Fox News unfactually accuses games of rape training


That’s not really a surprise given Fox’s record with gamers in terms of misleading their audience with self-styled media pundits and so-called experts who obliquely ignore the ratings on the actual product or who have never played the game in the first place. Facts? What facts?

It wasn’t that long ago that Mass Effect went through the same thing on Fox. In the analysis that followed, the ‘expert’ that Fox had called to the floor – Cooper Lawrence – who made Mass Effect out to be promoting pornography was lambasted by those that had actually played the game. See, she didn’t play it – but felt in her expert opinion that it was primarily what the game was about and ran with it. It’s as if someone had blamed the film, Pirates of the Caribbean, for promoting Somali piracy without even seeing the movie.

She actually apologized, even though Fox never did. But that hasn’t stopped Fox from finding experts that now blame games for the increase in rape statistics across the nation without any real statistics to back up that correlation. Once again, the audience is left to take the word of these ‘experts’ at face value without so much as hard evidence.

Fox went on to draw in Bulletstorm as the perfect example of why the youth of America are falling by the wayside. Now, Bulletstom IS a violent game. That’s why it’s rated M, for Mature, meaning that it should only be played by adults 18 and over. Not by a nine year old that Fox has been quoted in saying will be playing games just like it.

Short of handling game sales like the TSA handles airports, you’re still going to see parents buy kids the games they want because they either don’t care or don’t know any better. In my time in retail, I’ve seen parents do this – we deny the kid the sale, then he/she brings in their grumpy parent to wonder why we did that and use their credit card to get the game anyway. It happens.

EA has hit back with a statement defending Bulletstorm and likening it to similar fare such as Sin City or Kill Bill which is fine since both of those films are rated appropriately and are clearly intended for older audiences. Games for adults should be treated in the same way, but according to Fox, they’re not. Still, I’m not expecting Fox to issue an apology for this, either, or for any of their experts to recant what they’ve said. After all, they’ve got their fifteen minutes of fame.

Space raiders destroy real money in EVE


EVE, if you haven’t heard of it, is a space-based MMO run almost exclusively by the players. The economy, wars, and conflicts within the game are mostly against corporate empires run by and filled with real people piloting and building ships making it a place where anything can (and has) happened.

MMO site, Massively, has the goods on this latest collision between real-life and what should have been a relaxing evening for one trader in the game.

In short, the main currency used in EVE is called ISK and, like gold farming, has its own shady cottage industry where people with money can “buy” ISK instead of earning it the old fashioned way. It’s not legal according to the game’s rules, so as one way to fight this, EVE’s developers created the 30-day Pilot License Extension. Players can buy these with real cash to extend their membership.

Now here’s the rub: it’s also represented as an item in the game which can then be traded for ISK. Thus, people can buy a PLEX (as the Extensions are called) and trade it to other players for massive loads of ISK if they want to. We’re talking billions. Later, they made it so that PLEX could be carried on ships for transport. You can see where this is going.

One player apparently had 74 of these things in their ship when two raiders came by and attempted to seize it…only to end up destroying the ship and its cargo. Real world value? $1,294 USD. And in EVE, since this was technically within the rules of how it is played where risk is everything, I don’t expect any of that to be coming back to the owner.


Super Bowl XLIV in Tecmo 8-bit

Do you remember Tecmo Bowl on the NES?

Do you also remember the impossible that would regularly play out during the game against the AI such as eighty yard returns on a single play on every other play? That’s like what Tracy Porter did during the Super Bowl…but having him do that magic in about as many times. But Tecmo Bowl holds a special place in the hearts of gamers that remember it as one of those titles, the ones that they look back on with a warm smile on their face. Flaws and all, it was great fun before Madden conquered the genre.

And here’s how Tracy Porter’s run would have looked like in the game thanks to one 8-bit fan. It’s not using the original sounds of the game, but it uses the live broadcast replacing the live visuals with 8-bit goodness.

