Tag Archives | Video Games

President Obama Featured in Video Games

From Kotaku comes an interesting piece on President Obama appearing in video games. Owen Good writes:
Obama in Video Games

In two weeks, President Obama will appear in a video game for the second time in two months. Is he being paid for that? Is the White House cutting deals with sports game makers? Not likely.

Obama appears in a special cinematic added this year to Madden NFL 11‘s Super Bowl presentation mode. Win it all, and your team gets a White House visit with the POTUS, just like in real life. NBA 2K11 this week revealed it will have the same type of ceremony when your franchise takes home the title in its Association mode.

American society enjoys the most robust entertainment culture — and, it seems, civil litigation market – in the world, so most folks are aware that when someone shows up in a commercial work, he has to give his permission, and often is compensated.

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‘Halo’ Is Bigger Business Than Any Movie

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...
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Video Game Players Make Faster Real Life Decisions

Call_of_Duty_logoKids, pay attention, here’s some ammo to fire back at your parents when they tell you that you spend too much time playing video games, via Reuters:

Violent video games like “Call of Duty” can help trigger-happy players make decisions faster in real life, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Researchers from New York’s University of Rochester found that first-person shooter games produced a heightened sensitivity and led to more efficient use of sensory evidence.

“These benefits of video games stem only from action games, which almost always means shooter games, where you go through a maze and you don’t know when a villain will appear,” researcher Daphne Bavelier said in a statement.

“It’s not exactly what you’d think of as mind enhancing. Strategy or role-playing games don’t have the same effect.”

The study, published in the journal Current Biology, involved testing 26 people aged 18 to 25, none of whom had played shooting games before, over several months.

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Japanese Men Vacation With Virtual Girls

Is this the future in a world where we socialize online rather than in person? Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for the Wall Street Journal:
ATAMI, Japan—This resort town, once popular with honeymooners, is turning to a new breed of romance seekers—virtual sweethearts. Since the marriage rate among Japan's shrinking population is falling and with many of the country's remaining lovebirds heading for Hawaii or Australia's Gold Coast, Atami had to do something. It is trying to attract single men—and their handheld devices...
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Insanely Interactive Trailer for ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ (Video)

Here's a fairly insane marketing effort by Universal Pictures for their upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Created in a 8-bit video game style, this "I-trailer" has commentaries, videos, making of footage and other stuff that usually is included in the DVD extras or commentary. (Click the image below for the trailer.)

Scott Pilgrim Perhaps interactive trailers will become as commonplace as 3D has become for big budget films ... coming off the buzz this film had a Comic Con, they certainly have kicked it up a notch.

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Alternative Marketing for Vuvuzelas

With the World Cup finished there has been a deafening quiet without the constant noise of vuvuzelas. To make sure that all those horns don't go to waste we'll have to get creative about different ways to use them. Vuvuzelas make noise, Guitar Hero is a game based on noise, the two seem like a perfect match. Maybe Vuvuzela Hero will catch on.
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Video Gamers Can Control Their Dreams

Gamer Dreams

Courtesy of Remedy Entertainment/Microsoft Game Studios

Jeremy Hsu writes on LiveScience:

Playing video games before bedtime may give people an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, LiveScience has learned.

That ability to shape the alternate reality of dream worlds might not match mind-bending Hollywood films such as The Matrix, but it could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma.

Dreams and video games both represent alternate realities, according to Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. But she pointed out that dreams arise biologically from the human mind, while video games are technologically driven by computers and gaming consoles.

“If you’re spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it’s practice,” said Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. “Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.”

Read More: LiveScience

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Three Sci-Fi Shows for HBO?

Deus_Ex_series_logoScience author Kyle Munkittrick notes that science fiction “is no more limiting than period dramas” like Mad Men and Rome, “which also require extensive costumes, elaborate sets, and an extra level of commitment from the actors.” And then he asks: why haven’t HBO, Showtime, or AMC made a serious science fiction show? “All SF does is move the timeline forward instead of backward.”

He ultimately suggests three dark candidates – Deus Ex Machina, Transmetropolitan, and Mass Effect – noting there’s “Three great SF shows, three awesome cable channels that pull off excellent cinematic TV, and a wide open market in which to execute them… You want to bring HBO down a peg or two? Get the nerds on board.”

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Roger Ebert: Games Are Not Art and Never Will Be

From the Guardian:

Five years, ago film critic Roger Ebert wrote that video games were inherently inferior to film and literature. When questioned on this stance by one of the readers of his Chicago Sun-Times column he responded:

“To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers. That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic.”

His argument provoked a furious response from games writers, pundits and players, many of whom mistakingly understood his position to be generally anti-games – and therefore evil. Perhaps because of vociferous barrage his comments gave rise to, he has refused to clarify his position.

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