I'm all for letters to the editor, but one written by one Tina L. Bechtel, is particularly over the top and needs to be read to be believed. The Marysville, California mother of at least one son (at least the one she mentions in her letter) delivers what she calls her "long-overdue reaction to the 'supreme sellout' of our children," referring to the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year in the Brown v. EMA case.
Another interesting editorias about Tea Party Zombies Must Die - this time in the Washington Post. What's interesting about this opinion piece is that the author, Alexandra Petri, is a recovering (I think) comedian and part-time pundit who can see both sides to some degree but shrugs off the manufactured outrage as.. well, manufactured:
"I tried to get indignant about the game. I really did. This morning, I sat and furrowed my brow and thought dark thoughts for a good half-hour.
London's theater world is apparently about to get a taste of video game culture thanks to Sony, Resistance 3 and London theater group Punchdrunk. Running September 1, through Sunday, Punchdrunk performs "…And Darkness Descended," an "interactive theater experience based on the game Resistance 3, where participants must survive, by cooperating against alien invaders (or not cooperating, as the case may be). Punchdrunk is keen on performing in a way that encourages lots of audience participation and this particular performance should be no exception.
MMO developer Artix has been experimenting with ads that players only see when they die in the online game AdventureQuest Worlds. The practice is getting some interesting reactions from players, according to CEO Adam Bohn, who spoke at length with [a]list Daily in a recent interview. The ads are what are commonly called "house ads," or ads promoting the company's own products and services such as other game titles and the company's store:
Someone was extra excited about seeing Skyrim on the big screen - so much so that it sent her into labor - at QuakeCon. According to a Game Informer story, during Bethesda's 40-minute presentation of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at QuakeCon, expectant mother Stevi suddenly started having labor pains, much to the surprise of her fiancé Chaz.
Electronic Arts founder and Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins has accused Nintendo of presiding over what he calls a "feudal dark age" in the industry in which developers "don't own the land that they are tilling." He has a point, but Nintendo certainly isn't the only platform holder guilty of that.. At GamesBeat in San Francisco today, Hawkins talked at length about the power of platform holders and how they often limit creativity in comparison to open platforms.
"Look at the world wide web and how many great companies have been built on that open platform," he said. "Nintendo is a great, amazing company, but how many companies have been built on the back of Nintendo's platform in the past 25 years?"
Prithvi Virasinghe, creative director at Comedy Central's internal game studio, would like to see a game based on Tak Jensen, a character created on Comedy Central's Colbert Report. Speaking to Joystiq, Virasinghe said that Tek Jansen, and the Colbert Report are subjects he'd like to make into games. Naturally such games would require the green light from Colbert and the network.
"I've honestly tried to do this many, many times," he said of concepts for a Colbert-themed game. "One of the ideas we had for Colbert was we wanted to do 'Colbert Quest,' which was kinda like an homage to the Police Quest or Space Quest games." Apparently his team at 345 even went as far as to put together a "design treatment" for "Colbert Quest," which he detailed by saying, "You're sort of in this world that's humor-based, that's kind of situational and quest-based, and it would have Colbert as some sort of overlord of this domain."
While professional video game players don't have the equivalent of performance enhancing drugs such as steroids, pro medical marijuana publication Culture Magazine thinks that many use Marijuana to enhance their abilities prior to tournament play. The publication cites a comment made by Alex Walker, the Australian World Cyber Games tournament director, to game publication GamePlayer.
"I’ve seen a number of players at national tournaments who came in ‘baked’ purely so they could play better," said Alex Walker, the Australian World Cyber Games tournament director, in a recent interview with Gameplayer.
It's kind of a funny story, though it might be more folklore than fact; Computer & Video Games has a report about a personal assistant to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick trying to get him in to see Battlefield 3 behind closed doors. As you can imagine, EA said no to the request.
According to the C&VG report (citing "a senior informant who witnessed the exchange first-hand") Bobby Kotick's personal assistant discussed the chances of a hands-on trial of the game with EA reps at the door of the publisher's private meeting room. The female assistant jumped to the front of the line on Wednesday morning to request a personal showing of the game for Kotick. After mulling it over inside the private meeting room, an EA representative declined the request, saying that "it would not be possible."
The PA put up a small fight in front of those waiting to get in and then left in a huff, according to the witness.
