New research coming out of the University of Toronto shows that playing shooters and driving games for even a short amount of time seems to improve the ability to search for a target hidden among distractions in complex scenes. The study was conducted by psychology professor Ian Spence and PhD candidate Sijing Wu, who compared action videogame players and non-players on three visual search tasks. They found that the experienced players were better at it.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released OpenArena, an "adults only" multiplayer first person shooter based on the Quake III engine. Available now for Raspberry Pi systems, the game runs on a modified version of the engine that powers Quake III - id tech 3, and the gameplay has been heavily modified to work on the system. The copyrighted material from Quake III has also been removed to make the game truly open sourced. Obviously there are still some outstanding bugs in the software.
Last month, DayZ creator Dean Hall said he was very depressed by all the bad press surrounding competing zombie game The War Z.
According to an announcement from 343 Industries community manager Jessica Shea posted on Halo Waypoint, multiplayer servers for the PC windows version of Halo 2 will go dark on February 15. So why would 343 Industries shut down those servers? Because, as Shea points out, nobody seems to be using them anymore:
"We're sad to report that the service end-date for Halo 2 PC Multiplayer will be February 15, 2013," reads the post.
On CNN's State of the Union with host Candy Crowley, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TENN.) sat in on a panel discussion about gun control and the likelihood of legislation being passed by the current Congress. But instead of discussing gun control, Blackburn decided to take a few shots at Activision's Call of Duty series. Blackburn said that in preparation to appear on the show she watched some video of the game and was shocked at the violence she saw... she also called the game "Call to Duty."
Remember that virtual showroom that linked Medal of Honor: Warfighter to real-life products from its gun maker marketing partners? Well Electronic Arts has decided that it needed to make some adjustments to that whole promotion/connection, according to this Polygon report..
DayZ creator Dean Hall says that all the bad press surrounding the release of rival title The War Z is so depressing that he considered quitting the industry because of it. Speaking to the Reddit community, Hall said the whole ordeal made him "pretty depressed" and made him "seriously question" his desire to be a part of the industry. He also said that the media inquiries and interview requests have caused him to retreat slightly.
The Hartford Courant is highlighting a story about a 12-year-old Newtown, Connecticut boy who has started a campaign to "stop playing violent video games." Max Goldstein, a 12-year-old student who attends Newtown Middle School, says that he decided to stop playing games like "Call of Duty" after attending the funeral of one of his brother's friends who had been killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shoot
The president of the Czech Republic President pledges continued support for the two jailed Arma developers who are currently being held in Greece on charges of espionage. Earlier in the week President Václav Klaus wrote a personal letter to Greek President Karolos Papoulias - translated by Eurogamer urging him to give the case "special attention," but he also emphasized that he was not trying to meddle in the country's business.
Research firm Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz says that Medal of Honor: Warfighter is "likely to be a major disappointment." Set for release in the US, Europe and Australia this week, the game is set to face a tough shooter market that includes heavyweights like Halo 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops II. With that in mind, Creutz think that Warfighter will be a disappointment in terms of its sales numbers.
Following up on a story from earlier this week about Gotham City Imposters going free-to-play, we can now confirm that it was more than just a rumor. This morning Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment officially announced that the online multiplayer action game is now available for free through Steam.
Is Gotham City Imposters going free-to-play? According to data on the Open Steamworks Content Description Record Database (by way of NeoGAF), signs point to "yes." The Open Steamworks Content Description Record Database is an unofficial record of games and their descriptions provided by Valve.
A new video game developed by a 19-year-old student and promoted by the Azerbaijani government lets players change the results of the Spring 1992 capture of the Nagorno Karabakhi town of Shusha by Armenian and Nagorno Karabakhi forces. The battle marked the turning point in the conflict for control of the territory.
While having a super casual mode for your game is a great idea, what you call it in private can sometimes seep out and cause you a headache if you are not careful. That is exactly what is happening to Gearbox Software this morning after a Eurogamer report called a new super easy skill tree in Borderlands 2 "Girlfriend Mode." The offense comes from the inference that "girlfriends" are somehow not very good at games (or not very bright) and need a special skill tree to help them along. Gearbox is basically being accused of using a misogynist term to describe the mode.
If you are one of those people dedicated (or crazy depending on your perspective) enough to pay $30 a month to rent a Battlefield 3 server from EA DICE, then today's announcement will make you feel like you are getting more bang for your buck. EA announced that an upcoming update will add new match features which give server owners and players the ability to coordinate and schedule matches.
According to a new study conducted by the Institute for Special Populations Research in New York, some types of games are more addictive than others and have the potential to create "problem gaming" habits in a small percentage of gamers. While the mental health community is not quite ready to make the leap of faith it takes to proclaim that video game addiction is a real mental disorder like gambling and drug addiction, studies like this one are certainly trying to establish causation.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an interesting article on Battlefield 3 that explains why you can't shoot civilians in the game. Apparently EA decided to make it so that players couldn't just gun down innocents in the game. It's an interesting policy considering that some might consider taking away that option as removing some of the realism that games such as Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 are promising.
