an action alert, a call to arms for gamers everywhere to let their elected officials know that The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2012 wasn't acceptable in 2009 and is not acceptable now. Rep. Joe Baca (D CA-43) has teamed up with Rep. Frank Wolf (R VA-10) to reintroduce a bill that is very familiar to gamers.

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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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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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UK MP Keith Vaz Calls for Debate on Video Games Buoyed by Indiana University Research

December 2, 2011 -

Leicester East MP (United Kingdom) Keith Vaz is at it again, now buoyed by research released last week that found that violent video games change the brain in young adult males. The MP has called for a debate on the harmful effect of violent games just as parents are considering buying them as presents for their children during the holiday shopping season.

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Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says Violent Games Change Brain

November 28, 2011 -

According to a press release issued this morning by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), new research shows that violent video games alter the brain functions in young men. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the long-term effects of violent video game play on the brain, researchers found that changes in brain regions associated with cognitive function and emotional control in young adult men occur after one week of game play. The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of the RSNA.

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Dr. Lawrence Kutner on the Myths about Youth Violence and Violent Video Games

November 15, 2011 -

The Huffington Post serves up a video of Dr. Lawrence Kutner discussing what he calls the myths about violent video games and his research on the links between video game violence and youth violence.

Kutner is nationally recognized clinical psychologist who trained at the Mayo Clinic and teaches at Harvard Medical school, where he's co-founder and co-director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media. He's also the president of Health Communication Consultants, Inc.

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Research: Sense of Humanity Lost When Playing Violent Games

October 31, 2011 -

New research from the University of Queensland suggests that playing violent video games leads to players seeing themselves and their opponents as "lacking core human qualities" such as warmth, open-mindedness, and intelligence. The research, conducted by Dr. Brock Bastian from UQ's School of Psychology, was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

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Research: Aggressive Children Enjoy Violent Games

October 24, 2011 -

A new study conducted by academics from two German universities says that "aggressive children" ages 8 - 12 years-old have a preference for violent video games.

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Study Author to Discuss Findings on Time-Use Effects and Violent Games

October 20, 2011 -

University of Texas at Arlington economics associate professor Michael Ward will explain his findings about violence and video game usage in detail at 3 p.m. Friday (Oct. 21) in Business Building Room 609 as part of the Kuemmerlein Workshop Series at the university. Ward worked with A. Scott Cunningham of Baylor University and Benjamin Engelstatter of the Center for European Economic Research’s Information and Communication Technologies Research Group to study the effects of playing video games as it relates to violent crimes.

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Study: Violent Games are 'Emotionally Desensitizing'

October 13, 2011 -

Violent games are "emotionally desensitizing" according to new research from the University of Bonn (Bonn, Germany). Researchers from the University found that brain activity patterns in "heavy" game players differed from those of non-gamers. The study's results have been published in the scientific journal Biological Psychology.

Researchers - psychologists, epileptologists and neurologists - from the University of Bonn studied the effect of first-person game images and other "emotionally charged" photos on the brain activity of heavy gamers.

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Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy Book Released

September 7, 2011 -

Mike Langlois psychotherapist, educator, and proprietor of the excellent blog "Gamer Therapist," criticizes the prevailing attitude of mental health professionals that video game usage is a root cause of bad behavior in his new book, "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy." Langlois, a Teaching Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, discusses the disdain for gamers and the video games they love that many therapists and mental health professionals have.

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Research: Breast-Feeding Moms are Overly Aggressive in Games, Life

August 31, 2011 -

According to a study that will be printed in the September issue of Psychological Science, breast-feeding moms are more aggressive than moms who use formula. You may be wondering why a study about breast feeding moms might matter to you, and the reason it does is because of what researchers used to test these aggression levels. The researchers' hypothesis was that mothers display a higher level of aggressiveness while breast feeding.

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Research: Video Games Help Reduce Crime Rates in U.S.

August 23, 2011 -

Video games help reduce crime rates in the United States, according to new research conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, the Baylor University and the University of Texas at Arlington. According to research video games reduce crime rates because they keep "potential criminal offenders" busy using their computers or gaming consoles. The study analyzed the effect of both violent and non-violent video games on the number of violent and non-violent crimes in the United States.

