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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Video Gaming


Heavy Rain: Video game breakthrough
San Francisco Chronicle, 2/22/2010

The plot to Heavy Rain - a serial killer sets in motion a tense drama - may not sound that different compared with other offerings at the local theater.

But the twist is that Heavy Rain is a video game, one that is blurring the lines between movies and games and aspires to take the interactive entertainment industry to new artistic and emotional heights.

[read on]


Study: Women love games but fear social stigmas
CNET, 2/16/2010

Long viewed as a male-dominated hobby, video games are increasingly attracting the interest of women - a trend that hasn't gone unnoticed by the video game industry.

In an attempt to learn more about how the growing number of social games resonate with women, Q Interactive and Engage Expo surveyed 700 women to see how they really feel.

[read on]


U.S. Videogame Sales Turn Sluggish
The Wall Street Journal, 2/12/2010

U.S. retail sales of videogames and consoles fell 13% to $1.17 billion in January, underscoring comments from game publishers who have recently warned business was sluggish.

Data from research firm NPD Group confirms the industry is off to a slow start for the year. It also lends weight to conservative 2010 outlooks provided earlier in the week by Electronic Arts Inc. and Activision Blizzard Inc. Both told investors during conference calls after their earnings that 2010 videogame sales would likely be flat or drop compared to last year.

[read on]


Video game makers look for 2010 turnaround
Reuters, 2/3/2010

With a dismal 2009 finally in the rearview mirror, expectations are low for the industry as key game publishers prepare to release results from the crucial holiday season.

That could present a buying opportunity in a sector that underperformed the market last year, some analysts say.

Many expect video game software sales to grow robustly this year over the depressed levels of 2009, and say investors may have been a too bearish on the sector, particularly Activision Blizzard Inc, whose shares look attractive.

[read on]


Bigger Brains Make Better Gamers, Study Says
Wired, 1/21/2010

The size of certain parts of the brain can be used to predict videogame prowess, according to new research.

A study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex found that accomplishment in a special videogame could be predicted by measuring three parts of test subjects' brains.

[read on]


Tetris hits 100 million mobile phone milestone
USA Today, 1/20/2010

Already recognized as one of the top video games of all time, Tetris has hit another milestone: 100 million paid mobile phone downloads. The game, created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, is the most ported game, according to The Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, with more than 55 different platforms.
[read on]


Tetris hits 100 million mobile phone milestone
USA Today, 1/20/2010

Already recognized as one of the top video games of all time, Tetris has hit another milestone: 100 million paid mobile phone downloads. The game, created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, is the most ported game, according to The Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, with more than 55 different platforms.
[read on]


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 tops $1 billion in sales
Los Angeles Times, 1/14/2010

The video game industry got a shot of good news Wednesday before what's expected to be a final dose of bad news on 2009 today.

Activision Blizzard Inc. said sales of its blockbuster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have exceeded $1 billion worldwide since it launched Nov. 10.
[read on]


Video Game Giant Electronic Arts Sticks by Tiger Woods
Fox News, 1/5/2010

Video game giant Electronic Arts Sports is moving forward with plans to introduce a Tiger Woods online game, the company said Tuesday.[read on]


The 911 on video game obsession
Boston Herald, 12/21/2009

It's game over for a 14-year-old Roxbury boy, whose overwhelmed mother was so exasperated with his incessant video game playing that she called the cops on him.

The final straw for Angela Mejia snapped at 2:30 a.m. Saturday when, "I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the light on in his bedroom," hours after she had told him to go to sleep.

[read on]


Fitness games are reshaping medium
Associated Press, 12/10/2009

At first glance, the rack of video games seems out of place next to the row of elliptical machines at The Sports Authority in Burbank, Calif. The nation's largest sports retailer partnered with Nintendo last month to sell the popular Wii console and games. It's another sign of the times: Video games aren't just for shooting aliens anymore.
[read on]


Video game ratings board releases iPhone app
CNET News, 12/1/2009

I love tools that are all about providing people with information they want, and on Tuesday, the video game industry's official ratings board got my attention with something awfully useful.

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) announced on Tuesday its new iPhone app, which is designed to put the board's full written summaries of more than 2,500 video games right at parents' fingertips.

[read on]


There are plenty of great options for growing gamers — and their parents
MSNBC, 11/24/2009

The preteen and teen crowd can be a tricky group to buy computer and video games for. They're too old to stay interested in kiddie games and they're too young for the M-rated fare.

