Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Video Game News, November 29, 2005

Video Games Beyond Repair? Newly released video game report shows grim 'snapshot' of a $25 billion-a-year industry"
by Jonathan Silverman, ABCNews 11/29/05
The National Institute on Media and the Family released their 10th annual assessment of the state of the $25 billion-a-year video game industry today, and it's not good news.

Parents Can Control New Generation Games

CBC.CA 11/28/05
"The new generation of video game consoles, to be released this year and in 2006, will all have parental control mechanisms. "

Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds

This came out in March 2005, but I missed it somehow. The Survey of media use amonsts 2000 3-12 graders reveals that over 83% of families own video game consoles; 24% report parents set rules abut time limits and 21% limit types of games. More at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/Generation-M-Media-in-the-Lives-of-8-18-Year-olds-Report.pdf

Monday, November 28, 2005

Another Successful DDR Night At Walking Paper

Aaron Schimdt at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library spent last Friday night at the library co-hosting a Dance Dance Revolution Program - and lived to tell the tale. Get the details at http://walkingpaper.org/267

Video Game News, November 28, 2005

Game Theory: Video game reviewers need to convey how games bring people together
by Daniel Oppenheimer, Valley Advocate News 11/24/05
"To my mind, most of what is written about video gaming misses an essential part of the experience of playing video games: the social interaction it fosters among enthusiasts."

US Army Cuts Teeth on Video Game: Novice players master everything from driving to basic first aid
by Clark Boyd, BBC 11/25/05
"America's Army is one of the most popular computer games on the planet and like many games, it is a shoot-em-up, get-the-bad guys kind of affair. "

Violence Under the Tree: Family Media Guide Identifies Top 10 Ultra-Violent Video Games of 2005
Family Friendly Media Guide 11/28/05
"At the start of this year's holiday shopping frenzy, parents should be prepared to check their kids' gift lists very carefully. Because this year, some of the most ultra-violent video games ever created are being made available."

Friday, November 25, 2005

Serious Games in the Library

This paper by Katie Day gives a concise overview of the literature about gaming and offers a few suggestions for things libraries can do to understand this popular medium.

"Abstract: This paper explores how the growing phenomenon of video games has created a generational divide with major implications and opportunities for both the educational system and society. Gaming inherently involves a set of learning principles -- aside from content -- which are empowering "digital natives" or gamers with new literacies, attitudes, and experiences. Despite public concerns about violence, social isolation, and a bias towards males in gaming, the evidence does not support those fears. Instead sophisticated -- or "serious" -- games are increasingly being utilized in education and the future points to increased investment in games for the good of society."

Read it at http://libedge.blogspot.com/2005/11/teens-and-information-literacy-and.html

Video Game News, November 25, 2005

Video Games Popular With More Than Just Kids
by Venton D. Blandin, WCAV 11/23/05
"Topping many Christmas lists this year will be video games, and while you think kids are they only ones interested, think again. The future of video gaming is now, and it may just surprise you who is catching on."

Game for gaming? Quebec's video game industry still blowing up big
by Amy German Hour.ca 11/24/05
"After a visit to the crowded Montreal International Game Summit, there is no denying just how big the video game industry has become here in Montreal."

Many video games teaching the wrong lessons

by Silvio Laccetti and Nicholas Rehder, Asbury Park Press 11/25/05
"Ever since their escape from the arcades, electronic video games have claimed increasing shares of leisure time for teens and tweens (11-12 years old) from the tedium of homework, parental control and unfulfilling daily life."

When The Other Woman's An Xbox: Gaming Gripes Go Online: Group helps Kansas State University students suffering gaming-induced relationship heartache.
by Megan Hockman and Clinton Smith, MTV News 11.18.2005
"When Jake Walker upsets his girlfriend, Jaci Boydston, he might buy her flowers. When Jaci feels she owes an apology to Jake, she agrees to play a round of the Nintendo fighting game "Super Smash Brothers."

PRESS RELEASE: Nintendogs Cements Nintendo's Position As Leader Of Handheld Video Games

Games Press 11/25/2005
"25th November 2005 - Nintendo has always led the way in innovation, ever since it first entered the handheld gaming arena over 25 years ago."

