Five More Game Companies Join New York State's 'Operation: Game Over' Initiative, 2100 More Accounts Purged

December 19, 2012 -

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a press release today announcing that five additional companies including Gaia Online, NCsoft, Funcom, THQ, and one company that was not disclosed at press time, have agreed to participate in Operation: Game Over, an initiative to identify and remove registered sex offenders that live in New York state. These companies join Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Media Group, Warner Brothers and Sony.

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SpongeBob Diner Dash Yanked From Apple Store After Complaint to FTC

December 18, 2012 -

Nickelodeon has removed the SpongeBob Diner Dash app from Apple's iTunes after advocacy group The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) filed a formal complaint with Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The CDD said that the app starring the popular cartoon icon collected email addresses of children without getting parental consent.

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Fox News Tries to Tie TV, Facebook and Gaming to CT Tragedy

December 15, 2012 -

The news media, quick to find a cause for why a lone gunman would kill his mother, drive to a local elementary school, and kill 26 people (20 children) before killing himself, has turned to the usual scapegoat: video games. While it is understandable that people want answers, Fox News wastes no time in trying to connect TV, Facebook, and computer games to the horrific actions of Lanza. As transcribed by Kotaku, a Fox News segment hosted by Megyn Kelly with guest analyst Dr.

2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge Sponsors and Partners Announced

December 11, 2012 -

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media have revealed the participating sponsors and partners for the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge. For the third year, the AMD Foundation, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will once again serve as key sponsors for the Challenge. New partners include the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Hive NYC Learning Network.

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FTC Report Criticizes Data Collection and Sharing Practices of Kid App Developers

December 11, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission released a report on Monday that came to the conclusion that the majority of mobile apps aimed at children collect and transmit data that they shouldn't such as the device being used - and they do not disclose this fact to the parents. According to the report, around 60 percent of 400 popular kids’ apps made for phones and tablets running Android and iOS transmitted information about the device to the app’s developer or to a third party such as an ad network.

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Sulake Plans New Direction for Habbo Hotel, Will Cut 60 Employees

October 30, 2012 -

After dealing with a child sex scandal earlier this year, Sulake - the owners of the social teen hangout Habbo Hotel - had to make some serious changes and win back the trust of the community. With that controversy mostly behind them (the company changed much of how it handles communications within the virtual world and added other features that protect its young members), the company says that it wants to make Habbo Hotel a place where third-party developers can launch their own game titles.

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Researchers Use Video Game to Help Children Control Anger

October 25, 2012 -

Children that have anger issues can be helped by using video games and biofeedback to regulate their out-of-control emotions, according to research conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital. That research has been published in the journal Adolescent Psychiatry. Jason Kahn, PhD, and Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD at Boston Children’s Hospital developed a game called "RAGE Control" because they saw that children were eager to play video games.

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Nintendo: Foxconn Takes 'Full Responsibility' for Underage Workers

October 24, 2012 -

It looks like Foxconn is going to "take one for the team" in the controversy over under-age interns working at its factory in Yantai, China. This is the plant where Nintendo's Wii U is reportedly being put together, so Nintendo is very concerned about any public perceptions that it finds breaking China's labor laws concerning under-age workers acceptable.

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Survey Says: Children With Unfettered Access to Electronics More Likely to Be Overweight

October 23, 2012 -

Researchers in Canada say that children and teens who have electronic devices in their bedrooms are far more likely to be overweight because they are not getting enough sleep every night. The research is based on a survey of almost 3,400 fifth grade students in the province of Alberta, Canada. Researchers were trying to find out if there was a relationship between a child’s sleeping habits, the number of electronic devices in their bedroom, and their weight.

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Research: Prolonged Gaming Before Bed is Not Good for Teenage Boys

October 19, 2012 -

A new study by the Sleep Laboratory at Flinders University (a public university in Adelaide, South Australia) finds that teens who play video games for long periods of time have trouble getting a good night's sleep. The study conducted by masters student Daniel King (supervised by child sleep psychologist Dr.

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Nintendo Investigating Foxconn Plant That Hired Underage Interns

October 18, 2012 -

Earlier this week we reported that Foxconn - the company that helps build many of the products that are popular in the West from companies like Apple, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and Nintendo - reported that it found underage interns working in one of its plants in Yantai, China. Today we have learned that that plant is responsible for assembling Nintendo products.

