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11:15 AM on 02.19.2013

Hotline Miami coming to PS3 and PS Vita this spring

It's been interesting to witness the rise of games that have a love/hate relationship with violence. Spec Ops: The Line and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance are two high-profile examples. Less well known, but just as effective...

Jonathan Holmes





7:00 PM on 02.12.2013

David Cage is right: Violence is not essential

Earlier this week, Allistair suggested that violence is integral to immersion, that it could draw us into games that lack it even more. This was in response to a presentation given by serial pompous twit and occasio...

Fraser Brown



David Cage is wrong: Violence is essential photo
David Cage is wrong: Violence is essential
by Allistair Pinsof

How is it that a walk around the golf course outside my house, with its scummy pond, ugly ducklings, boring grass, and the dull sky above is so much more immersive than exploring the psychedelic world of Proteus or mystical lands of Journey?

Our perception of reality is guided by our senses. The pavement impacts my feet, the grass crunches as I walk upon it, the sky surrounds my area of vision, and the bayou across the way brings about a strong scent of human feces. I couldn't be anywhere else, even if I wanted.

If I were to put a gun in my hand and fire aimlessly at the houses, would I become even more immersed in my environment -- that is, would I become even more aware and emotionally invested in the current moment? Yes, I would. And so it is with videogames.

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2:00 PM on 02.09.2013

Poll: Violent videogames more dangerous than guns

Apparently, violent videogames are more dangerous than guns. That's what 67 percent of Republicans think, anyway. Over two thirds of those surveyed in a recent national poll believe plastic discs are a "bigger safety thr...

Kyle MacGregor

2:15 PM on 02.07.2013

Warren Spector addresses violent games again at D.I.C.E.

Speaking at the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit today, designer Warren Spector took on the concept of how gaming content has changed over time, how tastes may change as you age, and how developers need to address those changes. To stres...

Chris Carter

9:30 AM on 02.06.2013

David Jaffe launches glorious verbal attack on CNN anchor

Last week, we talked about how CNN anchor Erin Burnett desperately tried to link videogames to violent crime, attempting as she did to lead a psychologist into agreeing with her, and appearing flustered when he didn't. She wa...

Jim Sterling



Whoa! A gun violence talk that does NOT blame games! photo
Whoa! A gun violence talk that does NOT blame games!
by Tony Ponce

It might be easy to label all major news pundits as being dangerously ignorant of videogames, especially when it concerns sexual or violent content. However, we ought to know better than to paint everyone with the same broad brush strokes. Believe it or not, there are in fact media personalities who don't immediately jump on the "games are evil" narrative.

Earlier today, Jim discussed CNN's Erin Burnett and her obvious agenda. But on the very same channel, we have Anderson Cooper, a man far more sensible and open-minded than his peers.

Last night, I tuned in to Cooper's Town Hall: Guns Under Fire special, where a guest panel discussed possible ways to address gun violence in America in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting and related events. While videogames weren't the primary focus of the discussion, the topic undoubtedly came up, and I'm pleased that they were able to address it in a cool, level-headed manner.

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CNN host tries and fails to link videogames to violence photo
CNN host tries and fails to link videogames to violence
by Jim Sterling

CNN's Erin Burnett last night tried desperately to make a psychologist blame videogames for gun violence, attempting to coerce him into agreeing with her that "violent" games make people more likely to kill. 

"There's a saying that guns don't kill people, videogames do," began Burnett, before she invited William Pollack onto the show to try and make him confirm it. 

Pollack, for his part, was quick to label M-rated games as "heinous" and said he believed fantasy violence ought to be controlled by the government. However, his qualifying sentiment that videogames alone can't turn a person into a killer seemed to aggravate Burnett, who continued to push him into saying otherwise. 

When Pollack mentioned assault rifles, and implied gun control was important, Burnett brought up Norway shooter Anders Breivik, subscribing to the murderer's claims that he was able to train himself to shoot a real gun playing Call of Duty. In response, Pollack again restated his belief that games are a problem, but not the problem, prompting Burnett to expose the real motive behind her interview. 

