Twelve-Year-Old Hacker Traded Secrets for Video Games

October 28, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A 12-year-old Canadian boy reportedly was the mastermind behind a hack that brought down government web sites during the 2012 Quebec student protests, according to an RT.com report.

The unnamed fifth grader managed to take down multiple Canadian government web sites including the Quebec Institute of Public Health, and even Chilean government site. His targets were down for several days, according to reports, even as police clashed with college students in the streets over tuition hikes in a 2012 protest.

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Watchdog Group Sues Canadian Government for Overbroad Domestic Spying Activities

October 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While watchdog groups, activists, and everyday citizens are speaking out about the NSA's domestic surveillance programs in the U.S., it turns out that our neighbors to the north have one of their own engaging in very similar activities. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association claims that the Attorney General of Canada violated the country's Constitution by authorizing CSEC to intercept emails, telephone calls, text messages, and other data using the country's anti-terrorism act. The Civil Liberties Association has sued the government in B.C. Supreme Court.

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Canada's Video Games Industry Generated $2.3 Billion in 2012

October 22, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), the trade group representing the video games industry in the region, has released its 2013 report on the state of the Canadian games industry. The report reveals that the video games industry brought in $2.3 billion of Canada's gross national product (GDP) in 2012. It also found that 76 percent (about 250 companies) of the 329 studios in Canada are "domestically owned" and employed roughly 16,500 people full time across the country.

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La Quadrature du Net: CETA Will Impact Internet Freedoms

October 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Canadian Internet rights group La Quadrature du Net warns that a trade treaty between Canada and the European Union will ultimately hurt internet freedoms in both regions if its ratified. CETA recently reached "agreement in principle" status during a meeting between José Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Stefen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister.

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Canadian PhD Student Designing Games for Seniors

October 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

University of Saskatchewan computer science PhD student Kathrin Gerling is designing video games specifically for the benefit of senior citizens. Gerling, who loves video games, wants to combine her love for her hobby with her passion for her community by working with seniors in local nursing homes to make accessible games. Gerling was inspired to do this by a number of studies that showed that seniors who play games gain mental and physical benefits from them.

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Eidos Montreal Founder and GM Resigns

July 23, 2013 -

According to this Polygon report, Eidos Montreal founder and general manager Stephane D'Astous resigned from the company last Friday, citing what could best be described as irreconcilable differences between the GM and parent company Square Enix. D'Astous is being replaced by David Anfossi, the current Eidos Montreal studio head and producer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: The Fall. D'Astous helped found the studio in 2007.

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Wi-Lan Loses Patent Infringement Case Against Mobile Phone Makers

July 17, 2013 -

What happened to Ottawa-based patent-licensing firm Wi-Lan in an East Texas court this week has to be the nightmare of every company using patent licensing portfolios, lawsuits, and settlements as their business model of choice.

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Former IGDA Executive Director Joins Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada Advisory Board

July 16, 2013 -

Former IGDA executive director Jason Della Rocca he been appointed to the advisory board for the ICT practice of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. The advisory board provides the ICT Practice with advice on various aspects of the ICT industry including its various sub-sectors like video games. Members advise on related issues and make recommendations on the funded programs and services delivered by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

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Canadian Video Game Awards Move to Toronto in 2014

July 12, 2013 -

The Canadian Video Game Awards will be held in Toronto next year, organizers announced this week. The awards that honor the Canadian video games industry and the games they create took place in Vancouver for the last few years. The change in venue is the natural progression of the event, say organizers.

"The intention has always been to have this a travelling awards show," said Nicole Emmett, director of business development for Reboot Communications which co-produces the awards show.

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Man Claims Wii Competition and Sex Wager Led to Wife's Murder

July 12, 2013 -

A former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer claims that a bet on a Wii game competition involving sex as the prize was what triggered him murdering her in self defense. Keith Wiens is currently on trial for shooting his common law wife and faces a charge of second degree murder. Wiens testified this week, admitting that he fired a single shot into the head of Lynn Kalmring in August 2011 at their Penticton (British Columbia, Canada) home, but maintained that he did it in self defense because she was brandishing a knife.

