Game on, or off? Should we be worried about our tech-addicted toddlers? | Life and style | The Guardian


Zoe Williams in the Graun:

The symptoms – you can rank your own children or spouse on this list, if you haven\’t got enough to argue about – are all recognisable from other addictions: how does your internet use affect the rest of your life and mind? How much do you crave it? Do you deny it or lie about it? And yet the thing itself – these games that set the social mind and the competitive spirit alight simultaneously – are unlike anything you would know about the world of toxins.

via Game on, or off? Should we be worried about our tech-addicted toddlers? | Life and style | The Guardian.

What happens when pirates play a game development simulator and then go bankrupt because of piracy? | Greenheart GamesGreenheart Games


This is a(nother) depressing read. Game developers create a game about game development (very meta) and then release a cracked version of the game in which you cannot win because of game piracy.

The result? over 90% of those playing the (8 dollar) game play the cracked version, and then hit the forums to complain about the piracy “feature” in the game.

When we released our very first game, Game Dev Tycoon (for Mac, Windows and Linux) yesterday, we did something unusual and as far as I know unique. We released a cracked version of the game ourselves, minutes after opening our Store.

I uploaded the torrent to the number one torrent sharing site, gave it a description imitating the scene and asked a few friends to help seed it.

Read more: What happens when pirates play a game development simulator and then go bankrupt because of piracy? | Greenheart GamesGreenheart Games.

via DaringFireball

If you think sexism’s OK in games, you may be in the wrong century | Technology |


Those grim little bottom-half insults are inspired by the same top-half sexism that leads to model arse tweets; they’re just magnified by the anonymity of the internet. Some top tips for companies? Don’t tweet anything about an employee you wouldn’t want someone saying about your little sister. Come up with a new gimmick for trade shows that doesn’t involve human buttocks. […]

You might think you’re bored of seeing this debate. Guess what? As a woman covering the technology industry I’m bored of having to have it. The sooner we stamp it out, the sooner we can go back to talking about Facebook, the new Call Of Duty and how much we’d have to sell a kidney for to get that new MacBook Pro.

via If you think sexism’s OK in games, you may be in the wrong century | Technology |

Ads for horror game banned by ASA

Vintage American Legion posters (see second story below)

Vintage American Legion posters (see second story below)

Further to our discussion of horror games, you may be interested the read the following story (link after quote):

The Advertising Standards Authority received nine complaints that the TV ads were distressing, condoned violence and were offensive.

Sega Europe said that Condemned 2 was a horror game targeted at "mature consumers" with an over-18 rating from the British Board of Film Classification.


Here’s a link to some vintage American Legion Posters, including Save Waste Fats (above).

Thanks to BoingBoing for that link, and here’s another interesting BoingBoing story – the apparently trivial matter of a package of fruit with an EULA (End User Licence Agreement). This is the kind of thing you have to click AGREE to when you install software. Almost nobody reads them, except that guy who spotted that the (original) EULA for Google’s Chrome browser indicated that if you uploaded something, it belonged to Google.

Anyway, this relates to my pet hatred of media science reporting. The tenor of reports about GM food is always that “Frankenstein” foods are going to cross-contaminate the food supply, as if there was something inherently impure about GM food. Actually, the real issue is this: that the seed companies and agro-corporations want to put a copyright symbol on everything and restrict your right to use things as you wish – just as media corporations try to do with music, movies, and TV shows.

Their dream is actually a future in which a licence fee is payable on genetic material – seeds, in other words. The EULA on the pack of grapes reads, “The recipient of the produce contained in this package agrees not to propagate or reproduce any portion of the produce, including (but not limited to) seeds, stems, tissue and fruit.”

Ironic that they’re seedless grapes!

Today’s Media Stories Today


1. Redesigned full-colour Sunday Times will launch this weekend.

2. BBC disses ITV.

3. Gaydar Radio (does this really exist?) is annoyed by yesterday’s story (see below) about the Heinz ad, and is calling for a boycott of Heinz. Which of Heinz’s 57 varieties could you not live without? Do consumer boycotts work?

4. From the Telegraph: apparently, the queen has only just got around to stripping Robert Mugabe of his (honorary) knighthood. I wonder if there are other dictators and mass-murderers wandering around with honours from our queen?

5. The Google defence. If people are habitually searching for naughty stuff on the internet, can it be deemed obscene?

6. Anniversaries are always rich pickings for stories, especially on slow news days. Almost every news outlet has stories about the report on last year’s floods. Here’s the Independent’s take. Apparently, last summer’s floods were “devastating.” If that’s so, what adjective should we use for the Boxing Day Tsunami?

7. BoingBoing has a link to an ABC news story about the comparative scariness of horror films and horror games. Worth a discussion, though I’ve never played what the American reporters call “Hrrrrr” videogames. There’s a bit in the ABC report (video, after the ad, unfortunately) where they talk about the radio giving out static when something supernatural is about to appear.

8. I’ve added a link to the blogroll (pause for snigger from the back) to an Introduction to Genre Theory. Enjoy!