Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration - Part 2

August 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Women as Background Decoration: Part 2, the latest video in the Tropes vs Women in Video Games series from Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian is online. The latest video continues to explore "sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence," according to Sarkeesian's description on YouTube. Here's a little more on the latest episode from Feminist Frequency's YouTube channel:

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Super Podcast Action Committee Episode 108 - Less Buggy Than LEGO Games

August 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

If you missed last week's live broadcast of Super Podcast Action Committee (Episode 108), you can watch the video replay on YouTube,  download it below (in audio format), or find it on iTunes. In episode 108 hosts Andrew Eisen and E.

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Daniel Ellsberg v. Ambassador R. James Woolsey in the Great Snowden Debate

January 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The great debate about the fate of the former NSA contractor who leaked documents detailing the agency's spying programs on the Internet, mobile phones and even in video games rages on. Some believe that Edward Snowden is a patriot and a whistleblower who deserves a full presidential pardon, while others believe that he should be get the maximum penalty under the law for treason and espionage.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 55

June 10, 2013 -

In Episode 55 hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll, a video game researcher's testimony at a mass murder trial, the Xbox One, the Ouya, and some discussion on the upcoming E3 press conferences. Download Episode 55 now: SuperPAC Episode 55 (1 hour, 37 minutes) 89.5 MB.

RSA Animate: The Truth About Dishonesty

February 27, 2013 -

This video from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is priceless, even if you don't agree with its premise on morality and honesty. There's even a small bit about file-sharing in there. Enjoy it - it was unearthed by occasional "video games aren't art" film critic Roger Ebert.

4 comments

Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 36

January 14, 2013 -

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Anonymous putting forth a DDoS free speech petition to the White House, various violent video game buyback programs (Southington CT. and Melrose, MA.), the video game industry meeting with Vice-President Joe Biden's Gun Violence Commission last week, and a whole lot more. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 36 (1 hour, 7 minutes) 61.5 MB.

Xbox Live Users: Vice President Joe Biden Wins VP Debate

October 12, 2012 -

Larry Hryb, also known Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson, released the results of last night's flash polling during the Vice Presidential debate between Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Vice President Joe Biden (D). Hyrb claims that during the live stream of the debate on Xbox Live there were 800,000 responses to poll questions and that the level of engagement among users was "extremely high" with 30,000 responses to each question posed.

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Super Podcast Action Committee – Episode 18

September 5, 2012 -

Episode 18 of the Super Podcast Action Committee sees host Andrew Eisen team up with GP Managing Editor James Fudge, who sat in for E.

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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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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 12

July 25, 2012 -

In Episode 12 of Super Podcast Action Committee, Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss Fez developer Phil Fish's decision not to fix the patch for the game before re-releasing it to Xbox Live (because it costs too much money), Uniloc's patent infringement claims against Minecraft maker Mojang, last week's results from the GamePolitics poll, and the media trying to blame Batman comics, movies and games for the horrific Aurora, Colorado theater shooting.

CNN Contributor Theorizes That Video Games May Be Connected to Colorado Shooting

July 20, 2012 -

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.

Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 5

June 4, 2012 -

In Episode 5 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, James Fudge talks to GaymerCon organizer Matt Conn about the first-of-its-kind LGBT-focused gaming event (find it at 12:36 mark - you can also find a transcript here). Meanwhile hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk way too long about E3, Nintendo, the Wii U and the Game Genie (the segment begins at 25:48 mark).

Center for Democracy & Technology's Open Letter to the Senate on SECURE IT Act

May 15, 2012 -

Earlier this week the Center for Democracy & Technology sent a letter to the Senate expressing its grave concerns over the cybersecurity bill sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT.) and Susan Collins (R-ME.). The letter was signed by 21 organizations and individuals that see the Senate’s version of CISPA (SECURE IT) as deeply flawed and dangerous to Internet freedom, individual liberty, and privacy.

Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski Defends On-Disc DLC

April 10, 2012 -

Speaking to GameSpot, Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski defended the practice of including DLC on retail discs, saying that it is "an ugly truth of the gaming industry." Capcom recently came under fire for including 13 extra characters for Street Fighter X Tekken on disc as extra DLC that gamers had to buy to get access to. Gamers felt that, since they already paid for the disc at retail, they should be entitled to get the DLC content for free.

