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Tracking the Harm Games Do 118

Every so often, video games are accused of causing all sorts of negative behavior in children, teens, and adults. These accusations are typically predicated on statistics that sound much more damning than they actually are. In that vein, gaming website Rock, Paper, Shotgun did their own tongue-in-cheek statistical analysis, complete with pretty charts and graphs. Quoting: "As part of my research I thought to compare the sales of each GTA game with what the divorce rate must have been when each came out. As you can see each new GTA game has been directly correlated with an increase in divorces. ... An often ignored statistic (and you have to ask why it’s being ignored by the games media, don’t you?) is the sheer volume of PC games being released. We’ve all noticed the British population is abandoning the church, turning instead toward shopping, DVDs and knife crime. But few have thought to check for a connection between PC sales and the numbers of people attending their local Church Of England church on a Sunday. When you look at the data there’s little doubt left that as the publishers continue to release more and more PC games each year, our nation’s faith is being increasingly eroded. And at what cost? If only a graph could tell us that."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns 324

An anonymous reader tips a post from Pascal Eggert, a gun enthusiast and Crytek developer, who sheds some light on how weaponry in modern shooters is designed. Quoting: "Guns in games are like guns in movies: it is all about looks, sounds and clichés. Just like in the movies, games have established a certain perception of weapons in the mind of the public and just like in movies games get almost everything wrong. ... The fact is that we are not trying to simulate reality but are creating products to provide entertainment. ... if you want to replicate the looks of something you need to at least see it, but using it is even better. You should hold a gun in your hands, fire it and reload it to understand what does what — and at that point you will realize, there is nothing on it that does not have a function — because guns are tools for professionals. Lot of weapon designers in the game industry get that wrong. They think of guns like products for consumers or magic devices that kill people at a distance when really it's just a simple and elegant mechanism that propels little pieces of metal. Unfortunately 3D artists often only get access to the photos that Google Image Search comes up with if you enter 'future assault rifle' or, even worse, pictures from other games and movies that also got it wrong. This may explain a lot of common visual mistakes in games, especially since guns are mostly photographed from the side and egoshooters show weapons from the first person view." This article is drawn from his personal experience in the game industry. The images shown are Pascal's personal work and are not related to his work at Crytek.
PC Games (Games)

Valve Releases Updated Alien Swarm For Free With Code Base 164

baronvoncarson tips news that today Valve released an updated version of Alien Swarm, a popular Unreal Tournament 2004 total conversion mod. The creators of the mod were hired by Valve, and they've helped turn it into a stand-alone game running on the Source engine. Valve is also releasing the code base for Alien Swarm and an SDK. The game is available for free on Steam.

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