Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Video Game News January 31, 2006

U.S. brain training to begin this April and May
by Dan Choi Joystiq 1/30/2006
"Brain training is finally making its way to the DS..."

Nintendo's Revolution offers hope for disabled gamers
by James Ransom-Wiley Joystiq 1/30/2006
"With the possibility that many Revolution titles will be controllable with one hand, comes hope from disabled gamers..."

The Big Bang!
by Tom Storey OCLC Newsletter No. 267
" As Gamers and Boomers collide in one of the biggest culture clashes in history, society is being reshaped. What will the impact be on libraries?..."

Staying in the game
OCLC Newsletter No. 267
"...After a survey of more than 2,000 professionals and hundreds of interviews, [John Beck] is convinced that video games are not an insignificant pastime played by spike-haired nerds but a generation-shaping activity that, over time, will reshape behavior patterns, beliefs, arts, business, institutions├⃂├é—the entire culture..."

Blizzard vs. gaymers
by Vladimir Cole Joystiq 01/31/2006
"Sara Andrews was recruiting players for her gay-and-lesbian-friendly guild when she received a warning from Blizzard that if she didn't stop doing that, she'd be banished from the game...."

Sometimes there is a free lunch
by Clive Thompson Wired News 1/30/2006
"...If you really want to see innovation, there's only one place to go: Off the grid. You have to find game designers who actively opt out of the market -- by producing indie games they give away for free online...."

And for those who enjoy retro gaming there a short
Ready for an "Old School Revolution"?
by Dan Choi Joystiq 1/28/2006

*I apologizee for the proliferation of Joystiq news

XBox kiosk donated to public library

I had to post this one. Bloomington Public Library in Bloomington, Illinois received a free XBox kiosk from the local EB Games store. They have a fantastic staff at the library to promote gaming culture and have worked hard to develop a relationship with the gaming business community. Way to go!

World's Largest Machinima Contest

Entries must be submitted by Monday, February 6! Sponsored by Blizzard Entertainment and Xfire to make the best World of Warcraft movie.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Video Game News, January 30, 2005

Smack! Bam! Kids Craft Video Games
by Mike Tumolillo, Albuquerque Tribune 1/30/06
"Antonio Trujillo has made one video game with a friend and is working on another, which he plans to finish by the end of 2007."

Applying Gaming and Simulation Techniques to the Design of Online Instruction
by Carolyn Rude-Parkins, Karen Hughes Miller, Karen Ferguson, and Robert Bauer
Innovate, December/January
"Critical in virtually all educational arenas, gaming and simulation techniques and distance learning are major areas of interest in today’s U.S. Army training. The U.S. Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY contracted with the University of Louisville and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems in 2003 to develop online training for Army Captains."

Gaming Taskforce

Kansas City Public Library is creating a gaming plan for the library. Check out the IT Director's blog post here.

Reviewing Reveiwers

Game Reviews are similar to book reviews, with more focus on the technology of creating the game. There is a large variety of sources to choose from, mostly found online. The audience is the consumer. Reviewers tend to give opinions about where the game is worth purchasing, or renting. The majority of reviews outline the entertainment value, graphics quality, and other aspects that motivate purchasing. Game Rankings, has compiled the authoritative reviews to create an overall ranking for games. Quality games from these reviews are defined by game design, not content.

Common Sense Media is a site that focuses on content. It is designed for parent use. The idea is that parent volunteers will rate media based on "developmental criteria recommendations from some of the nation's leading authorities" The media is organized by age, not related to the ERSB ratings. Three ratings On, Off, and Pause explain the potential offense. Anyone can add personal reviews to the site, as comments. There are sections for the official review, adults, and children. Include on the site is links to media related research.

There are no criteria listed for their reviewers, but their number one belief is "We believe in media sanity, not censorship." It is meant to allow parents and educators to make informed decisions about what their children are consuming. Looking over the site it appears to be most helpful for younger children. Most games are listed under a younger age than the ERSB, reviewing mostly educational games rather than console games.

This social software empowers parents, but the question is its appropriateness for selecting video games. Both Game Rankings and Common Sense Media have an intended audience other than libraries. Hopefully with a combination of the two we can make informed decisions about what the library should collect.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rumors

We are on the verge of a console shift. The three major companies are releasing their next generation of game systems. As with any change, rumors will frequently be found, especially about Nintendo who is very secretive about the technology they will use. As librarians, we should pay attention to the source of news, and help our patrons identify facts from speculation.

Most of these are started by people looking at patents and drawing conclusions from them. Normally these rumors are incorrect, but frequently teens will believe them.

