An IndieGoGo fundraising campaign hopes to raise $9,250 to fund competition of a game about abortion rights in Texas called Choice: Texas. Choice: Texas is described by its creators as an interactive fiction game about abortion access in the Lone Star state, and will be made available for free online when it is completed. The game is the creation of Allyson Whipple (writer, editor, and poet) and Carly Kocurek (writer and cultural historian) with the help of illustrator Grace Jennings.
Video Games Live has launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-fund its latest album, "Video Games Live: Level 3."
Video Games Live: Level 3 will be recorded with a 72-piece orchestra, a rock band, and a 60-person choir. They are seeking $250,000 to record arrangements of tracks from over a dozen video games such as Tetris, Portal, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, Dota 2, Journey, Beyond Good and Evil, and BioShock.
Ryan Green announced that his game about the trials and tribulations of raising a child suffering from cancer is launching exclusively on the OUYA in 2014. Green says that he chose to launch That Dragon, Cancer exclusively on the Android-based platform because the platform holder has pledged to help with development costs and ensure that the game gets made.
This fall Fox will air a new show produced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane called "Dads." If you haven't seen the barrage of commercials airing on Fox about the show, it's about two game developers played by Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi who have to deal with their fathers moving in with them. But critics who have seen an early screening of the upcoming show are saying it employs casual sexism and racism to tell much of its ill-received humor.
The second annual PlayFest, a festival dedicated to music, animation, and video games, will take place in Málaga, Spain September 5-8. Playfest brings together leading artists, composers and companies to participate in master classes, conferences, screenings and concerts.
This year’s concert will feature music from Star Trek Video Games (presented by BuySoundtrax Records) and conducted by Kevin Kiner (Star Trek: Borg).
Jennifer Ann’s Group has released the third-place winning video game from the 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge. The 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge asked developers to create games that raised awareness about the dangers of Teen dating violence. Jennifer Ann's Group is a charity dedicated to the cause and named after Jennifer Ann Crecente, who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend.
Game developer 1st Playable Productions is the first video game-related company in the United States to receive "B Corporation" (B Corp) certification, the company announced today. B Corporation status is a standard that measures the social impact of a company on the environment and the community it does business in. It is also the first company in NY’s Tech Valley (the company is located in Troy, NY) to receive the distinction as well. B Corporation certification comes from the non-profit B Lab.
The 2013 Boston Festival of Indie Games announced that it will present a night of video game and chiptune music from some of the world's most exciting performers in Boston, Ma. The one-day event, Boston Plays Indies, is being sponsored by music game developer Harmonix and BostonFIG.
The fine folks at Video Games Live are teaming up with streaming service Twitch to give those who can't make it to Comic-Con in San Diego the chance to experience just how wonderful a Video Games Live concert can be. The concert will air on twitch.tv/twitch on July 20th, beginning at 8PM PT. A pre-show begins at 6PM offering interviews with various composers including Journey composer Austin Wintory and Destiny composer Marty O'Donnell.
Peace Games, a charity initiative launching in September to support the UN-affiliated Peace One Day, has put out a call to developers asking them to lend their time and efforts to help raise money. The goal of the program is to reach over 600 million people worldwide via messaging and events across all kinds of different media, including a 24-hour concert live-streamed via YouTube, performed by celebrities backing the cause.
Jennifer Ann’s Group, an Atlanta-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to preventing teen dating violence through "awareness, education, and advocacy;" announced the winners of the 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge. The competition asked participants to create games that raised awareness about teen dating violence and appealed to students. One other key element of all of this year's winners is that they raise awareness about teen dating violence without using any violence in gameplay.
A new exhibit opening at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) (co-sponsored by the Georgia Tech Digital Media Program) hopes to highlight the fact that women have a strong presence in the gaming industry and contribute to it greatly. The exhibition, dubbed "XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design," will be the first to highlight the work of women as game designers and artists.
The Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have teamed up to create a Facebook game called "Buzzed. Busted. Broke." The goal of the game is to raise awareness on buzzed driving - which is more likely to happen on a holiday like the Fourth of July. The game uses photo matching gameplay and images related to buzzed driving. The game was created with the help of Play API.
