Earlier this year it was rumored that gaming and geek culture network G4 would be changing its format to support the "GQ" demographic, and that much of its most popular programming would either be reformatted or discontinued. Today we learn that it looks like its most popular programs will face the latter and not the former. Polygon is reporting that the network's two most popular shows have been cancelled.
An editorial in the UK edition of Huffington Post penned by Andrew Cole-Bulgin, Joint-CEO of Komixx claims that video games are "stunting children's imagination and inhibiting their ability to play together." The head of the children's television company says that he comes to this conclusion based on research the company conducted related to Toby's Travelling Circus, a new television program for children under the age of five.
There's been a slow slog towards bringing gaming to Smart TVs but Samsung is trying to lead the way with a new games portal designed for its Cinema 3D Smart TVs called Game World. Game World will offer both free and premium games to set owners and many of them will be playable in both 2D and 3D, according to Joystiq. Users will have to use either the Magic Remote that comes with the set or a supported third-party controller.
Adam Sessler officially exited stage right at G4TV, according to a Kotaku report, and while the split seems to be less than amicable, Sessler's representatives are playing down any tensions that might possibly exist between the long-time network host and the network. The last episode of X-Play featuring Sessler aired on April 25. Sessler had been the face of X-Play since its launch and a regular lead anchor on the network's coverage of various events from Comic-Con and GDC to DICE and E3.
If you weren't at PAX EAST in Boston then you missed out on some great panels. One of the wildest was The Escapist's Blankety-Blank panel, which recreated the classic TV game show Match game using a PAX East audience and a clever group of panelist to create a game-related version of the show.
UK games industry trade group UKIE last night praised the "high-profile success" of the Young Apprentice finale last night on British television (BBC One). The final for the show charged the two finalists with creating an online game and viral ad campaign to go along with it. If you haven't seen the episode yet and plan to catch it later this week, you might want to stop reading right now because we're going to reveal who won.
New data from Pew Research Center finds that young adults are using the Internet as a distraction - a distinction television use to have among that particular age group. A majority of young American adults are using the Internet for "fun" and to "kill time," according to a new report by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. But television isn't the only victim according to the data - video game console time is also being affected by Internet use, according to the data.
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.
A new research report from Knowledge Networks claims that Netflix has transformed the viewing habits of millions of U.S. consumers. The research, which the firm says was conducted a little bit before Netflix's much-discussed changes in its pricing policies, shows that 35 percent of U.S. consumers (ages 13 to 54) use Netflix for streaming or DVD or Blu-ray rentals at least once a month. The research also found that the average Netflix user watches 5 TV shows and 4 movies per week via the streaming or DVD-rental aspects of the service.
SyFy President David Howe sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for an exclusive interview to discuss the cable television network's big move into the video game space. Over the last few years Howe has been instrumental in establishing relationships with such game publishers as THQ and Trion Worlds to create partnerships that extend games into the entertainment world.
Starting today, Nintendo 3DS owners in the United States and Canada can download a free application that allows Netflix members to use their unlimited streaming plans. In announcing the news, Nintendo said that the "service adds a huge value to the Nintendo 3DS portable system, and again demonstrates how Nintendo 3DS continues to present new and different experiences for owners almost every day." We'll take them at their word on that.
Naturally, Netflix is delighted as well. Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said that "Nintendo is a terrific partner with Netflix," and that the company is "excited to extend the partnership to include streaming on Nintendo 3DS."
Netflix will be making its way to Latin America and the Caribbean later this year. All told the popular streaming movie and television service will be available in 43 countries by year's end. The news follows rumors and hints from Netflix about its future expansion plans. While many predicted that Netflix would break into the European market, the company decided to stay on this side of the planet and expand southward.
Netflix said its streaming entertainment services would launch in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Netflix did not give specifics on which countries in the Caribbean it would launch in first. Netflix in these regions will be available in English, Spanish and Portuguese languages. Much like its launch in Canada last year, Netflix will only offer streaming video in these new markets.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart takes a few jabs at the Supreme Court's ruling on Brown v. EMA. At first glance it seems like Stewart goes hard after videogames, using several admittedly gratuitous video clips from the new Mortal Kombat game. As the first scene unfolds on the monitor Stewart feigns holding back on vomiting and screams, during the second scene he makes a joke about the female character having a wardrobe malfunction. In between he throws a joke in about Super Mario Boners (a Photoshop of a Super Mario Galaxy cover with a huge fleshy erection).