PRESS RELEASE: Barbie Remains Top Toy for Girls, Video Games Top List for Boys

National Retail Federation 11/16/05
"Parents won’t have to guess too hard when it comes to buying the hottest toys for their kids this holiday season. This year, video games and game units will be at the top of many children’s wish lists. "

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Video Game News, November 23, 2005

Video Games Blasting heir Way Into Classroom Curriculum: One Chicago school uses 'Civilization III' to teach history lessons
by Stephen Totilo, MTV News 11/22/05
" In the middle of the school day, in room 317 of Chicago's Roosevelt High School last month, freshman Pablo Salas took a break from playing the game "Civilization III" to explain what happened when he told his parents he was signing up for a history class that involved playing video games."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"The Escapist: Generation G" Now Available

This week's issue of the Escapist Magazine focuses on the family that games together! In "When Gamers Breed," Allen Varnay explains how gaming can be an effective parenting tool; Glenn Jarrell, a 41-year old parent, confesses to being a video game junkie (in moderation!) in "Hey, Who's the Old-Timer;" Spanner examines gaps between gamers generations in "The Third Generation;" and Dana Massey shares how games decrease sibling rivalry and promote sharing in "The Missing Link." Read it online at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/20

Video Game News, November 22, 2005

Video Games Are Their Major, So Don't Call Them Slackers
By Seth Schiesel, New York Times 11/22/05
"In recent years a small but growing cadre of well-known universities have started formal programs in video game design."

(For free access, use your library's databases or Bug Me Not)

Game Developer's Bill of Rights
Gamasutra, 11/21/05
It is common knowledge among game developers that our industry is in something of a “creative crisis.”

In other news, I still don't have an XBox 360.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Holo-Dek is a social, state of the art gaming venue that charges $6/hour for PC and Xbox gaming. They have a surround sound big screen theatre and a few cool toys like a gaming SPHERE. They do birthday parties, corporate team-building, and events, like competitions.

This is where our 15-25 clientele wants to hang out - we could be offering this kind of programming to our patrons to bring in new users. I do think their games are guy-heavy - where's the Dance Dance Revolution?

This is on my list of things to do this Thanksgiving weekend. If you're coming to the New England area and looking for something to cool to do on Saturday or Sunday, send me an email! Let's get a group together!

More information about Holo-dek at http://www.holo-dek.com/index.html.

I wonder if they have XBox 360's?

Video Game News, November 21, 2005

Microsoft applies for "adaptive agents" patent in video games
by Wolfgang Gruener, TG Daily 11/21/05
"Microsoft has filed a patent application that covers "adaptive agents" - game characters that learn based on the events within a video game. "

Cyberspeak: Personal Tech:Xbox 360 revives addictiveness of video games
by Edward C. Baig, USAToday 11/20/02
"I was a mean Pong and Pac-Man player in my day (never mind when), but that's about where my video game career ended."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

XBox Delay

Ok, I rarely get really personal here, but I am angry. Yesterday night my husband got a call on his cell phone from an long distance number we didn't recognize. It turned out to be from GameStop. We are not getting an Xbox 360 until around JANUARY 2006. We ordered way ahead of time, pre-paid, and confirmed twice that we'd receive one in the first shipment. Apparently, they way, WAY oversold. We also pre-ordered, and prepaid for several games. Elder Scrolls most likely won't be out until March, which is fine... we also have a few games that came in and are available, but will not have a console to play them on.

I understand that Microsoft is having trouble keeping up with demand. I'm upset with the store, for taking preorders they couldn't deliver, and for getting their customers informed in such an inpersonal way, making me seriously reconsider the patronage we give them. A recorded call to deliver bad news is terrible customer service. Most likely they had so many calls to make, but I bet they didn't want upset customers screaming at them over the phone. It's downright cowardly.

Video Game News, November 19, 2005

Man Sentenced for Selling Pirated Video Games
by Margaret Zack, Star Tribune 11/18/05
"A man who was selling pirated video games at the Mall of America received some face time as well as prison time when he was sentenced for criminal copyright infringement in federal court in Minneapolis on Friday."

Video Games
by Mike Musgrove, Washington Post 11/20/05
"One of the more odious holiday-season tasks in the modern era might be having to buy video games for kids (or adults) when you're a grown-up who couldn't care less about the annoying things."

Three New Video Games Are Designed to Make You Sweat
by Matt Segal, AP 11/18/05
"There's nothing too physically demanding about most video games. A few manufacturers, however, have decided the only proper way to enjoy one is to break a sweat."

Researcher Aims to Prove That Video Games Are Addictive
by Craig Morris, Heise Online 11/17/05
"Researcher Sabine Grüsser-Sinopoli of Berlin's Charité University Clinic presented images from games sequences to a group of gamers."

Industries Find Serious Uses for Video Games: Video games used for military, job training experience

by Mary Beth Lehman, The Ball State Daily News 11/17/05
"Video games aren’t just for fun anymore. The expanding genre of serious games can effectively help to train workers in some of the nation’s most important industries including defense, education, health care and marketing."

