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Playing Politics with Video Games?

Electronic Arts released it's latest in the popular "Command & Conquer" series, "Command & Conquer: Generals" C&C are strategy and warfare games, that have bloodless and non-explicit violence. But this month the German government listed the game on their index of media that can not be advertised or displayed on shelves in Germany, although they may be kept under store counters and sold to adults. Most video games on this list show "especially brutal acts of violence," unlike C&C [more inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Mar 27, 2003 - 23 comments

It's official YOU are a SMACKTARD!

Battlefield 1942 Propaganda Posters are very handy for the times when you need to call someone a smacktard.
posted by riffola on Mar 26, 2003 - 18 comments

Life's a Game

If life's a game, how do you win? We've been mapping our paths through life for centuries, but it took an American Civil War-era publisher to turn it into a boardgame (after Lincoln's new beard killed demand for his line of clean-shaven presidential portraits). In the age of the PC we can find the answer to life in games, live parallel lives in games, simulate the evolution of life in games, and search for everlasting life in games - but can they beat the dusty old box and dice? And what life lessons are all these games teaching us?
posted by rory on Mar 26, 2003 - 14 comments

Geeks without Borders?

Chasing the Wish was one of those websites that people suspected of being everything from another 8march2003 to another Push Nevada or Cloud Makers. What it turned out to be however was a announcement for a free ARG or Alternate Reality Game as hosted by such groups as the ARGN, Unfiction, Collective Detective, to name a few. Mentioned in this BBC article and this NYT article, as potential ways to study collective problem solving dynamics, it would seem that this type of crossover treasure hunting could yield some very real world knowledge. I bet the folks at Princeton will have an eye on this one. It's already spawned a funny parody site too.
posted by metameme on Mar 16, 2003 - 4 comments

Are you happy now?

A 100-ton mech is the ultimate fishing machine. With upcoming titles like Steelhead Battalion and Cthulhu Karts, it's possible that Schadenfreude Interactive might be the next game industry juggernaut. Or they may be an April Fool's prank spotted in the pages of the April issue of Computer Games.
posted by Inkslinger on Mar 13, 2003 - 18 comments

National Stereotypes, Violence, Language and Gaming

But I Thought The Danes Were Good Guys... so what are they doing offering this Godwin's-Law-begging, nasty, violent Flash game? I mean, if it had been a ****** [nationality protected by political correctness] game, I don't think I'd have been half as shocked. National stereotypes - don't you hate them? But just how strong are they, when they're splattered, as it were, even over online gaming? [Via good old b3ta.com, who were just as aghast as me at the provenance. Hey, even the URL is scary!]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 10, 2003 - 13 comments

A Tale in the Desert Live

The thinking man's MMOG is now live and accepting subscriptions. Someone on mefi noticed this game in development last July, but very little attention was given to it at that time. What has evolved in the game is an interesting social experiment, rather than your typical hack and slash Massive Multiplayer game. Many have equated it to Sims Online, but whereas that game appears to have failed to result in anything that doesn't smell of pig excrement, this title appears to have a soul. In fact, it's garnished its first review since opening on Feb 15th (shameless self-linking).
posted by thanotopsis on Feb 25, 2003 - 16 comments

Nethack 3.4.1

In these difficult times it's a relief to know that Nethack is still being updated.
posted by chrisgregory on Feb 25, 2003 - 23 comments

NFL blames league violence on video games.

"After weeks of reviewing hard hits that have resulted in a bevy of fines, the NFL has decided to review the video game industry." When all else fails, blame video games. [from ESPN.com]
posted by eyeballkid on Dec 5, 2002 - 43 comments

Culture jamming The Sims

Culture jamming The Sims. As discussed here a couple of months ago, the much loved McDonald's Corporation has a major deal with Electronic Arts. But with hundreds of virtual burger restaurants in Simsville - what's to stop gamers turning into virtual anti-globalisation vigilantes?
posted by bwerdmuller on Nov 20, 2002 - 19 comments

Wall hangings for your peace loving sims.

Wall hangings for your peace loving sims. I've only logged about three sim hours, but this inspires me to boot up my little sim family. When the Sims online comes out, can we have sim protests at the sim white house, or sim mefi protests at mathowie's sim house?
posted by djacobs on Oct 18, 2002 - 13 comments

A New Milestone for Video Games?

A New Milestone for Video Games? "Three of the nation's top retailers, including Wal Mart, on Monday said they had refused to carry a new video game billed as the first major release to feature full-action nudity and with prostitutes and pimps as major characters." I enjoyed their "banned ads" myself.
posted by owillis on Oct 14, 2002 - 36 comments

"I was very lucky that she triped over my uncontios body beried under piles of ash..."

