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Tabula Rasa Goes Free, Brings New Content 87

Last month we discussed NCSoft's announcement that Tabula Rasa would be closing its doors at the end of February, and their plans to remove the subscription fee for all players in January. Well, they've decided to go completely free a month early, alongside the release of a variety of new content. The game has finally gotten a first-person camera view, something many players have been asking for since launch. A new instance and several other bits of additional content are available as well. NCSoft also previewed player-controlled Mechs and PAUs, which will go live in the next major patch. Ten Ton Hammer has an interview with Net Devil's Scott Brown about the closure of Tabula Rasa.

Australia To Block BitTorrent 674

Kevin 7Kbps writes "Censorship Minister Stephen Conroy announced today that the Australian Internet Filters will be extended to block peer-to-peer traffic, saying, 'Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial.' This dashes hopes that Conroy's Labor party had realised filtering could be politically costly at the next election and were about to back down. The filters were supposed to begin live trials on Christmas Eve, but two ISPs who volunteered have still not been contacted by Conroy's office, who advised, 'The department is still evaluating applications that were put forward for participation in that pilot.' Three days hardly seems enough time to reconfigure a national network."
Role Playing (Games)

Fox News / EA Spar Over Mass Effect 'Controversy' 192

The whacked out rantings of Kevin McCullogh have been a hot topic on games blogs in recent weeks, as his lurid description of Mass Effect prompted vitriol from actual gamers. That exchange would have been easily left behind if not for the fact that Fox News stepped into the fray, adding a measure of 'fair and balanced' to the discussion. Their 'Sexbox Sexpose' drew in veteran games journalist Geoff Keighley, who optimistically thought he'd be given the chance to set the record straight. Instead they filled the airwaves with plainly false generalizations about the game's sexual content. Kotaku is reporting that EA is fighting back, protecting BioWare's property and demanding a correction. From EA's letter to Fox: "The resulting coverage was insulting to the men and women who spent years creating a game which is acclaimed by critics for its high creative standards. As video games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive entertainment. But this represents a new level of recklessness." I hope the EA folks aren't holding their breath.

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