Tag Archives | Video Games
Have you ever fantasized about beating Bill O'Reilly to death with a crowbar or shooting up the offices of Americans for Prosperity with an Uzi? Well, the folks at StarvingEyes Advergaming apparently have and they'd like to share their latest creation with the world. The game is called "Tea Party Zombies Must Die" and, apart from abysmal game play, features several different levels where your only objective is to mercilessly slaughter everyone around you whether they are a Fox News stars or simply Americans For Prosperity employees...
Reports the AFP via Google News:
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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 games after their son died following a marathon session on his Xbox.
A post-mortem revealed that 20-year-old Chris Staniforth — who was offered a place to study Game Design at Leicester University — was killed by a pulmonary embolism, which can occur if someone sits in the same position for several hours.
Deep vein thrombosis normally affects passengers on long-haul flights, but medical experts fear youngsters who spend hours glued to their consoles might also be at risk and have urged them to take regular breaks.
Professor Brian Colvin — an expert on blood-related conditions — said it was “unhealthy” for youngsters to spend long periods in front of their consoles.
“There’s anxiety about obesity and children not doing anything other than looking at computer screens,” he told the Sun.
A technology CEO sees game artificial intelligence as the key to a revolution in education, predicting a synergy where games create smarter humans who then create smarter games.
Citing lessons drawn from Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, Alex Peake, founder of Primer Labs, sees the possibility of a self-fueling feedback loop which creates “a Moore’s law for artificial intelligence,” with accelerating returns ultimately generating the best possible education outcomes.
“What the computer taught me was that there was real muggle magic …” writes Peake. And he reaches a startling conclusion.
“Once we begin relying on AI mentors for our children and we get those mentors increasing in sophistication at an exponential rate, we’re dipping our toe into symbiosis between humans and the AI that shape them.
Sure, video games are art nowadays, but do they have to be depressing art? In light of the preponderance of dark, dull, grey-and-brown-hued titles such as the Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto series, the Blue Skies in Games Campaign is a call for a return to the days when the ascendant video games were happily surreal and bursting with technicolor. In addition to more detailed discussion, a quick-fix series of suggestions is offered:
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DEVELOPERS: HOW YOU CAN HELP TODAY!
– Change everything that’s grey into blue.
– From now on, everyone wears red shoes.
– Make everything happen at midday or sunset.
– Replace gun textures with banana textures.
– Turn all cars into pink convertibles that wobble and only do 15mph.
– If you get 100 of anything, a little tune plays.
The game designers have opted to have your gun fire automatically when it hovers long enough over an enemy target. Kotaku Australia reviews the first-person-shooter Blackwater video game, out soon for Xbox Kinect and endorsed by founder Erik Prince:
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This week was the first time we heard of publisher 505 Games’ Blackwater, an FPS that would cast you in the role of Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries.
The topic seemed thorny – the mercenary company, now renamed Xe Services, has been at the center of a multiple of controversies and the subject of highly critical Congressional hearings. Blackwater has been linked to the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians, and the alcohol-fueled fatal shooting of a security guard in the employ of the country’s vice president. According to 505, the game was designed in consultation with former mercenary agents, and with Erik Prince, the founder and former head of the hot-button security contractor.
Ironic — when I was a kid, being locked up in a Chinese prison and “forced” to stay up playing video games all night would have been my dream. The Telegraph reports:
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A 54-year-old prisoner at the Jixi labor camp in the northern province of Heilongjiang said he was forced to play games on the internet in order to build up credit that was traded by his guards for real money, a practice known as “gold-farming”.
In an interview with the Guardian, the prisoner said online gaming was a far more lucrative activity for the managers of the labor camp than the physical labor the inmates were forced to do. “Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labor,” he said. “There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb a day.
If you have spent the past fifteen years in a dank basement playing video games while immersed in a thin layer of Dorito crumbs, the U.S. military needs you to sort out the geopolitical mess around the Horn of Africa for them, please. AFP reports:
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The Office of Naval Research plans this month to launch the US military’s first online war game to draw on the ideas of thousands of people instead of the traditional strategy session held inside the Pentagon’s offices.
“Piracy off the Horn of Africa has been an enduring problem that has many stakeholders. We selected this topic for the pilot scenario,” Schuette said.
The game will have three rounds over three weeks, with players in the first stage faced with a piracy scenario and asked to propose brief, Twitter-length solutions. Players will be presented with boxes labeled, “Innovate” and “Defend,” with questions such as: “What new resources could turn the tide in the Somali pirate situation?” In the second round, there are more scenarios to grapple with and then in the third, players are grouped in teams and will come up with a more detailed “action plan.”
The precise details of the war game scenarios are being kept under wraps for the moment by the game designers, the Institute for the Future, a non-profit group based in Palo Alto, California.
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.
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.