Parents, it’s your job to monitor video games
Inquirer - Harrow,Middlesex,UKTWO boffins claim that violent video games make you paranoid and more likely to indulge in booze and suffer from reefer madness. ...
Vancouver Sun (subscription) - Vancouver,British Columbia,CanadaAdvertising has been creeping into videogames in the past few years as virtual billboards that hawk real-world products like soft drinks and computer gear. ...
Ars Technica - Boston,MA,USAVideo games and Hollywood have a long history together. From the days of the Commodore 64 and Cinemaware there has been an uneasy ...
The Age - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia... gaming fix at a local amusement arcade with a pocketful of change.Earning the right to put your initials on the high-score table of coin-operated games such as ...
Microsoft sponsors world cyber games to '08
The games showcase some of the most cutting-edges video games in the industry, in addition to being the ground for gamers to flaunt their skills.
The software giant's patronage will include sponsoring all games, including three pan-regional championships, the Korean championship, the U.S. championship and the grand finals to be held in Monza, Italy.
Under the terms of the deal Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 will be the exclusive gaming platforms for the computers and consoles to be used.
"Microsoft's support for the WCG further validates the growing global popularity of e-sports. Having Microsoft as a partner reinforces the WCG's position as a pioneer of competitive gaming and as the premier event in global e-sports," Hank Jeong, chief executive of International Cyber Marketing, said in a news release.
PokerMag.com - USACleveland County authorities seized more than $300,000 in cash and three video poker machines during a bust Friday at the Prospect Country Store. ...
Gamasutra - San Francisco,CA,USAIt seems as if the US isn't the only place where video games have come under investigation by political bodies and activist groups. ...
Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,USAI'd wager that Odama is the only game that will ever fall into the "pinball military strategy" genre. Yet that's what game developer ...
Boomtown - Copenhagen,Denmark... The best complement to give these early arcade games is to their immediacy. ... One of the first arcade games I remember playing and elegant in its simplicity. ...
Move, baby, move … healthy kick in video games
By Julie Robotham, Medical EditorApril 15, 2006
PLAYING video games can give boys a physical workout that raises their blood pressure and heart rate and burns as many calories as brisk walking or cycling, US researchers say.
The discovery meant computer gaming - often said to contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic - should no longer be classified as a sedentary pastime, and might even help fight fat, said Arlette Perry, of the University of Miami's exercise and sports sciences department.
In her study - the first on how the bodies of primary school-aged children respond to game play - 21 boys were hooked up to monitors while they played Tekken 3, a mock martial arts contest, on a Sony PlayStation.
Dr Perry told the boys, all avid video gamers aged between seven and 10, that they were competing. The boys' heart rates sped up, they burned up more energy and they began breathing more quickly, although Dr Perry, an exercise physiologist, said the latter was more likely to be from excitement than exertion.
If children opted out of sport in order to spend time playing video games, that might contribute to weight gain, but "if … used to replace time spent watching television or simply resting, video game play can serve to more positively affect energy expenditure", Dr Perry wrote in the journal Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. "Video game play is not a passive activity in young children."
Computer and video games are among the most popular leisure activities among Australian children, after watching television and reading.
In an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey in 2003, 82 per cent of boys and 59 per cent of girls said they played them. Boys were heavier users - 46 per cent devoted at least 10 hours a week to them, compared with 23 per cent of girls.
But Dr Perry cautioned that gaming could not be a substitute for traditional exercise. It had little effect on children's glucose and lactate levels - important for protecting against heart disease - possibly because it did not involve much muscle movement.
Michael Booth, a pediatrician and director of the NSW Centre for Overweight and Obesity, criticised Dr Perry's study, saying the children might have been particularly overexcited and fidgety from playing a new game in unfamiliar surroundings, and this might explain their apparent exertion.
The Miami researchers should also have studied the boys in other nominally inactive pastimes to draw more reliable conclusions, he said. "Little boys are Brownian motion. They can't sit still," Dr Booth said.
Marilyn Cullura has no games console in the house. "I'd rather he was out playing with a football," said the Drummoyne mother of her son Daniele.
