Former Global VR CTO Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

January 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a report in the San Francisco Gate, a former video game executive has been sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of $5,000 for secretly copying and selling games for his own profit.

The 48-year-old man named David Foley pled guilty in January 2012 to conspiracy to defraud the company, Global VR of San Jose, and a bank.

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'All You Can Arcade' Offers Arcade Game Machines for $75 a Month

August 12, 2013 -

Seth and Timothy Peterson have come up with an interesting business idea for California: an arcade game rental service that charges a monthly fee to get classic arcade game cabinets in the hands of classic arcade gaming aficionados. The San Francisco-based company is called "All You Can Arcade," and lets customers rent such arcade classics as Tron, Ms. Pac Man, and Donkey Kong for $75 a month. The brothers launched the service last month.

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Game Developer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank, Mail, and Wire Fraud

January 10, 2012 -

On Monday federal prosecutors announced that a Los Gatos, California game developer pled guilty to several charges including conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, the former owner of UltraCade Technologies said that some of what the government announced on Monday was "inaccurate."

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R.I.P. Bill 'The Game Doctor' Kunkel

September 5, 2011 -

Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel, who is also known as the "Godfather of Videogame Journalism," passed away on September 4. The cause of his death was unknown at the time of this writing. Bill Kunkel, along with Arnie Katz, created the first major video game magazine to be sold on newsstands. The success of that first publication led to the creation of Electronic Games magazine.

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The State of Georgia v. Ms. Pac-Man

August 2, 2011 -

Last week officers from the Georgia Department of Revenue showed up at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta and seized eight of the establishment's vintage arcade games because for "vending law violations." Seized doesn't mean taking physical possession of the machines; instead the machines were unplugged and tagged with bright red violation stickers.

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New England Town Keeps Video Game Ban in Place

May 9, 2011 -

You may remember our report on a small coastal Massachusetts town that banned coin operated games from grocery stores and bars in 1982. Well recently, the town of Marshfield voted on lifting the ban and the results were surprising. By a vote of 655-554 at a recent Marshfield Town Meeting, residents rejected lifting the town's ban on coin-operated video games. It has been 29 years since the people of Marshfield chased Donkey Kong out of town and it looks like him and his ilk are still unwelcomed.

George Mallet, a long-time resident who petitioned the town to consider repealing the law at annual Town Meeting, thought resident had come around.

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Pac-Man To Be Honored at International Video Game Hall of Fame

August 5, 2010 -

Pac-Man will be the first game to be inducted at the International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa with four days of ceremonies starting Thursday. Certainly The ghost chomping, power pellet eating Pac-Man deserves such an honor. The Hall will have 29 inductees that includes Pac-Man as the first game with the help of Shigeru Miyamoto, Namco founder Masaya Nakamura, and gaming champs Billy Mitchell, Steve Wiebe and Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel.

Supporters of the International Video Game Hall of Fame are hoping that this event will spur some funds for the museum, which has a goal to eventually collect more than 100,000 coin arcade and home video games produced in the last 25 years. A tall order for sure, but something that the founders - like William Day of Twin Galaxies - are committed to. Day and Otummwa officials compare the museum to the great sports museums in the United States like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY or the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Ma.

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Congressman, Iowa Guv Support Push For Video Game Hall of Fame

August 14, 2009 -

If you build it, they will come...

Oops - wrong Iowa attraction reference.

But in Ottumwa, Iowa yesterday some 3,500 people turned out to show support for the building of a proposed Video Game Hall of Fame. Among those is attendance were Congressman David Loebsack (D) and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D), according to Kotaku. Judge read a proclamation from Gov. Chet Culver (D) which deemed Ottumwa as the "Video Game Capital of the World."

Chris Hoeksema, a member of the committee exploring the idea of building the Hall of Fame, was stunned by the turnout:

It's really been amazing. We were not expecting this much outpouring of support from the community and the state. And the entire world, really. We've had donations from overseas and some people flew in from the United Kingdom to attend. It's been an amazing amount of support.

A Radio Iowa report adds that the Hall of Fame project enjoys backing from city, county and state government officials. Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uehling, among the Hall's supporters, commented on some of the nuts-and-bolts issues which must be addressed:

We're very hopeful that we can become the video gaming capitol of the world... We need to get a comprehensive study done on exactly what is needed... Part of this will depend on what is the attraction going to be? We visualize that we would have international competition here as a part of this so we need something that's going to have some capacity.

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In Soviet Russia, Retro Arcade Games Play You

July 1, 2009 -

If you're into the back-in-the-day arcade scene, Offworld has a nice report on the Soviet Arcade Games Museum located at Moscow State Technical University:

Art Lebedev's design studio... has given the museum a full website makeover, complete with a growing collection of its games recreated and playable online.

