Fox addresses controversial video game featuring Taliban

16 Aug

Fox & Friends’ Clayton Morris interviews Gold Star Mother Karen Meredith about her reaction to Electronic Arts’ upcoming Medal of Honor, which takes place in modern day Afghanistan and allows players to assume the role of Taliban soldiers.


‘Scott Pilgrim’ reviews biased against gaming culture (NPR)

14 Aug

Michael Cera 'levels up' as Scott Pilgrim in one of the film's many game references.

NPR’s Linda Holmes reported on the way several movie reviewers criticized the target audience of “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” in their negative critiques of the film.

After referring to the first part of the movie as a “dork-pandering assault,” The Boston Phoenix reviewer goes on to say that Michael Cera’s performance is “irritating” in part because of “the non-stop Pavlovian laugh track provided by the audience at the screening I attended.” (As far as I know, that’s a first: “You made the audience laugh, you irritating actor in a comedy, and that’s what’s wrong with you.”)

The review in the St. Petersburg Times begins, “First of all, I’m not a video gamer. I have discovered more appealing ways to not have a life.”

The New York Observer sniffs that the film is “clearly directed at an audience with generational ADD.”

Here’s one from Philadelphia Weekly: “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is Fan Service: The Movie, an insular, punishingly alienating experience preaching only to the faithful, devoted hearts of arrested 12-year-old boys. It’s singularly fixated on video games and shallow visions of women as one-dimensional objects to be either obtained or discarded and offers no possible point of entry to anybody over the age of 30.”

Read the full article to see how Holmes combats these assertions as a fan of the film despite not fitting into any of the above reviewers’ categories.

Also read Dennis Scimeca’s take on the reviews as well as their greater implications in his article on Bitmob.

Game violence documentary made available for free on Hulu

11 Aug

Viewers can now watch Moral Kombat, a 2007 documentary concerning the history and impact of video game violence, for free on Hulu.

The documentary features a variety of panelists (including game designers, scientists, college professors, politicians, children experts, military personnel, etc.) speaking for and against video games.

Boy’s eye sight improves by playing games (Mail Online)

4 Aug

Mail Online’s Claire Bates reported on a six year-old with severe amblyopia, or lazy eye disorder, who greatly improved his vision by following his doctor’s recommendation to play Nintendo DS each day.

Ben playing Nintendo DS.

Ben, from Billericay, Essex,  spends two hours a day playing Mario Kart on a Nintendo DS with his twin Jake. Ben wears a patch over his good eye to make his lazy one work harder.

The twins’ mother, Maxine, 36, said that from being ‘nearly blind’ in the eye, Ben’s vision had ‘improved 250 per cent’ in the first week.

Read the entire article at Mail Online.

Eight to delete rare weapons to end controversy, benefit charity

3 Aug

Enemies bludgeoned with a golden wrench turn to gold in Team Fortress 2.

[Update: Valve has officially endorsed the event on its website:
The TF2 team knew that the Golden Wrench event would be controversial — an experiment in the distribution of an ultra-rare item. We never imagined that it would empower a small group of players to benefit a much vaster group of children in need. We are constantly shocked and impressed by the creativity of the Team Fortress 2 community, but today we are humbled.”
Read an updated version of this article at Bitmob.]

A recipient of a rare and controversial Team Fortress 2 weapon will delete the item along with seven other recipients in an attempt to rid themselves of the weapon’s stigma while raising over $5,000 for charity.

One hundred Team Fortress 2 players received golden wrenches last month, and while the weapons only differ from the default wrench cosmetically by turning defeated enemies into golden statues event organizer WiNG said the golden wrenches have created controversy within the community.

“The Wrenches have been controversial for many reasons, but primarily because there were only 100 distributed and Valve told a few white lies about how they were ‘randomly’ distributed,” WiNG said. “A hacker later proved it wasn’t completely random.”

WiNG said he realized how controversial the golden wrenches were when a recipient’s account was hacked and the weapon deleted. “When I saw how much drama this decision caused, I realized I could draw a lot of publicity by purposefully doing the same,” he said.

Rather than just re-crate the drama by deleting his golden wrench, WiNG said he wanted to use the attention to do some good.

Continue reading

Game symphony performance to air on PBS throughout August

31 Jul

In VIDEO GAMES LIVE, a new PBS special, the world’s most beloved video game franchises come together to celebrate gaming culture and the incredible music surrounding it. An immersive event featuring the best game music performed by top-notch musicians and choirs combined with synchronized lighting, video, live action and audience interactivity, this performance was taped at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. VIDEO GAMES LIVE is part of special programming airing in July-August 2010 (check local listings) on PBS stations.


Fans to decide character’s fate with donations to kids charity

30 Jul

Purchasing these shirts will kill or save Carmine and assist a charity.

Xbox 360-owners will be able to vote on whether or not the third of the Gears of War series’ Carmine brothers will live or die in Gears of War3 by purchasing shirts for their Xbox avatars with all the proceeds going to the Child’s Play charity.

Beginning today, Xbox 360-owners can purchase shirts for their avatars on Xbox Live with the words “Save Carmine” or “Carmine Must Die” to cast their votes for Clayton, the third brother’s fate. The shirts sell for 80 Microsoft Points which equate to $1 a piece.

Purchasing a “Save Carmine” shirt casts a vote to save Clayton while purchasing a “Carmine Must Die” shirt casts a vote to condemn him.

The developer also began selling real life versions of the T-shirts for $20 at this year’s Comic-Con. Both shirts can still be purchased online.

Epic Games will be donating all proceeds collected from the shirts, both digital and real, to Child’s Play, a charity that purchases toys and video games for children in hospitals throughout the world. Founded in 2003 by the authors of video game web-comic Penny Arcade, the charity has so far donated over $6 million to hospitals.

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