As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).
Right Wing Watch (a web site that admittedly doesn't like the principals of conservatism or the people who push its agendas in print, online and on broadcast television) points out in this story that Glenn Beck blames the Sandy Hook School Shooting in Newton, Connecticut entirely on the shooter's consumption of violent video games. Beck made his comments on last night's show which airs on his web site.
It's one thing for North Korea to threaten the United States of America via a propaganda video, it's quite another for them to steal the footage of the nuclear blast from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3! But that is exactly what they did, according to an analysis of the footage over at Forbes.
The San Francisco Chronicle offers an in-depth article on how video games have been drawn into the discussion on gun violence featuring quotes from California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) , IGDA Executive Director executive director, and Ian Bogost, professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Taliban apparently doesn't like England's Prince Harry. Big shock there, right? But the group accused of various attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and other activities in Pakistan says that Prince Harry has a mental illness. Prince Harry returned from a four-month deployment in Afghanistan Monday, and has been conducting a series of interviews with the British press.
Former long-shot U.S. presidential candidate and consumer protection advocate is making waves today after comparing the video game industry and the products they create to "electronic child molesters." The comment was made as part of a wider criticism of President Barack Obama's new plan to reduce gun violence and his inauguration yesterday. Speaking to Politico, Nader said that the president's proposals do not go far enough in regulating the video game industry.
While it might be funny that Anonymous now has a petition up on the official website for the White House, it is doubtful at the Obama Administration finds it all that humorous. The loose-knit Internet hacking collective has taken some time out of its busy schedule of attacking various government agencies and other organizations it hates to launch a petition asking the Administration to make DDoS attacks a form of protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
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.
Serious Sam 3 publisher Devolver Digital is urging fans to openly criticize EA's newest Medal of Honor game for a free copy its first-person shooter.
"During this busy season of video game releases the team at Devolver Digital realize that not every game will live up to expectations. One such game has been Medal of Honor: Warfighter – yet another military shooter where cover is king and most folks spend their time peeking out from behind a wall or a strategically placed concrete barrier," a post on the Devolver site reads.
As is usually the case with UK paper The Daily Mail, they have taken a new study from the University of Pittsburgh about the relationship between sleep and insulin production and turned it into a commentary on how games are bad. In their headline they proclaim "Staying up all night playing video games 'puts teenagers at greater risk of diabetes.'" The horror.
Reporting on James Holmes' day in court today, Fox News tries to make a connection to World of Warcraft. We assume this is to tie video games to the shootings in Aurora, Colorado earlier this month, but the connection is about as tenuous as lights over Roswell, New Mexico being definitive proof that extraterrestrials exists...
Holmes was formally charged with 24 counts of murder, 116 counts of attempted murder, one count of possession of explosives, and one count of a crime of violence.
Unfortunately CNN contributors aren't the only ones speculating on the motivations of 24-year-old Colorado mass-murder suspect James Holmes.
Last night 24-year-old James Holmes used four guns (a rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, according police), and tear gas to shoot, disorientate, and trap theater goers attending the opening of The Dark Knight Rising movie at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. The attack left 12 people dead and
38 59 injured. He was arrested outside the theater by police shortly thereafter.
A game funded by the Iranian government picks the scab off a wound that most youngsters in the country probably either forgot or didn't know about it the first place. The game is called "The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict." For those who may not remember, Salman Rushdie is an author who had a fatwa put on his head by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini for his 1988 book, "The Satanic Verses." All good Muslims were encouraged to kill Rushdie for penning his "blasphemous book."
Brad J. Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University, often conducts studies that almost always lead to the same conclusions: that video games are nothing but a bad influence on anyone that uses them. His past studies that draw the conclusion that video games do more harm than good are listed on his web page. So his latest research comes as no great surprise and is coincidentally timed with the Anders Breivik trial going on in Oslo Norway.
UK publication Express turns to guest columnist Jo Frost (better known as the star of the TV show Super Nanny), for answers to what caused last week's riots in London. And a good thing too, because apparently Jo has a "plan to save" those out-of-control youngsters who burned, looted, and committed acts of violence (thanks to C&VG by way of our own Magic). But first, Jo describes the riots as she saw them:
How could Fox News resist attacking Duke Nukem Forever? After all it's a game aching to court controversy - for reasons real or imagined. Fox News writers Jeremy A. Kaplan and Patrick Manning get together to take Gearbox to task for the multiplayer mode of the game, "Capture the Babe." They open by describing the multiplayer mode:
"A new videogame that requires you to abduct women and give them a "reassuring slap" if they freak out has gamers and women's rights-groups crying foul. Brace yourself for the awfully sexist world of Duke Nukem Forever."
Brace yourself for comments from people who know nothing about the game, save the ten minutes of video they found on YouTube:
In yet another editorial masquerading as a news report (the last one being the whole Carole Lieberman "Games cause Rape" story), Fox News writer John Brandon takes another shot at stirring the pot about Epic Games' Bulletstorm. In his latest article, Brandon uses the censorship of the game in Germany as a jump-off point to attack Rock, Paper, Shotgun's dissection of his first article, to claim that "anyone" can buy the game online, and to throw some more quotes around. Of the censorship in Germany, Brandon opens by baiting gamers with the line: "It's too violent for Germany. But it's okay for America?”
I am sure that Blizzard (and other MMO companies) is delighted with today's press release from World of Wacraft gold reseller outfit BYGamer. While the press release isn't particularly thrilling one could imagine that the China-based gold farmers are not well liked on this side of the world.
