Posts Tagged ‘Violence & Games’

China tightens the reins on booth babes

Friday, February 18th, 2011

. . . Don't take the babes away!

‘ChinaJoy’, China’s country’s premiere gaming show, has been rolling out the girls in skimpy outfits to promote games for years. But lately it seems the game’s sections continue to move farther into the background, and the ChinaJoy booth ladies are moving more and more to the forefront (but hey were ok with that, arn’t we?).

This 2011 ChinaJoy event is going to be tightening regulations regarding booth babes and game companies. Reports from event organizers say things will be stricter about the ‘booth companions’ outfits and the booths themselves. ChinaJoy is actually not the first gaming show to toughen up over the amount of skin on display.

Los Angeles E3 cracked down on their “booth babes”, totally banning them from the event in 2007. E3 2006 was sporting rock bands, fire juggling, and ladies in skimpy clothes. Although booth babes did return to E3 in 2009, somewhat in a tamer display of power.

China has also recently cracked down on sex in online game advertisements, issuing notices that allows officials to force game companies to ‘delete content in online game promotions that is deemed inappropriate’ (what what what??). This not only bans the use of sex, but also gambling and violence in game promotion.

[Source]

EA’s Bulletstorm bashed by Fox News

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Hey Fox, here's 3 tickets to the gun show!

Fox News disapproves of Bulletstorm’s linking of extreme violence and sexual innuendo

(Gamespot) – If the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is true, Electronic Arts’ marketing department must be busting out the bubbly. That’s because one of its highest profile first-quarter releases, Bulletstorm, was just roundly slammed in a scathing article on FoxNews.com.

Titled “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” the piece criticizes the game for linking sex and violence via innuendo-laden awards in its skillshot system. Award names for feats of in-game carnage include Gag Reflex, Rear Entry, Drilldo, Mile High Club, Gang Bang, and Topless.

The article then goes on to quote two experts who decry the game as being potentially harmful. Dr. Jerry Weichman, a psychologist at the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Southern California, told FoxNews.com that “If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm’s explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant.”

Carol Lieberman, a psychologist and book author, went one step further, linking sexual content in games to a spike in sexual assaults. “The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games,” she said. (In fact, statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show rapes declined by nearly 40 percent in 2009.)

FoxNews.com also contacted the Entertainment Consumer Association’s Hal Halpin, who equated the ultraviolence in Bulletstorm to that found in some films. “I respect the creative rights of game developers to make a game like Bulletstorm in the same way that I appreciate Quentin Tarantino’s right to make over-the-top movies like Kill Bill,” said Halpin.

[Full article at Gamespot.com]

EA removes Taliban from new Medal of Honor

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Electronic Arts today said today they would be removing the “Taliban” as a playable character from their new military shooter Medal of Honor. Instead the will be replacing “Taliban” with “Opposing Force”. But we are guessing they will still appear “Taliban-ish”.

Medal of Honor came under pressure from the military after it became known that in the multiplayer portions of the game, players would be able to take on the role of terroist Taliban fighters.

In September, the commanding general of the Army and Air Force Exchange Services told sources that he would have Medal of Honor pulled from U.S. military bases worldwide because of the “well-documented reports of depictions of Taliban fighters engaging American troops” in the game.

A statement this morning on the Medal of Honor website, Greg Goodrich, executive producer of Medal of Honor, said the decision to drop the Taliban reference was driven purely by the feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers.

“This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team,” he wrote. “This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.”

Goodrich noted the change will not directly affect gamers or alter gameplay.

[Source]

Woman charged with using WoW to entice underage person

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

No really, I'm 20. In Elf years.

(Buffalonews.com) – A woman from Michigan is accused of traveling to Amherst to illegally have sex with a teenager she met while playing an Internet video game called “World of Warcraft.”

Law enforcement officials called the arrest of Angie L. Jenkins, 35, highly unusual, because she is believed to be the first woman to be charged in Western New York with the crime of using the Internet to entice an underage person into sexual activity.