"I was very lucky that she triped over my uncontios body beried under piles of ash..." A saga of epic proportions: some moron living inside his "Morrowind" RPG computer game writes his gameplay out as a novel. Welcome to a capsule indictment of American education and the consequences of the new "American Way." Thank heavens we don't live in Morrowind, where most people can't "right nor reed."
posted by Perigee on Oct 11, 2002 - 20 comments

Heres something for all the "L337"

Heres something for all the "L337" When was the first time someone babbled in "llama"to you? If you're a fan of the game quake check out this tongue in cheek guide to llama speak
posted by hoopyfrood on Sep 11, 2002 - 24 comments

Greece bans gaming.

Greece bans gaming. Apparently since the law was passed last month, video arcades (other than registered casinos, of course) have been raided and closed down rapidly now. I found no evidence of a hoax, but a Slashdot post links to this NY Times article from March about the pending legislation. (Translations of the law to English can be found here as well.) This seems legit: if so, wtf is the host of the next Olympics doing banning people from playing games?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Sep 1, 2002 - 24 comments

Save pinball!

Save pinball! "It's an American icon," said Stern, ever the salesman. "Pinball is cool because it is retro. It's a Volkswagen bug, a PT Cruiser, khaki pants."
posted by justgary on Aug 3, 2002 - 23 comments

Wars and propaganda in gaming: you've all heard of America's Army by now, but what about Under Ash where you can fight the IDF (no civilians targets here) as a palestinian rambo? Perhaps you'd prefer a more spiritual route, and want to convert heathens? Or the truly repulsive Ethnic Cleansing game? Artists are getting into too with the likes of Cultural Revolution Doom, and some politicians considered doing it the direct way. Clearly, folks with an agenda have realized that games are a way to get their message out, and maybe noticed the success of "realistic" but largely apolitical shooters.
Fortunately for gaming peaceniks (kill pixels not people!), the games mostly suck.
posted by malphigian on Jul 26, 2002 - 6 comments

Building a community website

Building a community website One of my favorite strategy gaming sites, HeavenGames, gives us a peek under their hood with in-depth reportage on the design process they're undertaking for their new area devoted to the game Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne. I'm no web designer, but the ideas and procedures presented here certainly sure do make it sound easy (well, not really, but it's still an interesting read).
posted by WolfDaddy on Jul 25, 2002 - 4 comments

Unchecked Greek aggression near Thebes in 1475AD has brought them to war, but Phoenatican democracy prevails. The, uh, fanatics over at civ fanatics have been playing Civilization 3 game as a democracy, with elected leaders, policy votes, a constitution, a census, the works. Their empire is impressive, as is the player cooperation to make a new kind of gameplay that Sid Meier probably never intended.
posted by malphigian on Jul 3, 2002 - 9 comments

Create your own Monopoly Game

Create your own Monopoly Game Surely the perfect customised gift? You can change the name of the game, the theme, the name of the properties/stations, and also the rules. Apparently it uses a 'What You See Is What You Get Realtime Interface', which allows users to personalise the game completely to their requirements, and then print out and proof the new design. What I find most interesting about this product offering is that the whole process is completely automated. Once you've designed and ordered your customised game, it goes straight to print/production, and is then sent out to you. No human intervention is required. This appears to me to be pretty ground breaking stuff (well in the Toy World anyway), or am I just way behind the times? (via the Ecademy discussion list)
posted by RobertLoch on Jun 28, 2002 - 28 comments

Electronic Arts censors Taiwan

Electronic Arts censors Taiwan from their FIFA 2002 PC game. What's up with that?
posted by darukaru on Jun 7, 2002 - 25 comments

You can spray anti-military graffiti

You can spray anti-military graffiti as you frag in Counterstrike. This really appeals to the peace- and fun-loving multiplayer FPS fan in me. Sometimes you need to remind yourself as you play these military-themed games that's it's all just a game. For most of us, anyway.
posted by mjane on Jun 7, 2002 - 6 comments

The Accidental Video Game Porn Archive.
I don't really need to say anything else, do I? Didn't think so.
posted by Su on Jun 6, 2002 - 7 comments

US Army Introduces "America's Army" PC Game

US Army Introduces "America's Army" PC Game Developed by the U.S. Army and Department of Defense experts in simulations and virtual environments, America's Army blends two simulations: Soldiers, a role-playing portion, and a first-person action game, called Operations. The Army will distribute America’s Army for free through distribution partners that include leading computer game magazines, Army events, recruiting stations, and through internet download.
posted by Stuart_R on May 23, 2002 - 24 comments

Relive all your favorites from the demoscene.

Relive all your favorites from the demoscene. This project, headed up by nearly all of the team that maintained the old hornet.org demoscene archive, is committed to bringing those old classic demos ... to a DVD player near you. Now you no longer have to fret because you gave up your Gravis Ultrasound and DOS! Can I get a w00t from ya? I knew I could.
posted by WolfDaddy on May 14, 2002 - 11 comments

The Butterfly Grid.

