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Aussie Gamers Dress As Zombies To Raise R18+ Awareness 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the know-we'll-get-to-common-ground-somehow dept.
swandives writes "Australian gamers will dress as zombies to raise awareness about the lack of an R18+ rating for video games in the country. The protest will begin at Hyde Park Fountain on March 27 and lumber through Sydney, raising awareness of the need for a higher classification rating and hopefully causing a bit of havoc at the same time! Computerworld Australia has pictures of previous zombie protests in the lead-up to the event. Australia has a long history of lobbying for an R18+ games classification but, even after a decade, video games are banned from sale if they exceed the maximum M15+ classification. So far, the list of banned titles includes 7 Sins, Risen, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dark Sector. Others, like Alien vs. Predator, were initially banned but appealed the rating and are now MA15+."
Mars

Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Posted by timothy
from the older-I-get-the-wetter-mars-was dept.
Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."
Games

Whatever Happened To Second Life? 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-ralph dept.
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
Games

The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-make-onyxia-fight-ragnaros dept.
A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."
Games

Dead Space 2 Announced 56

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-with-extra-dead dept.
Electronic Arts announced on Monday that their popular survival-horror game Dead Space is officially getting a sequel. According to the press release, it's being developed for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. There's speculation that Dead Space 2 may include some form of multiplayer, after an EA job opening was spotted on LinkedIn that mentioned multiplayer level design for the franchise.

Comment: Re:Pointless hype (Score 1) 275

by Jasonv (#30355248) Attached to: How Does the New Google DNS Perform? (and Why?)

I use OpenDNS because in my country they dared to censor the Internet twice using DNS.

Google DNS could be useful if they don't implement any censorship, considering how much hate P2P sites gets from corporations we will see if they manage to stay neutral.

As a non-American, I may trust Google's ethics, but unfortunately, I don't trusts America's. I don't want my personal data subject to American DMCA, wiretapping, or other laws any more than I have to. Fortunately my country hasn't gone that route... yet. I'll stick to my ISPs DNS and my local privacy laws.

Games

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-super-mario-toilet-paper-is-probably-illegal dept.
A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

Comment: Re:Simulation output (Score 1) 428

by Jasonv (#30146372) Attached to: IBM Takes a (Feline) Step Toward Thinking Machines

The whole thing:

Secret Cat Diary.

DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from shredding the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant and cough it up on the carpeting.

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed (again).

DAY 762 - Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep depriving, incessant pleas for food at ungodly hours of the night.

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was...Hmmm. Not working according to plan...

DAY 768- I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo". What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth and the tiny bit of flesh under my claws.

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call "beer." More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies". Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The Bird on the other hand has got to be an informant. He has mastered their frightful tongue (something akin to mole speak) and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time.

Comment: Re:Does that mean... (Score 2, Interesting) 166

by Jasonv (#29918093) Attached to: New Improvements On the Attacks On WPA/TKIP

And for the love of Pete, switch to a longer password with some nice scrunchy numbers, letters (upper and lower) and a few special characters. [..snip]..Seriously secure password, and you're going to remember the hell out of it. Of course, it helps if you use something memorable to you.

Then you'll never go around saying "Amazing! That's the exact same combination I have on my luggage!"

I have my router set up without a password, and the SSID set to "Bring beer to Apt. 243".

Since then, I've had the pleasure of meeting a few of my neighbors and drinking beer with them.

Comment: Re:Demand to see them (Score 1) 419

by Jasonv (#29687117) Attached to: Real-LIfe Distributed-Snooping Web Game To Launch In Britain

You can request CCTV video you appear in under the Freedom of Information Act.

Famously, a band recorded a music video using this law. (Playing infront of a CCTV camera, then requesting the video )

Article: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Sky-News-Archive/Article/20080641315116

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2iuZMEEs_A

Comment: Re:Either you agree with copyrights or you don't (Score 1) 546

by Jasonv (#28812267) Attached to: Stallman Says Pirate Party Hurts Free Software

Aside from anecdotal stories, how do you know piracy was what caused the lack of sales of the game? Why did other, worse games, sell better than this one?

It's quite possible lack of good marketing made the game a commercial failure, and only afterward it gained a cult following, and now everyone's played it, but couldn't buy it easily ?

I could also easily point to several movies that were commercial failures, but 'everyone' has seen and are considered to be some of the greatest movies (Wizard of Oz, off the top of my head.) I doubt piracy was the cause of those movies failures.

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