Of the collection, the most playable is Sea Battle (...dig the fantastically ambient faint whirr of its machinery as you play, and its rustically smudged viewfinder), but there's also the Street Racer-esque game Magistral... [and others]

The only thing it currently lacks is a full English translation... but presumably they're being added over time, as the museum itself continues to restore and collect more historical information on each game...

GP: I took the virtual version of Sea Battle out for a spin. It was very much like a torpedo game that I recall playing on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ as a kid. The online periscope view wasn't quite right, but that can probably be tweeked.

THANKS TO: Jake of 8bitjoystick for the tip!


UPDATED: Iowa City Annoints Itself Video Game Capitol of the World

April 30, 2009 -

Forget Tokyo, Seattle and Austin.

The real video game capital of the world can be found in America's heartland: Ottumwa, Iowa. At least, that's what Ottumwa officials believe. The Des Moines Register reports that the small city also hopes to build a video game hall of fame.

Ottumwa's claim to video game notoriety dates back to 1982 when Billy Mitchell registered a world record on Donkey Kong at a local arcade. Mitchell, who appeared in the 2007 documentary The King of Kong, told the Register that a hall of fame could do wonders for Ottumwa:

It had to seem like a silly idea to most anybody who heard about it, but [the Baseball Hall of Fame] was something that absolutely memorialized Cooperstown. Ottumwa is on the edge of that.

Walter Day, who owned the arcade in which Mitchell set the record and who owns Twin Galaxies, which the Register desribes as "the official scorekeeper of video games," added:

You would be able to go for world records. This will become a very, very big vacation destination.

In the pic at left, Mitchell is sporting the mullet while Day is wearing the referee jersey.

UPDATE: I've re-worked this story (now with 40% less snarkiness) after hearing from some readers as well as one exceedingly irate editor at game scorekeeping site Twin Galaxies, who writes:

The reason that Ottumwa started this movement has NOTHING to do with Billy Mitchell's former Donkey Kong record... the arcade [in Ottumwa] was the original Twin Galaxies and was the birthplace of all World Record Video Gaming, where hundreds of World Record scores were once set by hundreds of gamers.
 
Your article gets this part of the story terribly wrong.  Billy was just one of countless gamers who set World Records there, and one of the countless reasons why Ottumwa began this movement.

GP: Objection noted. However, the Des Moines Register - upon whose reporting this article was originally based - gave the Mitchell record prominent placement in regard to Ottumwa's movement to build a video game hall of fame.

The DVD version of King of Kong has been sitting in my Amazon shopping cart for some time. I will have to pull the trigger and order it. A friend advises that the film offers a lot of context to Ottumwa's bid to become video game capital of the world.

Let me say in closing: Ottumwa, if you build it, I will come.

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Obama Circuit Court Nominee Issued 2000 Ruling Upholding Video Game Legislation

March 18, 2009 -

While an overwhelming majority of federal court judges have found state and local laws restricting video games to be unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge David Hamilton is an exception. In 2000, Hamilton ruled in favor of an Indianapolis law which would have barred unaccompanied minors from playing violent games in coin-op arcades.

Hamilton's eight-year-old opinion in American Amusement Machine vs. Kendrick, while subsequently overturned by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court, could once again be a source of concern to the video game industry.

The Associated Press is reporting that President Barack Obama has nominated Hamilton for an opening on the 7th Circuit, which covers appeals arising from federal district courts in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. From the AP:

Obama on Tuesday nominated [Hamilton] to serve on [the 7th Circuit], his first act in reshaping the federal judiciary and preparing for a possible Supreme Court opening...

 

Three of the appeals courts [including the 7th] can gain a majority of Democratic-appointed judges if Obama's nominees are confirmed for existing vacancies...

 

The White House acted before Hamilton's nomination to make sure that his home-state Republican senator, Dick Lugar, was on board... Lugar's support for Hamilton would make it difficult for Republicans to filibuster his nomination...

 

The American Bar Association gave Hamilton a "well qualified" rating...

GP: As a practical matter, the chances of video game legislation reaching the 7th Circuit any time soon seem slim. Illinois, burned financially by disgraced ex-Guv Rod Blagojevich's 2005 video game law, is unlikely to try again. That leaves only Indiana and Wisconsin. While both have dabbled with legislative proposals aimed at video games in recent years, neither has gotten very far with such proposals.

Moreover, the 7th Circuit already has a precedent-setting video game case in the Kendrick ruling.

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In Casablanca, Explosion Kills One at Video Game Arcade

March 11, 2009 -

Was it a bomb?