Nintendo in general denies all rumors whether true or not. Sony, who makes PlayStation, and Microsoft, who makes the XBox, are more open about confirming rumors.

The latest rumor that has been picked up is about Apple. See link

Most of the speculation about this patent refers to its use a game system. We will not know for sure whether this is to be used for games or other programs, but if this technology is used for game design, it could mean a different genre of games. Much like the old Kirby Tilt n' Tumble.

Since many rumors are translated into news articles, I wanted to explain where rumors come from, so that we will be able to assist in finding truths.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Video Game News 1/28/06

Crime is OK, but Sex Isn't
Wired News 1/27/06
"The Los Angeles city attorney's office has sued the makers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for allegedly hiding pornographic material inside the video game..."

Fighting Pain with Video Games
by James Brightman, GameDailyBiz 1/27/06
"Who needs aspirin when you can pop in a video game to distract yourself from your aches and pains? ..."
Original news story here.

ESA: 35 % of Parents Play Video Games
by Geoff Duncan, Gamasutra 1/27/06
"Thirty-five percent of American parents say they play computer and video games, according to a national survey released today by the video game trade body Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates..."

It's Not About the Video Games
by Lindsay Wincherauk Vancouver 24 hours 1/27/06
"Until a few days ago my head was in the virtual sand about the proliferation of gaming (video games) and their impact on society...I remember playing Pac-Man for hours on end. Guess what? It didn't lead to eating binges."

Video Games Pump Up Music Sales

MIT Technolgy Review 1/27/06
"...major labels were missing out an opportunity to promote and sell music through games...expect to see more synergy between game and music companies..."

Nintendo GameBoy Sales Close in on 75 Million Units

Digital Home Canada 1/27/06
"Nintendo announced this week that combined sales of the companies Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS handheld were very strong in 2005..."

Nintendo Video Game News

This is my first post here- I welcome feedback if you dislike my format.

I wanted to share some information about the future of Nintendo's video games. They currently are leading the way with new innovations.

1) They have three gaming machines GameBoy, DS, and Gamecube. The new Revolution will be available before Thanksgiving 2007.

2) The DS is a wireless machine, that can access any wireless network using Wi-Fi. GadetSpy published a report about using the DS to locate Wireless Networks, and control computers virtually. It is currently being re-designed to be sleeker.

3) Little News about the GameBoy was released in 2005. Now it seems that Nintendo may re-define mobile gaming in the car and in your pocket with the smaller GameBoy micro

Friday, January 27, 2006

Alternative Reality Gaming

"Our gear tells secrets..."

Play this ARG with hints woven/embraidered etc. into clothing at http://www.edoclaundry.com

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Video Game News, January 27, 2006

Video Games Give Musicians a New Stage
AP 1/26/06
"CANNES, France (AP)- Music scout Tim Riley hopes to discover the next Fat Joe -- but has no intention of giving him a record deal."

New Medical Use For Video Games
by Ayinde O. Chase, All Headline News 1/26/06
"According to a new study by Wheeling Jesuit University, sports and fighting video games produce a dramatic level of pain distraction."

Parents play video games too!
Digital Home Canada 1/26/06
"A new study sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) reveals that about one in three parents of small children plays video games."

Use Video Games to Teach, Say Experts
By Jenny Davey, Times Online 1/26/06
"Video games have been much maligned but could be used to help to teach serious subjects such as quantum mechanics and history in schools, gaming experts claimed.

Fatal Accident Due to Video Games?

24 Hours News 1/26/06
"Tomorrow was supposed to be the day Tamir Khan stood up at a Scarborough Town Centre Ceremony to swear his oath of citizenship to the country he loved so much."

Music Sales Influenced by Video Games

by Jeremy Reimer, Ars Technica 1/26/2006
"Video game music has come a long way. "

Machinima for the Masses

Wired News, 1/26/06
"In late November, news started spreading across the net about a new machinima. . ."

Video Game News, January 26, 2006

The Escapist Magazine #29: Virtual Coffeeshop now available

THQ Gets Rights for Video Games Based on the Movie Stormbreaker
IT News Online 2006-01-24
"THQ Inc. has received exclusive worldwide rights to develop and publish video games based on the forthcoming teen spy movie Stormbreaker."

Dance Dance Revolution Used in US State School Program
Gamasutra 1/25/06
"Game publisher Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. has announced a three-year partnership with the State of West Virginia whereby all 765 West Virginia public schools will be adding rhythm game Dance Dance Revolution to their physical education or health related curriculum based program within the next two years. "

Proposed Law Takes Aim at Violent Video Games
By Tim Higgins, Des Moines Register 1/25/06
"Iowa children would be banned from buying or renting violent or sexually explicit video games under legislation proposed Tuesday at the Statehouse."

