The US Supreme Court Frags Noobs

An Alternate Supreme Court

An Alternate Supreme Court

Often times, it seems like the entire judicial and legislative branches of the government are anti-video game. One of the few bit of government that has firmly sided with gamer in the debate of “Are Games the Devil?”, is the Supremee Court of the United States. And, as reported by Reason Magazine, it seems that this might be because, wait for it, they actually played the games they were deliberating about. Yes, it seems like a bunch of the Supreme Court Justices spent some time playing (or at least watching others play) incredibly violent games:

Before making that decision, however, several High Court judges thought they needed to see some of those games for themselves, according to remarks by Justice Elena Kagan earlier this week. “The justices are not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated people,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
So they decided to try playing some video games on their own. The result, she said, was “kind of hilarious.”
Kagan said the justices often turn to their clerks, who are much younger, to help them understand new technologies.
But they also try to learn on their own. In one case, involving violent video games the first year she was on the court, justices who had never played the games before dove in and gave them a try, Kagan said.
“It was kind of hilarious,” she said.
She didn’t say which games they played.
Now, conspiracy terrorists will while away the hours trying to prove than Clarence Thomas played a shit-ton of Skyrim, and his future voting habits were actually influenced by the feud between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks…

GTA V: Den of Cultists and Necrophilia

I'm not entirely surprised...

I’m not entirely surprised…

The ESRB released there rating information on GTA V recently, and while there are some parts of the rating that are pretty expected: violence, drinking, drugs. All the good stuff. Yet, there are a few things that are, hmmm, suprsing to say the least.

The game includes depictions of sexual material/activity: implied fellatio and masturbation; various sex acts that the player’s character procures from a prostitute—while no nudity is depicted in these sequences, various sexual moaning sounds can be heard. Nudity is present, however, primarily in two settings: a topless lap dance in a strip club and a location that includes male cult members with exposed genitalia in a non-sexual context. Within the game, TV programs and radio ads contain instances of mature humor: myriad sex jokes; depictions of raw sewage and feces on a worker’s body; a brief instance of necrophilia (no nudity is depicted).

Cultists? Necrophilia? Well, I guess GTA is going in a bit of an, interesting direction with its narrative….

Conneticut Legislature are Noobs

Oh, those Virtual Guns, Committing Virtual Crimes...

Oh, those Virtual Guns, Committing Virtual Crimes…

The Supreme Court may be on our side, but honestly, I think they may be one of the few. In connecticut, It seems that law makers are taking a slightly different approach, attacking a link between the real world and the virtual: gun marketing.

Connecticut Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) has sent a letter to top executives at the ESA, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, and Valve urging them to end the practice of licensing and marketing products from gun manufacturers for video games. The letter was addressed to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick, Valve front man Gabe Newell, and Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher.


In his letter, Sharkey urges these leaders to end all licensing and product placement agreements with gun-makers, which he calls “nefarious” and a possible contributing factor to the Newton school shooting last year that resulted in the deaths of 20 children, six adults, and the gunman that committed the brutal crime.
Sure, Product placement is a bitch and can be damn annoying at times, but here’s the thing: Is this actually gonna stop anyone from realizing “omg. that’s a gun!”? For instance, I’ve been playing a lot of PAYDAY 2 lately, and there’s not a single real world gun name on any of the weapons. However, every single one has been cleverly named to allude to a real world gun (i.e. the Deagle pistol clearly is a play on the Desert Eagle). That’s not going to fool anyone…

Ouya Hurls

This is a Pretty Good Indication of My Feelings...

This is a Pretty Good Indication of My Feelings…

Ah, The Ouya. Call it what you will: Noble Experiment, Horrid Failure, That Thing You Never Heard about, but that little company has got spunk. The Ouya is an Android based indie console that was being marketed as a cost effective alternative to mainstream consoles and games. Now, had they just stuck with that line…they might have done okay. Instead, last week, they released and then pulled a bizarre, vomit filled ad that confuses more than it sells.

Oooookay…

 

Nope, Totally A Good Idea…

Microtransactions seem to be, for the most part, a consistent hatred of the gaming community. Putting them in a game may make you more money, but you can be damn well sure that people are going to throw a fit. Normally, this is reserved to MMO’s and MOBA’s, but it seems that Microtransaction are also coming to Ryse: Son of Rome.

Booster packs come in different tiers that are tied to a player’s experience level, meaning that high-level packs won’t actually be available until you’ve advanced far enough into the game. “We specifically do that so you cannot pay to win,” Microsoft producer Justin Robey told Eurogamer. “Microtransactions are merely there as a convenience thing for people. It’s completely optional and is not required in any way, shape or form for gameplay. All content is accessible without using it.”


Robey said the microtransactions are there primarily for die-hard collectors who will most likely progress to more advanced tiers before earning all the items at their current level, and noted the actual benefit of buying them in advance is “really slim.” The system is also intended to be as “hidden and non-blatant as possible”; he compared Ryse microtransactions to those in Mass Effect 3 and FIFA and said the goal was to come up with something similarly “unobtrusive.”

Yeah. This was a good idea…