Stewart's point is one that many are making this week; that sex is even taboo at the Supreme Court and that sexual imagery continues not to be treated on the same footing as depictions of gratuitous violence.
Point taken and noted.
While it is probably only a short-term problem, Sony Pictures and Netflix are in negotiations to continue their relationship related to various movies and television shows. Unfortunately, while they sort out their "temporary contract issue" Netflix subscribers won't be able to stream any of the company's content. Subscribers that have Sony Pictures DVD-based content in their queues will not be affected. The content was pulled last Friday and affects much of the Starz content on Netflix.
Netflix said the situation is a "temporary contract issue" between Sony and Liberty Media Corp.'s pay-TV distributor Starz. Starz has been negotiating with Netflix over a renewal of its digital distribution deal with Sony, which runs through early 2012. Starz said in a statement that "all parties are working diligently to resolve the issue."
G4TV announced last night that it has put its new show "Proving Ground" on hold after hearing the news that one of the show's co-hosts, Ryan Dunn had died in a car crash in Pennsylvania. The network also issued a statement offering its condolences to the friends and family of the former Jackass star.
"All of us at G4 are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic news that Ryan Dunn has passed away," read a G4 statement. "Ryan's comedic wit and signature no-holds-barred approach made him an incredible talent and his work on G4's Proving Ground was flawless."
The UKIE's IP crime unit is the focus of BBC 1's Fake Britain, though you can't watch it in America (it's unavailable in my region, at least - according to the web site). UKIE’s intellectual property crime unit was featured in episode 7 of the show. It focused on illegal copies of games out in the wild, the people that make those copies, and what the UKIE does to fight against it. The show also features interviews with UKIE staff and Miles Jacobson, MD of games developer Sports Interactive.
If you live in the UK and Europe, you can check out the show on the BBC. Here's what UKIE's CEO had to say about the program:
Hulu Plus is coming to Xbox Live tomorrow, and Xbox Live Gold and Silver members will get it for free until May 6, Microsoft confirmed today. Hulu Plus will be free until May 6 thanks to a sponsorship deal with Jack Link's Beef Jerky. As a fan of both beef jerky and free stuff, I approve of this partnership.
After the free week is over, users that want to continue to use Hulu Plus can sign up for a membership- which will cost you $7.99 a month.
Xbox 360 joins other devices that support the popular service including iOS devices (iPad, iPhones, iPod Touch), Android devices, various internet-enabled TV's and Blu-Ray devices (Samsung, Vizio, etc.), PlayStation 3, and Roku boxes (which are awesome).
Streaming media service Hulu has decided to compensate PlayStation Network Hulu Plus users with one-week credits via email today. The company said in a letter to customers that the credit can be redeemed any time over the next two weeks and pointed out that "no personal Hulu Plus account information was compromised as part of the Sony intrusion." The letter:
Hulu also mentioned the obvious: Hulu Plus users can use other devices to view media content. No doubt many subscribers had no choice over the last 6 - 8 days. On a related note, later this week Hulu Plus subscribers will have another out to watch content on: Xbox Live. Hulu Plus goes live on Xbox Live April 29.
The letter being sent to customers below:
UK game player advocacy group Gamers' Voice has filed a formal complaint with Channel 5 over an episode of The Wright Stuff in which violent video games were the topic of discussion. During the show playing violent video games were linked to the shooting of Agnes Sina-Inakoju by Leon Dunkley and Mohammed Smoured. The two have already been convicted for the crime. The pair are members of the London Fields gang, who were responsible for a number of violent acts including the stabbing of 14 year old Shaquille Smith in 2009.
During the show, the host and panel members discussed whether violent games were a significant factor in the boys' behavior. Anne Diamond, who is known for anti-video game rhetoric, was one of those panelists. The show also aired footage of 18-rated Modern Warfare 2's infamous "No Russian" level.
An episode of The People's Court litigates a case involving Wii copyright infringement, piracy, and mod chips. But the case isn't really about all that - it's about a guy that wants a couple of hundred bucks over a modding deal gone sour. The judge, the plaintiff and the defendant never grasp the fact that something very illegal is going on here. Luckily for Nintendo, everyone's name is splashed on the screen for more dramatic litigation down the road - should they find out. We have a feeling they probably will..
