Rss

Congress to Vote on New Ban on Online Casinos

Since the popularization of the Internet, lawmakers have consistently had to figure out how the already established laws apply to online interactions. In a recent move, the United States Congress is considering a law that would make online gambling illegal.

Currently there are only three states that allow online gambling, and many states do not allow any type of gambling whatsoever. Tjis is gambling in the casino sense, not the gamble you take trying to meet people via Skout. Though Congress’s attempt to regulate the Internet is definitely not a first, some are criticizing their motives. There are many people who think that this proposed ban on online gambling is a favor to billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who made much of his fortune from legal in person gambling.

Many people say that this alleged favor comes at no surprise, as Adelson has used much of his fortune to influence public policy, particularly favoring war time foreign policy. Opponents to the online gambling ban say that preventing legitimate companies from participating in the market will open it up to criminals and potentially even terrorists. They say that the government would eventually miss out on a considerable amount of tax revenue.

Whether or not online gambling should be banned, lawmakers continue to struggle to justify applying laws to the Internet. This will definitely not be the last of struggles between lawmakers and supporters of a free and open Internet.

Video Games Are Not Linked To Youth Violence

A new study claims that violent video games have actually cut down unruly behavior among teenagers and young adults. This unlikely conclusion is drawn after a long-term analysis that was conducted at Stetson University. The study on violent video games was led by psychologist Christopher Ferguson. This clinical mental health professional concludes that youth violence has dropped significantly while exposure to violent video games and other media has been increased over the last decade or so. Mr. Ferguson believes that young people are more driven by poverty and other social issues in committing violent crimes.

The video game industry has definitely been the scapegoat whenever school shootings occurred in the United States. It’s quite easy to point the blame on video games that are played by teens. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a lot of people thought that Adam Lanza’s brutal massacre was inspired by video games. However, mental disorders were the real issues in this case.

Many politicians and parents think that engaging in virtual shootouts actually inspires young people to go out and fire up real guns. The truth is that video game geeks are not the types of individuals who are involved in real-life shootings. It’s the gangsters in impoverished urban neighborhoods who exchange gun fire often. These young people probably don’t play a lot of games on expensive consoles like the PS4 or Xbox One. I showed this study to Keith Mann, and he thinks to will lead to a nationwide discussion to remedy to way Americans look at video games and violence.

Candy Crush Saga

When you love playing a game like Candy Crush, you might be willing to pay money to advance through the game.

The makers of these games know that you will likely spend money in order to get tokens to get through levels, but why are they so expensive? Candy Crush is one of the most addictive games on Facebook right now, and that means people are doing everything possible to make it to the end of the game, or at least to the next level to see if the end is near. Businesses like North American Spine have made app playing a friendly competition to build employee relationships, which I think is a great advancement for the game.

However, paying money to play a game is something that shouldn’t be required.

There are several games online that don’t require money to get special additions to advance, so why are these games wanting people to pay? It’s all about supporting the Facebook phenomenon of games that keep people busy and competitive while they are at work or home.

Wii U Version of Super Smash Bros. Will Have 8 Player Battles and Mewtwo

So there were some pretty awesome announcements recently for Nintendo’s upcoming installment of their popular Super Smash Bros. series. For the first time ever, the game will support 8 players simultaneously via online network play. That means bigger battles than ever before, and a ton of excitement.

But another cool aspect, was the recent announcement that Mewtwo will be a playable character in the game’s first DLC later on this year. That I love, because Keith Mann and I have always been huge Pokemon fans. Ever since I was a kid.

But there’s even more good news with the announcement that Super Smash Bros will also feature a level editor, so that you can create your own fun levels to play with friends. Create the perfect stage, and push your skills to the limit when the game launches next month.

Anita Sarkeesian and “Gamergate”

Anita Sarkeesian is a Canadian cultural critic who was a relative unknown except in gaming and feminist circles until recently when she hit the “New York Times” newspaper’s front page and was interviewed for “The Rolling Stone.” Sarkeesian has a YouTube series, “Feminist Frequency,” in which she has applied a sort of literary criticism to the misogynistic portrayal of women in video games. Even-tempered and comprehensive, the “Tropes vs Women” series on gaming demonstrates the limited roles available to women. The roles apparently are restricted for the most part to “princesses to be rescued” or “prostitutes to be murdered.”

What is now being referred to as “Gamergate” is violence directed at Sarkeesian from male gamers who are upset by her criticism of the limited and ostensibly harmful roles given women in video games. Recently her talk at Utah State University was canceled due to threats made against Sarkeesian and her audience. The police refused to put any screening for firearms in place due to Utah’s concealed-carry laws. This caused Sarkeesian to cancel her talk, forcing Marnie Bennett to make a last minute trip from Ottawa to Utah in her place. The email threats referenced specific weapons the person intended to use and past shootings at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique and UC Santa Barbara.