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Republican Presidential Candidates Come Out against SOPA, PIPA

January 20, 2012 -

At the Southern Republican Debate in South Carolina last night, all four remaining candidates said that they were against PIPA and SOPA. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said that they were against the anti-piracy bills that sparked an Internet protest on Wednesday.

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DailyKOS Takes on SOPA, PROTECT IP

November 29, 2011 -

Left-leaning political blog DailyKOS joins the editorial pages of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times in opposition of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's Protect IP Act. In a post titled "Congress is close to destroying the internet (no hyperbole)," DailyKOS says that it is not hyperbole when they say that lawmakers, big Pharmaceutical companies, and the recording, and movie industries are out to destroy the internet.

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Commonwealth Club Video Game Debate Footage

March 18, 2011 -
Watch live streaming video from commonwealthclub at livestream.com

Last night in San Francisco, the Commonwealth Club hosted a debate on violent video games featuring George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard, and James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. Today we have a video of the action. John Diaz, editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, acted as the moderator.

The most interesting comments to come out of the debate? No one on the panel believes that the Supreme Court will find in favor of the 2005 ant-video game law written by State Senator Leland Yee. Check out the video to your left.

8 comments

Yee Replaced with Common Sense Media CEO for Commonwealth Club Event

March 17, 2011 -

There was supposed to be a debate tonight between California State Senator Leland Yee and George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard, but apparently the San Francisco mayoral candidate can't make it. He has been replaced by James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media - according to Destructoid. I suppose if you are going to get someone that might fight hard against games other than Yee, then Steyer is a decent replacement. Still gamers would have enjoyed seeing Yee debate Rose.

Destructoid also reports that Grand Theft Childhood author Cheryl K. Olsen has taken an interest in the discussion. She will be in the audience, but will not be taking part in the discussion. The moderator would be smart to include her.. More details on the event here.

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Reminder: Commonwealth Club Video Game Debate March 17

March 15, 2011 -

Just a friendly reminder that the Commonwealth Club will host a panel featuring California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco); George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard; and Michael McConnell, the Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The trio will debate whether playing violent video games leads to violence in the real world. They will also discuss at length AB 1179, the notorious anti-game legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2005 but never put into effect because of a court-ordered injunction. Now the case is before the Supreme Court.

The debate will take place this Thursday (March 17) at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco () at 6:00 PM local time. More information from the Commonwealth Club follows:

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Commonwealth Club to offer Live Stream of Yee- Rose Debate

March 4, 2011 -

You may recall that a long time ago (see this story on February 9) we mentioned that the Commonwealth Club would host a video game debate. On March 17 George Rose, Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, and Leland Yee, California State Senator (and San Francisco mayoral candidate), will get together with Michael McConnell, Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. The roundtable / debate / deathmatch will be moderated by John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The organizers of the event wanted those that are not capable of making it to the event that they can watch a web cast of it live via its LiveStream Channel. It will run live on March 17 at 6 PM Pacific Time.

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Duke Nukem Forever Developer to Activists: Have At It

February 24, 2011 -

Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford is not worried about feminists or other activists groups taking issue with the company's saucy first-person shooter, Duke Nukem Forever - in fact he encourages them to use it to their advantage if it will promote their cause. Speaking to Eurogamer at length, Pitchford can see both sides of the issue when it comes to Duke's strong personality and questionable behavior.

"I'll tell you what, if some feminist organisation that is doing a great job advocating women's rights worldwide, which I think is really important, can get some advantage by using Duke... go for it," Pitchford told Eurogamer. "How is there a downside for humanity? Go for it. Take it. Use Duke. That would be awesome.

"If anyone can better our world through the use of anything, and if Duke is a tool to help them do that, that's fine," he added. "The people that are entertained... The choices people make are their choices."

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Commonwealth Club Deathmatch: Leland Yee, George Rose

February 9, 2011 -

It might be a deathmatch at The Commonwealth Club March 17 when George Rose, Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, and Leland Yee, California State Senator (and San Francisco mayoral candidate), get together with Michael McConnell, Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. The roundtable discussion will be moderated by John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The roundtable (debate?), which starts at 6:00 PM, tackles the thorny topic of video games, children and the California law before currently the Supreme Court. While Lee and Rose will argue their respective positions, McConnell will detail the constitutionality of the law (and perhaps) give an insight in how the Supreme Court might tackle the complex free speech issues of the case.