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Super Nanny Discusses London Riots, Blames Video Games

August 17, 2011 -

UK publication Express turns to guest columnist Jo Frost (better known as the star of the TV show Super Nanny), for answers to what caused last week's riots in London. And a good thing too, because apparently Jo has a "plan to save" those out-of-control youngsters who burned, looted, and committed acts of violence (thanks to C&VG by way of our own Magic). But first, Jo describes the riots as she saw them:

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Former Oasis Singer Blames Games for London Violence

August 15, 2011 -

Former Oasis front man and now solo artist Noel Gallagher says that video games and TV violence are to blame for the civil unrest in London.

"We live in this age of violence—and I don't care what other people say: Brutal TV and brutal videogames are a reason for this pointless violence as well," Gallagher is quoted as saying in Bang Showbiz. "The people are immune to violence, they are used to it. And if they get caught they aren't punished the right way. The prisons are already full? Then build new ones!"

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UFC Personal Trainer and Blurring the Lines on Violent Video Games

August 4, 2011 -

Is using a Kinect martial-arts simulator like UFC Personal Trainer like practicing martial arts or like playing a videogame? The answer is neither, according to a guest editorial on Wired's Game|Life written by Paul Ballas, a Philadelphia-area child psychiatrist. Ballas's editorial, "UFC Trainer Is Helpfully Violent," comes to the conclusion that, while UFC Personal Trainer is based on a violent fighting franchise, it could also have positive effects on kids' health.

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Playing Columbine Now Available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video

May 31, 2011 -

Playing Columbine is now available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and soon will be available via Netflix. The documentary chronicles the controversy surrounding the making of Super Columbine Massacre, a game that let players jump into the boots of the Columbine killers. The game was downloaded more than a half a million times and caught the attention of the mainstream media who strongly condemned it as wrong and as a "murder simulator." Here's an excerpt from the film's about page":

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Study: Violent Video Game Players are More Aggressive, Desensitized

May 26, 2011 -

A new University of Missouri study found that the brains of violent video game players became less responsive to violence, which in turn diminished brain response to violence.

"Many researchers have believed that becoming desensitized to violence leads to increased human aggression. Until our study, however, this causal association had never been demonstrated experimentally," said Bruce Bartholow, associate professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science.

Seventy young adults were randomly assigned to play a non-violent or violent video game for 25 minutes. Immediately following the game time, researchers measured brain responses as participants viewed a series of neutral photos. Next, players competed against an opponent in a task that allowed them to give their opponent a controllable blast of loud noise. The level of that noise blast the participants set for their opponent was the measure of aggression, according to researchers.

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Amnesty International Releases Bulletproof iOS Game

April 20, 2011 -

The French chapter of International human rights organization Amnesty International has released an iOS game called Bulletproof. The goal of the game is to raise awareness about human rights violations around the world and to raise money for the organization. The game, playable on iPhone and iPad, cost a mere 0.99 cents. The group celebrates 50 years of fighting for human rights around the world. It's hard to hate on Amnesty International, unless you're a maniacal dictator that jails and tortures people..

The game was created by Mobigame and is sponsored by French ad agency La Chose. In Bulletproof, players tap the touch screen to stop bullets from a firing squad trying to execute a condemned man. While the design sounds simple, the message is powerful. You can send a powerful message by buying it and supporting the organization. You can buy it here.

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Study: Violent Game Players Less Sympathetic to Others

April 5, 2011 -

A new study from Simmons College researchers comes to the conclusion that children exposed to more violent games for longer periods of time are less able to sympathize with others. The new study published in the Journal of Children and Media surveyed 166 Boston, MA and southern New Hampshire schoolchildren. The study was overseen by Simmons College professors Edward T. Vieira and Marina Krcmar. They examined the relationship between violent games and kids' attitudes toward violence.

The duo surveyed children age 7-15 about their favorite games, how many hours a week they played, and questions to gauge their ability to sympathize with others, to see things from another person's perspective, and whether they saw violence as an appropriate response in situations where it would be deemed justified or unjustified. The favorite "violent games" included Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Counter Strike, Mortal Kombat: Deception, and World of Warcraft.

Commonwealth Club Video Game Debate Footage

March 18, 2011 -
Watch live streaming video from commonwealthclub at livestream.com

Last night in San Francisco, the Commonwealth Club hosted a debate on violent video games featuring George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard, and James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. Today we have a video of the action. John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, acted as the moderator.

The most interesting comments to come out of the debate? No one on the panel believes that the Supreme Court will find in favor of the 2005 ant-video game law written by State Senator Leland Yee. Check out the video to your left.

