SyFy President on The Convergence of TV, Video Games

August 9, 2011 -

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.

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Netflix Now Available on 3DS

July 14, 2011 -

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."

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Netflix Launching in Latin America by Year's End

July 5, 2011 -

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.

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The Daily Show Takes on SCOTUS Video Game Ruling

July 1, 2011 -

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.

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Sony Pictures Content Disappears from Netflix

June 21, 2011 -

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."

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G4TV's Proving Ground on Hold in Wake of Co-Star's Death

June 21, 2011 -

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."

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BBC 1's Fake Britain Highlights UKIE IP Crimes Unit

May 26, 2011 -

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:

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Hulu Plus for Xbox 360 Confirmed for Tomorrow

April 28, 2011 -

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).

Source: Joystiq


PSN Hulu Plus Users Gets One-Week Credit

April 27, 2011 -

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:

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Gamers' Voice Files Complaint With Channel 5 Over Anti-Game Segment

April 18, 2011 -

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.

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The People’s Court: Wii Modding Moron Edition

March 11, 2011 -

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.

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Really NCIS Writers, Really?

March 10, 2011 -

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.

Source: Kotaku

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IBM Computer Trounces Humans in Jeopardy! Test Run

January 14, 2011 -

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.

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Kinect, Sex Games, and Your Local News

December 27, 2010 -

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.

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16, Pregnant, and Kind of Lame

December 15, 2010 -

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:

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UK MP Watson Disappointed in Panorama Show on Game Addiction

December 13, 2010 -

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."

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Prominent Democrats Want Conditions on NBC Universal-Comcast Merger

December 8, 2010 -

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."

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OnLive Not Competing With Netflix

December 8, 2010 -

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."

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RPS Editorial on Panorama Game Addiction Show

December 7, 2010 -

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:

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Panorama Producer Defends Game Addiction Episode

December 6, 2010 -

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:

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BBC One's Panorama to Tackle Game Addiction

December 1, 2010 -

The BBC program Panorama will tackle the subject of videogame addiction in a show set to air on BBC One Monday, December 6, at 8.30 pm UK time. Reporter Raphael Rowe interviews school and university students that have dropped out to tune into videogames "for up to 21 hours a day" and "experts" who urge that more research is needed on the subject. The program, which C&VG is calling a "documentary," further promises to "reveal the hidden psychological devices in games that are designed to keep us coming back for more."

The episode is called "Addicted to Games?" and will air December 6. You can learn more about Panorama’s programming by visiting bbc.co.uk. Details on this particular episode were not available on the web site, but we'll bring you more info when we have it.

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Netflix Changes Coming Your Way

November 23, 2010 -

Netflix is changing and it is being blamed -- or if you prefer, attributed to -- the viewing habits of subscribers. Today Netflix informed subscribers that soon they would have to pay $1 more a month for the basic one-DVD-at-a-time plus streaming content subscription. The company also announced a $7.99 streaming-only option for consumers. The reason, they say, is that more users are streaming content via various devices -- Wii, Xbox 360, Ps3 -- than watching it via DVDs. The company predicts that by the end of 2010 streaming content consumption will finally outpace disc-based viewing.

While that may very well be true, Netflix's challenge is getting that streaming content to be more robust and current- a complaint voiced repeatedly on its blog today in the midst of this announcement. That being said, you can check out all the changes coming your way by visiting blog.netflix.com.

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DirectTV Dumps G4TV From Line-Up

November 1, 2010 -

DirectTV dumps game-centric network G4TV from its line-up of programming November 1. DirecTV tells Entertainment Weekly that rising costs are the main reason for dumping the network, while G4TV says that DirectTV rejected its offer to continue carrying its programming. DirectTV has an estimated 18 million subscriber in the U.S.

So what should DirectTV subscribers do? Well, you could switch to Dish Network, or cable. Cable and satellite TV subscribers always seem to get caught in the middle of negotiations over what providers should pay networks to carry programs. Why can't Home Shopping Network have a feud with DishNetwork, DirectTV and cable operators?

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Battle Pagans in The Bible Online

October 1, 2010 -

Following a short beta period, German online game publisher FiAA GbmH has released the official version of its browser-based online game entitled The Bible Online.

If you were waiting for a bible game that features both RTS and MMORPG elements, you’re in luck, as the title lets players “construct their villages, manage resources,” in addition to the challenge of protecting “their tribe from the pagans and also from other tribes.”

The first chapter of the game, called Heroes, centers on the Book of Genesis and features a temple, in which “players get the chance to actually read and type the passages of the Book of Genesis, which leads to increase of their ‘faith,’ which is one of the attributes of the players.”

FiAA GbmH plans to add chapters that eventually cover all the stories of the Bible. The game is available in both German and English.

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Netflix, NBC Expand Agreement

September 25, 2010 -

Netflix and NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution announced an expanded license agreement that will give the on-demand and by-mail movie and TV distribution service to offer more NBC TV shows. The multi-year deal kicks off next week and continues the relationship between Netflix and NBC Universal. The agreement adds more movies and TV episodes that can be streamed instantly from Netflix with a membership.

Netflix will soon offer episodes from every season of NBC's Saturday Night Live, including day-after broadcast of the upcoming 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons plus hundreds of episodes from the first 35 years of SNL.

Netflix will also offer every episode from the last season of 30 Rock, The Office, Law & Order: SVU, as well as earlier seasons of those shows. Other stuff coming includes Friday Night Lights, Psych, In Plain Sight, Monk, Battlestar Galactica, Destination Truth, Eureka, and more. More details here. No doubt, all of these shows will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.


Study Indicates Gaming (and TV Viewing) Could Lead to Something

July 6, 2010 -

Playing videogames and watching television are linked with attention problems in kids, at least according to a study authored by Edward Swing, David Walsh, former head of the National Institute on Media and Family, and Iowa State University’s Craig Anderson and Douglas Gentile.

Television and Video Game Exposure and the Development of Attention Problems (PDF) is published in the latest edition of Pediatrics and sampled 1,323 “middle childhood participants” across a 13-month session. A second sample of 210 adolescent and early adult participants was utilized as well.

The study began by offering, “Many video games seem to share many features (eg, high excitement, rapid changes in focus) that have been identified as potentially relevant to the television association with attention problems, making a similar association between video game playing and attention problems plausible.”

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Avi Arad's Pac-Man TV Series to Tackle Social Issues

June 18, 2010 -

You would think that Pac-Man would only know how to teach us life lessons about eating power pellets and gobbling ghosts, but if Marvel producer Avi Arad has his way the video game icon will teach us about life.

During a Pac-Man anniversary party earlier this week in Los Angeles, Arad revealed that the secret project he is working on is in fact a Pac-Man TV series. But instead of following the goofy formula associated with the last Pac-Man TV series, Arad wants to use Namco's number one son to deal with social issues including societal ills and race.

"We feel we have a unique opportunity to have an action adventure, human interest story," Arad told Variety. "As a filmmaker, it's a unique opportunity to get to know the characters you play."

Perhaps Arad sees something the rest of us don't. We see a yellow dude eating dots and chasing ghosts; but he sees a guy who has a back-story we know nothing about. Here's an example:

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Nintendo UK Ads Win Dubious Distinction

January 20, 2010 -

Nintendo’s UK television spots featuring the comedy team Anthony “Ant” McPartlin and Declan “Dec” Donnelly have made a list of the most irritating ads of 2009.

Marketing Magazine assembled the list of irksome ads, assigning Nintendo to 9th place, in a tie with a campaign for Country Life put together by the agency Grey London. Karmarama produced the Nintendo spots, some of which can be viewed here on EnjoyNintendo.

Is it a positive for a brand to make a list like this or not?

Saatchi & Saatchi’s Director of Strategy Richard Huntington was asked by Marketing Magazine for his take on the subject and indicated that, while the ads are certainly memorable, whether “they can form part of a sustainable communication strategy remains to be seen.

