OfCom to Investigate ITV over Documentary that Used ARMA 2 Footage

October 10, 2011 -

According to the Guardian, the independent UK broadcasting watchdog OfCom is examining ITV's use of footage from the Bohemia's ARMA 2 videogame in a documentary special that was presented as an IRA film from 1988. The video was shown during the show Exposure and was presented to viewers as real footage showing the IRA using weapons provided by Muammar Gaddafi.

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Pipeworks Studio Head Accused of Faking Military Credentials

October 7, 2011 -

According to this IndustryGamers report, Pipeworks studio lead Robert Daly has been called out publically over his claims that he served in the U.S. Special Forces. Pipeworks is the developer behind the Deadliest Warrior video game, which is based on the popular Spike TV show of the same name.

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Why Blackwater Game Creators Want to Avoid Controversy

October 4, 2011 -

Speaking to the Associated Press, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and Zombie Studios lead designer Richard Dormer talk about why their upcoming Kinect game based on the controversial security firm has decided to steer clear of blood, killing civilians, swearing, and moral dilemmas.

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Operation Supply Drop Successfully Deploys Game Packages to Active Duty Troops

July 29, 2011 -

Operation Supply Drop, a [501(c)(3)] non-profit charity that creates video game care packages for American servicemen and women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, has collected $10,000 in donations in its seven months of existence. The group says that this is all thanks to the public which has been very generous in giving them the funds they need to fill the request for video game filled care packages to units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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U.S. Army Developing Training Sim Using CryEngine 3

May 27, 2011 -

The United States Army is using Crytek’s CryEngine 3 game engine technology to create a new simulation to help train soldiers. The Army plans to spend $57 million on the project. The technology that will go into the simulation and the technology to use it is being developed by Orlando-based Intelligent Decisions. The Dismounted Soldier Training System (DSTS) enables soldiers and units to train inside a video game environment that features real weather conditions, realistic graphics, squad-based interactions, and advanced motion sensor technology that provides full 360-degree movement within the game.

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Gamers Outreach Foundation Plans Memorial Day Charity Event

May 23, 2011 -

To celebrate the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend Gamers Outreach Foundation will host a 24-hour game-a-thon charity with the proceeds going towards entertainment products for troops deployed overseas. Gamers Outreach Foundation has teamed up with The Game Fanatics to offer a cool way for gamers to show appreciation to the military. The Game Fanatics is supporting the Gamers Outreach Foundation’s military division (Fun for Our Troops). Money raised through the fundraiser will go towards a portable gaming kiosk that will be donated to the Dallas Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Gamers can also donate games and consoles to GOF.

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Chinese People's Liberation Army Developing Military Simulation

May 17, 2011 -

The United States Army isn't the only military outfit that has a video game; the Chinese People's Liberation Army has apparently helped develop a similar first-person shooter alongside Chinese game development studio Wuxi Giant Interactive Group.

In development for nearly two years, the military simulation follows the daily grind of a typical CPLA soldier. The scenario takes players through the paces, learning various military tactics and culminates in a large-scale military battle. The game is called Mission of Honor and offers several modes including basic training, solo missions and team-based combat.

We assume the goal of Mission of Honor is similar to that of America's Army: as a recruitment and early training tool for young males in their late teens.

The game will be released soon, though how it will be distributed is still a mystery.

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U.S. Navy Uses MMO to Train for Real-World Piracy

May 10, 2011 -

The United States Navy has begun crowd sourcing ideas for fighting Somali pirates using a massively multiplayer game, according to a Fast Company report. Using a new game platform called MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet), U.S. military forces and Civilian players on converging on virtual pirates. MMOWGLI is the product of years of research, and will feature 1,000 military and civilian players. It will launch on May 16. The new program is the first effort by the military to integrate both crowd sourcing and gamification into traditional military wargames.

MMOWGLI was developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to test the feasibility of using massively multiplayer online games to solve difficult strategic problems like real-world high seas piracy. The MMOWGLI game launching in May focuses on combating Somalian piracy, but the gaming platform is designed to be open enough that it can be adapted to other military hotspots and situations.

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U.S. Army, Air Force Certify Unity Technology

May 10, 2011 -

The United States Army and the Air Force have officially certified Unity development technology for use on the military's secure networks. This includes the company's game development technology and its Unity Web Player. More importantly, this allows would-be game developers and projects designed to creates serious games and other applications to do so. This also means that software developed for training can now be installed on networks, laptops and mobile devices used in the field.

