Reddit Co-Founder Crowd-Funding Net Neutrality Billboard in FCC's Back Yard

April 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

When lawmakers and rights holders were pushing for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian rented protest billboards to strongly voice his opposition to those bills.

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Guncraft Hits Steam Aug. 9

July 25, 2013 -

Even though Guncraft was released earlier this month on the PC for $15, developer Exato knows that getting it on Steam is important for driving sales. The company revealed today that the game will debut on Steam August 9 and is asking fans to help it design Steam Trading cards specific to the platform.

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The Power of Gaming

August 22, 2011 -

A new blog offers testimonials about games and their positive impact on gamers. The blog, called "How Gaming Saved My Life," is the brainchild of Ash Burch and the site HAWP, who suffered from anxiety as a little girl due to medical problems. When she was suffering she found that playing Harvest Moon 64 calmed her anxiety. She found that playing Harvest Moon 64 helped her to take her mind off the pain, which later turned out to be a stomach ulcer.

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Interplay Files New Response to Bethesda Fallout MMO Lawsuit

June 29, 2011 -

According to an IndustryGamers report, a new court filing by Interplay alleges that Fallout IP owner Bethesda knew all along that the Fallout MMO it is developing would use more than just the "Fallout" name. The new filing is in response to Bethesda’s preliminary injunction against continued development of the MMO using Fallout characters.

In today's filing Interplay counters that request by saying that both parties understood that the "entire Fallout universe was on the table."

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Humble Indie Bundle 2 Raises $1.8 Million

December 27, 2010 -

The Humble Indie Bundle 2 promotion is over and the results are in today. This year's bundle included five games (Braid, Cortex Command, Revenge of the Titans, Osmos, and Michinarium), last year's bundle (World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD, and Penumbra Overture) and a bonus game (Samorost 2).

First, the total amount of money: this year's promotion managed to raise $1.8 USD. The bundle was purchased 232,849 times. The average price overall was $7.83. Across platform the average price on Mac was $9.26, on Windows $6.67, and on Linux $13.76. Windows made up over 50 percent of those purchases. Finally, the biggest price paid for the bundle was $6,132.96.

You can check out the full stats here. A portion of the money earned will go towards the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play. A sign-up for notification of next year's bundle - when it is revealed - is also available at the link above.

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European Parliament Member Wants Mafia II Banned

December 17, 2010 -

Families who have lost loved ones to the Mafia are fighting against Mafia II, One of those people, Sonia Alfano, lost her father to the mob on January 18, 1993. She has come out against the video game Mafia II, saying that it trivializes the violence and murder committed by organized crime. Alfano's words carry a lot of weight because she is a member of the European Parliament. She is fighting to get the game banned in Europe. She is also the president of Italy’s association for the families of Mafia victims.

"It really, really hurts," Alfano, recently said in an interview. "We can’t allow this to happen, our wounds are still too fresh."

Last week she asked the European Commission to consider banning the game.

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IGF Names All-Star Indie Jury Panel

December 15, 2010 -

Organizers of the 2011 Independent Games Festival announced the jury panel that will select the finalists and the winner of its Excellence in Visual Art award, a category which highlights innovation and quality in visuals for indie games.

This year, the jury will receive recommendations from over 150 IGF Main Competition judges (including former IGF winners, finalists and game development notables including Jon Chey, Soren Johnson, Brandon McCartin, Miguel Sternberg and Tom Sennett) as they consider the merits of each of the five finalists and eventual award winner.

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Adios, Water Cooler Games

August 15, 2009 -

It's a sad day when one of the web's most intelligent game-oriented sites rides off into the sunset.

And so it is with Water Cooler Games, operated since 2003 by Georgia Tech prof Ian Bogost and researcher Gonzalo Frasca. Both academics are also accomplished designers of provocative, issue-oriented games.

We note the following in the site's RSS feed this morning:

Water Cooler Games is now closed. Thanks for reading all these years. The site has been archived in full (with comments)... For my take on "videogames with an agenda," you might want to read Persuasive Games. I am now blogging at Bogost.com...

—Ian Bogost, August 2009

Because the issue-oriented focus of Water Cooler Games often intersected with that of GamePolitics, WCG was frequently cited here on GP. We will miss it, but it's good to know that it will live on in an archived version.

UPDATE: Ian Bogost has posted a lengthy commentary on the WCG closure:

From my perspective, the Water Cooler Games project was very much a success. The fact that so many venues now exist for discussing of what we coyly called "videogames with an agenda" speaks at least in part to the influence we exerted.

More so, the site had been immensely useful in helping me conduct research. My 2007 book Persuasive Games drew many examples from titles we covered on Water Cooler Games... 

 

Closing WCG opens up new opportunities for my writing, on this site and elsewhere... The truth is that I've said most of what I want to say about [political games, advertising and games, and other topics covered on WCG]...

GP: We wish Ian continued success and the best of luck going forward...

4 comments

Ian Bogost's Killer Flu Game Simulates Spread of Influenza

May 4, 2009 -

With all of the hype about Swine Flu lately, Ian Bogost points out that his Persuasive Games studio partnered with Traffic Games of Scotland a few months back to create Killer Flu.

The game, built at the request of the UK Clinical Virology Network, teaches players lessons about how seasonal and pandemic influenza spread:

While our game focuses on an avian flu pandemic, the same principles apply to the present situation. The players of the game will find it more difficult than they suspect to create the pandemic the news would have us believe is imminent...

Via: Gamasutra

3 comments

Ian Bogost Critiques Bailout Bonanza for the iPhone

April 22, 2009 -

Over at Water Cooler Games, Georgia Tech prof and noted game designer Ian Bogost offers some thoughts on Bailout Bonanza, an iPhone game released in late March.

Bailout Bonanza is essentially a clone of the classic Activision game Kaboom! -- the player moves or tilts the iPhone to maneuver a bucket at the bottom of the screen, which catches money bags dropped by a Wall Street banker out of a neoclassical financial building...

 

The problem is, this game doesn't really satirize or comment upon the bailout. If anything, the Kaboom! gameplay feels backwards... The game also points to the issue of timeliness in editorial games. Creating an iPhone game like this one is relatively easy, but it still takes more time than making the equivalent Flash game... the bailout of the financial sector is, in a way, old news.

Bogost notes that Bailout Bonanza is just one of several bailout-themed games available on the AppStore.

1 comment

iPhone Game Lampoons Airport Security

March 4, 2009 -

Over at Water Cooler Games, Ian Bogost writes about Jetset, his iPhone/iPod Touch game that pokes fun at the bureraucratic nightmare that is modern airport security.

From the description:

The challenges of today's airport security make business and pleasure travel increasingly difficult. Security is there to make you feel safe and get you to your plane in one piece. However, today's regulations change frequently and are often different from airport to airport. Now, you too can stand in the shoes of a security agent trying to avert terrorism while getting everyone through a checkpoint quickly...

Play 100 different airports from around the world... Strip search travelers for fun... Confiscate dangerous travel items like pressurized cheese — all inspired by real events in airport security... Game automatically selects the airport you are in or near based on available location services

Jetset is currently available on the iTunes App Store for $3.99

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Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
E. Zachary KnightI read that comment now and frankly, I think that guy is reading too much into this. The press talk to each other. It happens. There is nothing that can be done to stop it from happening.09/19/2014 - 11:49pm
KronoUnfortunately it seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.09/19/2014 - 11:45pm
Krono@EZK No that's not the comment. As for wanting nothing do with any of it, that's perfectly understandable.09/19/2014 - 11:44pm
Sleaker@Conster - sand?09/19/2014 - 11:40pm
 

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