The good news is, if you know where to look, there are plenty of excellent options suitable for your growing gamers ...

[read on]


This holiday season, let the games begin!
MSNBC, 11/24/2009

It's almost too humiliating to admit, but I'm going to suck it up and confess my secret shame. Consider it a gift for the holidays.

A few days ago, my 64-year-old mother and I were playing the coin-battle mode in the "New Super Mario Bros. Wii" game.
[read on]


Best games for kids under 10
MSNBC, 11/18/2009

For a medium with a kiddie reputation, it's suprising how few games are actually designed for children. Granted, there are numerous games with an "Everyone" rating. But many of these are too advanced for even fourth-grade players, let alone preschoolers.[read on]


Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 friend Facebook
Associated Press, 11/18/2009

Users of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game consoles can now brag about their achievements on Facebook as both systems integrate the social network this week.

Microsoft Corp. switched on a slew of new features for its Xbox Live online service, allowing owners of the Xbox 360 consoles to update Facebook and Twitter directly from their consoles.
[read on]


Give the gift of gaming accessories
MSNBC, 11/11/2009

If you're thinking about giving the gift of gaming this holiday, then try thinking beyond the video and computer games themselves. Instead, to help the gamers in your life get the most out of their playing experiences, consider buying a gaming peripheral instead.[read on]


Gaming for Girls
ABClocal.go.com, 11/8/2009

Video games have long been the domain of teenage boys and young men, but no more. According to financial firm "Wedbush Morgan", female gamers now make up 40-percent of the video game market. Compare that with less than 12-percent of females playing video games in 2001.[read on]


Give the gift of a perfect gaming machine
MSNBC, 11/1/2009

Nothing says "I love you" like giving the gift of a game machine. You're not only delivering a shiny piece of modern technology, you're also providing a loved one on your list with the key to countless hours of thrilling entertainment.

The good news for you and your wallet is that this holiday is a great time to buy a gaming device.

[read on]


Video Games (No Controller Needed)
The New York Times, 10/26/2009

Since my first Allman Brothers concert almost two decades ago, I have paid retail to attend at least 50 sold-out rock concerts at the Beacon Theater on Broadway.

Yet I had never seen hundreds of people enter the concert hall a full hour before showtime until Sunday night, when "Video Games Live" sold out the hall.
[read on]


Heavy duty video gamers have less focus
UPI.com, 10/23/2009

High-volume action video game players -- those who play about 40 hours a week -- had more difficulty keeping focused on longer tasks, U.S. researchers say.

The study, published online in the journal Psychophysiology, also supports research published within the last year linking video game-playing addiction to attention deficit disorder.
[read on]


As recession bites, video gamers turn to downloads
Reuters, 10/15/2009

As the recession takes a bite out of video games sales in the stores, consumers are opting to download more games to save money while keeping themselves entertained.

Video game sales slid 14 percent in the United States in the first eight months of 2009, according to The NPD Group, as consumers downloaded more videogames on PCs, consoles and mobile devices like PSP, Nintendo DSi and iPod Touch and iPhone.

[read on]


PC Gamers: A Dying Breed?
TechNewsWorld, 10/8/2009

Gamers are often devided into two categories: those who play on consoles and those who play on PCs.

A console gamer will drop few hundred dollars for Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360, or Nintendo's Wii, but a PC gamer who wants to purchase a desktop or laptop optimized for gaming could pay thousands just for the machine.



[read on]


Will Gaming Come to Your Multiplex?
PCWorld, 10/1/2009

As a gamer, I'm enamored with the idea of playing a shoot-em-up on a 50-foot screen, surrounded by Dolby audio. And I can't be the only one.

Unfortunately, these incidents are rare, but on Monday and Tuesday, the stars will align, and Sony will let people in four U.S. theaters try the upcoming (and universally lauded) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the Playstation 3.



[read on]


Top 5 next-gen PC games
MSNBC, 9/29/2009

Personal computers make for pretty rad gaming machines. You don't have to buy a second system to play games. By far, PCs have the largest library of titles — many of which have free trials. PC games usually sell for $10 to $20 less than console games. And the online multiplayer is (usually) free. The bad news is that not everyone's PC is capable of playing newer, high-definition games.

[read on]


Dads Still Got Game, but the Kids Have Got Talent
The WashingtonPost, 9/26/2009

It's a football Sunday, and between NFL matchups on television, Tyson Cole-Hines and his 9-year-old stepson create their own drama on the field with a video game on their Xbox 360.
This is a father-son pastime, playing Madden NFL 10 or NBA 2K8 on a 62-inch flat screen. But late at night, the gaming gets edgier.