Jenkins, who appeared Tuesday in Buffalo’s federal court, is from Lowell, Mich., near Grand Rapids. She traveled to Amherst on June 11 to meet a 16-year-old from the Buffalo area and have sex with him in a car parked in a department store parking lot on Transit Road, FBI agents said.

The youth was 15 when he met Jenkins online and was 16 when they had sex, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango said.

The two met online in 2009, while playing a game called “World of Warcraft.” They communicated online and sometimes by phone over a period of several months before the sexual meeting took place, Mango and FBI Special Agent Dan Bradley said in court papers.

“[The victim] stated that he initially told Jenkins that he was 20 years old and that Jenkins stated that she was 21,” Bradley said in a court affidavit.

At one point in their conversations, the victim told Jenkins that he was actually 15 years old, and Jenkins told him that “it did not matter how old he was,” the agent said.

Jenkins initiated discussion about traveling to Amherst to meet the victim, and she also initiated the sexual contact, Bradley said in court papers.

Mango said the FBI found out what screen name Jenkins used while playing “World of Warcraft” and issued an administrative subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment, the makers of the Internet video game.

The company then provided Jenkins’ name, address and telephone number to the FBI, Mango said in court papers.

During a brief court proceeding on the felony charge, Jenkins told U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott that she has five children, has been married twice and receives public assistance. The woman appeared to be distraught over the arrest.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund sides with gamers.

Monday, September 20th, 2010

(Gamespot.com) – Today, the Supreme Court case that may determine whether states can criminalize sales of games to minors grew a bit more complicated. That’s because a legal lobby supporting the comic book industry has thrown its support behind the game industry by filing a “friend of the court” brief in the case, officially titled Schwarzenegger vs. the Entertainment Merchants Association.

According to a copy of the brief obtained by the Los Angeles Times, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund asked the Supreme Court to reject the law on the grounds that it “would undermine more First Amendment principles in a single case than any decision in living memory.”

Robert Corn-Revere, an attorney with the law firm representing the CBLDF, expanded on the brief to the Times. “The first amendment is indivisible,” he said. “If it’s weakened for one medium, it’s weakened for all. If a precedent is established for the censorship of games, it will be used for everybody else. You’ll see a lot of support for our position from different quarters.”

The Times expects those “quarters” to be some of the leading lobbies and organizations of the media and entertainment world, including the Reporters Committee for Freedom, the Radio Television News Association, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Motion Picture Association of America.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Schwarzenegger vs. the Entertainment Merchants Association on November 2. At issue in the case is California Assembly Bill 1179, which was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 but challenged in court before it could take effect.

Penned by California state assemblyman Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), CAB1179 sought to ban the sale or rental of “violent video games” to children. A “violent” game was defined as a “game in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being.” If it becomes law, retailers that sold such games would be subject to a $1,000 fine.

The bill would also have required “violent” video games to bear a 2-inch-by-2-inch sticker with a “solid white ’18′ outlined in black” on their front covers. That’s more than twice the size of the labels that currently adorn game-box covers and display the familiar Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating.

California game bill heads to Supreme Court

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Will the Bill get terminated?

(Gamespot) – Last February, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision that California’s law preventing the sale of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional. According to the appeals-court ruling, bill AB1179, signed into California law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.

In May, the California government appealed the court’s decision on the law, which was penned by California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), who was a child psychologist before entering public service. Today, the US Supreme Court, the country’s highest legal body, agreed to hear the case, officially titled Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, v. Entertainment Merchants Association. The latter is a lobby for the US home entertainment industry and was formed by the merger of the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) and the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) in 2006.

Though it is unclear exactly when the case will be heard, both sides of the debate wasted no time in sounding off on the court’s decision. “I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has accepted our case to help protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games,” said Yee in a statement. “The Supreme Court has never heard a case dealing with violent video games. I am hopeful that the high court will determine our law to be Constitutional, but regardless, states are now certain to receive direction on how to proceed with this important issue.”