Wait, really? Cracking eggs is now too hard?

It always amazes me that the same human race that’s produced wondrous things like the Internet, DVR and the iPhone is still capable of also making things that let us know some people really need help.

I speak, of course, of people who can’t crack eggs properly. There is a device that can help with that. See for yourself.

I always enjoy the “demos” of these products, where the people in the commercials have to carry out simple tasks in the dumbest possible way, or try to integrate the most ridiculous items into everyday life.

We’re better than this, ladies and gentlemen. Seriously, who bashes eggs on the table like that? This is why aliens want to destroy us.

Thanks to business editor Christina Brock for the link.

Just leave the keys with the parking deck

As part of Ford’s promotion for the 2010 Mustang, World Drifting champion, Vaughn Gittin, Jr., takes it to Japan to embrace the roots of his sport. He also takes the time to park his ride, Japanese style, as shown in the time-lapsed video below.

Because space is at such a premium in the Land of the Rising Sun, drivers may find that the parking deck will do the parking for them, stacking their cars like Matchbox collectibles underground (or in a high-rise carousel) and then picking it out when they’re ready to go.

This is also a problem that isn’t unique to Japan. As one example, Munich in Germany had to contend with the same issue when building a typical parking deck just wasn’t an option.

Ha! And you thought I had no repair skillz.

At Tech Out, gadgets and goodies are often part of what we like to write about. But what happens when the need to build something new and unexpected takes hold? What happens when someone has to MacGyver a solution to a problem?

It looks like “There, I Fixed It” has the answer with extreme results. Check out a few samples below for a little inspiration if you’re thinking of your own homegrown project…or reminder that not every idea is a good one.


Fighting Games, PC Style

When someone is looking for a good reason to keep playing on the PC, you might want to point them to M.U.G.E.N.. It’s a free, 2D fighting engine that allows modders to create, you guessed it, 2D fighting games like the ones in the old arcades when they weren’t an endangered species.

It’s been around for years and hobbyists have managed to blend nearly every character imaginable into their vision of the “perfect” fighter creating some fantastically bizarre duels. There’s also a thriving community out there doing everything from technical support in helping newcomers get a grip on how to run it to pixel artists trading characters and backgrounds for designers to make use of in their own releases.

And when I said bizarre, I wasn’t kidding. Check out this matchup between Darkstalker’s own Morrigan and the Japanese version of Ronald McDonald in front of a Burger King. I guess neither one of them wanted to use the drive through.

Wal-Mart wants your used games, too

From the site, Neocrisis, comes an article whose author writes about their experience with what appears to be Wal-Mart’s newest test market venture for used games: a vending machine that buys them off of you for in-store credit.

So if you need to buy some melons, ice cream, cereal, or dog food but are short on a few bucks, Wal-Mart has your answer in a not-so-easy to use machine. It seems that when the author had initially tried it, the booth was less than cooperative as it booted them out from the log in screen when they had tried to scan in their games, repeating the error later. At another point, a game they had wasn’t listed in the kiosk’s database.

I’m sure that it has probably worked for others, though, and if this catches on, Gamestop might find itself with some competition. That would be good news because it might actually force them to offer better trade-in values for titles than in forcing used game sellers looking for a better deal to go to Ebay instead. Gamestop still has a huge selection of titles and a pipeline linked right into their shelf space for gamers. And I have no idea how competitive Wal-Mart’s credits are compared to Gamestop’s incredibly frugal weighting of used titles. Could Wal-Mart offer a better deal on games? I don’t know.

In Wal-Mart’s case, though, instead of just using the credit for games, you can pick and choose from everything else…like food or hygiene products. Now you can trade in that copy of Grand Theft Auto IV for a case of beer without having to leave the store. Or punish misbehaving kids by trading in their copy of Halo 3 for broccoli and spam. Progress is awesome! See a picture of it after clicking on the link (courtesy of the original article).
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