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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Virginia Tech Found Negligent in Response to 2007 Massacre

March 14, 2012 -

Today, a jury has found Virginia Tech negligent in its response to the first shootings in the massacre committed at the school in 2007.

On April 16, 2007, at about 7:15 AM, Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed two students in the Ambler Johnston Hall dorms.  About two hours later, Cho entered Norris Hall and opened fire on the students and faculty within.  He killed 30 and wounded 17 more before killing himself.

The university informed the students about the first shootings via email at 9:26 AM.

Virginia Man Kills Kitten Over Videogame

June 3, 2010 -

Here's a sad story for you: a 21 year old Staunton, Virginia man was arrested Monday night for killing a kitten after it accidently unplugged his videogame system. The story goes that, on Monday evening at 9:00 PM, police arrived at Bruce Jamar Walston's apartment after his girlfriend called 911. Police said, according to an eyewitness account from the man's girlfriend, that Walston "became enraged when the kitten disconnected his video game," hurling the animal into a nearby wall - in front of his girlfriend’s children.

Walston was charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, the highest penalty available for a first time animal cruelty offense in the state of Virginia. Walston, who had been free on bond in connection with a January breaking and entering charge, was held without bond at the Middle River Regional Jail in Verona.

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Schools Team Up to Offer Youth Game Dev Program

April 19, 2010 -

Longwood University, Virginia State University and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center have linked up in order to offer area ninth-grade students a chance to learn more about developing interactive games.

What’s unique about this program is that participants will spend a good deal of time learning how controllers and other gaming input devices work, in addition to gaining knowledge on the programming needed to create games. The program, named Digispired ii, is funded by a $1.0 million grant from the National Science Foundation, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The program last three-years and will accept 20 new students this year, each of whom will receive a $400 stipend. Digispired ii consists of a two-week course this summer, followed by an additional ten Saturday meetings along the course of the school year.

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Cousteau Kin Backs Chesapeake Bay Simulator

April 9, 2010 -

Philippe Cousteau, the grandson of late French Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, has teamed up with the University of Virginia to produce a game that shows off how day-to-day decisions impact the Chesapeake Bay region.

UVA Junior Avery Paxton plays a farmer in the Chesapeake Bay game, and described to NBC29.com how his avatar’s actions can affect change in the game, “The measures that I take for farming can either increase or decrease the nitrogen or phosphorous that are going into the bay watershed and eventually creating anoxic regions.”

Players can also take on the role of fishermen, developers or policy makers. The game uses actual scientific data to simulate the health of the Bay, which Cousteau said is “in a steady decline.”

Speaking to UVA paper The Cavalier Daily, student Michael Villalobos said the game is so realistic, that, “There’s plenty of validity in making it useful for policymakers.”

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Pushy Game Industry May See 2013 Tax Breaks in Virginia

March 9, 2010 -

The Virginia Production Alliance (VPA) is a key factor behind two bills passing through the state’s legislature that would see tax credits for movie productions filmed in the state.

While the measures started out as incentives solely for motion picture development, it appears the videogame industry made its way into the talks in a bid to get some backing in the state for game developers. A note on the VPA’s Facebook page stated that the film incentive bills “have been essentially co-opted by the videogaming industry.”

The VPA continued:

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Forbes Releases List of the Best States for Business

September 24, 2009 -

As everyone knows, the economy is pretty bad. There are signs it is getting better, but none of the 50 states have been immune, according to Forbes magazine. To that end, it released its yearly list of the states with the best business climate for 2009. Virginia tops the list at number 1.

Two states with a large video game foundation made the top 10. Washington came in at number 2, bolstered by the Microsoft behemoth. Texas came in at number 8, no doubt in part to the growing video game development community in Austin and the vicinity. California, home to many of the big video game publishers and developers, rose two spots from numer 40 last year to number 38.

Forbes detailed how it determined the rankings:

Our Best States ranking measures six vital categories for businesses: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. We factor in 33 different points of data to determine the ranks in the six main areas. Business costs, which include labor, energy and taxes are weighted the most heavily. We relied on nine different data providers. Moody's Economy.com is the most-utilized resource.