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Precursor Games Developer Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

July 1, 2013 -

Precursor Games developer Kenneth McCulloch has been arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography and the company he worked for has issued a statement saying that it has let him go. According to a press release from the Niagara Regional Police Service, Police executed a search warrant at McCulloch's St. Catharines, Ontario residence yesterday, and seized a "significant" number of computers and peripherals. The police began investigating McCulloch in April.

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Games Industry Contributed $2.3 Billion to Canadian Economy in 2012

May 31, 2013 -

According to data collected by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), Canada's video game industry is growing at a moderate rate even as the sector continues to grow and evolve. According to the research, Canada currently has 329 video game studios that generated over $2.3 billion in GDP for the Canadian economy in 2012. The video game industry employed 16,500 men and women in 2012, up five percent from employment numbers in 2011.

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ESAC Urges Canadian Games Industry to Take Part in National Survey

April 8, 2013 -

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) is urging members of the Canadian games industry to take part in a survey to gauge the size, composition and economic impact on the country's economy. The survey has been available for awhile, but today's public service announcement extends it for an extra week. Results of the survey will be published within a few months of its competition on April 15.

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Report: US-Based Sex Offenders Use Online Games to Target Children in Canada

April 2, 2013 -

An interesting story via the Huffington Post (based on this CBC report) details sexual predators in the United States using online games and consoles to talk to children in Canada. This particular report focuses on Winnipeg, but it's not far-fetched to imagine that if it's happening in one province, it's happening to some degree in other provinces as well.

Nintendo Mini Moves Over 35K Units in Canada

March 1, 2013 -

Earlier in the week we reported that Nintendo announced plans to bring the budget minded Wii Mini to the United Kingdom after launching it in Canada back in December. One of the things we did not know was just how well the scaled down console was performing at retail in Canada. Popular Nintendo-focused web site Nintendo World Report offers some insight on that today. According to NWR, the Nintendo Mini has sold 35,700 units across Canada - from launch to January 31.

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CS Map Makers Get Cease-and-Desist from Montreal Transit Authority

February 20, 2013 -

Is public transportation a "brand?" That's the question one has to ask oneself when it reads about the Montreal transit authority threatening two Counter-Strike designers with a $49,200 fine over a new Counter-Strike map based on the Montreal subway station. According to Ars Technica, Diego Liatis and Frédérik Denis spent nine months making a detailed digital version of the Berri-UQAM station.

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Indie Developer Makes Game to Vent About Day Job, Loses It

January 30, 2013 -

A Canadian tax department worker who developed and released a game that made fun of his day job as a customer service representative now finds himself out of work. Apparently his bosses at the Canada Revenue Agency didn't find his game all that amusing. That game is called I Get This Call Every Day and, as anyone who handles a phone support role (or any other profession where you have to directly deal with people) can attest, people aren't always that fun to deal with...

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Voltage Pictures Targets Canadian ISP TekSavvy

December 11, 2012 -

Canadian internet service provider TekSavvy has found itself in the crosshairs of U.S.-based movie studio Voltage Pictures LLC. The ISP announced on Monday that it had received a request on behalf of the studio to provide subscriber information on "a couple thousand" of its users that the studio alleges have downloaded or shared such films as The Whistleblower, Balls to the Wall, Fire with Fire, and others.

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EA Employee Wendell Harlow Honored by Make-A-Wish

December 7, 2012 -

Electronic Arts employee Wendell Harlow has been honored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal marks the 60th anniversary of England's Queen Elizabeth II’s "accession to the Throne" and honors the achievements and contributions of Canadians. Wendell received the distinct honor for over a decade of supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Canada.