8 comments

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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Study: Video Games May Help Soldiers Fight Combat Related Nightmares

March 11, 2011 -

The results of a new survey reveal that video games help keep nightmares away. According to an online survey of 98 military personnel, regularly playing games that involve war and combat like Call of Duty help to decrease the level of "harm and aggression" dreamers feel when they are dreaming about war. Of those surveyed, soldiers who did not play games reported having more violent dreams combined with feelings of helplessness. The survey was conducted by Jayne Gackenbach of Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada. She presented some of her findings at the Game Developers Conference earlier this month.

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UK Therapist Compares Gaming to Drug Addiction, Alcoholism

March 10, 2011 -

A Lancashire, UK-based therapist named Steve Pope has jumped the shark as far as ludicrous statements go related to video games. Speaking to BBC Radio 5Live in an interview last night, Pope said that "spending two hours on a game station is equivalent to taking a line of cocaine in the high it produces in the brain."

What?! Oh, there's more:

"We're now onto second generation game station players who have always grown up with it," he continued. "Computer game addiction can also spiral into violence as after playing violent games, they may turn their fantasy games into reality."

It's a shame that Pope has no scientific data to back up his ludicrous claims that games are like cocaine and that gamers act out the violence they experience in their games in real life.

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Epic's Mike Capps on How Fox News Affected Bulletstorm Sales

March 8, 2011 -

Epic Games' president Mike Capps is delighted with the early success of Bulletstorm, saying that the game sold out its first run at "one major retailer."

"We got a reorder on day one from one of the big U.S. retailers that focuses on games," said Capps. "So that was a pretty good feeling."

We would assume he did not want to say "GameStop" for some reason. Capps went on to say that launching a brand new IP is one of the most challenging aspects of developing a game:

"[Launching a new IP] is really hard. I read something that less than 1% of console games this generation launched as new IP sold a million units,” he added. “So if you don't sell a million units you lost money, basically. I'm pretty confident we'll be on the good side of that [1 million] number. I'd rather sell Gears-type numbers that'd be fantastic."

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Saudi Man Accused of Targeting Former President Pegged as a 'Gamer'

February 26, 2011 -

A Saudi national who was arrested for plotting to "blow up" former President George W. Bush's Texas home and other targets in America has been connected ever so slightly to violent video games - particularly the Resident Evil series from Capcom. The 20-year-old chemical engineering student at Lubbock's South Plains College, described by authorities as a "jihadist" plead not guilty to charges last Wednesday in a Texas federal court. The charge was attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. According to an affidavit in the Northern District of Texas, Aldawarsi, who was came to the US in 2008 on a student visa, had allegedly researched how to make a chemical-based, improvised explosive device (IED) online.

The New York Post reports that enjoyed watching game videos from five titles in the Resident Evil series on YouTube - information the paper found while sifting through his blog.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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Papa MidnightIt was most likely an automated tool. Happens all the time. Just another case of the broken DMCA Claim and Takedown process that puts the entirety of the burden of proof on the accused instead of the claimant.12/22/2014 - 10:09pm
Conster*applauds IanC*12/22/2014 - 7:37pm
MaskedPixelanteSounds like BN was going after an unrelated mod, and took out DSFix in the process. Probably once a counterclaim goes out, this'll all be sorted out.12/22/2014 - 7:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=144440299&postcount=1 wtf is namco thinking.......12/22/2014 - 6:17pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/22/read-the-fine-print-ubisoft-free-game-offer-waives-lawsuits/12/22/2014 - 6:00pm
Papa MidnightI kind of liked the movement to have Terry Crews play him instead, but this will do.12/22/2014 - 3:40pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://marvel.com/news/tv/23866/mike_colter_to_star_as_luke_cage_in_marvels_aka_jessica_jones#ixzz3MeuUl63P Mike Colter is Luke Cage.12/22/2014 - 3:23pm
IanCBecause that isn't Max Payne 3. It might have the name, but it isn't an entry in the series.12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCOh theres a Max Payne 3? A proper one, or are we referring to that abomination that Rockstar crapped out a few years ago12/22/2014 - 12:48pm
IanCUpgraded PS3 hard drive to 500gb. Restored 53GB back up. Done the maths, have somehow used up 106GB already?12/22/2014 - 12:44pm
Papa Midnighthttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/12/drm-glitch-leaves-new-max-payne-3-buyers-temporarily-in-the-lurch/12/22/2014 - 11:55am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.kanzenshuu.com/2014/12/22/j-stars-victory-vs-ps3-ps4-vita-international-plus-version/ J-Stars is coming to North America.12/22/2014 - 9:36am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
 

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