Video Games

Reports the AFP via Google News: LONDON — The family of a budding computer programmer have on Saturday launched a campaign to raise awareness about the health risks of playing online computer…







Pac ManPaul Tassi writes in Forbes:

Roger Ebert’s Twitter has informed me this morning that the government has attempted to prove him wrong in the seemingly endless “games as art” debate.The famed critic got many riled up when he said that no, games were not art, and in fact, they never possibly could be. He was hailed by some as an old man out of touch, but more pressingly, one who didn’t PLAY the games he was critiquing, which is rather essential to the experience.

But gamers have now found themselves an unlikely ally in the debate, the National Endowment for the Arts, which for 2012 has reclassified their definition of “art” to the following:

Projects may include high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more.


Osama Video GameThis didn’t take long … Stephen Johnson reports on G4’s The Feed:

This Saturday, Kuma games released their Osama Bin Laden chapter in Kuma War. There’s also a Counter-Strike map so players can relive the glorious victory of the U.S. over the terrorist leader again and again in their homes.To be fair, the Counter-Strike map is simply a recreation of Osama’s hideout, not a full fledged, “let’s kill Osama” game, but it’s still interesting, both in terms of how quickly the game and map appeared, and in terms of what they say about how we feel about war.


Via BoingBoing:

A research arm of the World Bank has produced a comprehensive report on the size of the grey-market virtual world economy in developing countries — gold farming, power-levelling, object making and so on — and arrived at a staggering $3 billion turnover in 2009. They go on to recommend that poor countries be provided with network access and computers so this economy can be built up — a slightly weird idea, given how hostile most game companies are to this sort of thing…


Zachary Sniderman writes on Mashabe.com: It’s one thing to feel bad for homeless people; it’s another to be forced into their shoes. Advertising agency McKinney has teamed up with Urban Ministries of…



Perhaps they were conceived as toys for children, but video games of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s are significant artifacts of 20th-century technological, cultural, and design history. Much of that history is…







There's A Soldier in All of UsMark LeVine, professor of history at UC Irvine, writes in Al Jazeera:

If there’s anyone who doesn’t think the world — and particularly the United States — desperately needs WikiLeaks, I offer you “Exhibit A” of why this is the case: the star-studded official trailer for the “Call of Duty: Black Ops” first person shooter video game. Regular readers of this column might recall my November 16 article, “Nowhere Left to Run,” where I discussed the cultural implications of “Black Ops” after spotting a poster for the game in a Berlin subway around the time of its release.

Since then I have seen the trailer, whose slogan is “There’s a soldier in all of us” and features both ordinary people — a secretary, fry cook, hotel concierge, and the like — along with celebrities like Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, and late night American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.


Of all entertainment offerings, only Avatar has reached $1 billion in sales faster than the mega-popular first-person shooter video game Call of Duty: Black Ops. For those yet to be initiated, here’s the official trailer, followed by the revenue report in the New York Post:

The entertainment industry has a new billion-dollar baby.

Activision Blizzard announced yesterday its “Call of Duty: Black Ops” video game has racked up $1 billion in sales after just 42 days on the market.






Halo-_Reach_box_artSo what would you rather spend your money on: an amazing game that you can spend tens or hundreds of hours playing, or a two-hour movie that you have to travel to and get ripped off on ridiculously overpriced popcorn and soda? No prizes for the correct answer… From The Atlantic:

Microsoft has announced that the fourth installment of their space-themed first-person shooter franchise, Halo: Reach, has netted $200 million dollars in sales in only one day of release. To put that massive number in perspective, it beats out the opening day numbers of any Hollywood blockbuster ever, and it far outpaces this year’s opening weekend numbers of Iron Man 2 ($128 million) and Alice in Wonderland ($116 million). Still, Bungie and Microsoft were certainly hoping that the title would unseat the current gaming record-holder Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 which brought in $310 million when it was released