Equally vocal was Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, the lobby that represents most major game publishers. “Courts throughout the country have ruled consistently that content-based regulation of computer and video games is unconstitutional,” he declared in a statement. “Research shows that the public agrees, video games should be provided the same protections as books, movies, and music.”

Both Yee and Gallagher made reference to the court’s ruling in the case of the US v. Stevens last week. In an 8 to 1 decision, the court threw out the three-year prison sentence of Robert Stevens, who had been convicted under a law banning videos of animal cruelty. (In this case, the offending material was dog-fighting videos.) The law had been enacted as a response to so-called “crush videos,” in which small animals are stomped to death in sadomasochistic sexual rituals.

“As the Court recognized last week in the US v. Stevens case, the First Amendment protects all speech other than just a few ‘historic and traditional categories’ that are ‘well defined and narrowly limited,’” said Gallagher. “We are hopeful that the Court will reject California’s invitation to break from these settled principles by treating depictions of violence, especially those in creative works, as unprotected by the First Amendment.”

Yee took a more legalistic tack when weighing in on the case. “Last week, the high court struck down a law, in United States v. Stevens, that would have banned the sale of media that depicts animal cruelty, however, the Court said that such a law may be constitutional if it were more narrowly tailored. California’s violent video game [law] is narrowly tailored and focuses only on the sale of such ultraviolent video games to children, whereas the Stevens case banned the sale of animal cruelty films to all individuals. In addition, California’s law is dealing with an interactive media versus a passive media in the animal cruelty case.”

Child mistakes firearm for Wii controller?

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
Nintendo Wii Gun Controller

Nintendo Wii Gun Controller

Three-year-old Cheyenne Alexis McKeehan fatally shot herself in the abdomen with the family’s handgun at their home in Wilson County, Tennessee.

The girl’s stepfather had taken out his gun to try to frighten off dogs that had been hanging around the home, and later ‘returned’ the gun to a table in the living room. The child had been playing a Nintendo Wii video game, in which the game’s controller was shaped like a gun that looked very ‘similar’ to the real handgun (hmm like bright white with a cord attached to another controller device?)

County Sheriff says the girl pulled the gun off the table and it went off.

With all condolences to the family, this being a very tragic event, maybe we shouldn’t leave our firearms or Wii controllers in reach of a 3 year old on any, or all occasions. Seems to be the more popular practice now days, understanding that a toddler may not be able to differentiate the two.

The girl’s parents were at home at the time of the shooting. No charges are currently being filed.

[Source]

Heavy Rain leaks a strip tease.

Friday, September 25th, 2009

heavy-rains-full-strip-tease-scene-nsfw

PS3′s new title “Heavy Rain” should rattle a few feathers here and there with it’s sexy strip tease scene. Previous games like Mass Effect brought down the house with it’s risky business “alien sex” act which was hardly a glimpse of bare ‘booty’ and some insinuating dialogue (ooohhh). We are wondering who will make a stink outta this consensual display of affection? I’m sure a few will…

“Heavy Rain” by Quantic Dream is described as a “dark, atmospheric mystery game where players jump between four characters as they try to solve a case involving a serial killer known as the Origami Killer. Gameplay consists of guiding the characters through interactions and events by hitting corresponding letters that appear on screen at specific moments, making the experience more akin to an interactive movie than a traditional video game.”

Well we are definitely down with that. Madison Paige is a hottie too.

You can download the the leaked video clip here, warning NSFW (Boobies!). Heavy Rain is scheduled for release January 2010.

[Source]

Let’s settle for some ‘Hot Coffee’

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
Take Two's coffee burns!

Take Two's coffee burns!

(Gamespot) – Over four years after the “Hot Coffee” scandal rocked the game industry, Take-Two Interactive has settled the matter once and for all. Today, the Rockstar Games parent announced that it has reached an out-of-court agreement with the members of a class action suit stemming from the hidden sex minigames in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

“Oh, no. I’m not falling for that ‘Wanna come up for some coffee?’ line again.”