PM Under Pressure on Video Games

BBC News 1/25/06
"Tony Blair has come under pressure to act on violent video games in the wake of the death of a teenager killed nearly two years ago in Leicester."

Video Games Are the Art of the Unnecessary
by Jason Ducat, Daily Cardinal 1/25/06
"This column runs every other week in the Arts section of the Daily Cardinal, but are video games really art?"

Iowa, Utah Latest States Seeking Violent Games Laws

by James Brightman, Gama Daily Biz 1/25/06
"Janet Petersen and Utah State Rep. David Hogue are both looking to institute violent video games legislation in their respective states."

Get Fit With Video Games
by PJ Hruschak, KGET-17 1/25/06
"This past week may have been the hardest I've ever worked reviewing video games."

Study: Violent Games, Aggression Linked
AFA Journal 1/23/06
"A study by a researcherfrom Michigan State University (MSU) and other colleagues found that violent video games lead to activity in the brain that is characteristic of aggression."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Video Game News, January 22, 2006

Pro Gamer on Tonight's 60 Minutes
by Andy Court, CBS 1/19/06
This is a bit last minute, but tonight's 60 Minutes (7:00 Eastern) will show a profile of pro gamer 'fata1ity', aka Jonathan Wendel.
"Even more riches await Wendel, who expects to make millions on licensing deals that are already in progress. Products such as computer mouse pads, headsets and keyboards customized for video game playing now bear his "Fatal1ty" screen name."

Electronic Arts Cuts Game Prices
by Troy Wolverton, TheStreet.com 1/20/06
"PlayStation 2 and The price cuts, which only affected games made for current-generation consoles such as Sony's Playstation 2 and Microsoft's original Xbox, are a reaction to weak video-game sales in recent months and likely will be the start of a trend..."

Video Games Live Comes to GDC
Press Release, via PlanetGamecube.com 1/19/06
"Live Music Event to Feature Symphony Silicon Valley Performing Popular Video Game Scores"
"The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is proud to present Video Games Live(TM) as its closing night performance."


YALSA Teens & Technology Institute

In lieu of news - go read about the awesome presentations at the YALSA Teens & Technology Institute at http://blogs.ala.org/index.php?blog=5 and http://www.plablog.org. What are you waiting for? Go!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Video Game News, January 19, 2006

Bills Target Brutal Video Games: Delegates Propose Labeling, Restrictions on Sales to Minors
by Ray Rivera, Washington Post 1/19/06
"Two Maryland lawmakers are pushing proposals to regulate the sale to minors of what they say are gratuitously violent video games, even though courts have struck down similar laws in other states."

Advertising Hits Video Games
Stuff 1/17/06
"When BP Lubricants United States wanted to raise the profile of its high-performance Castrol Syntec motor oil with ever- elusive young male consumers, it followed them into a popular racing video game."

Smithton Teen With MS Robbed Of Video Games
by Mary Berecky, KDKA 1/18/06
"A local mother is heartbroken and her 14-year-old son with muscular dystrophy is angry."

Children want attention, not toys and video games’
by Rashmi Kumar, Pune Newsline 1/19/06
"On Tuesday evening Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha witnessed an animated interaction between children, their parents, police personnel, PMT officials and representatives from media, educational departments and observation homes."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Video Game News, January 18, 2006

Dr. Sudoku Could Save Lives
by Radu Nicolae, The Adrenaline Vault 1/18/06
"Video game publisher Mastiff hopes to increase the longevity of Game Boy Advance owners' lives with their upcoming release of "Dr. Sudoku.""


Video Games for the Masses
by Tabiri McCoy, CIN Weekly 1/18/06
"In the beginning, there was Pong."
(NOTE: 8 articles follow - click on links under photo)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Video Game News, January 17, 2006

Escapist Magazine ISsue #28: For Great Justice
Abstracts on blog at http://blog.escapistmagazine.com/

Smart Bomb: Inside the Video Game Industry
Talk of the Nation 11/14/05
"The video game industry is home to a cast of characters as quirky, rebellious and diverse as the world they create. In her new book, Smart Bomb, author Heather Chaplin provides a behind-the-scenes look at the world of game developers."

Jack Thompson Blaming Video Games Again: Jack Thompson says that videogames are getting blamed for more problem children.
Gameshout 1/17/06
"In a recent letter to Take-Two Interactive, Florida-based Attorney Jack Thompson has demanded that Take-Two Interactve recall all of their copies if The Warriors, Manhunt, and Grandtheft Auto on all platforms from retailers by 5:00 P.M."