The Associated Press reports that a video game arcade in Casablanca was rocked by an explosion which left at least one person dead this morning:

Hassan Sajeed says the explosion occurred at about 8:45 a.m. in front of or inside a video game arcade on his street, the Boulevard el Joulane.

Sajeed said he believed the explosion was a bomb, and that windows were blown out as far as 40 meters (yards) away.

However, an unnamed official at the Moroccan Interior Ministry said that the blast appeared to be caused by natural gas.

The AP notes that Casablanca experienced a series of deadly terrorist bombings in 2003.

4 comments

Texas Legislator's Office Features Retro Mario Bros. Game

January 23, 2009 -

In most legislative offices, the most exciting thing you'll find are brochures.

In Rep. Joe Pickett's office, however, you can try your hand at classic Mario Bros.

As reported by the Austin American-Statesman, Mario isn't the only thing that's different about the Texas Democrat's office in the Capitol Building in Austin.

At his own expense, Pickett has remodeled his digs to look like a 1950s-era burger joint, complete with juke box. Visitors are offered free gumballs, soda and ice cream. As for Mario, the game helps keep state politics from getting too tense: 

[Pickett's] chief of staff, says the old "Mario Bros. " video game is a mood elevator. One day a guy who wanted to argue some issue or other marched in with a fierce face, ready to rumble.

 

"He walked in and saw the old Mario Bros. video game," Chambers recalled. "He looks and says, `Awwwwwwww, I love that game.' It even destressed him."

13 comments

Illinois Village Taxes Arcade Out of Business

January 15, 2009 -

An Illinois village's tax on video game machines has forced a small arcade to abandon its games, according to a report in the Courier News.

The Name Your Game store, located in the village of Hampshire, is described by its owners as a "favorite wholesome after-school hangout" that, in addition to games, offers snacks, collectible cards and clothing.

But proprietors Bob and Gina Pearson claim that a steep village tax of $250 annually per machine led them to dispose of their 10-game inventory. For local kids that means no more Glow-in-the-Dark Air Hockey, NASCAR Racing or Ms. Pac-Man. Said Gina Pearson:

We didn't renew the licenses because the machines don't even make what you charge in these astronomical fees... The game companies tell us this is one of the highest fees in Illinois. We wonder if the village really researched how big this should be or if they just slapped a number on it...


We had become a pretty big hangout for kids after school and weekends. But not having the video games this year has made a big impact in just the first two weeks.

A village official told the Courier News that officials set the fee high with the understanding that the game machine distribution companies pay. However, Gina Pearson indicated that such arrangements only occur with establishments which serve alcohol.

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NeenekoI would hope not. Though it is not unheard of for store specific cards to be pretty good.07/30/2014 - 8:17am
E. Zachary KnightDoes anyone, or at least any intelligent person, expect a retail branded credit card to be anything close to resembling a "good deal" on interest rates?07/30/2014 - 7:13am
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
MaskedPixelanteBut that's not the issue, the 3DS is perfectly capable of emulating GBA games. The problem is that it doesn't have enough available system resources to run it alongside the 3DS OS, and thus it doesn't have access to stuff like Miiverse and save states.07/29/2014 - 5:45pm
Matthew WilsonI am well aware that it requires more power, but if a GBA emulator could run well on a original psp, than it should work on a 3ds.07/29/2014 - 5:36pm
ZenThe reason the SNES could run Gameboy, or the Gamecube could run GBA was because their adapters included all of the necessary hardware to do it in the respective add-ons. The systems were just conduits for control inputs and video/sound/power.07/29/2014 - 4:51pm
ZenMatthew: Emulation takes more power than people realize to run a game properly. You can make something run on less, but Nintendo...as slow as they are at releasing them..makes them run as close to 100% as possible. Each game has its own emulator for it.07/29/2014 - 4:47pm
Matthew Wilsonkind of hard to believe since the 3ds is atleast as powerful as the gamecube hardware wise.07/29/2014 - 4:27pm
MaskedPixelanteYes, the 3DS has enough power to run 16-bit emulators, but not at the same time it's running the 3DS systems themselves. You could run the games, but you wouldn't get save states or Miiverse.07/29/2014 - 4:04pm
InfophileRunning GBA on 3DS shouldn't be hard. The DS had flashcarts sold for it that added just enough power to emulate GBA and SNES games, so the 3DS should have more than enough natively.07/29/2014 - 3:37pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's a bunch of people whining about boycotting/pirating Trails in the Sky FC because XSEED didn't license the Japanese dub track, which consists of about 10 lines per character.07/29/2014 - 11:27am
Sleaker@MP - devolver Digital issued a twitter statement saying they would replace the NISA pledge.07/29/2014 - 10:57am
E. Zachary KnightIs that a discussion about RIAA member music labels?07/29/2014 - 10:48am
 

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