The Butterfly Grid. A gaming platform using open-source software to connect far-flung computers and millions of players, bypassing the Internet. (More from Reuters.)
posted by liam on May 9, 2002 - 5 comments

Progress Quest

Progress Quest For the RPG player on the go. Its satire and a game (minus gameplay) at the same time.
posted by skallas on Apr 30, 2002 - 11 comments

Under 5,000 Xboxes sold in Japan last week.

Under 5,000 Xboxes sold in Japan last week. This is compared to 100k Playstation2s and 25k Gamecubes. Since its launch, the Xbox has sold 190k units in Japan versus the Playstation's 980k units sold in the first 3 days.

Is the Xbox doomed in the notoriously tough Japan gaming market, or does the Xbox just need a price cut to stay competitive?
posted by jragon on Apr 8, 2002 - 51 comments

Everquest kingdom richer than Bulgaria.

Everquest kingdom richer than Bulgaria. Norrath, the setting for the online game Everquest, has been found to be the 77th richest country in the world, sandwiched between Russia and Bulgaria. Research carried out in the United States shows that virtual internal markets, combined with illegal online trading on auction websites, mean that Norrath has a gross national product per capita of $2,266, bigger than China and India.
posted by ncurley on Mar 30, 2002 - 16 comments

Future Development for Sony and the PSX2 and PSX3.

Future Development for Sony and the PSX2 and PSX3. Now that the Game Developers Conference is over what do you think of the plans for the PSX3? It may even have an IBM architecture underneath.
posted by AsiaInsider on Mar 24, 2002 - 7 comments

NYT is realizing

NYT is realizing that computer games can be relevent, and not just a silly fad that only kids and the uneducated can enjoy. In this review (albeit very belated), Thursday's 'Circuits' section reviews both Operation Flashpoint, the widely acclaimed, disturbingly realistic combat simulation, and Halo, the shooter du jour on the XBox.
posted by GriffX on Mar 22, 2002 - 9 comments

Columbine family loses their scapegoat.

Columbine family loses their scapegoat. Now what can be blamed? Apparently Doom didn't hypnotize those kids into thinking they were in hell after all.
posted by badstone on Mar 5, 2002 - 10 comments

The Sunday Funday Blues:

The Sunday Funday Blues: This is supposed to be on of the worst Nintendo games ever. Heh. No wonder. Yet it seems appropriate. As does Storman' Norman's Sunday Blues radio programme. What is it about Sundays anyway? And what's the best way to survive them? What are the local traditions? Here in Portugal, it's the Sunday papers; not going to Church; feeling guilty; drinking too many Bloody Marys; late, enormous lunches; lazy love-making, listening to football on the radio and naps...
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 24, 2002 - 27 comments

Ethnic Cleansing: Wired Chimes In

Ethnic Cleansing: Wired Chimes In "We want people to recognize we're average people," Hale said. "If we can influence video games and entertainment, it will make people understand we are their friends and neighbors.... As long as it doesn't denigrate white people or have pornography in it, it's OK with us."
posted by tpoh.org on Feb 21, 2002 - 21 comments

Ethnic Cleansing - The Video Game?

Ethnic Cleansing - The Video Game? I don't know what can be said about this. It pushes several hot buttons - violence in video games, "hate speech" and (in the US) the First Amendment, and race relations in a post 9-11 world. Yes, it's reprehensible - but can you play Voltaire and defend the author's right to create it? (Warning: Pro-Aryan website; link contains explicit depictions of race-based violence.) Discuss.
posted by tpoh.org on Feb 16, 2002 - 39 comments

Hand-arm vibration syndrome may be associated with prolonged use of vibrating computer games.

Hand-arm vibration syndrome may be associated with prolonged use of vibrating computer games. Prolonged in this case means seven hours per day, which seems to be "excessive and exceeds the manufacturer's recommendation." Methinks this is the least of his problems.
posted by gazingus on Feb 1, 2002 - 8 comments

Girls and Gaming

Girls and Gaming Yes, there are women involved in the gaming industry but always behind the scenes. Does more social interaction through online games mean that more women will become leading game designers?
posted by AsiaInsider on Jan 29, 2002 - 22 comments

Aztecs Conquer Russian Civilization

Aztecs Conquer Russian Civilization …Now that Sid Meier's Civilization III has been released for the Mac OS, I shall now begin to wall myself off from our own actual civilization and begin a weeks-long campaign to rule a fictional world.
Civ3 truly is, as its packaging claims, “the Greatest Game of All Time.” Civ is not merely a battle simuator or an extrapolation of the board game Risk — it's a chance to learn how successful (and not-so-successful) societies can be developed through history. Strategy gaming at its finest.
posted by Down10 on Jan 9, 2002 - 43 comments