If you watch the video above, you'll see at the 5:34 mark where Burnett cuts to the chase, rudely cutting into Pollack as he says controlling fantasy violence won't solve all of our problems, to ask again, "Does it cause violence?" She then completely steamrolls over whatever he was about to say to bring up Grand Theft Auto. It's painfully clear how irritated she is that this guy isn't just blindly nodding to every engineered opinion she presents. 

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10:15 AM on 01.31.2013

EA wants to be 'part of the solution' in violence debate

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello addressed the recent criticisms leveled at the videogame industry following the Sandy Hook shooting. While the executive was keen to point out the lack of evidence suggesting games are res...

Jim Sterling

11:30 PM on 01.30.2013

Torture scene no longer in Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Prior to the recent round of hands-on previews, it would be fair to say that Splinter Cell: Blacklist had been suffering from a messaging problem with respect to its perceived focus on action at the expense of stealth and a c...

Jordan Devore

5:30 PM on 01.30.2013

US senator definitively claims games are worse than guns

Many politicians will heavily imply that videogames are far more lethal than weapons designed to be lethal, but U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has taken the idiot ball and ran for the hills with it clasped in his gnarled t...

Jim Sterling

6:15 PM on 01.29.2013

iOS game lets you beat your boyfriend until he's perfect

Whenever something gross comes up about a women being objectified or treated poorly, a stock response is often, "You wouldn't bother talking about this if a man were the victim." Well, let's take a look at The Boyfriend Train...

Jim Sterling







Leland Yee: Gamers have no credibility in violence debate photo
Leland Yee: Gamers have no credibility in violence debate
by Jim Sterling

Leland Yee, a man famous for lying about videogames and draining huge amounts of tax money in his war on the industry, has suggested those affected by his bullshit should keep their mouths shut. According to the hypocritical liar, we care for nothing outside our lust for violence, and should leave the debate in his capable hands. 

"Gamers have got to just quiet down," said the man whose vendetta once cost taxpayers $1 million. "Gamers have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry's lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest."

While gamers -- myself included -- regularly respond to uninformed news pundits or insane ex-lawyers with axes to grind, Leland Yee has always remained the most vile player in the long-running violence debate. His ignorance does more than just make gamers angry, it actively wastes American money and the time of politicians as he tries to make his unconstitutional preferences become law.

Not as famous as some other shit-flinging malcontents, Yee is easily one of the most insidious. As disgusted as I am that a man possessed of so rotten a character would dare suggest others lack credibility, it could only be taken as a compliment when spilled from such a corrupted set of lips. 

Video games drawn into violence debate [SF Chronicle, via GamePolitics]

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10:30 AM on 01.23.2013

Taliban: Prince Harry's mental for comparing games to war

The Taliban is not exactly known for saying things Western gamers might nod their head in agreement with, but a fair few are siding with the Islamic fundamentalist movement against Britain's own Prince Harry. The Prince recen...

Jim Sterling

11:00 PM on 01.22.2013

New Mexico shooting? Let's scapegoat videogames!

It's implied that the headline to a news story contains the most important information from that story, right? That's not just a matter of opinion. That's a generally recognized fact, isn't it? So am I really seeing...

Jonathan Holmes



Congress representatives proposing multiple gaming bills photo
Congress representatives proposing multiple gaming bills
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

And so it begins.

Hot off the heels of Joe Biden meeting with the videogame industry and President Obama asking for research into the effects of violent gaming on young minds comes two bills that have been proposed to congress.

The first comes from representative Jim Matheson with his Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act. The bill will "require ratings label on video games and to prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors." Businesses that fail to adhere to this bill were it to pass would then be fined in excess of $5,000.

The bill doesn't sound too outlandish, considering that Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft already require that games released on their platform must be cleared through the ESRB first. The real issue would be with indie companies on the PC side, where some platforms don't have to go through the ESRB. It should also be noted that a similar sounding bill was declared unconstitutional back in 2011, as pointed out by Joystiq.

Now it's this other bill that could prove to be a massive headache for game makers and players alike.

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