games

Protesting China’s Required Censorship Software

dinoyum writes “Censorship in China is nothing new, but the level of action taken to force Chinese citizens to comply has garnered global recognition. China marked the date July 1st, 2009 as the day manufacturers will be forced to install filtering software on all new PCs. While many have resorted to digitally lashing out against Green Dam, Chinese artist and designer of the famous Bird’s Nest at the Beijing Olympics, Ai Weiwei has decided upon a different approach. ‘[He wants] a general internet strike — no work, no games, no email or anything else online — for 24 hours on the date the government plans to require censorship software on all new computers, he says, will be a quiet act of rebellion. Not coincidentally, July 1 is the 88th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. Though he posted the idea, Ai wants to leave the meaning to those who participate. “I gave almost no explanation about why I’m doing it,” Ai said. “I just give the structure and people will fill in their own meaning. I don’t want to be political first. I wanted to set up an act that everyone can easily accept, and then realize the power later. I want people to see their own power,” he said.'”

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Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Protesting China’s Required Censorship Software

The Origins of Video Game Names

Blogger Drew Mackie has posted a lengthy analysis of the etymology of dozens of names from popular video game characters. It examines the real-life and mythological roots of names from Final Fantasy, Zelda, Mario Bros., Street Fighter, and many other prominent franchises, complete with citations where appropriate. Quoting: “It’s speculated that Street Fighter’s Russian wrestler Zangief takes his name from a real-life Russian wrestler, Victor Zangiev. More interesting to me is that the working name for this character was Vodka Gobalsky. This is notable for two reasons — for one, that this name is amazing [and] deserves to enter into the public consciousness and, for another, that it bears a striking resemblance to the name of a Russian boxer in Nintendo’s Punch-Out!! series, Vodka Drunkenski. I’m sure this says something about Japanese perception of Russian people. The latter Vodka, by the way, goes by the name Soda Popinski in US translations of the game, presumably because Nintendo of America didn’t allow references to booze.”

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Saturday, June 20th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on The Origins of Video Game Names

America’s Army 3 Has Rough Launch, Development Team Canned

incognito84 writes “The development team responsible for the creation of the freeware game America’s Army 3 has been canned, days after the launch of the highly flawed game, which was distributed mostly via Steam. ‘The anonymous America’s Army 3 developers in touch with Kotaku unsurprisingly didn’t sound too pleased with the current situation, venting that “a lot of good people [worked] insanely long hours on this game that was butchered by outside sources.’ The game’s launch was plagued by massive server authentication issues which inhibited most players from playing it even two days afterward. One of the developers made a post on the official forums saying they were ‘effectively stabbed in the back,’ and that much of the funding was filtered to the bureaucracy. A patch has been released to address some of the game’s issues.”

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Friday, June 19th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on America’s Army 3 Has Rough Launch, Development Team Canned

Censored Video Game Content Stifles Artistry

AnInkle writes “The question of whether modern video games represent art and the persistent attempts to censor controversial content in games have been discussed here at length. Now, a blogger at The Tech Report makes the case that censorship of violent and sexual pictures and themes in video games is precisely what inhibits video games from maturing artistically beyond a nascent form. He cites a historical comparison between video game and film production, as well as geo-cultural comparisons of film production in the US vs. Europe and of video game development in the US vs. Japan. Are these comparisons apt and the assertions valid, or might the embrace of video games as a legitimate art form be limited for entirely different reasons?”

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Friday, June 19th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Censored Video Game Content Stifles Artistry

German Parliament Enacts Internet Censorship Law

TheTinyToon writes that by a vote of 389 to 128, “the proposed censorship law to block child porn has been passed by the German government. Not surprisingly, a member of the conservative party (CDU) announced plans to also check if the law could be extended to include so-called ‘killer games’ like Counterstrike, only two hours after the law was passed.” More [in German] on netzpolitik.org.”