[read on]


Which game machine is right for you?
MSNBC, 9/25/2009

Gamers, would-be gamers and those considering buying games for the gamers in their lives — now is the time to dance your happy dance. This holiday is shaping up to be an excellent one for you and you and you. And, most importantly, for your wallets too.

[read on]


In dark gaming times, the Nintendo DS shines
MSNBC, 9/18/2009

If you’re a fan of video games and enjoy watching the corporate rivalries that go along with them, then get this: Apple execs totally dissed the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP game machines last week.

[read on]


Is the president a video game hater?
MSNBC, 9/11/2009

For a guy who once said he hadn't played a video game since "Pong," President Barack Obama sure has a lot to say about video games these days.

Or at least, he has a lot to say ... for a commander-in-chief.



[read on]


FCC Report Praises Video Game Ratings
Kotaku.com, 9/6/2009

Remember how news about a week ago that the FCC was looking into a universal ratings system spooked the video game sector? Relax. A report delivered to Congress expresses a rather high opinion of how games are self-regulated.



[read on]


Video games may improve concentration in children with ADHD
Examiner.com, 9/4/2009

Can video gaming improve concentration in kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? A small study presented at the 162nd annual American Psychiatric Association (APA) claims it could.

[read on]


Console wars: Microsoft drops Xbox 360 price
MSNBC, 8/27/2009

The video game rumor mill has been churning out some remarkably accurate gossip this month. The latest tongue wagging to turn out true: Microsoft is indeed slashing the price of its Xbox 360 Elite game machine from $399 to $299. [read on]


U.S. Will Consider Single Rating System for TV, Phones, Games
Bloomberg.com, 8/26/2009

U.S. regulators will consider a single ratings system that would warn parents of programming on television, video games, and wireless telephones that could be inappropriate for children, officials said. [read on]


Study: Average gamer is 35, fat and bummed
MSNBC, 8/18/2009

A new study says the average age of video-game players in the United States is 35, and oh, by the way: They're overweight and tend to be depressed.

Investigators from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Andrews University analyzed survey data from 552 adults in the Seattle-Tacoma area.



[read on]


U.S. Video Game Sales Down 29 Percent in July
The New York Times, 8/13/2009

U.S. video game equipment and software sales fell 29 percent in July to $848.9 million, research group NPD said on Thursday, as the gaming industry limps through the economic downturn.

 

Hardware sales fell 37 percent from a year ago, while software sales slid 26 percent, NPD said.

[read on]


220,000 Wii recharging stations recalled
Associated Press, 8/11/2009

About 220,000 Psyclone Essentials and React Wii 4-dock battery recharging stations, manufactured in China and distributed by Griffin International Cos. Inc. of Minneapolis, because the battery pack can overheat.

 

The company has received six reports of overheating, including two hand burns.

[read on]


Bored by video games? Kids taking to board games again
Chicago Sun-Times, 8/6/2009

At Katie Pugh's house, the kids don't ask to play Guitar Hero or watch yet another princess movie after the family eats dinner.

Instead, her 6-year-old son, Jake, and 3-year-old daughter, Josie, are thrilled to play a board game before bedtime.

[read on]


Screen Time Boosts Kids' Blood Pressure
WebMD, 8/4/2009

Too much “screen time,” whether it's watching TV, using a computer, or playing a video game, may raise the blood pressure of young children, a new study shows.

This is true even if the children are not obese or overweight, researchers report in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

[read on]


Screen Time Boosts Kids' Blood Pressure
WebMD, 8/4/2009

Too much “screen time,” whether it's watching TV, using a computer, or playing a video game, may raise the blood pressure of young children, a new study shows.

This is true even if the children are not obese or overweight, researchers report in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

[read on]


Video Gamers Hooked for Life
LiveScience, 7/31/2009

Video gamers are gamers for life, analysts say. And that's no surprise to the industry that peddles the games and the hardware, which grew last year as the rest of the economy went south.

But health experts are worried that the deepening love affair some gamers have with their consoles may lead to addiction..

[read on]


News Corp: Increased Focus On MySpace As Gaming Platform
Gamasutra, 7/24/2009

MySpace owner News Corp. says it sees gaming as a crucial element to the social network's expansion, and is considering opportunities to attract video game companies into launching their titles on the site and growing MySpace's current game offerings. [read on]


Active Video Games A Good Alternative To Moderate Exercise For Kids, Study Suggests
ScienceDaily, 7/16/2009

Scientists at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found that playing active video games can be as effective for children as moderate exercise. The findings appear this week in the journal Pediatrics from the American Academy of Pediatrics. [read on]


Playful New Ways to Waste Your Time
New York Times, 7/10/2009

Facebook provides so many ways to while away your existence.