Modders and creative types are having fun mocking the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of an elite U.S. Navy Seals, but one of the best pieces of video game-related comedy on the subject comes from a French television show that uses Super Mario Bros. as the backdrop. Instead of Mario and Bowser, the animation features former U.S. President George W. Bush chasing down Osama in various stages until the 2008 election where Obama takes over. Check out the video to your left to watch the hijinx.
Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is only anti-game when it suits him apparently. Even as the Supreme Court deliberates over the validity of the 2005 anti-gaming law, Schwarzenegger confirms that Stan Lee is making a comic book that will inevitably be made into a video game. The comic book will be called "The Governator" and will be written by the legendary comic book icon Stan Lee. The comic book follows the exploits of a governor who leads by day and fights crime by night as a costumed super hero.
"First will come comic books, then a TV series and after that we will develop the games and then a movie," Schwarzenegger said at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend. "Maybe then we'll be back in Cannes for that."
The Times Leader reports on a drug and alcohol counselor who is agitated over the Half-Life 2 mod, School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. The CEO of Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services wants parents, teachers, school administrators to be aware of its existence and the possibility that it might be "available soon."
Showing that he doesn't understand the concept of a mod or that it is being developed online and to be given away for free, Ambrosino said he has warned the superintendents of area schools, federal and state legislators, as well as major retailers such as Kmart, Walmart and Target about the game.
Does it hurt to do a little research before writing an episode of NCIS? Apparently it's a major hassle for whomever penned an episode of the popular CBS crime drama about an MMO, as evidenced in this clip from the show. The storyline features a fake MMO called Fear Tower 3 and a "high scorer" named "MaxDestructo." Are they playing breakout or an MMO? Maybe they meant to convey that these gamers were playing an online game like Quake Live or Battlefield Heroes. I do not know, so watch the video and judge for yourselves.
Ubisoft has confirmed that We Dare is a European only release. The saucy, adult themed Wii game that challenges couples to engage is some risqué behavior to score points and "get a little closer" is apparently too hot for U.S. gamers.
While the reaction to the We Dare commercial was mostly disbelief, it would be hard to say that journalists on this side of the pond found it to be offensive - silly, and a little too suggestive for our taste, maybe - but inappropriate for America? No way. If we can have Dennis Franz showing his big ass on TV, we can handle a couple taking turns spanking each other in a commercial.
Ubisoft must have felt some embarrassment at the trailer being so widely noticed online and ended up yanking it off YouTube under the guise of a regional copyright issue. In other words, it contacted YouTube to violate itself. Strange.
Ubisoft told IGN that We Dare would "absolutely not see release in the United States."
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:
As a general rule, everyone loves the antics of Sony Computer Entertainment America's fictional executive, Kevin Butler. His TV commercials are hilarious, and even his online chatter is good for an occasional chuckle. But a recent back and forth on Twitter may have put some egg on the face of SCEA’s marketing department. During a short exchange of tweets with Linux and Mac enthusiast Travis La Marr, Butler inadvertently retweeted the PS3 root key to all of his followers. The story is particularly embarrassing for Sony, who is in a mad dash to stop people from sharing that root key on the Internet.
La Marr tweeted the code at Butler, and signed off with "come at me @TheKevinButler." Whoever handles that Twitter account for Sony did not notice the long string of code in the message. That person retweeted the entire message, adding the comment: "Lemme guess ... You sank my Battleship?"
The official Bulletstorm Twitter feed reports that its parody download of Call of Duty (to promote the upcoming action game Bulletstorm) has been downloaded approximately 1,250,000 times.
From the Twitter feed:
"1.25 million Duty Calls downloads!"
"We say thanks with Duty Calls Wallpapers over at our Facebook page."
Duty Calls is a parody of the Call of Duty series - and of the first-person shooter genre in general - designed to promote the upcoming release of People Can Fly's and Epic's first-person arcade action game Bulletstorm.
The game is set for release on multiple platforms February 22.
A South Australian judge has given a 21-year-old hacker a break, sentencing him to a three-year suspended sentence. Anthony Scott Harrison was accused of hacking into thousands of computers in Australia and abroad, and infecting them with a virus he developed that stole credit card numbers.
Judge Paul Rice said Harrison told the defendant that he should put his skills to better use, and that his offense was the result of an obsession with computers and learning how to hack.
"You are a person not without a lot of ability but you just used it in the wrong way," the judge said. "I accept this offending was born out of your passion for computers, your naivety and youthful curiosity."
"Whether you can now gain employment in the security IT industry is problematic," he added.