The Most Shocking Moments in Video Games
By Alice Hill, RealTechNews 11/16/05
"I am a sucker for these types of round-ups, which is why I loved finding The Most Shocking Moments in Video Games from a little blog called MyGadgetBag."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Video Game News: November 18, 2005

The Video Game Librarian: A Librarian's Look at the Xbox 360 Launch
by John Scalzo, Gaming Target 11/16/05
"With the Xbox 360 launching any day now it's time to give a look at how building a game collection from start with this new format would work. Like what are the strongest launch titles? What will be replaced with a more "next-gen" product in the future? And, like any video game launch, which titles will be relegated to the dustbin of history?"

The Matrix Online Adds Ads To Their Online World
GameZone 11/18/05
"Real-world advertisements will begin appearing on billboards around the Mega City after Update 38 goes live. Just like real-world billboards, they’ll change to feature new advertisements over time. (Don’t worry: Your favorite ads for Slumberil, The Sentinel, etc., will remain a part of the game.) These static advertisements will not affect game performance in any way."

Microsoft's Moore Refutes Xbox 360 Conspiracy Theories
Simon Carless, Gamasutra 11/18/05
"Talking to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Moore commented: "I've seen all of the conspiracy theories. Somewhere in Roswell, New Mexico, we have a hangar where we're stockpiling it, creating false shortages. No." He went on to indicate that the company is "...trying to get as many units to retail as we possibly can.""

MLA Conference

At the Massachusetts Library Association Fall mini-Conference yesterday, I participated in a Reader's Advisory Panel and talked about asking teens what games they played as a way to get a sense of the types of stories they like, in order to recommend books. Links to the audio, Powerpoint and handout follow!

New & NonTraditional RA for YA's: Books for Gamers, 13:15
Listen to Streaming Audio | Download MP3 Audio


PPT Presentation

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Video Game News, November 16, 2005

Visa Olympic Video Games
GameShout 11/16/05
"As a part of its Olympic sponsorship, Visa has developed the online game, Visa Championships – Torino 2006, which takes the Olympic Games into cyberspace. The online game, Visa Championships – Torino 2006."

Violent Video Games Under Fire: Simulated killings causing a bit of a stir
Deutsche-Welle 11/16/05
"It's a given that plenty of people will find source for complaint in the new government's plans for the coming four years. Computer games enthusiasts could be among those doing the moaning."

Urban Video Game Academy Interview

by John Callaham, Gamecloud, 11/16/05
Co-founder Roderick Woodruff talks about getting more minorities involved in game devleopment at this website: http://www.gamecloud.com/article.php?article_id=2312

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"The Escapist #19: Griefer Generation" Now Available

Issue 19, Griefer Generation, focuses on those gamers (and non-gamers) who like to make other people's lives miserable for their own amusement. David Thomas biographizes FL attorney Jack Thompson and explaines the meaning behind the term griefing in "You Don't Know Jack;" Mark Wallace chronicles the GriefSpawn that brought down Second Life on October 23 and examines virtual worlds as microcoms for RL, Greg Tito tries to understand the corpse-camping in WoW that combines cyber-bullying with hazing in "Dood, It's Part of the Game;" in "A Deadly Dollar," Jim Rossingol peeks at EVE Online's gaming griefers, scams and brutal strikes, and Laura Nenender shares an example of griefing for a higher purpose in "Griefing for the Greater Good." Read it online at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/19

Video Game News, November 15, 2005

Try Video Games Before Buying Them
by Nydia Han, ABC 11/15/05
"Video games can be expensive, anywhere from twenty to fifty-dollars. And sometimes you may find you don't like the game or you quickly get bored with it."

PRESS RELEASE: VOCEL and Prima Games Offer 'Strategy On The Go' Wireless Gaming Application to Verizon Wireless Mobile Web 2.0 Customers: VOCEL and Verizon Wireless bring instant access to "Codes and Cheats" for over 3,000 video games on Verizon Wireless Mobile Web 2.0-capable phones
PR Wire 11/15/05
"BEDMINSTER, N.J., and NEW YORK, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- VOCEL, one of the most exciting "push technology" companies in the wireless field, and Prima Games, a division of Random House Inc., and the leading publisher of video game guides, have joined forces to offer Verizon Wireless Mobile Web 2.0(SM) customers a first-ever opportunity to access Prima's extensive strategy gaming library directly from their Mobile Web 2.0-capable phones."