Do I want to read about the latest baby exploits from the legion of young mothers? Do I want to try to decipher the existential koans some of my friends seem to mistake for status updates? Perhaps click through a few dozen random party pictures? It’s all so diverting.

[read on]


Is gaming good for the mind?
Yahoo.com, 7/2/2009

Remember training your brain through games? Since bursting onto the scene a few years ago in Nintendo's hit Brain Training games, the concept of gaming our way to bigger, better cortexes has flamed out a bit, due largely to a flood of poorly-made, copycat titles and the dwindling of the belief that this sort of thing actually makes you smarter. [read on]


Health video games become serious business
Reuters, 6/25/2009

Videogames were once blamed for rising obesity rates but are now being championed by the medical industry and for use by government departments for their health benefits.

Games like Electronic Arts' "EA Sports Active" and Nintendo's "Wii Fit" have got players of all ages moving — and game developers and investors looking for hot new titles to cash in on this booming segment of the market.

[read on]


Hands-on with the PSP Go
Yahoo! Tech, 6/24/2009

I finally got the chance to spend some hands-on time with Sony's smaller, slide-up revamp of the PSP, and I came away impressed. The Go is indeed lighter and more compact than its predecessors, with easy-to-use controls and—more importantly—an improved display. But it still has that hefty $249 price tag. [read on]


My son is addicted to a violent computer game
Times Online, 6/16/2009

Q: My son is 12 and is addicted to a computer game that is suitable for over-16s. It is violent and features shooting and killing. I got divorced two years ago on the grounds of my husband’s unreasonable behaviour and his drinking. My son has contact with him every weekend.

The problem started when my ex-husband encouraged my son to play this violent game.

[read on]


Smarter Video Games, Smarter Kids
BusinessWeek, 6/16/2009

I read with great interest BusinessWeek.com's coverage of the video game industry's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in California—especially given recent research claims that nearly 1 in 10 American children and teens who play video games show behavioral signs that may indicate addiction. As a result, parents and educators are concerned that avid video game playing may lead to poor test results and grades. [read on]


Motion controls move games into the future
MSNBC, 6/11/2009

Dear readers, I have seen the future of gaming!

Here, see for yourselves. Check out the preview for the upcoming sci-fi flick “Gamer,” and you’ll see a future in which video game enthusiasts use their bodies to control their games.

[read on]


Sony Unveils New Portable Game Player
The New York Times, 6/2/2009

Trying to reclaim its leadership in the quickly shifting video game market, Sony announced on Tuesday that it would introduce a new version of its hand-held PlayStation Portable console this fall.

The new version, called the PSP Go, is scheduled to be introduced in the United States and Europe in October and cost $249.

[read on]


Microsoft unveils motion control for Xbox 360
Associated Press, 6/1/2009

Gamers, get ready for your close-up.

Microsoft introduced a prototype camera Monday that can be used as a controller for the Xbox 360. Codenamed "Project Natal," the camera eliminates the need for a hand-held input device — instead, the gizmo can track a player's full body movement, recognize their face and voice, scan images of real items and respond to both physical and vocal commands.

[read on]


Blockbuster Gets Ready to Test Online Game Rental
WebProNews, 5/27/2009

As Blockbuster.com continues its struggle to compete with the much more popular Netflix movie rental service, the company is starting an online video game rental offering to compliment its movie offering.

This was announced a while back, but today's announcement puts a date to its launch - June 30. It will start in Cleveland, but is planned to go nationwide by the end of the year.

[read on]


Women's fitness proving to be a new market for video games
San Francisco Chronicle, 5/22/2009

One of the most successful games over the past year wasn't a shooter, action or racing game. It's Wii Fit, the third-best-selling game of 2008 after premiering a year ago.

Aimed at the women's fitness market, Wii Fit continues to be a hot seller in 2009, earning the top game spot in three of the first four months of the year.