As Daniele, 11, played with a Microsoft Xbox at the Royal Easter Show yesterday, Ms Cullura was preparing for renewed pressure to let him join the ranks of home gamers. "If he hears they're not a bad thing there'll be trouble," she said.
GLOBAL VR TO DEVELOP NASCAR RACER
Video game maker Global VR has signed an exclusive agreement with consumer giant Electronic Arts to develop and manufacture a coin-operated video game based on EA's popular NASCAR racing game.
With the new NASCAR game, players will select from today's most popular drivers, including Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, drive in official cars and select tracks such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Daytona. Perhaps the most important new element will be the use of cutting edge technology in the game's development, says Global VR. State-of-the-art graphics, AI and physics engines promise to deliver a racing experience that could only be replicated in the cockpit of an official NASCAR vehicle.
"As a multi-platinum hit on the home consoles, this franchise has tremendous significance for EA and now for Global VR," said Jim DeRose, Global VR Chairman and CEO. "We have assembled a team of developers who are avid gamers as well as NASCAR fanatics and we plan to deliver a ground breaking racing experience for fans of racing and driving games."
"We believe the coin-op NASCAR game will deliver a unique gaming experience and will bring the excitement of NASCAR gaming to a whole new audience," said Jon Dean, EA's NASCAR Executive Producer.
NASCAR is the number one spectator sport holding 17 of the top 20 attended sporting events in the U.S. It is also the number two rated regular-season sport on television with broadcasts in over 150 countries, and has 75 million fans who purchase over $2 billion in annual licensed product sales.
PUMP IT UP TOURNEY HELD AT MALL OF AMERICA
For the second year in a row, the Pump-It-Up Championship Series dance competition took place in Bloomington, MN, on March 25, 2006. Held onstage at The Park in the heart of Mall of America, a crowd of hundreds witnessed dozens of contestants from eight states competing for a share of the $1,200 cash purse and exclusive Pump merchandise. Using Andamiro's Pump-It-Up: ZERO, the newly-released and only officially designated version of the PCS, the showdown on the popular dance game rejuvenated players throughout the region with excitement and extra incentive to train further for future tournaments, including the World Pump Festival (WPF) to be held later this year in Seoul, Korea.
The PCS will continue its main event tour across the nation with the next event in June at a soon-to-be announced location. Winners from each of the main events will be pre-qualified for the U.S. National Competition currently scheduled for September 2006. After winning the national title, the new U.S. champions will receive all-expense paid trips to represent the United States at the World Championships at the WPF this November. For more information on the PCS and WPF, visit www.piugame.com.
Guinness World Records to publish pinball scores
Here’s more information:
For the first time in its 52-year history, Guinness World Records(tm) will be publishing pinball scores. As part of a partnership with the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard, the world authority on electronic gaming records, the Guinness World Records 2007(tm) Book will include a table of pinball high scores on 10 different games, researched and verified by Walter Day of Twin Galaxies.
The Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame, opened in February, 2006 to commemorate the history of pinball, will be the official site of the event. Organized by Tim Arnold and other members of the Las Vegas Pinball Collector's Club, the Pinball Hall of Fame enjoys a non-profit charter and is the world's only museum created solely to document the history of Pinball.
To bring organization to the process of gathering scores in time for the May 1st publishing deadline of the Guinness World Records 2007(tm) Book, Twin Galaxies has resurrected its most famous contest: the Video Game & Pinball Masters Tournament, which hasn't been conducted since 1997. This year's edition of the contest -- as well as the 1997 Video Game & Pinball Masters Tournament -- are both descended from the original contest that Twin Galaxies created in the 1980s to gather scores for the U.S. edition of the record book, which was then called the Guinness Book of World Records. The editors at Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., publishers of the U.S. edition at that time, designated Walter Day an Assistant Editor, and put him in charge of verifying all video game records for the annual volume.
To facilitate the process of supplying Sterling Publishing with verified high scores, Twin Galaxies created the Video Game Masters Tournament, which was conducted on more than 100 video game titles in dozens of locations throughout North America. The results were published in the 1984-1987 U.S. editions of the Guinness Book of World Records. Today, to continue the tradition of supplying world records to the Guinness World Records Book, this modern incarnation of the contest will focus mostly on pinball with some video game titles thrown in.