MTV GameORZ Week

MTV launched its first ever GameORZ Week beginning November 21 with new programming featuring a focus on hardware, new games, game development, lifestyle, competitions, and more.
A website at http://www.mtv.com/games/video_games/ has been developed, containing a game to celebrate the rich history of video games, video game music videos, lists of recommended games, features on gamers, and more!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Video Game News, November 14, 2005

Health care with video games
GameSHOUT 11/12/05
"The Health care industry has seen video gamers and geeks from around the world who have donated nearly a million dollars in toys, video games, and cash for sick kids in Children's Hospitals across the globe."

Electrtonic Arts Cuts Prices On Some Video Games: Titles cut by as much as 20 percent in an effect to spur sales

MSNBC 11/14/05
"Electronic Arts Inc., the world’s biggest video game publisher, has reduced prices on some titles by 20 percent to spur sales and thwart competition, an analyst said on Monday."

PRESS RELEASE: Video Games Explode onto MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV.COM, MTV NEWS, mtvU UBER and MTV Overdrive During First Ever 'GameORZ' Week: Gamers Takeover MTV On-Air, Online and On-Campus in an Unprecedented Multiplatform Assault of Video Game Related Programming During Week of November 20th
Yahoo! Finance. 11/14/05
"NEW YORK, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV: Music Television today announced that video games would takeover MTV's various on-air and online platforms during the week of November 20th for the network's first ever "GameORZ Week."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Video Game News: November 12, 2005

Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility list
by John Scalzo, Gaming Target 11/12/05
"Right now, Microsoft has confirmed that 213 Xbox games will work on the 360. More will be added all the time to the master list at Xbox.com and you must own a hard drive to download the Emulation Profiles for each game you attempt to play."

Xbox 360: Did You Say April?
by Jonathan Miller, IGN 11/11/05
"The rumors, apparently, are true. According to retailers in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Miami and Houston, there will be mass shortage of Xbox 360 units on the targeted launch date of November 22."

Trials of Obi-Wan refunds offered
by Brendan Sinclair, GameSpot 11/11/05
"To appease some of those angered by the reworking of Star Wars Galaxies, Sony Online and LucasArts are offering refunds to anyone with a Galaxies account in good standing who purchased the Trials of Obi-Wan before November 3."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Video Game News, November 10, 2005

Judge Blocks Restriction on Sales of Violent Video Games
by David Ashenfelter, Detroit Free Press 11/10/05
"A federal judge in Detroit issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday preventing Michigan from implementing a tough state law that prohibits retailers from selling or renting ultra-violent video games to customers 17 and younger."

Be Heard Over “Deafening” Video Games
by Victoria Olivadoti, Gazette Newspaper 11/10/05
"Ailment: Video Game Temporary Deafness or Selective Hearing and Inattentiveness"

Censor Has Sights on Video Games
New Zealand Free Press 11/10/05
"Chief Censor Bill Hastings wants a review of the labelling and classification of computer games in New Zealand."

PRESS RELEASE: HDNet and World Cyber Games Spark New Era of E-Sports Entertainment
Games Industry Biz, 11/10/05
"DALLAS, TX and SEOUL, KOREA - Nov 10, 2005 - Move over, poker. Competitive video gaming, known as "e-Sports", is poised to become the next spectator sport when it debuts on HDNet this week."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Video Game News, November 9, 2005

Violent Video Games Tackled at Forum
by Tara Tuckwiller, Charleston Gazette 11/9/05
"Should kids be playing violent video games like The Godfather?”

Attention deficit disorder? Try video games
by Stefanie Olsen, CNET News.com 11/8/05
"When her 11-year-old son was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder last year, Janet Herlihey warmed up to an unthinkable solution for his problem: video games."

Pixar for the People: Better than an adaptation: Movies made inside classic video games
by Julian Dibbell, The Village Voice 11/8/05
"It's one of the more unforgettable moments in recent film history: The opening shot tracks slowly up a cliff face, so tight you can't tell what exactly you're looking at, until it reaches the top and reveals two sci-fi soldiers clad in futuristic armor standing at the edge of the precipice, laconically discussing the eternal question 'Why are we here?'"

