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Comparing film and video game ratings

August 20, 2007 Statistics show that computer games are no longer the domain of children and teenagers yet the general perception exists that games are corrupting our children and should be subject to censorship. Indeed, so strict is the current ratings system in comparison to film ratings that Factor 5 president Julian Eggebrecht described the current censorship regime as McCarthyism in his keynote today at the prestigious Games Convention Developer’s Conference in Leipzig. The keynote, entitled “No Sex, No Drugs, and Little Rock and Roll” covers the history of the ratings system for both films and games and the bizarre inconsistencies between them. TheGamergene has full video of Eggebrecht’s fascinating and thought provoking presentation here.  Read More

Checkers “solved” using up to 200 computers at a time

August 8, 2007 After 18 years of work, Jonathan Schaeffer from the University of Alberta, has announced the completion of Chinook, a checkers playing program that has calculated every possible playing scenario on a checkers board with ten checkers or less remaining. After evaluating the data, Schaeffer’s team concluded that whenever two players play through a game without making a single error, they will unavoidably reach a draw. It means that whenever Chinook plays competitively, be it with a computer or human, it simply will not lose.  Read More

FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage

July 24, 2007 Our new video game blog The Gamer Gene have posted a review of FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage for the Xbox 360. If you couldn't tell from the name alone, this is no racing simulation - quite the opposite in fact. If Forza MotorSport 2 was a little bland for you, how do you like the sound of aerial shortcuts, nitro boosts, destructible environments (and opponents) and rewards for full-contact racing? Read the full review here.  Read More

The Falcon Game Controller - with realistic force feedback

UPDATED IMAGES June 30, 2007 We all know the keyboard and mouse are NOT the future of the computer human interface, and to be frank, we’re getting a bit sick of waiting for a replacement capable of generating critical mass. One device with the potential to play a role in the next generation interface, at least in the area of computer games, began shipping this month. Novint Technologies’ highly anticipated, award-winning Novint Falcon game controller is now available in a special Limited Edition bundle. The Falcon is an entirely new type of 3D game interface that makes virtual objects and environments feel real. Replacing a computer mouse or joystick, the US$190 Falcon is, essentially a small robot that lets you feel shape, weight, texture, dimension, dynamics, 3D motion, and force effects when playing enabled games.  Read More

Game Advertising growing at 33% CAGR - more than any other medium

June 29, 2007 Computer games, be they console- or PC-based, elicit a level of involvement far beyond anything man’s ingenuity has previously created. The ability to produce an instantaneous and appropriate response to every action can generate a realism and intensity of connection waaay beyond the passive experience of watching television, or the audio wallpaper of radio, with a passion approaching that of procreation. This has not escaped the world’s most creative and influential minds (aka advertising creative directors) who see this as the ideal circumstance in which to deliver a message that will stay with us – gaming offers both a wonderful new way to interact with a brand, and an opportune time to tattoo a brand name on the psyche while the brain is open and engaged. Right now, household penetration of game consoles is approaching mainstream media status, yet the average monthly household advertising expenditure of the medium is less than 50 cents, compared to US$37 for broadcast TV. Is it any wonder then that this seriously under-leveraged advertising medium will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33% until 2012, much higher than that of other major advertising media, including TV, radio, print, and the Internet.  Read More

Nintendo's DS system: wildly popular and achieving widespread market domination.

June 26, 2007 A Nintendo in every pocket? The phenomenally successful Nintendo DS handheld gaming console is comprehensively trouncing the more powerful Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) around the world - but nowhere is Nintendo mania more alive than in Japan, where on current sales and penetration figures, a key industry analysis firm has forecast that 89% of Japanese households will have a Nintendo DS by the year 2011. What a stunning figure!  Read More

Fatal1ty continues to build cyber-athlete profile

June 13, 2007 There are no really valid metrics for the sport of computer gaming, which encompasses multiple platforms, dozens of genres, thousands of titles and a billion regular participants, but all things considered, Johnathan Fatal1ty Wendel is unquestionably the world’s best gamer. The 26 year-old cyber-athlete turned professional in 1999 and has since won more pro comps and prize money than any other gamer, including 10 World titles on FIVE DIFFERENT GAMES. He has won 67% of all the competitions he has entered and been top three in 92% of them. Fatal1ty trains like an athlete at least eight hours a day, running and playing tennis and honing his reflexes, strategies and other requisite skills to ensure he remains the most visible and well remunerated cyber-athlete on the planet. In keeping with the cult of celebrity, Fatal1ty is now beginning to rub shoulders with iconic names in other fields. His latest exploits at Computex Taipei, where he won the final shootout with a scoreline of 74 to minus 3 will only add to the growing legend.  Read More


June 6, 2007 It is perhaps the most sought after technological goal in the digital age, an interface that will allow you to throw away the humble keyboard and mouse and take control of your computer by simply thinking. The latest foray into this rapidly evolving field is the Neural Impulse Actuator, a gaming interface prototype unveiled at Computex 2007 that reads brain signals instead of keyboard strokes to provide a hands-free computer control.  Read More

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – the DVD game

June 2, 2007 TV ratings don’t lie – for better or worse, it seems the format of the popular TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, which somehow makes it look easy for anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size to win a bundle, just keeps pulling massive audiences. In this age of multi-medium franchises, it was only a matter of time before the TV Show followed the path of “Deal or No Deal” and “Family Feud” and now we can report that Imagination International Corp (IIC) has inked a three-year deal with Disney/ABC for the exclusive rights to the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire DVD Game. The game will be available in Q3 for US$20.  Read More

Spiderman 3 (Xbox 360)

May 22, 2007 Movie licensed games are typically horrible, and should be avoided at all costs. The precedent was set way back in 1982, when lengthy licensing negotiations left a single Atari programmer with just 5 weeks to conceive and develop the entire "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" game. Despite being widely regarded as the worst game ever made, it sold 1.5 million copies - making it the eighth best selling game for the Atari 2600. For obvious reasons, countless movies have been turned into games since 1982, and a mere few gems like Goldeneye 007 and Star Wars Episode 1: Pod Racer have emerged from the noise. Did the developers of Spiderman 3 get enough development time to deliver a polished game in time for the movie? Our Games Editor has the full story.  Read More

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