a.d.venturer writes "Elite, the Metroid series, Dungeon Siege, God of War I and II, Half-Life (but not Half-Life 2), Shadow of the Colossus, the Grand Theft Auto series; some of the best games ever (and Dungeon Siege) have done away with the level mechanic and created uninterrupted game spaces devoid of loading screens and artificial breaks between periods of play. Much like cut scenes, level loads are anathema to enjoyment of game play, and a throwback to the era of the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 - when games were stored on cassette tapes, and memory was measured in kilobytes. So in this era of multi-megabyte and gigabyte memory and fast access storage devices why do we continue to have games that are dominated by the level structure, be they commercial (Portal), independent (Darwinia) and amateur (Angband)? Why do games still have levels?"
CB-in-Tokyo writes: In reaction to the protests caused by Japan's new fingerprinting system, the Ministry of Justice has issued a directive (English Translation) that all foreigners that do not agree to give their fingerprints be incarcerated and "pursuaded" to give their prints, immediately to be followed by deportation. Immigration officials state that during the period of incarceration, "We will sufficiently persuade the refuser to cooperate, and endeavor not to do this by force."
The new fingerprinting and photographing system is under a lot of fire by the foreign community in Japan as it targets not only tourists, but also permanent residents. The system is being presented outwardly as a way to counter terrorism, but is being touted internally by celebrity spokespeople as a way to cut down on foreign crime in Japan. It is illegal under Japanese law to fingerprint citizens, unless they have been accused of a crime, however foreign residents have no such protection, and now under the new directive foreigners who refuse will no longer not just be refused entry, but also coerced into providing personal biometric data.