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Military Billing Options for Soldiers Hit Xbox Live

May 3, 2011 -

Microsoft’s Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) announced via his official blog that military personnel will now have an easier time when conducting commerce on Xbox Live. One of the biggest requests from soldiers serving in the military is to have the ability to use "Military States" as billing addresses. Today Microsoft is allowing just that. As of today Xbox Live now accepts AA (Armed Forces of the Americas), AE (Armed Forces Europe) and AP (Armed Forces Pacific) as options for credit card addresses. To make changes to these addresses, simply makes changes to the billing section on Xbox.com.

"We hope this makes it easier for the men and women in the United States Armed Forces to stay connected to the Xbox LIVE community," said Hryb in the post announcing the new changes.

"Thank you for everything you do," he added.

Indeed, anything that makes it easier for Americans serving our country is a good thing.

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Study: Low-Level Electricity Helps Improve Game Performance

April 18, 2011 -

Here's an odd study to consider: using a 9 volt battery can make your skills at gaming better - as long as you can stand some small level voltage running through your head. According to an odd DARPA-funded study, running low-level electricity through the scalp might help the mind focus on tasks such as video games. The research used low-level electricity in concert with a military training game to test the theory. Researchers found that test subjects playing a military training game had improved performance when they were affected by transcranial direct-current stimulation (tCDS).

Sponges connected to the temples of subjects generated an electrical current were attached to their temples. Then the test subjects played DARWARS Ambush!, a simulation game designed to help train soldiers for serving in Iraq. The simulation lets players scan for dangers on a landscape, such as improvised explosive devices or enemy gunmen.

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DARPA Taps Consumers for New Technology

April 6, 2011 -

The Department of Defense have developed a new simulation technology to help the Navy track enemy submarines and they are testing it by rolling it into a commercial computer game. The Defense Advanced Research Project Arm's Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) software simulates tracking the evasive maneuvers used by submarines. The agency says that the software will soon be rolled into the ACTUV program's computers.

But the real kicker is who will get to test this new technique: simulation game players. DARPA has integrated it into the Dangerous Waters computer game by Sonalysts Combat Simulations and has made the ACTUV Tactics Simulator available online as a free download as well.

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IED Disposal Training Using Video Games

March 18, 2011 -

American military research and manufacturing company Picatinny Arsenal, has created the Robotic Vehicle Trainer, a "realistic" video game that can be used to train soldiers to operate bomb disposal robots. Picatinny Arsenal has received a patent for "a process to safely train soldiers how to operate a variety of robots used in Iraq and Afghanistan to detonate improvised explosive devices, or IEDs."

The company created Robotic Vehicle Trainer to give soldiers a realistic simulation of IED removal in a combat environments. The game uses the same controls used for the real-world robots used in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).

Robotic Vehicle Trainer was created by Bernard Reger, chief of the Combat Support & Munitions Systems Branch under the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Centre (ARDEC).

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An iPhone App for Training Patriot Missile Crews

February 23, 2011 -

The U.S. Army has enlisted developer C² to develop seven iPhone apps that teach Patriot missile crews how to launch missiles at targets, according to a report in The Escapist. The developer has completed the first app and delivered it to the army, and is already working on the second. The first app teaches "launch station march orders and emplacement," using a combination of video from real launch crews in action, illustrations, and other visual aids. The app is meant to be used in a classroom with an instructor, according to the report.

Obviously, these apps are not for public consumption. Future apps from C² for the Army will help train missile crews in specific areas (from The Escapist report):

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Wikileaks Video Inspires Street Art

December 20, 2010 -

More art inspired by Wikileaks has made its way to the streets. Art that merges still images taken from a leaked video and HUD imagery from Halo 3 has been released as street art in Valencia, California. The unique art went up last week. The imagery is a combination of Halo 3 HUD elements and stills taken from a video leaked by Wikileaks in which U.S. soldiers shoot at civilians from a helicopter. The video shows two Reuter's reporters and unarmed civilians being murdered. The overlay, one would guess, is that the soldiers operating the helicopter were shooting at people as if it was a "video game."

This is the second piece of art from artist "Sandwich," whose first piece showed a picture of Wikileaks front man Julian Assange with the message "If you don't know, now you know."

See it full screen here.


The Power of the PS3

November 30, 2010 -

The U.S. Air Force is set to unveil a $2 million super computer comprised primarily of PlayStation 3's on Wednesday. Called its fastest super computer to date, the new system has been codenamed "the Condor Cluster" by the Department of Defense.

Researchers at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio used off-the-shelf PlayStation 3's and traditional graphical processing computer components to create the system. The Condor Cluster will reportedly be used for radar enhancement and recognition capabilities, according to the Air Force.

The Air Force added that the $2 million price tag is about 10 - 20 times cheaper than what it would normally cost to build such a system.