Here's the teaser:

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Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

January 10, 2011 -

Not every teenage boy backs the video game industry when it comes to banning the sale of violent video games to children in California. Take 16-year-old Daniel Willens, a junior at Sonoma Academy -- a preparatory school in Santa Rosa, California, for example.

The teenager penned an editorial in the Press Democrat called "PRO: Minors shouldn't be allowed to buy violent games." Daniel sounds like many of the other supporters of the 2005 law written by California State Senator (D-San Francisco). Daniel opens with the following statement:

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Young Voices Speak Out About Video Game Violence

November 9, 2010 -

The Charlotte Observer offers a regular feature called Young Voices, that polls the youth of the wonderful North Carolina city on the hot button issues of the day. The latest column asks teens age 14 - 18 if violent videogames should be sold or prohibited from people under the age of 18. The answers may surprise you. Some kids think that it's okay for kids to play mature-rated games, others think they should have to wait until they are 18, and some think it is up to the parents.

First here is the question that was asked of these young people:

Q. The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments about whether selling violent video games to anyone under age 18 should be prohibited by law. What do you think? Should persons younger than 18 have the right to buy video games? Why or why not? Should restricted such access be left up to parents and not the law?

Now here are some of the answers:

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RI Gubernatorial Debate Offers Spirited Jousting Over 38 Studios Deal

August 27, 2010 -

The more feisty exchanges in a debate among Rhode Island gubernatorial candidates on Thursday revolved around plans from that state’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to grant 38 Studios $75 million in guaranteed loans in order to get the Curt Schilling-helmed company to move from Massachusetts.

As recounted by the Providence Journal, when asked by a moderator for their views on the 38 Studios deal, Independent candidate, and perpetual opponent of the transaction, Lincoln Chafee called the loan a mistake and indicated that the first payment of $15 million would go out to Schilling’s company next Tuesday.

This prompted Democratic candidate Frank Caprio to snap at Chafee, saying, “You don’t have your facts straight. You don’t understand the deal. You don’t know the first thing about this.”

Why We Might Need Roger Ebert

July 2, 2010 -

While many have celebrated the fact that film critic Roger Ebert backpedaled (thanks to E. Zachary Knight via the Shoutbox) ever so slightly this week, saying that videogames could be considered art given some sort of miracle, somehow, someday (but not in our lifetime), game critic Gus Mastrapa laments Ebert's return to the shadows of videogame criticism. Why would he do that? Because, Ebert was a worthy adversary, unlike politicians, a certain lawyer, children's advocacy groups and talking heads on TV; he inspired thoughtful, well-crafted arguments by columnists and gamers that we don't usually hear, and in turn, made us look better.

At least that's Mastrapa's theory. And like those well created arguments from gamers that games are already art, Mastrapa's opinions on the matter are important. In our struggle with so many uninformed outside forces, we often revert to childish arguments, pretty name calling, and character assassination instead of explaining in emphatic and clear terms that games are, at the very least, important to our culture.

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Game Community Response May Have Slowed Pro-R18+ Movement

May 11, 2010 -

The strong response from Australia’s gaming community to the R18+ issue may have backfired a bit, as the government is now delaying discussion of the issue in order to get feedback from more of the community.

GameSpot notes that Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor indicated that, “…further work needs to be done before a decision can be made.” When pressed, O’Connor told the publication that “ministers had agreed that a broader consultation of the public's views was needed following the dominant response from ‘interest groups.’”

While a spokesperson from O’Connor’s office indicated that “interest groups” referenced the 34 community, church, and other groups that lodged submissions in the public consultation, GameSpot wrote that, “given that submissions were dominated by pro-R18+ interest groups (EB Games and Grow Up Australia), the intended meaning seems clear.”

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Videogame Violence Researchers Battle (Non-Violently)

March 1, 2010 -

A pair of researchers with opposite takes on interpreting and analyzing research related to violence and videogames are once again engaged in the scrutinization of each other’s work.