Many of the top states showed a more educated workforce, the magazine said.

For those who have trouble with the written word, Forbes also included a look at their list in pictures. If you want to digest all the data at once, then you can look at the handy table provided.

4 comments

Jack Thompson Debates Game Violence with Author Tonight

April 2, 2009 -

Fresh off his apparently failed attempt to legislate video game sales in Utah, disbarred Miami attorney Jack Thompson will debate the video game violence issue tonight with Gerard Jones, author of Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes and Make-Believe Violence.

The debate, which will take place at 7:30 on the campus of Bridgewater College in northwestern Virginia, is free and open to the public. It is unknown whether there will be any local coverage.

GP: Thompson and Jones previously debated in 2007 at a college in Pennsylvania. That debate was marred by a student who behaved rather badly toward Thompson. Such behavior only serves to reinforce negative stereotypes about gamers.

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Wonderkarpthough not strictly games. I have Lightsabers mounted on the wall, and on a shelf you'll see the Infinity Gauntlet, the Ocarina of Time, a Sith Holocron, and some of my Ghostbusters Props11/22/2014 - 8:57pm
Wonderkarpswag of all kinds, Andrew. I'm trying to build a game room as impressive as AVGNs nerd room. I'm also trying to build a coffee table/storage space shaped like a NES Controller11/22/2014 - 8:55pm
E. Zachary KnightI need new controllers for my Gamecube. Its not everyday you can get brand new 1st party controllers.11/22/2014 - 8:51pm
Andrew EisenPredominately figurines or swag of all kinds?11/22/2014 - 8:37pm
WonderkarpI would like a new gamecube controller....but I also just like gaming swag....11/22/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI'm just waiting to buy a new Gamecube controller for my Gamecube.11/22/2014 - 7:15pm
Wonderkarphttp://kotaku.com/smash-bros-gamecube-adapters-sold-out-online-prices-g-1662162871 Smash Bros Gamecube adapter sold out, online prices go nuts11/22/2014 - 6:50pm
Andrew EisenI bet there's a lovely comedy of errors surrounding that list's journey to the IGDA's page!11/22/2014 - 6:49pm
Andrew EisenAnd the fact that it was curated by some random person on Twitter should have been another.11/22/2014 - 6:48pm
Andrew EisenYep, it's pretty clear that whoever at the IGDA grabbed that list, didn't look at it first. I think the fact that there's over 10,000 names on it should have been a bit of a red flag.11/22/2014 - 6:44pm
Wonderkarppenguin books is on the list. wow.11/22/2014 - 6:43pm
Wonderkarpthats better, though I'd prefer something a little more than a simple tweet, I'll take it.11/22/2014 - 6:37pm
Andrew EisenKate Edwards' Twitter: "like people, tools are imperfect; we've removed it for now."11/22/2014 - 6:35pm
Andrew EisenHard to say with any certainty but it appears it at least understands the tool didn't do what it thought it did.11/22/2014 - 6:34pm
WonderkarpI've yet to find the IGDA responding too the situation other than deleting a link.11/22/2014 - 6:34pm
Matthew WilsonI hope the IGDA understands why its a mistake, that's all I want.11/22/2014 - 6:33pm
Andrew EisenHeh, lawyering up would be grossly overracting! And really silly. Well, if what the IGDA did say was not enough for you, try contacting them and letting them know how you feel.11/22/2014 - 6:31pm
Wonderkarpall I want is an apology from the IGDA. nothing fancy, not even addressed to me. Just something that says, "We messed up. We're Sorry" thats it. Not exactly those words except Sorry. If I was overreacting, I'd be lawyering up.11/22/2014 - 6:29pm
Andrew EisenI get it, I just think you're taking it the wrong way and overreacting.11/22/2014 - 6:27pm
Wonderkarpatleast Matthew understands why I am miffed at that list11/22/2014 - 6:26pm
 

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