Nintendo of Canada: Wii Mini Missing Core Features to Keep Cost Low

December 6, 2012 -

Nintendo of Canada communications manager director Matt Ryan tells Polygon that the Wii Mini lacks important features such as GameCube backwards compatibility and online connectivity because the firm wanted to keep the cost low so that "families" and "non-core gamers" could afford the device. Nintendo announced the pared down Nintendo Wii recently as being only for Canada and set at a suggested retail price of $99 CAN.

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Wii Mini is Real, But Only for Canada

November 27, 2012 -

It turns out that the rumors about a new pared down Wii console were true but there are several caveats. For one, the new console will be released only in Canada for some reason. It will be released to our wonderful neighbors in the northern kingdom on December 7 and will retail for right around $99 CAN. So what are the other caveats? For one it does not support backwards compatibility, which means it is not capable of playing those old GameCube games. It is also not online capable, which means you can't use any services such as Netflix or Hulu Plus...

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More Legal Troubles for Silicon Knights in Epic Court Fight

November 9, 2012 -

Vancouver-based developer Silicon Knights is being ordered by a U.S. court to recall and destroy all unsold copies of games using Unreal Engine 3, including Too Human and X-Men: Destiny. The new ruling on post-trial motions for the case between Silicon Knights and Epic Games also saw Epic's jury award upped from $4.5 million to over $9 million, much to the chagrin of the troubled studio.

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Slant Six Games CFO Blames Lack of Government Support for Vancouver Game Industry Decline

November 1, 2012 -

A prominent executive officer at Vancouver-based game developer Slant Six Games says that the Vancouver video game industry in danger of dramatically declining because of the lack of support from the government of British Columbia. CFO Lance Davis blames a lack of investment from the regional government since 2008. He also claims that this lack of support has led to 14,000 job cuts at various game studios in Vancouver. In June of this year Slant Six cut a quarter of its workforce temporarily.

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Report: As Few as Five Developers Remain at Silicon Knights

October 30, 2012 -

An extensive report over at Kotaku claims that the offices of developer Silicon Knights has become a ghost town, with less than five employees remaining at the company. Citing multiple sources who worked at the company, the report claims that the studio was playing fast and loose with the funding of X-Men: Destiny coming from Activision, while secretly working on an Eternal Darkness 2 demo to pitch to publishers.

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Entertainment Software Association of Canada Gets New CEO

October 19, 2012 -

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada announced that Jayson Hilchie is the new president and CEO of the lobbying group for the Canadian video game industry. Before taking on this new leadership role, Hilchie previously served in a similar role at Nova Scotia Business Inc., where he helped foster growth in that region's video game industry by aiding such studios as Longtail, Frontier Developments, and Radian6 establish offices in Halifax.

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Survey Says: Kids Who Play Video Games Get More Aggressive Over Time

October 8, 2012 -

UK papers The Telegraph and the Daily Mail seem to be delighted with a new study from researchers at Brock University in Canada published in the journal Developmental Psychology. The study, which bases its findings on 1,492 adolescents surveyed from eight high schools in Ontario over a four year period. Researchers say that 51 percent of those surveyed were female, while 49 percent were male. Participants were ages 14- to 15-years-old at the start of the study and 17- or 18-years-old at its conclusion.

Report: Dutch Government Opposes Canadian-European Trade Treaty

September 26, 2012 -

A report from Holland (uncovered by IT World Canada) reveals that the Dutch government plans to fight a proposed Canadian-European trade treaty because it contains language similar to what had been rejected earlier this year when the European Parliament voted down the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

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Eidos Montreal Employee Gets Sacked for Facebook 'Hate Speech'

September 7, 2012 -

If you're a video game tester and you act like a dumb ass (allegedly) you'll probably get fired. Just ask 20-something Blake Marsh, who decided to try a little political comedy with a dash of misogyny and hate on his Facebook page. It's too bad for Marsh that his bosses at Eidos Montreal weren't laughing when they found out.