Source: UPI

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“Strange” Tender for Canadian Armed Forces Seeks 500 Games

November 18, 2010 -

Canada’s Department of National Defence has submitted a federal government tender request for 500 videogames.

Among the games requested, according to The Star, are 93 copies of Gears of War, 82 copies in total of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 36 copies of Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. All in all, it’s estimated that the total value of the games sought is around $25,000.

Capt. Sandra Bourne, a spokesperson for the Canadian Forces, said about the order, “It’s a strange one.”

Notably absent from the list—Medal of Honor, which Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay criticized earlier this year.

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“Teenager’s Dream” Used in Army Training

November 16, 2010 -

Wired’s Danger Room columnist recently took a trip to the Association of the U.S. Army conference held in Washington D.C. to get a look at the latest and greatest gadgets that contractors are developing for America’s armed forces.

Among the items was a videogame, dubbed Call of Duty: Afghanistan by Wired, which allows trainees to work on a variety of skills, including maneuvering and leadership tactics.

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Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES Stores

October 8, 2010 -

While Electronic Arts made the adjustment to rename the Taliban to “Opposing Force” in the multiplayer part of Medal of Honor, a ban on the game appearing in GameStop stores located in Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) locations is still in place.

The decision by AAFES officials puzzled a Stars & Striped columnist, who inventoried other violent games available in AAFES locations, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV.

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Before EA Caved, ex-Congressman and General Gave MOH Grief

October 5, 2010 -

While there’s no doubt Electronic Arts totally succumbed to pressure when it removed the Taliban (in name only) from the upcoming Medal of Honor videogame, a letter written to the Colorado Retail Council (CRC) by a former Congressman and ex-Air Force General shows the type of opponents EA was assembling as media hysteria about the game spread.

In a letter dated September 30, just a day before EA announced its change to Medal of Honor, former Colorado Republican Congressman Scott McInnis and Bentley Rayburn (pictured left and right respectively), a retired U.S. Air Force General, affixed their names to a letter urging the CRC to denounce the Medal of Honor game.

As seen on the Colorado Springs Independent website, the pair argued their case to CRC President Christopher Howes, calling the ability to play as the Taliban a “complete disgrace” and adding that “out of respect to our troops no retailer in Colorado should sell it.”

The duo continued:

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National Guard Leveraging Games in Recruitment Fight

September 21, 2010 -

The Michigan Army National Guard will use a combination of college football and videogames in an attempt to bolster its ranks.

The organization will be at the October 9th University of Michigan versus Michigan State University game in Ann Arbor to recruit new members, armed with a tent and 30 videogames to play, which will be provided by touring game specialist Interactive Game Experience.

Major Lavetta Bennet, in charge of the Michigan Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion, told the Detroit Free Press, “This is one of those creative ways for us to be in conversation with them, especially in a video game age.”

Halo: Reach was listed as among the games that will be used to lure potential recruits to the tent.


GameStop Stores on Military Bases Won’t Sell MOH

September 2, 2010 -

GameStop announced today that "out of respect for our past and present men and women in uniform we will not carry Medal of Honor in any of our AAFES based stores". AAFES, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, is responsible for commercial sales on military posts and often includes outside vendors such as GameStop.

Based on the language reported by Kotaku, it appears that the request actually came from AAFES and is simply being honored by GameStop. From the email to GameStop employees earlier today, "GameStop fully supports AAFES in this endeavor and is sensitive to the fact that in multiplayer mode one side will assume the role of Taliban fighter."

Soap Star is New Face of Wounded Warrior Virtual Rehab Program

August 10, 2010 -

All My Children actor J.R. Martinez (pictured) is the new spokesperson for Rehabbing with the Troops, a virtual rehabilitation program that links wounded U.S. military personnel with professional athletes via webcam as they work out using a Nintendo Wii.

Martinez himself is an ex-infantryman who suffered burns to more than 40 percent of his body in 2003 while serving in Iraq. He will work out with wounded warriors from Season One of Rehabbing with the Troops, which kicked off in June and wraps up on August 21 in New Orleans. Members of the Super Bowl champions Saints acted as this year’s pro trainers.

Martinez said about his new role, “This program is so important—it raises awareness of the challenges facing wounded warriors while giving each participant a source of motivation and a goal to work toward.”

Participants in the virtual rehab document their workouts on the Wounded Warrior Arena website. More on what a season consists of:

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Institute for Creative Technologies Continues to Churn Out Troop Helping Tech

June 22, 2010 -

Miller-McCune went inside the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and came out armed with information on new trainers and simulators helping U.S. troops.

The center is hard at work on fleshing out (get it?) virtual human technology, which the piece’s author states “will most certainly be used in many training and educational roles” in the future. The technology will also inevitably make its way to consumer-based videogames, at least according to ICT’s Bill Swartout, who thinks we will all be talking to our games and “interacting with people who’re talking back” eventually.

