Gamasutra has an interesting article about how the push toward realistic graphics and extremely lifelike characters in modern games is making the term "murder simulator" — once laughed off for referring to pixelated dying Nazis — a concept to take more seriously. The author is careful to simply explore the issue, and not come to a specific conclusion; he doesn't say that we should or shouldn't prevent it from happening, only that it's worth consideration. (One section is even titled "Forget the kids," saying that decisions for what children play fall under parental responsibility.) Quoting: "We should start rethinking these issues now before we all slide down the slope together and can't pull ourselves back up again. Or, even worse, before governments step in and dictate what can and can't be depicted or simulated in video games via legislation. ... Obviously, what makes an acceptable game play experience for each player is a personal choice that should be judged on a person-by-person basis (or on a parent to child basis), and I believe it should stay that way. As for me, I'm already drawing the line at BioShock — I can barely stomach the game as it is. Sure, I could play it more and desensitize myself, but I don't want to. And that's just me. It's up to you and a million other adult gamers to decide what's best for yourselves and to draw the line on virtual violence where you feel most comfortable."
snydeq writes "Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP a year ago today, no longer selling new copies in most venues. Yet according to a report from InfoWorld, various downgrade paths to XP are keeping the operating system very much alive, particularly among businesses. In fact, despite Microsoft trumpeting Vista as the most successful version of Windows ever sold, more than half of business PCs have subsequently downgraded Vista-based machines to XP, according to data provided by community-based performance-monitoring network of PCs. Microsoft recently planned to further limit the ability to downgrade to XP now that Windows 7 is in the pipeline, but backlash against the licensing scheme prompted the company to change course, extending downgrade rights on new PCs from April 2010 to April 2011."
The Guardian's games blog reports on comments by Nintendo discussing why it's not worried about competition from Microsoft and Sony after their recent motion-control announcements at E3. Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime said, "The only thing I'll say is a rhetorical question. Is it fun? If it's fun, then I tip my hat and say, 'Well done.' But what's happening sounds to me a lot like, 'Who's got the prettiest picture. Who's got high-definition. Who has the best processing power?' It sounds like technology, when the consumer wants to be entertained. Our focus is how do we take active play and make it entertainment. And that's what we're going to continue to focus on."