Following a failed assassination attempt by suspect Richard Bain on the newly-elected Quebec premier-designate Pauline Marois that saw one person killed and another severely injured, Marsh decided to make light of the crime:

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Michael Geist: European Commission's Assurance on CETA Don't Add Up

July 26, 2012 -

As more details emerge on the secretly negotiated trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, online rights activists are voicing their opinions on why it is a bad idea and why they are getting a strange sense of déjà vu. Critics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was ultimately voted down by the European Parliament, have warned that those forces in Europe and other parts of the world behind such treaties will continue to push parts of that treaty that most citizens do not want.

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THQ Closes Arizona Quality Assurance Operation, Lays Off Staff

July 20, 2012 -

THQ continues to cut costs by closing down operations it believes it can live without. Unfortunately for the employees of the company's Quality Assurance operations in Phoenix, Arizona that means a round of layoffs. THQ has decided to consolidate its QA teams into its Montreal location and will be closing its Phoenix, Arizona-based operation in response. According to GII THQ will close the QA center and lay off 57 employees.

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Which group is more ethically challenged?:

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Andrew EisenHeh, just had our (IGN's) journalistic integrity called into question over a couple typos.07/01/2015 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilson@tech this isnt the only stupid tax in recent months though. they were adding a commuter tax as well. if they continue doing crap like this, they will run in to the same issues as Detroit.07/01/2015 - 5:34pm
TechnogeekI guess we can give Chicago credit for diversifying their portfolio of corruption, although they've still got a lot of work before they retake that crown from Louisiana.07/01/2015 - 5:29pm
TechnogeekEh, cities abusing taxation power for their own game isn't really a "Detroit" thing so much as a "corrupt small town" thing.07/01/2015 - 5:29pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/chicago-netflix-customers-your-bill-is-about-to-up-9-percent/ Chicago wants to become the new Detroit so be it.07/01/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileAnd also, she said "anyone," but she also said "probably." This means there's a subset for whom the "you shouldn't write it" doesn't apply.07/01/2015 - 4:47pm
InfophileGoing back a bit: "As I believe there is no justification, there is no reason for me to continue reading." - One reason to read might be to find out if you're wrong about there being no justification for it.07/01/2015 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenRead it here: http://www.zenofdesign.com/getting-diversity-to-speak/07/01/2015 - 4:42pm
Andrew EisenFormer Bioware dev, Damion Schubert, offers an interesting thought on diversity in the industry. Not only is it important to have, it's important to make sure they feel comfortable offering their perspective.07/01/2015 - 4:40pm
Andrew EisenHeh, I did consider it!07/01/2015 - 4:37pm
Craig R.Aww, video gamer players wasn't an option for the poll?07/01/2015 - 4:33pm
KaylaKazeI think the problem here is certain people don't know what "shouldn't" means, even after it's been explained to them half a dozen times.07/01/2015 - 4:19pm
Andrew EisenWhat if creators heard our feedback, agreed with it and then... oh god... made a better show? The HORROR!!!07/01/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI mean, next thing you know they'll make a YouTube video. A YOUTUBE VIDEO!!!07/01/2015 - 4:07pm
Andrew EisenHow DARE anyone write an opinion suggesting that people who suck at something might consider a better way to accomplish the same thing or improve so they suck less. The NERVE!07/01/2015 - 4:06pm
Goth_SkunkYes, but we complain about it amongst ourselves, we shake our heads, we sigh, shrug our shoulders and say 'oh well, what can you do?' We don't write articles for Wired and say 'Anyone can write about X, but should they? Probably not.'07/01/2015 - 3:57pm
Andrew EisenMy favorite is: "Zoom and enhance!"07/01/2015 - 3:55pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, you must not hang out with many technology experts. We complain about bad portrayals of tech all the time.07/01/2015 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenPeople should be free to write about anything their little hearts desire. Even if they suck at it. Maybe not the most advisable thing to do, depending on their personal goals. But that's why you listen and learn and improve! Or try to, anyway.07/01/2015 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenAnd you're straying from the path a bit but the sentiment in and of itself I agree with.07/01/2015 - 3:47pm
 

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