scruffybr writes: If you consider yourself to be a follower of a religion, have you ever thought about how your gaming hobby might clash with the teachings of your prophet/s or god/s? If you’re an atheist, has it ever occurred to you that perhaps turning your back on all such belief systems has allowed you to sidestep a potential moral minefield when playing videogames?
I’m not thinking of the limited moral choices offered in games such as Bioshock, GTA and Red Dead Redemption – though this is an issue I will return to. If the issue of religion and morality in relation to videogames is ever to be discussed however, now is surely the time. Not only are moral choices offered in games such as those mentioned above, but graphics and sound are almost unbelievably realistic compared to the games of just twenty years ago. Furthermore, there is now a real push to immerse the player in the gaming experience more than ever. 3D visuals, whilst still not nearly as appealing to the general public as many in the industry would wish, will doubtless get a huge boost with the release of the 3DS. Sony and Microsoft have finally relented and are following in Nintendo’s footsteps with gusto, regarding motion control. Sony’s Move claims the most accurate motion sensing yet and Kinect, of course, goes one step further – allowing, encouraging, demanding that the player act out on – screen actions with their whole body. By the end of the year, all three home consoles will allow the player to put real physical effort into playing their games.
scruffybr writes: TV ’supernanny’ Jo Frost returned to UK TV screens in February, with her new show ‘Extreme Parental Guidance’ on Channel 4. The first episode is of interest to us all not because of the young girl who refused to eat nothing but sugary snacks, nor because of the genuinely heartbreaking case of a twelve year old girl who refused to leave the house without piling on make up. Besides these cases, a study by Professor Doug Gentile into the possible link between videogames and violence in children was featured. Several clips of the study itself were shown, and give us a revealing insight into how at least some such studies are conducted.
For the clearest picture of the study’s intentions and conclusions, it is necessary to put it in the context of the show. At the beginning of the show, Frost tells us that one third of UK parents think that they’re doing a ‘really bad job’. She goes on to say that she doesn’t believe this to be the case, and that these parents are “not being honest about the mistakes they’re making” which, she claims, everybody makes. What the viewer is supposed to draw from this of course is not that three thirds of UK parents are doing a bad job (which would arguably be the logical conclusion to her claims), but that no blame for badly behaved children can or should be apportioned to the parents. This way of thinking is at the heart of all ‘games/cartoons/rap music/heavy metal/chips (delete as appropriate for the week) are evil’ soapbox rants. For now however, we shall concentrate on Jo Frost’s show.
scruffybr writes: If you go to Ebay and do a search looking for Starcraft 2’s Beta Keys, turns out that you will actually find them. But these keys don’t come cheap, these virtual scalpers are turning a large profit on these things. Averaging about $300 a key people have decided that giving up there chance to play the Starcraft 2 Beta is worth it, and along with that people are deciding that to get the chance to play is also worth paying the hefty price. Or in some cases more, many of the “buy now” prices are upwards of $400-$500. Along with one guy selling not only his beta key but including his Battle.net account which also feature 2 level 80 World of Warcraft characters for the price of about $950.
scruffybr writes: Fighting with your parents is far to familiar to many of us. How many times have you heard your mother call to you and order you to “Turn that down, sunny,” when you were younger? Be it a videogame, TV, or music? But I doubt many of you have brought it this far.
On February 11, at or around 10pm, James Swan, a 27 year old man, while playing World of Warcraft, got into a fight with his mother when she had asked him to quiet down as her 3 grandchildren were attempting to sleep. After ignoring her requests, the mother walked over and placed her hand on his shoulder, which sent James into a rage. He then grabbed her by the hair and threw her across the room. From here, she somehow managed to get to a phone and began to dial 9-1-1. In which James got to the phone and ripped it out of the wall, proceeded to push her to the ground and choke her. At around this point the James’ Grandfather came in with a handgun and accidentally shot James in a power struggle after the gun, still holstered, misfired and grazed his left ear.
scruffybr writes: Nintendo’s attempts to take over the world through the medium of games is becoming more of a reality, as the big N has managed to shift six million Wii consoles in the UK in under three years.
The UK’s leading independent music, video and software performance and sales tracking company, Chart Track-GfK, released the impressive figures today, which makes the Wii the fastest selling console in the UK ever.
Barence writes: The media love to stick it to the IT security bad guys: the notorious hackers or the bumbling civil servants who put nothing more than a first-class stamp on a disc containing millions of personal files. But what about the little-known heroes of the security world? PC Pro's Top Ten Security Heroes are the people who have made the internet a (relatively) safe place to work, shop and communicate; the people who work behind the scenes to make sure our PCs aren’t stuffed full of malware. In short, the good guys.
scruffybr writes: What has long been hinted at and talked about in darkened alleys between figures illuminated only by lit cigarettes is now finally confirmed. Yes, Medal of Honor is coming back in 2010, set on the modern battlefield.
For the first time ever the franchise will be leaving World War Two and will now be set in Afghanistan, perhaps taking a bit of inspiration from some other successful modern warfare based shooter.