One of the ICT’s latest creations is the Mobile Counter-IED Interactive Trainer (MCIT). As shown in the embedded video, the trainer, housed in trailers (hence, mobile) lets users train on both sides of the “game,” both as soldier’s looking to spot IEDs and insurgent’s trying to figure out the best place to plant them.

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Air Force to Add More High-tech Trainers

June 16, 2010 -

The U.S. Air Force will continue to ramp up its flight simulation and training capabilities with the addition of up to 20 F-16 Mission Training Centers (MTC) on American, European and Pacific bases.

Each MTC is made up of four high-definition simulators featuring InterSense Inc.’s IS-900 inertial/ultrasonic tracking technology (demonstrated in the embedded video) combined with Link Simulation & Training’s—a division of L3—SimuSphere HD or Advance Helmet Mounted Display (AHMD).

The resulting technology allows F-16 pilots to “detect, identify and engage targets from the same apparent distance as when flying a real mission -- creating an optimum environment for advanced pilot training, tactics validation and mission rehearsal. “

The end result looks something like this.

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Philly Army Experience Center to Close

June 10, 2010 -

A high-tech, videogame-laden Army recruiting center in Philadelphia that was often the center of controversy and protests is shutting down at the end of July.

The Army Experience Center cost approximately $12 million to build and was launched in August of 2008. The 14,500 square foot facility, located in the Franklin Mills Mall, was consistently targeted with protests led by a coalition of national peace groups that operated the website Shutdown the Army Experience Center.  The activists felt that the Army Experience Center glorified killing and depicted war as a game with its realistic simulators.

The protest group claimed victory, stating that the Army center was closed at least partly due to its efforts, noting that it had another planned protest in the works for Saturday, June 19.

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Armed Forces Turn to Augmented Reality for Recruiting

June 8, 2010 -

The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have each debuted marketing efforts spearheaded by augmented reality.

The Army’s Race for Strength Challenge—available online, and in kiosk form at select NASCAR events—allows gamers to pilot the Army-sponsored left-hand turn vehicle piloted by Ryan Newman. Online users will be prompted to print out an image of Newman’s Impala (PDF) to utilize as a virtual steering wheel, in conjunction with a webcam, to control the car onscreen. In the race Newman’s car will compete against MRAP and Stryker armored vehicles.

The racing game is said to be “an extension of the U.S. Army's continuing effort to showcase its high-tech skills training and the various options and career opportunities it offers.”

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U.S. Military’s “Human Terrain Mapping” Concerns Anthropologists

June 2, 2010 -

The growing reliance of the U.S. military on high-tech recreations of foreign villages and their inhabitants has some social scientists concerned.

A Boston.com story on the subject begins by outlining the work of University of Pennsylvania engineer Barry Silverman, who has been funded (by an unnamed U.S. agency) to the tune of over $500,000 in order to recreate a 3D computer model of an actual village in Afghanistan. Silverman is supplied with data from U.S. Army social scientists, who interviewed residents of the actual village.

Dubbed “human terrain mapping, it’s hoped that this technology can assist the U.S. in fighting terrorists and insurgents, but the whole idea has Hugh Gusterson, a George Mason University anthropologist, concerned. Gusterson asked, “Are we going to detain someone if a computer predicts that he will become an insurgent?"

He continued:

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DOD Schools to Teach Game Design

May 19, 2010 -

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) was formed in order to provide educational programs to dependents of both U.S. military and civilian DOD workers around the world.

As part of major overhaul of the program’s 60 career and technical offerings, the 2011-2012 school year will see engineering courses offered in robotics, biotechnology, green technologies and gaming design, reports Stars and Stripes. Programs scheduled for discontinuation over the next five years include auto technology welding and lodging management.

The DODEA’s Mark Bignell stated, “We want to try and … give students an opportunity to excel in the future work force rather than get into a niche that isn’t going to have the best opportunities for them.”

While DODEA programs originally centered on vocational offerings, it now is designed to prepare students for college or the military in addition to careers.

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U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

May 13, 2010 -

The United States Air Force bought 336 PlayStation 3 consoles in 2009 as an initial purchase to create a 53 teraFlop cluster for processing data. Impressed with the power of Sony's home console system, the Air Force decided to buy another 2200 consoles. The whole project cost the Air Force (and by proxy the U.S. tax payers) $663,000.

These PS3 systems were configured with the "Other OS" feature, allowing the Air Force to use Linux to do whatever heavy lifting the project needed, but Sony's recent firmware update that removed that option may prove to be problematic for this work in the future.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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