And frankly, these two guys get what they deserve for going on a nationally syndicated show to fight each other over both committing multiple DMCA violations. Watch the video, be amazed at the stupidity. Thanks to Andrew Eisen's nameless friend who passed this hilarious video along.
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.
In a test run of a special battle between an IBM supercomputer named "Watson" and two of the best Jeopardy! players in the world, the computer dominates. The test of the computer is a preview of a televised battle to take place in January pitting two men against one machine. Score so far: Men 0, Computer 1.
IBM claims that Watson is a major advance in artificial intelligence, and if this test run is any indication, the company is speaking the gospel. Watson managed to beat former Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Thursday in its first public test, a short practice round ahead of a million-dollar tournament that will be televised next month in a special series of shows.
Jennings is no lightweight: he won a record 74 consecutive "Jeopardy!" games in 2004 and 2005. Rutter won a record of nearly $3.3 million in prize money on the show.
What is the best way to handle a news story about an adult-themed Kinect game you might have seen on YouTube? Create a report about it where parents are concerned about their kids playing it. Forget for a minute that it's not actually available on a regular retail Xbox 360 with a Kinect, or that it is basically just a video floating around YouTube..
That is exactly what Martina Valverde, Morning News Reporter at KFox TV in El Paso, Texas did in a report called Adult Video Game In The Works For Kinect System Has Parents Concerned. In the report, she apparently brings the video of an adult groping game to the attention of parents who have a five-year-old son. The son got the game system for Christmas.
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:
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz last week, Tom Watson, Member of Parliament for Bromwich East, said that he was disappointed in the Panorama special on game addiction that aired on BBC 1 last Monday in the United Kingdom.
Watson had hoped for a balanced story on the subject that explored both the positive and negative aspects of gaming.
"It was a heavily editorialised piece," said Watson to GameIndustry.biz. "I wish they'd reached out a little bit more to talk to other people. They could have talked to some of the people who are doing very positive things with games - they could have talked to Graham Brown-Martin, he could have put them in touch with some of the greatest teachers in the country who are capturing the imagination of young people every day using off-the-shelf game packages."
Two House Democrats are asking the Federal Communications Commission to impose conditions on the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal that would preserve affordable broadband service and fair access to online content.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the current (and soon to be former) chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this week urging him to impose net neutrality-style rules barring the new entity from giving its own online video content special treatment over competitors.
"The combination of Comcast and NBCU will give the nation's largest cable TV company and broadband provider control of a massive catalogue of content, channels and household Internet connections," Waxman said. "Video programming and Internet distribution will be inextricably intertwined to an unprecedented degree."
In an article called Don't Believe What You Read: OnLive and Netflix, GamePro catches up with Onlive CEO Ron Perlman to set the record straight after both Reuters and the Wall Street Journal erroneously reported that Onlive had its sights set on competing with Netflix.
OnLive President and CEO Steve Perlman spoke to GamePro yesterday about those stories and said that his quotes about Netflix were taken largely out of context. The quote he is referring to is "OnLive can deliver any experience that Netflix can."
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's John Walker responds to the Panorama TV episode on game addiction (it aired on BBC 1 in the UK last night) with an editorial of his own. While acknowledging that he does not "possess the evidence that gaming does not cause addiction," Walker lays into the Panorama episode and its host for producing a slapdash expose on gaming addiction, leading viewers to conclusions without providing any real evidence.
For example, the show promised to provide details on the secret mechanics that keep gamers "coming back for more," but that secret gaming sauce was never revealed during the program. Likewise, while the host talked a lot about studies that claimed to make a connection between gaming and addiction, no proof was ever provided.
Here is a sample from Walker's editorial:
In an interview with GameIndustry.biz Panorama producer and director Emeka Onono, explains why the BBC news program decided to tackle the subject of game addiction. While Onono claims that the program is not "anti-gaming," his comments to GI.biz do not sound game industry friendly.
"What we've said is there's a potential for things in games to be addictive," he explains to GamesIndustry.biz. "There is a potential there. And that's something that the industry's always doggedly denied. The fact is it's there and however small or large that possibility is it needs to be researched and acknowledged."
Onono also accuses a segment of the games industry of being "very defensive" on the issue of addiction: