UK's Office of Fair Trading Gives App Developer Two Months to Adapt to New In-Game Purchasing Rules

January 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) watchdog agency has given mobile phone app developers two months to adapt to new in-app purchasing rules that better protect children (and subsequently their credit-card holding parents) from in-game micro-transactions and messaging that generally encourages them to buy things to advance gameplay. The OFT has given developers a deadline of April 1 to make their apps for iOS, Windows Phone, and Android devices comply with new rules.

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Research: Video Games and Movies Motivate Children to Read More

January 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New research confirms what most parents with young children and the people that market all kinds of things to them already know: that there is a synergy between films, video games, toys, and books. A survey of more than 420,000 British school children found that almost all the most-loved books of 2012 and 2013 also existed as films, apps or video games.

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Changing Faces Charity Urges Mind Candy to Change 'Offensive' Character Names in Moshi Monsters

January 14, 2014 - James Fudge

UK-based charity Changing Faces is calling on the makers of Moshi Monsters to change the names of characters in its game that have offensive names. Changing Faces is a charity that provides support and information to people with disfigurements to the "face, hands or body, and their families."

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Teen Concussion Patients Should Lay Off Homework, Texting, and Video Games

January 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Teens who play high school sports like football that sustain a concussion should avoid texting, homework, and playing video games, according to new research coming out of Boston Children's Hospital.

Researchers say that teen athletes that have suffered a concussion while playing a sport recovered faster when they practiced "cognitive rest."

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Experts Concerned About The Negative Impact of Tablets on Young Children

December 26, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

While tablets seem to be popular with very young children, some pediatricians and other health experts are expressing concerns that these devices may be interfering with early childhood development and may even lead to some children developing attention problems. Of course, the research on all of this is still mostly incomplete because the iPad and other popular devices have not been out long enough to determine what the long-term effects of usage among children really are.

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Historian Richard Slotkin on Adam Lanza's Influences

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Cultural historian Richard Slotkin talks about Newtown shooter Adam Lanza in a rather lengthy interview with journalist Bill Moyers. The interview touches upon some other topics as well, but a fair bit of it is spent discussing Adam Lanza's behavior, his fascination with guns and violent video games, and his deep study of school shootings dating back to the late 1800's.

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Koei Tecmo Implements Micro-Transaction Spending Limits in Games for Japan

December 6, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Koei Tecmo has introduced spending limits for micro-transactions in its games for those under the age of 20 in Japan. According to Silicon Era, the company will only allow $50 a month to be spent by someone under the age of 15, with the 16-19 year olds being limited to a maximum of $200 a month. No restrictions apply for players 20 years old or older.

Koei Tecmo plans to add these limits in its games in Japan before the year's end. No word on if this policy will be a global one or if it is just specific to Japan.

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Research: Children Can't Run as Far or as Fast as Their Parents Did

November 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New research shows that on average kids need an extra 90 seconds to run a mile than kids did way back in 1975. Researchers blame increased body weight, a lack of exercise, and sedentary lifestyles that involve video games, mobile devices, and television. An analysis of studies on 250 million children from around the world finds that they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young.

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Research: Boys with Autism Who Have Bedroom Access to Games and TV Get Less Sleep

November 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Boys with autism who have screens - TVs, computers, or video game-related devices - in their bedrooms may not be getting enough sleep, according to research from the University of Missouri.

"Previous research has shown that bedroom access to screen-based media is associated with less time spent sleeping in the general population," notes Christopher Engelhardt, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Thompson Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders at the University of Missouri. "We found that this relationship is stronger among boys with autism."

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Research: Playing Games Improves Children's Emotional Well-Being, Helps Families Bond

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a new study by the Queensland University of Technology, playing video games improves children's emotional, social, and psychological well-being. The study also finds that playing video games together as a family can help build stronger family bonds.

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London Man Arrested for Sharing Explicit Material with Minor While Playing Video Games

November 12, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a report in Blackburn News, London Police have arrested a man who shared sexually explicit material with a Tennessee teen - and he did it while playing an unnamed game with him.

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Nintendo Kills Swapnote on 3DS

November 1, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Nintendo has announced that the 3DS's Swapnote feature has been shutdown and will no longer be available to users. Nintendo didn't shut the service down because it didn't work or because it wasn't popular: it shut it down in the name of protecting children. The service which allows users to exchange notes, simple drawings, and photos (using either Spotpass or Streetpass) was shut down because some users have apparently used it to share "offensive" material with others.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 72

October 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by Ben Hayward, who wrote an interesting article last week about how video game players are often gun owners too, and how the government often tries to pit one group against the other. Andrew also reveals the results of last week's poll concerning the Mighty No. 9 and the possibility that the developer behind the game might get sued by Capcom.

OfCom Report: UK Home Console Ownership Declines

October 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The latest "Children and Parents Media Use and Attitudes Report" from UK regulatory agency OfCom shows a decline in console ownership for the first time in the region. The report notes that 87 percent of children live in a UK household with a home or portable games console - compared to 90 percent in 2012. Around 66 percent of children ages 3-4 have a console; 78 percent for the 5 - 7-year-olds have a console system at home, and 91 percent of 8 - 11-year-olds said they have a console in the home. The report notes that every age bracket decreased, compared to 2012.

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OFT Warns UK Developers about High Pressure Monetization of Kids' Apps

September 26, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning app and game developers that high-pressure monetization in programs that are aimed at children needs to be avoided going forward. The OFT made its announcement today after months of investigation (which began in April) into allegations that some free online apps and games for children were using questionable tactics to get children to purchase in-game items - often without parental consent. The OFT examined 38 games related to this practice and drafted a set of guidelines for UK developers.

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Court Bans Wisc. Teen From Playing Video Games

September 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A Wisconsin teen has managed to get himself officially banned from playing video games. According to multiple reports, Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch ordered 17-year-old Jeffery A. Ehlers of Mount Pleasant to pay a $250 signature bond and ordered him to not play video games or have "violent contact" with his family. Ehlers made his first court appearance on Monday answering charges of disorderly conduct. He is being charged as an adult.

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Video Game Retail Veteran to Parents: Do The Right Thing

September 23, 2013 - James Fudge

Kotaku has an interesting editorial written by "a video game retail veteran" discussing how 100 of the 1,000 copies of Grand Theft Auto V sold last week were to parents accompanied by young kids who "couldn't even see over the counter." In his editorial he talks about being a parent who works at a retailer that sells games, and how he is often surprised at how many parents don't pay attention to the ESRB descriptors, shrug off any advice about what a given title might contain, or how many parents simply ignore what he is saying.

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Report: MPAA and RIAA Teach Copyright at California Public Schools

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this TorrentFreak article, the trade groups representing the music and movie industry are indoctrinating kindergartners in the state of California with an "educational program" about "sharing creative works." The Center for Copyright Information, a partnership between the MPAA, RIAA and five of the largest Internet providers in the United States, are teaching copyright classes in California public schools.

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Kids Playing On Mobile Devices as Much as Home Consoles, Says NPD

September 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new report by retail research firm NPD Group finds that the way children are playing games has taken a dramatic shift since 2011. The report, "Kids and Gaming 2013," finds that children ages 2-17 are playing games on mobile devices nearly as much as they are on home console systems.

More than half (53 percent) of mobile device users reported that they spent more time playing on these devices this year compared to last year, but the real increase is with children who spent an average of seven hours per week on mobile devices compared to five hours per week in 2011.

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Digital Kids Summit and Digital Kids Education Events Kick Off Next Week

September 10, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Over 250 digital media, entertainment, and learning experts and industry professionals are set to converge on San Francisco next week for the Digital Kids Summit and Digital Kids Education (Edu) Day taking place Wednesday, September 18th, and Thursday, September 19th, at the San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum. The summits are spin-offs of Engage Digital's New York-based Digital Kids Conference.

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2013 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge Winner 'Love in the Dumpster' Released

September 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Jennifer Ann’s Group has released the top award-winning video game from its 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge. The first place winning game is Love in the Dumpster by Jean Hehn of Belgium-based developer Another Kind. Love in the Dumpster is the fourth video game to be released from the 2013 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and is free to play to increase awareness about teen dating violence.

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Report: Too Much Screen Time Affects Children's Well Being

August 28, 2013 - James Fudge

A new briefing from Public Health England (an agency of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom) suggests that children who spend a lot of time watching television, surfing the Internet, and playing video games, are more likely to have lower levels of wellbeing than their more active peers.

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The Rise of the 'Mom Gamer'

August 28, 2013 - James Fudge

A new report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) found that 75 percent of "moms" play video games. The data comes as part of a new report from the trade group representing the video games industry called "Mom Gamers Study: A New Generation of Gamer." The report is based on a survey of 2,500 females over the age of 18 with children under the age of 18 in the household.

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ESA Launches Fellowship for 'Young Developers of Color'

August 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced a partnership with the Black Association for Science and Engineering, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), HHF's Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) and other groups to create the ESA Loft Video Game Innovation Fellowship.

Second Game Released from the 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge

July 24, 2013 -

Jennifer Ann’s Group has released the third-place winning video game from the 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge. The 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge asked developers to create games that raised awareness about the dangers of Teen dating violence. Jennifer Ann's Group is a charity dedicated to the cause and named after Jennifer Ann Crecente, who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend.

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Report: CDC Closer to Beginning Research on Gun Violence and Video Games

July 12, 2013 -

An extensive and exclusive report over on Polygon reveals that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are getting closer to pursuing the Obama Administration edict to study the correlation between violent media (music, movies, television and video games) and gun violence. The President called for more research in January of this year in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

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2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge Winners Announced

July 12, 2013 -

Jennifer Ann’s Group, an Atlanta-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to preventing teen dating violence through "awareness, education, and advocacy;" announced the winners of the 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge. The competition asked participants to create games that raised awareness about teen dating violence and appealed to students. One other key element of all of this year's winners is that they raise awareness about teen dating violence without using any violence in gameplay.

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All or Nothing: Active Games Best for Combating Sedentary Behavior After School Time

July 3, 2013 -

A new study coming out of Australia says that video games are great for combating sedentary time after school and making small improvements in physical activity levels - if the only ones you play are "active games." Leon Straker, PhD, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia led a team to conduct a crossover trial study to see how the effectiveness of active games could be maximized. One of the best ways was to remove all other kinds of games that did not require the user to get up and move. Removing all video games from the home of participants had similar results.

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Eighteen-Year-Old Chinese Man Sells Kidney to Pay Video Game Debt

June 26, 2013 -

Hearing about the youth of China selling their vital organs for something stupid is nothing new, but apparently the trend continues... Kotaku (by way of Tencent) reports that an 18-year-old Chinese man surnamed Zhang from the Gangsu province has sold his kidney. Zhang had to find a way to pay down some debt he apparently amassed while playing "video games" according to the Chinese press.

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Research: Video Games Make Teens Better Citizens

June 5, 2013 -

Video games can make teens better citizens, according to Kathy Sanford, an education professor at the University of Victoria, (British Columbia, Canada) She comes to this conclusion after a five year research project that followed a group of teens between the ages of 13-17 years old. Sanford sat down with The Globe and Mail earlier this week to talk about her findings before presenting them at a UVic conference of humanities and social sciences.

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PHX Corpand now it's ready to go for everyone08/31/2015 - 9:35pm
PHX Corpok, done http://www.twitch.tv/trustygemtwitch I have to put on one more finishing touch and it is ready to go08/31/2015 - 9:19pm
Andrew EisenFeel free to leave us suggestions on Facebook or Twitter too. We're going to be busy but we'll try our best to keep an eye on 'em.08/31/2015 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenIt's an interesting idea though. If we do anything, we probably won't know until after the site goes offline so keep an eye on GP social media for announcements.08/31/2015 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenYeah, we could use my Twitch chat box too. There's always IRC but we don't currently have a GamePolitics channel.08/31/2015 - 8:57pm
Goth_SkunkThough I think the limit is 9 at a time in the hangout, so anyone who can't get in would be stuck out in the 'on air' portion.08/31/2015 - 8:57pm
Andrew EisenFor the show, I'd like the chat open to anyone who wants to watch.08/31/2015 - 8:55pm
PHX CorpI could Set Up a Temporary chatroom on My twitch.TV page while GP is busy updating the site(since I'll be Fighting Megaman Legacy Collection on Xbox one)08/31/2015 - 8:54pm
Goth_SkunkI don't see a problem with inviting viewers. It's not like I'm advocating this to be an open forum, just something specific to GP members.08/31/2015 - 8:53pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I embed the chat box from my Twitch Page. Can't get chat on the YouTube page to work either.08/31/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI do but I haven't seen a way to incorporate viewers to chat without specifically inviting them to the event.08/31/2015 - 8:49pm
Goth_SkunkThough I'm surprised you'd not be familiar with this, Andrew. Do you not use Google Hangouts when you do S.P.A.C.?08/31/2015 - 8:45pm
Andrew EisenGP Movie Night!08/31/2015 - 8:41pm
Big PermEveyone should be too busy with phantom pain to notice GP is down. Hail Vidya!08/31/2015 - 8:40pm
Goth_SkunkBut such a hangout *could* be a neat idea. It could be used, for example, for all us GPers to get together and watch the new FemFreq video, and then discuss amongst ourselves in real time what our thoughts are.08/31/2015 - 8:38pm
Goth_Skunkcacophany of voices all trying to talk at once.08/31/2015 - 8:37pm
Goth_SkunkVideo is entirely optional. The only criticism I have of the hangout system is that I don't believe the moderator has the ability to "give the floor" to any one particular individual. Without mutual respect and tact, a Google Hangout can be reduced to a08/31/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenWell, I can't stream anything because I'm at work all day (still am).08/31/2015 - 8:28pm
Goth_SkunkIt seemed simple enough to me. During a shift at work I was bored and hopped on a Google Hangout that was GamerGate themed and streamed on YouTube. Granted, I was not the host, but joining in seemed fairly straightforward.08/31/2015 - 8:24pm
Andrew EisenSo, like a space where we can all hang out and chat while the site is down? I can dig it. No idea how to do that though. Is there a way to create a public chat in Google Hangout?08/31/2015 - 8:23pm

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