PCS WITH PS2S: Cops cut crime by playing kids at video games
by Lori Campbell, Daily Record 1/17/06
"Computer-game contests between cops and teenagers have helped slash youth crime on an estate."

Video Games Reach Record Sales Causing Concern Among Health Experts
by Sarah Dallof, KBCI 2 1/16/06
"2005 was a record breaking year for video game sales."

F9E's Jon Goldman on Games, Parents & Politicians
Game Daily Biz 1/16/06
"Imagine this horrific post-holi-daze scenario: presents have been unwrapped and mostly ignored -- all except for those addictive videogame systems."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Video Game News , December 16, 2005

How Video Games Have Become Far More Than Play
By Russ Juskalian, USA Today 1/15/06
"If you think video games are just for kids, think again."

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Video Game News, January 14, 2006

Violent Video Games Targeted:The Republican-controlled Legislature may make it illegal for retailers to sell or rent violent video games to minors.
BY Gary Fineout, Miami Herald 1/12/06
Citing concerns about popular video games such as Grand Theft Auto, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is moving ahead with legislation that would make it illegal to sell or rent violent games to minors.

Which Way to go in Video Games? The uncertain video game world has all playing wait-and-see
By Levi Buchanan, Chicago Tribune 1/12/06
"With all the hype surrounding the year-end launch of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, you might be surprised to know that the video game industry took a beating in 2005."

Video Games Stiff Competition
by Fran Hawk, The Post and Courier 1/12/06
"Our children watched "Sesame Street," but it occurred to me to worry about how any teacher could compete with the lively, colorful teaching methods on TV."

Violent Video Games Not Getting Any More Tame: Kids don’t think the games make them prone to violence but research suggests otherwise.
by Kim Trobee, Family News in Focus 1/12/06
"Video games have been around for a long time and like every other form of entertainment they continue to push the boundaries of suitability for teens."

Florida Violent Games Bill One Step Closer to Law
by James Brightman, GameDaily Biz 1/14/06
"Introduced in October by Senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla (right), Senate Bill 492 today took its first step towards becoming law. The bill was passed by the Senate Commerce and Consumer Services Committee on a 7 to 1 vote. "

Playing 'Old School' Video Games
by Ronda Graff, McCook Daily Gazette 1/13/06
"The rain is falling. It's cold outside. Everyone has actually cleaned their room. What to do for the day?"

PRESS RELEASE: US Attorney charges three with pirating video games and illegally modifying Xbox game consoles

Law Fuel 1/13/06
"California - LAWFUEL - The Law News Network - The two owners of a Hollywood video game store and a third man who worked with them were indicted today for pirating video games by pre-installing games on specially modified Xbox game consoles sold through the game store."

Addicted to Pain
by Bonnie Ruberg, Escapist Magazine 1/13/06
"Bang! You've been shot in the arm, but it doesn't hurt. Bang! You've been shot in the head, but you're not really dead."

One Fateful Semester
by Brian Easton, Escapist Magazine 1/13/06
"If you're reading this, there is a good chance you call yourself a gamer. And if you call yourself a gamer, I think you will agree with me when I say you are an addict. Gamers are addicts. I know I am."

Video Game News January 11 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Game On Exhibit-back in Chicago

Museum of Science and Industry
The blockbuster video game exhibit of 2005 is returning by popular demand, once again offering a supersonic tour through the fascinating workings of the history, culture and future of video games.
Get your Game On starting February 3, 2006.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Video Game News, January 10, 2006

Violent games 'affect behaviour'
BBC 1/9/05
"Violent computer games may make people more likely to act aggressively, a study says."

Violent Video Games Alter Brain's Response to Violence
by Helen Phillips, New Scientist 12/17/05
"A brain mechanism that may link violent computer games with aggression has been discovered by researchers in the US. The work goes some way towards demonstrating a causal link between the two - rather than a simple association."

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Video Game News, January 9, 2006

Playing Video Games Doesn't Have to Mean You're a Couch Potato
WTVM 9 1/8/06
"A growing part of the video game industry is the video-game platform that gets you off the couch and on your feet."

Charity Pushes Buttons to Get Video Games to Young Patients
by James Hart, The Kansas City Star 1/7/06
"Medicine isn’t the only thing that can make sick kids feel better. Thanks to an Internet-based toy drive, Children’s Mercy Hospital has received about 200 video games and consoles, DVDs, books and other toys."

GDC presents Video Games Live™
GDC 06: Update 1/6/06
"The Game Developers Conference (GDC) in conjunction with Video Games Live™ is currently offering exclusive pre-sale tickets to one of the industry's most spectacular events."