To see the poster for the event and to watch for news updates, go to: (www.twingalaxies.com).
The Simpsons movie coming to theaters near you
A feature film based on the hit television series "The Simpsons" will premiere in theaters worldwide July 27. Starring in the animated film are series regulars Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Pamela Hayden, and Tress MacNeille. Guest starring in the movie are Erin Brockovich, Minnie Driver, and Albert Brooks. Producing the feature are "The Simpsons" series executive producer James Brooks, creator Matt Groening, current showrunner Al Jean, Mike Scully, and Richard Sakai.The film's debut is bound to create interest in anything related to the Simpsons clan, especially products from Stern Pinball such as the new redemption game The Simpsons Kooky Carnival and The Simpsons Pinball Party pinball game. For more information about Stern's Simpson'-themed games, check with local distributors or call (800)966-9873; Web (www.pinballmachines4sale.com). "The Simpsons" is the longest-running comedy series in the history of television.
Golden Tee LIVE kits now available
CBC News - CanadaNEW YORK (AP) - Advertising has been creeping into video games in the past few years as virtual billboards that hawk real-world products like soft drinks and ...
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The French Collection
Mention the words "pinball" and "museum" in the same sentence and your thoughts might turn to Tim Arnold's Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas (which Pinball News will be visiting shortly for a full report).
But the city in the desert is now joined as home to a superb collection of classic pinball games by Paris. http://pinballnews.com/news/museum2.html
ROCHESTER GAMEROOM SHOW
The first Rochester Gameroom Show takes place in the Minett Hall. Brian Spindler is our guide to the 170 pinball machines and 60 arcade games.
The first annual Rochester Game Room Show came together after months of planning by the members of the Western New York Pinball & Arcade Group and American Sports Media. On move-in day the excitement was building as the first vendors and pinball machines showed up.
Yahoo! News (press release) - USA... representing intellectual property, game developers and game-services companies to the interactive entertainment industry, with a primary focus on video games. ...
Gamespy.com - Irvine,CA,USA... by Terminal Reality in Texas, Metal Slug Collection will feature (presumably) arcade-perfect emulations of six of the seven Metal Slug arcade games: Metal Slug ...
Parents, it’s your job to monitor video games
April 8, 2006
BY HEATHER NEWMAN
FREE PRESS GAME WRITER
Jennifer Mirisciotti, 24, of Eastpointe and her pink Xbox. (MANDI WRIGHT/DFP)
How to get started in video gaming
Thinking about jumping into this whole gaming thing? Here are some places to start.
• If you'd like to fool around with some casual games (puzzles, card games and simple games that are easy to pick up and put down), consider http://www.pogo.com/, which has a huge variety and 60% female players.
• If you want to see gameplay videos from games in all genres, check out http://www.gametrailers.com/.
• If you want to chat with other female gamers, check out http://www.womengamers.com/, http://www.gamegoddesses.com/, http://www.gamegirladvance.com/, http://www.grrlgamer.com/, http://www.gamegirlz.com/, the Webring for women who play video games (http://rinoa.nu/gamegirl) and the PMS Clan (http://www.pmsclan.com/).
• If you want to meet women in the biz, try Women in Games International (http://www.womeningamesinternational.org/) or the International Game Developers Association women in game development page (www.igda.org/women) for advice on getting started, information about conferences and scholarships and forums where female game developers gather.
Cheri Lynne VandenHeuvel, 36, Detroit (working for six months in Montgomery, Ala.): "My husband and I actually had a fight after we got married because he went out and bought an Xbox before we got our wedding pictures. Well, I came down with a really bad cold and I was stuck on the couch. He stuck an Xbox controller in my hand. I was in the same spot, playing furiously, when he got home five hours later.
Yvonne Cameron, 51, Livonia: "My kids and I engage in puzzle-type games, as well as 'Smash Bros.,' as a way of winding down. I find them more likely to let me know what's on their minds or going on in their lives while we play together."