In gaming news, Disney has thrown itsself into the online gaming market, with Toontown, pitting it against some of the other successful online games, but targeted towards kids. The reviews have been decent or better, and heck, who wouldn't want the chance to become a toon. From personal experience, online games can be incredibly addictive and time intensive, limiting actual human contact to zero. So, is this a great way to introduce young kids to the wonders of the online experience, or is it another way for parents to let technology play babysitter?
posted by Benway on Jan 9, 2002 - 12 comments

Kali.net

Kali.net (once one of the world's largest Internet gaming networks) is created. Makes money. BeTech buys Kali to impress investors. BeTech stops paying for upkeep. ISPs get peeved. No more Kali. Or is there? Is this a funeral or a phoenix? And is there anything else on the 'Net about this? I'm coming up with bupkus.
posted by ZachsMind on Dec 9, 2001 - 1 comment

With the gamecube, xbox and ps2

With the gamecube, xbox and ps2 all on the market (although ps2 has been around awhile), it seems to be gaming heaven. I've always been a nintendo man, what do you guys/gals think? Can you rate your top five consoles of all time (based purely on joy it brought to you)?
posted by dig_duggler on Nov 17, 2001 - 53 comments

MAME - I'm Gonna Live Forever

MAME - I'm Gonna Live Forever (Flash link) I found this on the author's Tehkan World Cup site. It's an amusing trip down the MAMEory lane of classic arcade games. How many can you name?
posted by SiW on Nov 1, 2001 - 8 comments

Do you miss the music from your old NES games?

Do you miss the music from your old NES games? Well if you do, be sure to check out the minibosses. They're a band that only plays the songs to classic video games from the Nintendo Entertainment System. Great stuff. I particularly enjoyed the Wizards & Warriors track amusing, since I was addicted to that game when I was younger. Also, am I the only one who thinks there should be a new console system DEDICATED to only 2D games? 3D games are neat 'n all, but I don't think enough good 2D games are being made anymore. The Gameboy Advance is probably the only system doing that sort of thing right now, but it's just a portable.
posted by kingmissile on Oct 3, 2001 - 22 comments

A sign of Global recession?

A sign of Global recession? For the first time I can remember, it's cheaper to buy a console in the UK than it is the States. Over here, we're used to seeing straight dollar to pound conversions ($299 = £299), so this is a first. Do you think it's sign of recession or just Sony developing a conscience?
posted by jiroczech on Sep 28, 2001 - 10 comments

Microsoft Delays X-Box Release

Microsoft Delays X-Box Release Sure it's only by a week, but the article also hints at anticipated availability problems. Why does this seem so familiar?
posted by ttrendel on Sep 22, 2001 - 21 comments

Uh, guys? It's just a damn game.

Uh, guys? It's just a damn game. Three different stories on the same page about people taking games far too seriously. I love my video games as much as the next person, but the closest I've come to injuring myself (or others) was getting an hour or two less sleep on the weekend from playing Civilization too much. Does anyone have any personal stories about games (video, board or card) unexpectedly causing injury?
posted by Grum on Aug 25, 2001 - 28 comments

Nintendo delays U.S. launch of GameCube

Nintendo delays U.S. launch of GameCube Nintendo has pushed back the U.S. arrival of its new GameCube video game console by nearly two weeks, with executives saying they intend to avoid the shortages and frustrated consumers that marked the debut of Sony's PlayStation 2 last fall.
posted by Brilliantcrank on Aug 23, 2001 - 21 comments

If you're a fan of Interactive Fiction then you'll certainly be familiar with Andrew Plotkin the author of some of the best works in the genre, including Spider in Web and So Far. Only Macintosh users, however, will remember his phenomenol early-90s puzzle game, System's Twilight, "An Abstract Fairytale." I recently played it again, and am astounded that such an early piece of work contains such a fully realized fantasy world (literally, it's abstract) and such goddamn hard puzzles. Download it and experience some gaming history, and a damn good time.
posted by tweebiscuit on Aug 2, 2001 - 12 comments

Playing computer games makes kids smarter?

Playing computer games makes kids smarter? Although it reads like a headline from The Onion, a British study funded by the ESRC has come to that conclusion. "They seemed able to focus on what they were doing much better than other people and also had better general co-ordination. Overall there was a huge similarity with top-level athletes."

Gotta go and show this to my boss...
posted by jedrek on Jul 22, 2001 - 11 comments

Get your Atari 2600 fix on the go!

Get your Atari 2600 fix on the go! With six models, it beats the Game Boy Advance by a mile! Unfortunately, they're handmade and the backlog is fifty units long, so more impatient retro-gamers might want to stick with a Sega Nomad.
posted by tweebiscuit on Jul 9, 2001 - 6 comments

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