The company issued a press release to announce changes to its web site - BYGAMER.com - which now offers visitors a plethora of fancy colors, improved navigation and lovely new frames. Are they mocking Blizzard? It sure seems that way.
The company tops off its wonderful announcement with customer testimonials:
"It’s amazing! What a beautiful site and Buy WOW Gold here is absolutely a good choice!, said new customer Monica to one of BYGAMER’s call center operators.
The company says that this new design is already proving to help "increase traffic and sales."
Full release below:
Arizona State Senator Linda Gray recently said that the Tucson shootings weren't caused by lax gun control laws, but a culture of violence.. and abortion. Yes, you have read that right, ABORTION. She later distanced herself slightly from her comments. How abortion factors into the equation I’m not sure, but politicians do so enjoy tying irrelevant things to tragedies to score political points..
"The problem is not the gun, but about respect for all human life, from the unborn, a 9 year old child, a senior citizen or a political leader," Gray told Raw Story, by e-mail. "The shooter had no respect for the value of any these innocent citizens who were injured or killed."
A new study from Iowa State professor Dr. Douglas Gentile concludes that there are "hints of causality" between excessive gaming and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and social problems. You may recall that the ESA issued a statement on Friday calling the study deeply flawed.
The study, "Pathological video game use among youth 8 to 18: A national study," was conducted by Gentile, who is also the director of research for the National Institute on Media and the Family.
Gentile and his group of researchers surveyed 3,034 Singapore schoolchildren about their gaming habits, looking for children who were "pathological gamers." The groups were broken up into several groups: children who were pathological gamers throughout the study, children who became pathological or stopped being pathological during the study, and children who showed no signs of affect.
Former philosophy professor and regular Huffington Post contributor Myriam Miedzian pens an editorial on Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association urging the court to "protect people, not corporations." Her opinion piece opens with a discussion of Doom:
She then talks about how video games are not the works of individual writers but corporations, and how the Italian mafia and a certain Arizona killer factor into the equation:
Author, teacher, and all around frenetic Carol Josel pens a rather lengthy blog post about Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association. As you can guess her words are not kind to the video game industry, the EMA, or the ESA's ESRB ratings system.
Pointing out that the law's author Leland Yee is a child psychologist, and that the American Academy of Pediatrics believes there is a link between gaming and aggressive behavior in children, The "Schoolwise" series writer hits the ground running with a blistering attack on the game industry.
Ryan G. Van Cleave's new book about his battle with game addiction is in stores today. The book is called "Unplugged: My Journey Into The Dark World Of Video Game Addiction," and it details what the author calls a battle with "very serious addiction" to playing videogames. His level of addiction? He claims he spent 50 hours a week playing videogames which led to self-imposed alienation from friends and family, job loss, and bad health.
A press release this morning in support of the book offers a particularly hard to belive quote on what he experienced when he gave gaming up:
It has been more than a month since Gov. Jon Huntsman vetoed Jack Thompson's video game bill, but the disbarred attorney continues to wage an e-mail war with various Utah government officials. In his latest and most bizarre salvo, Thompson has threatened to have the entire Utah legislature - all 104 House and Senate members - prosecuted by the F.B.I. for violating his civil rights.
GamePolitics readers will recall that in April State Senate President Michael Waddoups asked Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (another favorite target of Thompson's vitriol) to look into prosecuting Thompson for alleged spam. The Senate President was offended by an Easter morning e-mail from Thompson which included a screenshot of a pair of strippers giving GTA IV protagonist Nico Bellic a lap dance. Last week Thompson wrote to the F.B.I.'s Salt Lake City Field Office seeking the prosecution of Waddoups for supposedly infringing on his right to petition the government.
An e-mail circulated by Thompson on Sunday indicates that a second legislator, Rep. Curtis Oda, apparently took objection to the anti-game activist's messages (we haven't seen Oda's e-mail to Thompson). Thompson responded with his threat to prosecute the Utah legislature:
If I get one more threat of criminal prosecution for sending you all proof, as I have, that pornographic video games are being sold to children in Utah because of the willful refusal of your Attorney General to enforce your state's pornography laws, then I will add ALL of you to the sworn criminal complaint now in the hands of the FBI in Salt Lake City. You will be identified as co-conspirators to violate 18 USC 241 and 242...
Maybe the real problem here is that Utah, as a recent study proves, leads the nation in consumption of on-line porn. Maybe some among you are into this stuff, and you feel threatened...
I'm not going to put up with it. I've taken down some of the largest pornographers in the world. Taking down your legislature will be a piece of cake by comparison.
GP: This year's near-success marked Thompson's third attempt at game legislation in the Utah legislature. However, following the disbarred attorney's spectacular display of bridge burning following Gov. Huntsman's veto, we don't advise holding your breath waiting for a fourth Thompson appearance in the Beehive State.
From the Consider the Source Dept:
Gossip mag The Star reports that President Barack Obama indulges in mobile phone gaming apps:
During his first days in office, President Obama laid down the law — Hands off my BlackBerry! But his insistence on keeping it wasn't just because he wanted to stay in touch with family and friends. Turns out the Prez is hooked on playing the mobile game BrickBreaker!
"He plays to unwind," a confidante reveals. "Every night before bed, he gives it a few minutes."
And he's hardly all thumbs.
"His high score is around 15,000!"