Video Game News, January 7, 2006

DirecTV Announces "Massive Gaming League"
DirecTV press release, 1/6/06
"Stories of the competitors will be told via interviews and features, complemented with coverage of their exploits in actual competition. DIRECTV plans to launch the Massive Gaming League in 2006."

Could the IRS Tax In-Game Earnings?
by Julian Dibbell, Legal Affairs, Jan/Feb 06
"That decision might force game companies, as John Knight had put it, "to start sending out 1099s every time somebody gets a gold coin or a bag of grapes or a shiny emerald" in a game's virtual world."

Halo 2 Soundtrack - from a High School Marching Band
by Louis Wu, Halo Bungie 11/13/05
"Sandra Day O'Connor High School, from Deer Valley, Arizona, took the field - they performed a program called 'Halo 2'"

The Cost of Gaming
by Jason Smith, Escapist Magazine, 1/6/06
"If you've been reading The Escapist, you've read of how the market is moving toward the mainstream, and you've read about how the retail channel is about to undergo a cataclysm."

Saturday, January 07, 2006

CyberSchool: Youth Digital Media and Arts

I had the chance to meet Craig Davis, the President of this company over the holidays. They create software for the young (3rd grade-high school) to create their own video games (and more). He is more than willing to work with libraries and has experience in working with them. Check it out!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Video Game News, January 6, 2006

Games accelerating for faster paced lives
by Nicole Maestri, Reuters, 12/29/05
Board game makers look to keep their games relevant in this high speed world.

Man accused of molesting teen he met through Xbox online community
Associated Press, 1/4/06
"Police seized an Xbox console, a laptop computer and various cameras during a search . . ."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Video Game News, January 5, 2006

Teaching history with video games
by Mike Antonucci, San Jose Mercury News, 1/4/06
"There's a lot of hype about teaching history with video games -- particularly World War II games."

50 Cent's video game mostly an empty shell
by Jeb Haught, SignOn San Diego, 1/2/06
Reviewer suggests saving your money on this game.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Video Game News, January 4, 2006

State Senator Wants to Ban Minors from Renting, Buying Violent Games
WHTR 13 1/3/06
"An Indiana state senator wants to restrict minors from renting or buying violent or sexually explicit video games."

Video Games Given Special Category in 2006 Hugos
by Nich Maragos, Gamasutra 1/3/06
The 53rd annual Hugo Awards will contain a special category for Interactive Video Games in the 2006 awards roster.

Video Games Taken in Daring Robbery in Berks Co.
WFZM-TV 69 1/3/06
"Police are looking for a man after a wild and brazen robbery in Wyomissing, all for a couple of video games. "

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Video Game News, January 3, 2006

Press Release:TheVideoGameSwap.com Launches Auction Web Site Dedicated To Video Games
Games Press 1/3/06
Boca Raton, Florida - "Video Game Swap today announced the launch of its new auction-based web site TheVideoGameSwap.com."

The Escapist Issue #26: Walton's World
Article abstracts at http://blog.escapistmagazine.com/

Monday, January 02, 2006

Video Game News, January 2, 2006

Video games now a Trojan Staple
by Scott Wolf, Daily Bulletin, 1/2/06
"It only takes about two hours of practice per day for USC to be the nation's No. 1-ranked football team, which is fortunate for a large group of Trojans, who require eight hours a day to hone their favorite activity: Playing video games."

Are You Game? Online gaming gets popular with millions logged on at any given time
by Shaleen Aggarwal, Financial Express, 1/1/06
"A recent report estimating the revenues from US online gaming services to triple by the year 2009 had everyone in the industry talking."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year to Me

We gave up on the Xbox 360, which we paid $400 for in September (plus two $5 deposits on games). The idea of being out 400 bucks with nothing to show for it and no delivery date in sight made us itchy, so tonight we got store credit at Gamestop and walked out with a Nintendo Gamecube, extra controller and 2 memory cards, along with a bunch of new & used games:
  • Double Dash (Gamecube)
  • Mario Golf (Gamecube)
  • F-Zero GX (Gamecube)
  • Eternal Darkness (Gamecube)
  • Namco Museum- pacman! (PS2)
  • Metroid 2 (Xbox)
  • Burnout Revenge (Xbox)
  • DDR Ultramix 3 (Xbox)
  • Karaoke Revolution (Xbox)
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (Xbox)
Then we had to come home and reroute all the cords for all the consoles and clean off the media center and find a spot for all the games. Guess what I'm doing Monday! What should I try first?