The latest findings of Iowa State University’s Craig Anderson and his team are the subject of an article in the Washington Post. Unfortunately, actual details from the study are scarce in the Post article, other than the research led Anderson to attribute playing violent videogames to increases in “violent thinking, attitudes and behaviors among players.”

Fortunately, another source provides some insight into the research, which will appear in the March 2010 issue of the Psychological Bulletin. Anderson and his team analyzed 130 existing research reports, comprised of over 130,000 subjects, using meta-analytic procedures, which is described as “the statistical methods used to analyze and combine results from previous, related literature.”

The research concluded that:

…violent video game effects are significant in both Eastern and Western cultures, in males and females, and in all age groups.

Anderson, who indicated that this may be his last study on the subject, because of its “definitive findings” added:

From a public policy standpoint, it's time to get off the question of, 'Are there real and serious effects?' That's been answered and answered repeatedly. It's now time to move on to a more constructive question like, 'How do we make it easier for parents -- within the limits of culture, society and law -- to provide a healthier childhood for their kids?

Well, hold your horses there Dr. Anderson. Texas A&M International University researchers Christopher Ferguson and John Kilburn issued their own research paper challenging Anderson’s findings. The paper is entitled Much Ado About Nothing: The Misestimation and Overinterpretation of Violent Video Game. Effects in Eastern and Western Nations: Comment on Anderson et al.

The paper claims that Anderson’s study “included many studies that do not relate well to serious aggression, an apparently biased sample of unpublished studies, and a 'best practices' analysis that appears unreliable and does not consider the impact of unstandardized aggression measures on the inflation of effect size estimates.”

“One very basic piece of information” that Anderson’s research neglected to report, according to Ferguson and Kilburn, is “as VVGs [violent videogames] have become more popular in the United States and elsewhere, violent crime rates among youths and adults in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, and most other industrialized nations have plummeted to lows not seen since the 1960s.”

Ferguson and Kilburn offer the following summation:

Psychology, too often, has lost its ability to put the weak (if any) effects found for VVGs on aggression into a proper perspective. In doing so, it does more to misinform than inform public debates on this issue.

Just a note: Anderson’s study apparently used a Ferguson and Kilburn-authored analyses to contrast their own.


Thanks Adam!

12 comments

Internet Hub Offers Both Sides of Game Violence Debate

February 8, 2010 -

ProCon.org, a California-based nonprofit charity that specializes in promoting "critical thinking" by presenting both sides of compelling issues has launched a new site dedicated to the topic of video games and violence.

The hub offers an introduction to the topic, noting that “The effect of violent video games on children and teens has been debated by researchers and the media since the release of the video game Death Race in 1976.”

It then lists a variety of research and opinions on the subject, from both sides of the fence, and offeres gathered images and videos on the subject. Visitors to the site can take a survey on the subject and add their own voice to the debate. A separate debate section highlights pros and cons offered by politicians, scholars or public figures.

A 1999 quote from Bill Clinton is used on the pro (or, yes, violent games contribute to youth violence) side:

… video games like ‘Mortal Kombat,’ ‘Killer Instinct,’ and ‘Doom,’ the very game played obsessively by the two young men who ended so many lives in Littleton, make our children more active participants in simulated violence.

A Henry Jenkins quote is utilized to illustrate the con side of the argument:

According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report , the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure. The moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful.

9 comments

When Defending Games, Look to Barry Sanders

January 22, 2010 -

We’ve all been there as gamers—someone attacks the pastime we love and the immediate tendency is for us to come back firing wildly, casting our own dispersions (sometimes angrily) in the process.

A reflective piece on Bitmob cautions that this tendency to lambaste game critics doesn’t always reflect well on the gaming populace. In “Gamers Are Too Defensive,” Jeffrey Michael Grubb writes:

…the complications of hot-blooded passion often pave a path directly to irrational behavior and a tendency to be overly defensive. If a gamer wants to be defined by his passion, there isn't anything perverse about that.  However, the perception of gaming is tarnished when gamers defend it from every misconception and ill-informed pundit.

Grubb offers advice for dealing with the trolls:

They are a lost cause. What can be done about someone who looks even at the tiniest offense and becomes excited about having something to get enraged about?