Harrison was given a suspended sentence, which should keep him out of jail if he stays out of trouble.
Twisted Pixel is probably the coolest collection of cats on the planet. Not only do they have a decent sense of humor and an affinity for developing clever games, but they are also humble realists. When asked about a recent Capcom mobile game (MaXplosion for iOS) that some say blatantly rips off Twisted Pixel's popular 'Splosion Man, the company’s CEO gave an honest answer:
"We're definitely not going to pursue legal action," Wilford told Joystiq. "While I think the similarities are pretty nauseating, we're too small to take on a company like Capcom. That, and we owe them one for inventing Mega Man, so we'll let them slide."
A series of letters to Santa from the third grade class at Goessel Elementary School (Marion, Kansas) might just give you the Christmas spirit. The most amusing questions that children asked were why Santa was so fat and why his wife wouldn't help him deliver presents.
Naturally the most asked for items were video games and video game systems. One third-grader even asked for Call of Duty: Black Ops. I hope that Santa does not fulfill that particular request. Below are a few amusing samples:
The Central Intelligence Agency has launched a special task force to deal with Wikileaks called "WTF," according to The Washington Post. The acronym doesn't equal the Internet standard - it stands for the "WikiLeaks Task Force," but apparently the CIA offices equate it to the popular catchphrase according to the Washington Post.
While we might get a giggle or two from that factoid, the truth is that the CIA is taking the numerous leaks of U.S. documents very seriously, and just what this task force will do in response to future leaks is unknown.
The CIA has remained relatively unscathed from the monumental amount of leaks at other U.S. agencies, mainly because the CIA's systems are separate from the rest of the government. That and the fact that the secretive agency is not in the habit of sharing information with outside sources.
Forget about a game based on the Madden NFL games, EA is looking to make a movie based on the curse that goes with each new edition of the game. If you are a fans of the series then you have probably heard of this curse. The folklore goes that anyone who appears on the cover of the game has seriously bad luck. Some get injured, some get fired, some go to jail, etc.
But what EA wants created is a comedy based on "the curse" of being on the cover of its Madden series. Here's some more on the story (unconfirmed as of yet):
An episode recap of the MTV's 16 and Pregnant reality show entitled "There's Nothing Wrong with Video Games" follows the trials and travails of teen parents Megan and Nathan. Nathan seems to be more preoccupied with lip rings and dungeon dwelling than being a father, while Megan hasn't grown up enough to give up rainbows and ponies.. There is also a lot of talk about a lack of tough love, but who cares? Let's get to the video game references:
Forget about Liberals vs. Conservatives, Glen Beck v. Keith Olberman, and Republicans v. Democrats - the real fight is Kindle v. iPad and it is playing out in the Supreme Court. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it seems many on the bench are technologically savvy.
"I have a Kindle that my briefs are on," Kagan tells C-SPAN. "It's endless reading ... There's lots of reading. And that's a big part of the job, and if a Kindle or an iPad can make it easier, that's terrific."
Justice Antonin Scalia prefers the iPad to read legal briefs.
The C-SPAN interview is the first public outing for Kagan since joining the court. It will be used for a C-SPAN Supreme Court documentary.
The full interview airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. ET. Check out the sample clip from the interview right here, to your left.
An interesting article on C|Net points out Blockbuster's biggest blunder in the last decade: not collaborating with Netflix when it had its chance. In fact, the former leader in video rentals actually scoffed at the idea many years ago. Now, with the company in and out of bankruptcy, Blockbuster might want a do-over.
In 2000, Blockbuster CEO John Antioco was approached by Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings about putting together a partnership, according to Barry McCarthy's recollection of events detailed in an interview ten years ago with the Unofficial Stanford blog. C|Net found the interview while researching a story about the Netflix CFO's exit from the company.
From the article:
..And in other news, the sky is blue. What makes some comment threads longer than others? Bad attitudes and surly comments, apparently. That is the conclusion of a study about online interaction conducted by a team of Slovenian and British researchers .
A group of Slovenian and British researchers used a technique called "sentiment analysis" to identify emotional content in BBC's online discussion forums and digg.com.
The team's special algorithms searched for keywords, emoticons, and "subtle linguistic markers" like misspellings, which were then used to calculate a "happiness score" for each post. The researchers found that longer discussion threads tended to be overwhelmingly emotional and negative than shorter discussions threads. The longer threads tended to begin with negative comments, researchers found.