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Friday, June 19th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on German Parliament Enacts Internet Censorship Law

iPhone Shakes Up the Video Game Industry

Hugh Pickens writes “Troy Wolverton writes in the Mercury News that in less than a year, the iPhone has become a significant game platform, but its bigger impact could be to help change the way the game industry does business. ‘It’s got everything you need to be a game changer,’ said Neil Young, co-founder and CEO of ngmoco, which develops games solely for the iPhone. With a year under its belt and an installed base of iPhone and iPod Touch owners at around forty million, the iPhone/iPod Touch platform has eclipsed next-gen console penetration numbers and started to catch up to the worldwide penetration of both Sony’s (50 million) and Nintendo’s (100 million) devices. Wolverton writes that not only is the iPhone one of the first widely successful gaming platforms in which games are completely digitally distributed, but on the iPhone, consumers can find more games updated more often, and at a cheaper cost per game than what they’d find on a typical dedicated game console. While an ordinary top-of-the-line game for M|cr0s0ft’s Xbox 360 sells for about , and one for Nintendo’s DS about , a top-of-the-line iPhone game typically sells for no more than . With traditional games, developers might wait a year or two between major releases; ngmoco is planning on releasing new versions of its games for the iPhone every four to five months. ‘You have to think differently,’ says Young. ‘It’s redefining what it means to be a publisher in this world.'”

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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on iPhone Shakes Up the Video Game Industry

Ubisoft CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think

An anonymous reader writes “Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot tells CNBC that he believes the next generation of video game systems isn’t as far away as the public has been led to believe. Guillemot noted that public demand for the best machine possible, as well as coming competition from companies such as OnLive could spur M|cr0s0ft, Sony and Nintendo to roll out new systems sooner than they want. That’s not good news for publishers, though, as he says games in the next generation will likely cost million to create.”

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Monday, June 15th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Ubisoft CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think

Ubisift CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think

An anonymous reader writes “Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot tells CNBC that he believes the next generation of video game systems isn’t as far away as the public has been led to believe. Guillemot noted that public demand for the best machine possible, as well as coming competition from companies such as OnLive could spur M|cr0s0ft, Sony and Nintendo to role out new systems sooner than they want. That’s not good news for publishers, though, as he says games in the next generation will likely cost million to create.”

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Monday, June 15th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Ubisift CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think

The Fall and Rise of Motion Control For Games

Eurogamer has a story about how the design of motion-control input devices has evolved over the years, ranging from the Nintendo Power Glove and Sega Activator up to modern devices like the Wii Remote and the upcoming projects by Sony and M|cr0s0ft. Now that the technology has caught up with the ideas, EA CEO John Riccitello said he expects motion-control gaming to rapidly expand, eventually occupying half the total games market. He said, “We almost invested to create a platform extension like that for some of the games we’re working on. We’re very pleased, frankly, that it showed up at M|cr0s0ft, because I’d rather them pay for that. They can leverage it better, and we can build software. But I felt the market wanted that technology and I’m glad it’s coming.”

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Sunday, June 14th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on The Fall and Rise of Motion Control For Games

Game, DVD Sales Hurting Music Industry More Than Downloads

Aguazul writes with this excerpt from the Guardian: “The music industry likes to insist that filesharing — aka illegal downloading — is killing the industry; that every one of the millions of music files downloaded each day counts as a ‘lost’ sale, which if only it could somehow have been prevented would put stunning amounts of money into impoverished artists’ hands. … If you even think about it, it can’t be true. People — even downloaders — only have a finite amount of money. In times gone by, sure, they would have been buying vinyl albums. But if you stopped them downloading, would they troop out to the shops and buy those songs? I don’t think so. I suspect they’re doing something different. I think they’re spending the money on something else. What else, I mused, might they be buying? The first clue of where all those downloaders are really spending their money came in searching for games statistics: year after year ELSPA had hailed ‘a record year.’ In fact … games spending has risen dramatically — from £1.18bn in 1999 to £4.03bn in 2008. Meanwhile music spending has gone from £1.94bn to £1.31bn.”

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Friday, June 12th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Game, DVD Sales Hurting Music Industry More Than Downloads