While it is infuriating when cable news channels misrepresent a game to make it appear more violent or sexually explicit than it really is, we have to laugh these occurrences off -- as many of you already do.

Grubb offers a great analogy for dealing with game critics, saying that we should act like Barry Sanders, the all-world ex-Detroit Lions running back who used to simply hand a referee the ball after scoring a touchdown:

Barry Sanders treated scoring a touchdown as if it were no big deal to him, because he had been in the end-zone before, and he would be there again. That is how we need to treat our passion. Video games will take their place next to music, movies, and books simply because we know that is where video games belong.

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Andrew EisenWhat gets me is this worked fine last year. Same PC, same capture hardware, same broadcaster.10/23/2014 - 3:58pm
Andrew EisenWish I knew where the problem was so I could fix it.10/23/2014 - 3:55pm
Andrew EisenMaybe the fact that TWC throttles my upload speed to 1 Mbps is why I've been having so much difficulty live streaming. Then again, the podcast works fine.10/23/2014 - 3:52pm
PHX Corp@Neo_DrKefka @quiknkold agreed, I think everyone needs to just STFU and play Video Games. If the behavior(between #GG and #SGG2014) continues, it's going to eventually affect the Videogame industry negatively(Lost Sales, etc.)10/23/2014 - 3:50pm
Neo_DrKefkaIn a #GamerGate Stream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd-BahVyFYQ they are too busy talking about Brianna's Wu appearance rather than her actions. Oh god our movement has become less and less about solutions and how can we can resolve these problems.10/23/2014 - 3:28pm
quiknkoldThese people are Arms Dealers selling weapons to both sides of this war, and I feel the only way anything will change is if everybody just stops. CTFO and play games.10/23/2014 - 3:28pm
quiknkoldI'm not specifically Targeting the Gamergate people on this. But There is one or two sick Freaks out there who get their jollys on this, and they are fueled by the war they are making worse.10/23/2014 - 3:27pm
prh99How much longer can the charade continue, the extremists have driven out the majority of people that thought it was about ethics. All that's left are the hooligans.10/23/2014 - 3:25pm
quiknkoldneeds to never happen again10/23/2014 - 3:20pm
quiknkoldand really I just stoped giving a damn about those articles, because the opinions of 7+ Articles does not change the fact that I am a Gamer, That I love Games, and that I am a decent hard working Human Being. And what happened to Felicia Day, who I adore,10/23/2014 - 3:20pm
quiknkold2 reasons why I originally joined gamergate. 1: I didnt like the 7+ anti gamer articles. 2 : I thought there was real newsworthy stuff pouring out of it like the stuff involving Phil Fish. As time went by, I saw no real fruiit10/23/2014 - 3:19pm
quiknkoldcalling for a #ceasefire. cause seriously, people on both sides need to just stop, step back to their corners, and relax for a little and just not deal with this. if something happens, fine, break out the bs again. But I will not stand idle by anymore.10/23/2014 - 3:18pm
james_fudgeQuiknkold: I was sad to see that happened.10/23/2014 - 3:13pm
quiknkoldthis arguement has become utter BS and I will not stand by when somebody who posts her own fears has those fears become true10/23/2014 - 3:10pm
quiknkoldWith Felicia Day's Doxxing, I am officially against Gamergate now. Calling for a #Ceasefire on twitter. This 'crap' needs to end now. Its BS that this happened.10/23/2014 - 3:09pm
Matthew Wilsoncrt's ran over 60 fps. its just publisher choosing graphics over gameplay10/23/2014 - 3:03pm
prh99MW: I'd tend to agree. When most tv's these days are 60Hz+ LCDs, a 30fps lock seems like a relic from the CRT TV days.10/23/2014 - 2:59pm
Matthew Wilsoncall me a pc elitist if you want, but I prefer 60 fps. that being said, Nintendo is one of the few developers that makes all their games at 60 fps. Platum does that too.10/23/2014 - 2:52pm
james_fudgeNeo_DrKefka agreed.10/23/2014 - 2:42pm
prh99Saddly Ubi has locked AC:Unity to 900p on consoles at least and 30fps for everything in the name of parity, and in the case of latter issue for a "more cinematic" feel.10/23/2014 - 2:36pm
 

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