Jack Thompson Removes Himself from FL Lawsuit
Gamasutra 11/8/05
"Jack Thompson, the attorney from Florida who was representing the families of murdered police officers in a Fayetteville, Alabama civil suit against video game manufacturers and distributors including Sony, Take-Two, and Wal-Mart, has removed himself from the case. "

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"The Escapist Issue #18: Otaku" Now Available

The new issue of the Escapist Magazine centers on Otaku - "self-professed, obsessed, garden variety geek[iness]." Pat Miller examines labels and cultural gaming differences in I Can't Believe it's Not Gaming; Allen Varney explores the strange and wonderful world of Asian games in The Asian Weird and tries to figure out how degrees of authenticity make or break strange games, then paraphrases Bruce Sterling in advising game designers to get weird; John Szczepaniak reviews Mother/Earthbound games (Japanese series that imitates American life) ; John Tynes just doesn't get Nintendo, contrasting popular Nintendo titles with smoother Japanese games from Sega and Playstation. Read it at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/18

Eight-year-old physics genius enters university

I wonder what video games this child plays.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Video Game News, November 7, 2005

Study adds proof that too much TV, video games detrimental to kids' development
by Lisa Bremen, The Post-Star 11/6/05
"Oh, Big Bird, how could you? All these years, parents have -- apparently mistakenly -- believed that the overgrown avian was helping their kids learn. "

Video Games Grow Up
by Paul Hyman, Game Biz Daily 11/7/05
"Titles such as "Spend The Night" -- described as a "virtual fantasy-based date" -- seek to tap older gamers with more mature content."

Everything Bad Is Good For You

by Steven Johnson 4/05
About six months ago, Steven Johnson's book, Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, started out with the idea of videogames. The above link is an excerpt from his blog about games.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Video Game News, November 5, 2005

The Hottest Video Games
Action News/ABC 11/5/05
"If you have kids, chances are a lot of your money is spent on video games."

Obesity a Thing of the Past at Youth Fitness Facility
CNW Group 11/5/05
"Holly Bond opened Bulldog Interactive Fitness to get kids interested in being healthy and exercising without the fear of being bullied."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Video Game News, November 4, 2005

DaVinci Code Unlocked for Video Games
by John Gaudiosi, Hollywood Reporter 11/4/05
"'The Da Vinci Code,' Ron Howard's film adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel, is not content to limit itself to two media."

"The Escapist #17 Women in Games Now Available

The new issue of the Escapist Magazine examins girls and gaming. Chris Crawford gives a history lesson of the evolution of men and women to justify why women prefer social reasoning games; Bonnie Ruberg writes about heroic women and damsels in distress in the survival horror genre; Pat Miller interviews Rachel Chai about working at Gamestop and the pressure of having to justify and prove one's worth as a girl gamer; M. Junaid Alam addresses stereotypes in gaming and challenges designers to stop "the age-old denigration of women that's marred gaming for years;" and Danielle "Sanchant" Vanderlip waxes nostalgiac about her involvement in gaming "since its inception," and how her experiences have shaped what she will instill in bher gamer daughters. Read it online at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/17

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Gaming Symposium in Illinois!

The Metropolitan Library System in IL is presenting a symposium on gaming and libraries December 5-6 2005! Details at The Shifted Librarian's October 19 post.

Register online at http://www.mls.lib.il.us/calendar/CalendarManage.cfm?ID=1024 .

Video Game News, November 2, 2005

Next-gen video games put real world in play: Players could be asked to go to specific places, similar to a treasure hunt
Hollywood Reporter 11/2/05
SAN FRANCISCO - Video games that allow players to interact with reality, long a staple of science fiction, are about to become fact.

Video Games Are Facing Soft Demand

by Matt Richtel, New York Times 11/2/05
"Electronic Arts yesterday became the second major video game maker this week to warn that it was seeing soft demand from retailers as it heads into the holiday season."

EA signs deal for "The Simpsons" video games
Reuters 11/2/05
"Electronic Arts Inc., News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox Television and Gracie Films on Wednesday announced a long-term deal granting EA exclusive rights to develop multiple video games based on the Fox television series "The Simpsons."

Violent Toys and Video Games Can Be Destructive

Newswise, 11/2/05
"Forget what the neighbors’ kids play. Be wary of the social-emotional risks of certain toys. Many send a violent message that could lead to destructive behavior."

N.B. to crack down on violent video games: Mandatory ratings designed to keep games featuring sex, violence, course language out of children’s hands

by Mary Moszynski, Times & Transcript Staff 11/2/05
"FREDERICTON - The province will soon introduce legislation cracking down on the availability of violent and realistic video games, says Public Safety Minister Wayne Steeves."

Computer Gaming to Enhance Computer Science Curriculum
Gamasutra 1/2/05
"This interesting lecture, presented on the first day of Serious Games Summit 2005, was led by Bryan Barnett, lead program manager, External Research Programs, Microsoft Research..."