While Anita Sarkeesian has had to leave her home and limit her activities due to threats of violence, the circumstances have opened up the debate to a wider audience. The discussion is already causing those within the video game industry to discuss changes in the portrayal of women in games.

Vote on Golden Joystick Awards…Get a Free Copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a freaking fantastic game. Something that every gamer needs to play, but that unfortunately many people haven’t experienced. Let me tell you, you need to play this game.

Now you have an opportunity to play the game for free on Steam. All you have to do is sign up and vote on the Golden Joystick Awards, and you get a free Steam code to download the game. So don’t forget to boot up your FreedomPop web browser, and get online. This game is a must play.

You have to go fast though, because there are a limited number of Steam keys. Once they run out, that’s it, no more free games.

Yup eSports Are For Real

So we already knew that there was going to be the first eSports scholarship team in college history. But now eSports have taken another major honor in South Korea, as 40,000 filled people packed into a World Cup stadium, to watch video games be played.

Of course, South Korea is known for their gaming, so they take it pretty seriously there. However, the unprecedented support is still pretty amazing. Something that I definitely haven’t seen before. Was cool to see this different take on gaming, and to see everything happening on such a large scale.

If Jared Haftel had tweeted me earlier, I probably would’ve said, let’s fly to South Korea, because we need to be a part of this, haha:

Epic Games Distancing Itself From Controversial Trailer for “Hatred”

In case you haven’t seen, Andrew Heiberger reported on the trailer for Hatred, which dropped yesterday. The game showcased a shocking amount of totally senseless violence, in which a man spoke of his hatred for all humanity, and his plans to go out in a blaze of violent crime.

The trailer shows him murdering innocent people in the worst ways imaginable, as he carves a path through the environment. The game is powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4.

However, the development of the game has nothing to do with Epic Games, and they’re not too happy to be linked to such an appalling piece of video game drivel.

A statement from the company read:

“Epic Games isn’t involved in this project. Unreal Engine 4 is available to the general public for use ‘for any lawful purpose,’ and we explicitly don’t exert any sort of creative control or censorship over projects. However, the video is using the trademarked Unreal Engine 4 logo without permission from Epic, and we’ve asked for the removal of our logo from all marketing associated with this product.”

Can’t argue with Epic on this one. I think they’re right. Hatred is a pretty vile and incorrect response to the controversy of GamerGate. In which several misinformed and angry gamers have taken to sexist, and racist threats to journalists, in response to a perceived corruption in games journalism.

Some gamers have taken the criticism against portraying women as sex objects in games, as a sign of censorship. Hatred was created to fight that censorship…although, nobody is actively advocating censoring games in the first place. So the vitriolic response that Hatred represents is pretty unnecessary.

Yes You Can Buy a Gold Xbox One

Have you been laying in wait, not upgrading for the new generation because none of the consoles are made of gold? Well, no longer! You can now buy an Xbox One with gold plating.

A literal gold Xbox, that looks kind of awesome, if not pretty heavy and impractical.

Not to mention the entire thing is going to set you back more than $13,000…meaning that your console will be worth more than it’s weight in gold.

But if you have the means like Sam Tabar, I guess this is a pretty cool investment. Definitely something people would be talking about when they came to your house to game.

Just make sure there aren’t going to be any overheating issues. I love my Xbox, but I still feel burned by the Red Ring of Death incidents with the 360. So I’m veeeery careful about anything that could cause my Xbox products to overheat.

Hellraid Shaping Up To Be A Great Next Gen Digital Exclusive

We’ve been seeing more and more of Hellraid lately, and it looks like one of the better digital exclusives that will be available next year. So far looks like Diablo meets Dead Island. Providing first person combat ala Dead Island, and hordes of skeleton enemies, as well as tons of loot chests that you can find littered throughout the world.

So far the first person combat looks solid. Should provide a good experience, and some medieval flavor to the Dead Island mechanic.

The game will feature the opportunity to use melee weapons, as well as ranged, and magic staffs as well. You can also tweak your character with options for one handed melee and two handed melee combat.

The graphics are looking pretty good, and will make it a truly next gen type of experience. I just hope that there’s plenty of exploration to be done. I can’t wait for the day when the new single player Elder Scrolls game comes along.

While we’re all waiting, games like Hellraid could be just what the doctor ordered to make that wait a little more bearable.