Or, as Marketing Magazine interprets, “once a brand has done its best to irritate consumers it is difficult to see where the creative approach goes next.”


|Via MCVUK, Thanks Andrew|

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G4's Sessler: Game Censorship Gone But Not Forgotten

July 25, 2009 -

In the latest edition of his Soapbox, G4's Adam Sessler expresses the view that video game censorship is pretty much gone, but that gamers should be watchful for its return.

GP: Here at GamePolitics, we're waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in the California case later this year. At that point, we'll have a better handle on where the game censorship issue is heading.

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Conan Finds Humor in Game Biz Slump

July 22, 2009 -

Apparently taking note of recent reports that video game sales are in the midst of a four-month slide, Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien dropped this one on the audience recently:

Experts say the video game industry has been dramatically hurt by the economic downturn. Which explains the popularity of the new Nintendo game, ‘Wii Job Interview.’

Source: Political Irony

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You're not permitted to post shouts.
TechnogeekRegion locking bans seem like something that'll be very difficult to pass into law. I'm fully on board with the subtitle requirement, though.07/02/2015 - 10:00pm
MattsworknameFor example, all games with any for form of spoken dialoge should be i subtitled, and region locking in any form should be illegal07/02/2015 - 9:03pm
MattsworknameDoes anyone feel that there should be a set standard for all games in terms of certain basic features. Ie subtitles, region lock, etc07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
MattsworknameSo, now that the Article stuff is over, I want to bring up another subject07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
PHX Corphttps://trustygem.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/windows-10-insider-preview-phase-3/ My Thoughts on Windows 10 Insider Preview07/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?t=18&v=CbGmrySQLIg looks like Inafune is giving capcom the middle finger.07/02/2015 - 5:05pm
TechnogeekUnfortunately, the shoutbox moves fast enough that I can't find why I got that impression, so if was indeed erroneous I do apologize.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
TechnogeekBut yeah, as far as my earlier comment re: you and the article, I did get the impression at some point that you felt there should have been some sort of reprecussions for the article's existence.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
TechnogeekI got expletive-censored for posting something a few weeks back wherein I expressed my shock that I agreed with you about something, Skunk; so you're not the only one being hit with that stick.07/02/2015 - 4:31pm
Andrew EisenI know you don't. And you haven't recently so all's well.07/02/2015 - 4:25pm
Goth_SkunkI don't think I misrepresented anything.07/02/2015 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenHeavy profanity is not permitted in the Shout box. Words like "moron" are but we ask that our readers not resort to name-calling.07/02/2015 - 4:23pm
Goth_SkunkSo I can't say a 4-letter curse word, but Mechacrash is free to call me a moron. Acknowledgment: Mecha was warned about his conduct, but his post was not edited, as mine was.07/02/2015 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenWhat people took issue with was your misrepresentation of what the author said. Now that you're criticizing what she actually said, no one has a problem (though they might disagree with your opinion).07/02/2015 - 4:19pm
Andrew EisenThat's not comparable at all. One is advice, one is a rule.07/02/2015 - 4:17pm
Goth_SkunkBut apparently, people seem to take issue with my justification and have been jumping down my throat about it for... 24 hours?07/02/2015 - 4:17pm
Goth_SkunkAnd now we've just had an example wherein I was forced to moderate myself in order to minimize offense.07/02/2015 - 4:16pm
Goth_SkunkThat's what this whole conundrum's been about! I strongly disapproved with the Wired article writer's suggestion and made that opinion known here in the shoutbox.07/02/2015 - 4:16pm
Andrew EisenPlease keep such strong language out of the Shout box. Anyway, that's fine. If there's something you want to write about. Go right ahead. Don't like someone's suggestion? Feel free to say so.07/02/2015 - 4:13pm
Goth_SkunkIf I get a response "this rape scene you wrote was offensive. You should've done it differently. Consider examples A, B, C, or D" I would happily take it under advisement should I decide to write something similar in the future.07/02/2015 - 4:12pm
 

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