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Komixx CEO: Games Stunt Young Children's Imaginations, Make Them Less Social

October 17, 2012 -

An editorial in the UK edition of Huffington Post penned by Andrew Cole-Bulgin, Joint-CEO of Komixx claims that video games are "stunting children's imagination and inhibiting their ability to play together." The head of the children's television company says that he comes to this conclusion based on research the company conducted related to Toby's Travelling Circus, a new television program for children under the age of five.

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Buy Digital Eel's Brainpipe at Indie Game Stand, Help Reading is Fundamental

October 17, 2012 -

The experiment continues over at the Indie Game Stand, where every 96 hours a new indie game is highlighted and put up for sale at the cool price of "pay-whatever-you-want." This time out it's Digital Eel's excellently trippy first person real-time spatial navigation game Brainpipe.

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Foxconn Finds Underage Workers in Yantai, China Factory

October 16, 2012 -

The Associated Press (by way of syndication in the pages of Time's Techland) reports that China-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn has admitted that underage workers are part of its massive work force in the country. Foxconn, which has had a hard time this month keeping production flowing at its plants due to riots and labor disputes, assembles a variety of electronics for Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and others.

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Team Ninja: Fans Asked for Bigger Breasts in Dead or Alive 5

September 28, 2012 -

Not exactly the press you want, a new article at Gamasutra features Team Ninja director Yohei Shimbori talking about how fans wanted female characters in Dead or Alive 5 to have bigger breasts.

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The Gates Foundation Kicks Off $2.5M College Knowledge App Contest

September 28, 2012 -

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has launched an educational Facebook app contest today with 30 prizes worth a grand total of $2.5 million. The 'College Knowledge Challenge' kicks off this week with an "edtech hackathon" at Facebook’s headquarters at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park.

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Center for Democracy & Technology Offers Form for Opposing Comments on FTC's Proposed Changes to COPPA

September 21, 2012 -

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has put up a form that interested parties can sign onto concerning some changes that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has planned for the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

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Xbox Live Team Supports GaymerCon

August 30, 2012 -

A new video from members of Microsoft's Xbox Live team throws its support behind GaymerCon, the first GLBT friendly gaming event to take place in early 2013 in San Francisco, California. Obviously organizers of the event are glad to have the support of Xbox Live.

You can watch the video to your left. At the time of this writing the GaymerCon Kickstarter has managed to raise $75,000. The Kickstarter campaign ends Friday, August 31 at 11:43 pm EDT.


Research: Hand-Held Gaming Systems More Popular Than iPads with Children

August 14, 2012 -

According to new research from NPD Group, hand-held consoles are still more popular than the iPad, despite Apple's popular tablet device making in-roads with children because of its ease-of-use and large library of games and apps. According to the data released by the retail research firm, children ages 4 - 14 still spend most of their gaming time with dedicated gaming machines. Tablet devices did have gains from 2012 usage though: according to NPD tablet usage was up 10 percent of 2011 numbers.

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Winners of the EMA's 2012 Scholarship Program Announced

August 10, 2012 -

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) has revealed the winners of its 2012 scholarship program. The trade group that represents retailers in the United States (and was the lead in Brown v. EMA) has awarded five students $1,500 a year for up to four years who are entering college as freshmen.

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Habbo Hotel Now Available to Teens in Turkey

August 8, 2012 -

Apparently the troubles are behind Sulake's Habbo Hotel, because the popular virtual hangout for teens is opening up to teens in Turkey. The new destination for Turkish teens is located at www.habbo.com.tr. The site, like every other region supported by Habbo Hotel, is free to play.

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Australia NSW Police Commissioner Takes Heat for Video Game Comments

August 6, 2012 -

Australia New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione is taking a lot heat for comments he made recently blaming the rise of teen knife-related crimes on playing violent video games. Scipione recently told The Daily Telegraph that teens were being desensitized to violence by playing violent video games that reward them for "killing and raping people." Obviously a tired trope related to Grand Theft Auto spewed by politicians.

GaymerCon Surpasses Funding Goal in Less Than Five Days

August 6, 2012 -

GaymerCon the first-ever all-inclusive fan gaming event that promises a friendly and fun atmosphere for gamers and geeks to get together for two days in San Francisco (August of 2013), has managed to surpass its funding goal of $25,000 in just a few days via a Kickstarter campaign. With 25 more days to go, the GaymerCon Kickstarter has managed to generate $28,471 (as of this writing) in funding from 560 backers.

