Monthly Round-Up

-Fail to the King Baby –

The long awaited, 13 years in development, game Duke Nukem was released on June 14th to a plethora of low reviews. Gamers said it was too mature, crude, and it contradicted itself as it parodied modern shooters but followed their patterns – such as regenerative health and carrying only 2 weapons. They enjoyed the shooting game-play and  some admired the voice-acting especially by John St. John. To help create a positive buzz, the demo was released on XBL, Steam, and PSN. Also, 2K Games’ hired the PR firm, The Redner Group, to handle the publicity the game was getting. Over Twitter, The Redner Group threatened if anyone continued to give bad reviews or criticisms of the game, they won’t receive anymore titles to review.

“too many went too far with their reviews. We are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom.”

Blacklisting journalists is a terrible practice that really does happen in order to try and prevent a bad review. I say bad publicity is still good publicity.

-Wii U and PS Vita debut @ E3- 

Though, E3 had it’s ups and downs (like the guy who was strung out on caffeine during Ubisoft’s press conference) a console and a portable debuted. Nintendo’s console created a buzz and raised more questions than answers. First off, it’s a new console and the tablet controller is the selling point. The graphics are said to be on par with the current-gen consoles. The Wii remote works with it and Nintendo is trying to get the 3rd party support that the Wii lost.

The PlayStation Vita is Sony’s latest portable coming out at the end of this year. It has several features but is still going for the high-tech ware, e.g. GPS, 3G support, two cameras and Bluetooth connectivity. The graphics are highly detailed to match the console and it is backwards compatible with the PSP titles. The screen is touch sensitive and there is a touch pad on the back.

-Gaming Protected Under First Amendment

On June 27th, The Supreme Court ruled that video games fall under the first amendment’s freedom of speech with other forms of art. The industry won’t have politicians trying to regulate and ban titles as the industry will now self-regulate. This ruling has been in process since 2005 back during the GTA Hot Coffee mod. The law of selling violent video games to minors is now unconstitutional – since there wasn’t much data comparing violent video games to movies, cartoon shows and television shows. The results of the data are in-conclusive and the debate is now over. Judge Scalia, who presided over the case, also stated that this country doesn’t try to block violence to our children in other mediums.

“California’s argument would fare better if there were a longstanding tradition in this country of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence, but there is none. Certainly the books we give children to read—or read to them when they are younger—contain no shortage of gore. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed. As her just deserts for trying to poison Snow White, the wicked queen is made to dance in red hot slippers “till she fell dead on the floor, a sad example of envy and jealousy.” The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales 198 (2006 ed.). Cinderella’s evil stepsisters have their eyes pecked out by doves. Id., at 95. And Hansel and Gretel (children!) kill their captor by baking her in an oven. Id., at 54.”

To paraphrase Judge Scalia – in school, kids read stories of The Odyssey, Lord of the Flies. and Inferno. The stories are of a cyclops whose eye is stabbed with a heated spike, a schoolboy is savagely murdered by other children while marooned on an island and the detailed description of corrupt politicians submerged under a lake of boiling pitch whom upon reaching the surface, are skewered by demons. Parents are to regulate what comes into their homes and video games are an interactive media comparable to books and movies.

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