Mod hosting site ModDB has succumbed to pressure from outside sources and has removed the Half-Life 2 mod, School Shooter: North American Tour 2012, from its database. In an open letter to its community, ModDB founder Scott "INtense!" Reismanis said that the site pulled the mod down after "getting quite a bit of mainstream press due to the controversial nature of the content." He went on to say that he got a lot of threatening mail from various sources and the authors of that mail believed that ModDB were the mod's creators.
The Half-Life 2 mod was created by mod group Checkerboarded Studios. The group was obviously pushing the enevelope when it came to its mod. "You are free to do whatever you want. As long as it involves shooting people," reads part of the mod's description.
An update to fix a bug that causes the Xbox 360 version of THQ's Homefront to freeze is a day or two away from Microsoft certification, according to a Eurogamer report. The title update to the game addresses the Profile Corruption error, or "freeze bug" that some Xbox 360 users have experienced while playing Homefront. THQ says that this issue is its highest priority.
"We are also including a fix for multiplayer connectivity and ping time issues, where players are being sent to distant server locations at the expense of performance. We expect this update to be submitted to Microsoft really soon and we will be working with them very closely to get this approved and deployed as quickly as possible," said THQ on its Homefront blog.
If you have already read our story about Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward blaming Sony for the rash of hacks and exploits, then you get a good sense of how the PS3 Call of Duty community feels. They are pissed off, frustrated and feel like no one wants to help them. No doubt, Infinity Ward and Treyarch are equally frustrated with the problems they have encountered on the PS3 related to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.
Are you horrible at first-person shooters? Do your friends call you "butter foot" and other unsettling in-game terms when you play online? There may be help for you thanks to FPS Trainer, an online service that combines an AI-controlled coaching technology and advice from "world class players" to teach players the fundamentals of first-person action games.
According to Play2Improve, fewer than 40 percent of players choose to play online because they are "intimidated by the ferocious talent and skill shown by some of the most dedicated players." FPS Trainer offers gamers the chance to learn the basics of playing FPS games online and teach more experienced players some secret techniques to bring their online play to a higher level.
Did not see this one coming, but via Kotaku (thanks Cheater87!), Electronic Arts has folded like a cheap suit and announced that it is renaming the Taliban forces in its upcoming Medal of Honor game to the more benign “Opposing Force.”
To be fair, Medal of Honor Greg Goodrich, in a statement on the game’s website, indicated that the renaming was done in response to “reverence for American and Allied soldiers.”
More from Goodrich:
In response to Canadian Defence Minster Peter MacKay’s (pictured) disapproving comments about the Electronic Arts game Medal of Honor, an Ottawa Citizen columnist took to his pulpit in order to offer a spirited defense (defence) of videogames.
Referring to the ability to play as the Taliban in the game, MacKay had said that, “I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.”
In his column, Dan Gardner replied, “No one ever accused Peter MacKay of being Her Majesty's most cerebral minister…”
MacKay had also lamented that children might take on the role of insurgents in the game, a point which Gardner addressed:
The red phones connecting the world’s defense/defence ministers must be working fine, as yet another member of that group has jumped on the anti-Medal of Honor videogame bandwagon.
This time around Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay took issue with the Electronic Arts game, specifically over the ability to play as a member of the Taliban in Medal of Honor’s multiplayer mode. MacKay, via the Ottawa Citizen, had this to say about the game:
The men and women of the Canadian Forces, our allies, aid workers, and innocent Afghans are being shot at, and sometimes killed, by the Taliban. This is reality. I find it wrong to have anyone, children in particular, playing the role of the Taliban. I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.
In light of the controversy surrounding the ability to play as the Taliban in Electronic Arts’ upcoming Medal of Honor, Northern California’s Times-Herald solicited reader input on the title, in the form of letters to the editor, and listed them on their website.
The responses range from ambivalent to angry, and probably represent a decent enough cross-section of opinions. Samplings of the responses are shared below, led off with our personal favorite:
Aubrey Cosentino: I don't think they should have even made this game, let alone try and release it. I would never buy it. My brother is in the Navy and served over in Iraq. It's a slap in the face to Americans is what it is; first they want to build a temple, now this game, come on now ...
Linda Peterson: I would NOT buy it -- but I don't play or buy any war games at all. I think the Taliban option is in extremely bad taste. Offensive even.
Expect sales of Electronic Arts’ Medal of Honor to do a little better in New Zealand after that country’s Defense Minister Wayne Mapp (pictured) joined his UK counterpart in condemning the title.
Mapp, who is also New Zealand’s Minister of Research, Science and Technology, spoke out against the game because, presumably, of its multiplayer component, where gamers will have the ability to fight as Taliban forces.
In comments carried by GamePlanet, Mapp stated that, “Terrorist acts have caused the deaths of several New Zealanders.” He continued, “This game undermines the values of our nation, and the dedicated service of our men and women in uniform.”
GamePolitics reader Dante pointed us towards a short Finnish recounting (translated) of an article from a Danish newspaper, which appeared to indicate that the Medal of Honor “scare” started by Fox News, and perpetuated by UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox, had spread to Denmark.
In a pair of articles published on the Danish website MetroXpress, while the game did come under some criticism—it was described as “disrespectful” to soldiers from that country who served in Afghanistan—reasoning that Medal of Honor is just a game took over after a tersely worded introduction.