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GaymerCon Kickstarter Funding Drive Launches

August 2, 2012 -

You may recall our interview with Matt Conn (Episode 5 of the Super Podcast Action Committee) of GaymerCon, the first-ever gaming event that caters to the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community set to take place in San Francisco in 2013.

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Online Gaming Leads to Attempted Murder Charge for California Teen

July 31, 2012 -

While details are still a bit sketchy, an Oakley, California teen has been arrested for attempted murder after an altercation while playing a video game online turned to real-world violence. The incident occurred on Monday afternoon after two friends - an unnamed twenty-year-old man and a seventeen-year-old boy got into an altercation. According to Jimmy Lee from the Costa County Sheriff's Department, the two men were playing an unnamed video game online, which led to an argument about something.

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Disney to Spend $4.7 Million on Online Safety Campaign for Club Penguin

July 5, 2012 -

In the wake of Sulake's problems with Habbo, Disney has decided to spend $4.7 million on an internet safety campaign for its popular massively-multiplayer online game for kids, Club Penguin. The announcement was made by the game's co-founder Lane Merrifield today. The internet safety campaign hopes to target more than 100 million children and parents around the world who use Club Penguin.

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Game Companies, Parents Sue Over South Korea's 'Shutdown Law'

June 27, 2012 -

South Korea's new "Shutdown Law" was supposed to keep teens from gaming during a six hour block every night to focus on "more important things" like studying, but two groups have already filed lawsuits that question the legality of the new nanny state law concocted by lawmakers in the country. A group of game makers doing business in the region including NCsoft, Neowiz, and Nexon, have filed a lawsuit claiming that the Shutdown Law is unjust and unfair to them.

Sulake Begins Relaunching Habbo with More Safety Features in Select Regions

June 26, 2012 -

In the aftermath of a Channel 4 investigation into pedophiles targeting young users of the virtual hangout Habbo, owner Sulake has begun a soft launch of chat services in select regions. Sulake CEO Paul Fontaine announced via the company's blog that a new and improved Habbo (with more security measures in place) has launched in Finland, Spain and Brazil - with more regions being relaunched in the next few weeks.

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Study: Active Games Do Not Change Sedentary Behavior in Children

June 25, 2012 -

A new study disputes the claims that using exercise video games at home can change the sedentary lifestyles of children in any significant way. A study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas found that children overcompensated in "other areas" after playing active video games - basically making any calories burned a zero net gain.

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Reddit Co-Founder to Star in Dungeons & Dragons: The Documentary

June 25, 2012 -

Apparently Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has turned his Brooklyn Heights, New York apartment into a set for an upcoming documentary on Dungeons & Dragons.

While Ohanian hasn't played D&D since high school, the Reddit co-creator tweeted that he will be interviewed for the documentary and will have his Brooklyn Heights apartment temporarily transformed into a D&D themed set.

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MattsworknameWilson: how? Im still waiting for my upgrade notice07/29/2015 - 3:44am
Matthew WilsonI updated to a clean instill of windows 10.07/29/2015 - 2:36am
Mattsworknameargue that it's wrong, but then please admit it's wrong on ALL Fronts07/29/2015 - 2:06am
MattsworknameTechnoGeek: It's actually NOT, but it is a method used all across the specturm. See Rush limbaugh, MSNBC, Shawn hannity, etc etc, how many compagns have been brought up to try and shut them down by going after there advertisers. It's fine if you wanna07/29/2015 - 2:05am
Mattsworknamediscussed, while not what I liked and not the methods I wanted to see used, were , in a sense, the effort of thsoe game consuming masses to hold what they felt was supposed to be there press accountable for what many of them felt was Betrayal07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAs we say, the gamers are dead article set of a firestorm among the game consuming populace, who, ideally, were the intended audiance for sites like Kotaku, Polygon, Et all. As such, the turn about on them and the attacking of them, via the metods07/29/2015 - 2:03am
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats kind fo the issue at hand, Accountable is a matter of context. For a media group, it means accountable to its reader. to a goverment, to it's voters and tax payer, to a company, to it's share holders.07/29/2015 - 2:02am
Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
 

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