A new study released by Google related to its YouTube video service concludes that community created gaming videos represent 47 percent of views, while pre-launch material uploaded from publishers and PR make up 50 percent of views. Google's report also reveals that one-in-three views are from a smartphone or tablet. Google calls these "second screen" views, and suggests that they are watched while playing the game for guidance and tips. The study also noted that 95 percent of consumers watch gaming videos on YouTube.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced this morning that it has acquired six more video games and one gaming console for the Architecture and Design collection. These include works from the early industry pioneers Atari, Taito, and Ralph Baer, and from the comparatively young Mojang. The new additions are: Magnavox Odyssey (1972), Pong (1972), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Tempest (1981), Yar’s Revenge (1982), and Minecraft (2011).
Game Nation will host Game Nation Celebration, a launch party happening on November 1 - 3 in Fort Myers, FL. The Downtown River District area will be transformed into what organizers call a "massive, interactive story based adventure using the art and culture of video games, immersive storytelling, and video gaming competitions as a backdrop."
Games for Change has announced that the game concept Safe Sex with Friends is the winner of the 2013 SEXETC.ORG Game Design Competition. The three finalists were Safe Sex with Friends, SexEd Super Task Force, and Check/Mate. After hearing presentations from all three finalists (during the 10th Annual Games for Change Festival) and thoughtful deliberation by jurors (Matt Parker, Lana Dakan, Lucinda Holt, and Naomi Clark,) Safe Sex with Friends was selected as the winning game.
Filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, who is best known for her documentary ("Wonder Women! The Untold Stories of American Superheroines") about strong women throughout history and championing the empowerment of women, has made a new game called Wonder City.
Organizers of the 10th annual Games for Change Festival sent along a reminder that next week the annual event dedicated to games will officially launch. This year the Games For Change Festival will take place at New World Stages in NYC from June 17-19.
NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon will host its fourth annual video game week June 17 -21 (12:35am ET on NBC). The weeklong event will likely feature a lot of the games being shown at E3 this week, along with Fallon's signature comedy sketches and special music guests and performances.
Musical guests to appear during the week also have ties to the video gaming world: on Monday Anamanaguchi will be taking the stage for their first live in-studio performance on American TV. The band is well-known for being at the forefront of the chiptune scene.
With the tagline "knock out animal abuse," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) new 8-bit style beat 'em up lets you take on "animal experimenters" using real MMA fighter Aaron Simpson and Georgi Karakhanyan, with Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste. Cage Fight: Knock Out Animal Abuse lets players beat up waves of "scummy animal experimenters and free animals from painful laboratory tests."
Jeremy Snead, creative director at Mediajuice announced that Sean Astin will appear in Video Games: The Movie!, the documentary film about video games crowd funded by a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Astin, who considers himself a hardcore gamer, is best known for his roles in Goonies and The Lord of the Rings films (and who reprised his role as Samwise for The Lord of the Rings: War in the North videogame).
Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka is headed to the White House for a year. Pahlka founded Code for America in 2009 as a way of pairing technology and software companies with cities that are struggling to bring services into the information age. Pahlka will serve as the White House’s latest deputy chief technology officer for government innovation, according to a post on the organization’s blog.
London's Victoria & Albert Museum has hit a milestone of sorts this week. It has appointed it's very first Game Designer in Residence - Sophia George of Swallowtail Games. The BAFTA Award-winning game designer will work closely with the V&A museum and the University of Abertay Dundee to emphasize the history of British game design. She will release a game related to the residency by the summer of 2014. Game Designer in Residence is also supported by The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE).
Update #2: The video is back up!
Update: the video has been removed temporarily by YouTube. Visiting the link provides the following message:
"This video has been removed because its content violated YouTube's Terms of Service. "
We'll have more on this as information becomes available, but clearly someone related to one of the many games highlighted in the video has made a copyright claim.
Justin Reich from the EdTech Blog has posted a video of the "Play Nice: The Science of Player Behavior" talk given last month by Riots Games' Jeffrey Lin (lead designer of social systems) and Carl "Status" Kwoh (the producer for the player behavior team) at Berkman Center for Internet & Society (at Harvard).
According to a survey of male customers conducted by UK video game retailer GAME (and reported on by the Daily Record), approximately 39 percent of British men said they would rather play games than do anything on a bank holiday (a public holiday in the UK).
The National Endowment for the Arts let us know that it will host a webinar on Thursday, May 30 ( 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT) to help applicants understand the application process for securing a media arts projects grant. The NEA's Media Arts Director Alyce Myatt will conduct the webinar, which will offer an overview of guidelines, information on selecting work samples, and advice on preparing a strong application. All of this will be followed by a brief question and answer session.