The class action is different from another settled in late 2007, when purchasers of the sex-minigame-tainted version of San Andreas were offered a partial refund or a cleaned-up edition of the game. The suit settled today also addressed accusations of stock-option backdating, over which Take-Two paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $3 million in April without admitting any wrongdoing.

“We are pleased to have reached this settlement and put this historical matter behind us,” Take-Two CEO Ben Feder told analysts during a post-earnings release conference call.

In exchange for the plaintiffs dropping the suit, the New York City-based publisher will put $20,115,000 into a fund to dole out payments. Of that, $15,200,000 will be paid by Take-Two’s insurers and $4,915,000 by the company itself. The publisher said it had saved up its part of the settlement during “several quarters” before April 30, 2009. Ironically, it was during that month that Take-Two settled another class action suit filed by shareholders after the company refused to be bought by Electronic Arts at a hefty premium in 2008.

Today’s settlement ends a chain of events that began over four years ago. In summer 2005, hackers unlocked hidden sex minigames in the PC and console editions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. As a result, the game was rerated AO for Adults Only, forcing Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive to edit and rerelease the game at an estimated cost of over $50 million. By the end of that July, the Federal Trade Commission had launched a now-concluded investigation.

Error Nulls UK’s Adult Video Game Law

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
It's momentary video game anarchy in the UK!

It's momentary video game anarchy in the UK!

(TimesOnline) – People selling adult videos, including pornography, to children are to escape prosecution after the discovery of a Whitehall blunder that means that the 1984 law regulating the video industry was never enacted.

The disclosure that for 25 years the Act governing the classification and sale of videos, video games and now DVDs was never brought into force is a big embarrassment to both Conservative and Labour governments.

It also leaves the industry in disarray with the classification system designed to protect the under-18s from violent and explicit material no longer officially in operation.

Lavinia Carey, director-general of the British Video Association, which represents 90 per cent of the industry, said: “What a ludicrous situation to find ourselves in after all this time.”

Police and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are to be told to stop bringing any prosecutions until the Government brings in emergency legislation to re-enact the 1984 Video Recordings Act. Until then people will be able to sell videos, including violent and pornographic ones, to under-18s without fear of prosecution.

The video industry was stunned by the Government’s admission that the Act was not properly enacted 25 years ago. Officials in the Home Office had failed to notify the European Commission of the existence of the Act as they were required to do so under an EU directive.

The mistake was not spotted on two subsequent occasions, in 1993 and 1994. It was finally discovered during plans to update the law and introduce a new video-game classification system.

Barbara Follett, Minister for Culture and Tourism, said last night: “Unfortunately, the discovery of this omission means that, a quarter of a century later, the Video Recordings Act is no longer enforceable against individuals in United Kingdom courts.” In a letter to representatives of the video industry, Ms Follett said: “As the then British Government did not notify the European Commission of the VRA’s classification and labelling requirements, they cannot now be enforced against individuals in UK courts.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said that it had received legal advice that people who had previously been prosecuted and convicted would be unable to overturn their convictions or seek compensation.

The Act was passed when Leon Brittan was Conservative Home Secretary and then amended under Michael Howard’s period at the Home Office. A Home Office spokesman said that it was likely the error had occurred because the European Directive was new at the time the Act was passed.

“The important thing is that we close this loophole as quickly as possible,” a spokeswoman said. No one should see this as a green light to act unlawfully. We will continue to prosecute breaches vigorously once this technical loophole is closed,” a spokeswoman said.

The British Video Association said that it is urging members to continue submitting work to the British Board of Film Classification and to continue labelling them under the system.

The Association represents 90 per cent of the industry with an annual turnover of over £2 billion and selling 250 million videos a year.

Jeremy Hunt, Shadow Culture Secretary, said: “Much of the problem would have been avoided if they had sorted out the classification of video games earlier, as we and many others in the industry have been urging them to do.”










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