Patti Hogarty, 41, Center Line: "A couple times a year after a real stressful job is concluded, I hunker down with a good game for a couple weeks as a stress reliever. Then, I play about 6 hours a day or more."
Jennifer Mirisciotti -- and her custom-painted pink-and-white Xbox -- represents the growing number of women who are hard-core gamers.
"I'm not a big fan of the color pink," said Mirisciotti, 24, of Eastpointe. "But when I kick some guy's butt, it hurts their ego even more to get their butt kicked by a chick with a pink Xbox!"
Women make up 43% of all video game players, according to the 2005 survey by the Entertainment Software Association. That's up from 38% in a similar survey in 2003. Though women aren't quite yet the majority among game players, they're involved in 55% of all game-buying decisions, according to the association of the video game makers.
Local gamers say that women have come a long, long way.
"I have found that 90% of the women I play against/with are better than average players or downright awesome," said Lora Day, 40, of Melvindale, aka "Daygirl."
You probably wouldn't want to take on 15-year-old Tanisha Walton of Detroit in football. She commonly cleans the clocks of many guys in "Madden NFL."
Not too surprising, considering that both her mother and her younger sister also play.
"People are very surprised to hear I'm a gamer. And the reason is because I'm a young lady," Tanisha said. "I guess people think women are only on this earth to cook, clean, shop, talk on the phone and talk to guys. I'm sorry to say it, but women are taking over some things now."
There are also a surprising number of women who play after having picked up a controller or mouse later in life when they saw others enjoying it.
"I've been playing since my granddaughters got a PlayStation for Christmas one year," said Gayle Rogers, 63, of Saline. "They had a bowling game that we all enjoyed, and that hooked me into getting my own system. I play mostly the 'Everyone' type of game, like 'Spyro,' 'Ape Escape' and so on."
But with hard-core games -- titles where you shell out big bucks as opposed to those oh-so-addictive casual games on Web sites or Xbox Live Arcade -- the number of female players drops to about 1 in 5.
Critics say the men's club of developers in these games sometimes leads to demeaning portraits of women. Frequently women are portrayed as sex objects, like the buxom babes who crawl all over the heroes in most action games. Or they're immoral targets of violence, like the prostitutes you can beat up for cash in "Grand Theft Auto."
Violence specifically portrayed against women, patronizing "pink" video games marketed just for girls and other gaming faux pas tend to drive women away.
Still, the percentage of women in the industry is growing rapidly, with analysts agreeing that gaming companies are working to increase their gender diversity.
The number of women in the industry has risen from 5% to 11.5% in the last few years, according to the International Game Developers Association. The majority are employed in marketing, operations and human resources, not game development.
"The momentum is really picking up," said Sheri Graner Ray, industry veteran and author of "Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market."
"I feel like there's hope now," she said. "I wasn't feeling that way a few years ago."
The urge strikes
Lauren Taube, 15, of Brighton started playing young, and now she's captivated by gaming.
"Last year, I had to give a persuasive speech in my English class," she said. "Can you guess what I did it on? Yeah, that's right: video games."
Many of the female gamers interviewed said they liked the chat, interaction and competition they got from playing games against folks online.
The reception from opponents who find out on voice chat that they're playing against women is generally good, the female players said, though the guys are often surprised.
"I really don't notice much of any difference playing with girls or guys online," said Zack Rovinsky, 17, of Birmingham. "They play just as hard, talk just as much trash and get just as ticked when they loose. The only difference is that every guy in the game feels the need to ask if she's really a girl."
Ruth Songer, 54, of Dryden said gaming is her dirty little secret.
"It all started out so harmlessly about eight years ago," she said. "I saw a young man playing a demo game in a store." Her husband "thought I was crazy but bought me a PlayStation for Christmas that year.
"Initially, I would go to stores and pretend to be purchasing games for our son. We have no son. Eventually, I just dropped the pretense, and now I complain loudly to the store clerk about how often game release dates are set back
Korea Times - South Korea... commentators Shin Moon-sun of SBS and Jang Ji-hyun of MBC ESPN at the microphone, hoping that they can bring the nation's football fever to video games. ...
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