[read on]


Study: More Americans play video games than go to movies
USA Today, 5/21/2009

Nearly two out of three Americans have played a video game in the past six months, more than the number of those who have gone to the movies, says a study from entertainment research firm The NPD Group. [read on]


Xbox 360 to challenge Wii with motion-sensing camera?
ZDNet, 5/13/2009

The Wall Street Journal may have spoiled one of Microsoft's big surprises at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo. The Journal Tuesday posted an article sourcing "people familiar with the matter" as saying Microsoft "is developing a new video camera for its Xbox 360 video game console that will allow players to control games with the movement of their bodies." [read on]


TV vs. Video Games vs. the Babysitter
GotGame, 5/8/2009

Everyone is looking for inexpensive ways of doing things, from necessities like food, shelter, and clothing to frivolous entertainment.

Families in which both parents work can definitely feel the strain of trying to support not only themselves, but also their kids. Who can determine the appropriate place to draw the line between frugality and a refusal to face responsibility?

[read on]


iPhone Games: Some Gold Buried in the Glitter
TechNewsWorld, 4/29/2009

With more than 9,000 iPhone games at the App Store, some -- perhaps most -- are bound to be clunkers. However, there are a handful that are well worth the cheap price you have to pay, and when you can get roughly 10 for the amount a single DS game would cost, it's fun to experiment. [read on]


Study Reports 3 Million U.S. Children 'Addicted' to Games
GameDaily, 4/20/2009

A study was published recently by Iowa State University that suggests 8.5 percent of American children -- gamers from eight to 18 years old -- show signs of behavioral addiction, reports The Washington Post. Certain compulsive behaviors include insufficient time given to homework, being dishonest in playing hours and being unable to reduce playing hours. [read on]


Do 'tweens really need their own online game?
MSNBC, 4/19/2009

Ah, the ‘tween years — such an awkward time. You’re too old for a babysitter, but you’re too young to stay home alone. You’re too old for Gymboree but too young for Hot Topic. You’re too cool for “Club Penguin,” but your parents won’t let you play “World of Warcraft.”

What’s a 9- to 13-year-old to do?

[read on]


Forget consoles — it's all about the handhelds
MSNBC, 4/16/2009

Everyone likes a good fight: video game players, wonks and fanboys, especially so.

We’ve certainly gotten our jollies watching the PlayStation 3 vs. Xbox 360 vs. Wii prizefight over the last few years. But that dust-up is old news. The big gaming brouhaha brewing these days comes to us from a smaller-weight class.
[read on]


Wii MotionPlus Coming In June
Digital Trends, 4/15/2009

MotionPlus, an add-on that increases the performance of the Wii’s motion-sensing remote control, will be released on June 8, Nintendo has announced. It will sell for $20. [read on]


Nudity can't make a bad game good
CNETNews.com, 4/10/2009

EA sent me a copy of The Godfather II for the PlayStation 3 last week. A Godfather trilogy fan, I was excited to see how the game would turn out.

After escaping from Cuba, I was ordained the Corleone family's New York boss and set out to take over some turf. The first place I was told to capture was a bordello. I had to make it clear to the owner, through violence, that I was now in-charge.

[read on]


'Hannah Montana The Movie' hits video game screens, too
USA Today, 4/9/2009

Not only is Hannah Montana hitting the big screen, but fans can relive that movie experience in a video game. In the video game Hannah Montana The Movie, kids join Miley Stewart and her superstar alter ego Hannah Montana in an adventure set in Miley's hometown of Crowley Corners, Tenn. [read on]


Games for toddlers? Readers say yes — mostly
MSNBC, 4/1/2009

I want to play video games with my kid … and it turns out, you want to play video games with your kids too.

Last week I wrote about looking forward to playing games with my son and about how I wonder whether, at 2 years old, he’s old enough to jump into the wild world of video gaming.
[read on]


How young is too young for video games?
MSNBC, 3/27/2009

Of course, depending on who you ask, I don’t need to wait. Some believe that, at 2 years old, my boy is plenty old enough to pick up a controller in his miniature hands and take his place as my pint-sized co-op partner. [read on]


PC Remains Top Dog In The Gaming World
GameDaily, 3/24/2009

Forget the Wii or the Xbox. According to a new report by the PC Gaming Alliance, the PC is the most popular platform for gaming.

The report was delivered on the opening day of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, and claimed that the PC gaming industry took in around $11 billion globally last year.

[read on]


At-home entertainment and family bonding booms
CNN.com, 3/20/2009

When Christopher Moore isn't jumping rope, shooting baskets or playing the board game Chutes and Ladders, the 8-year-old can often be found at home using his ninja fighting skills, protecting the world from would-be enemies.

"I'm trying to save the other people from being hurt," he said of his Avatar video game adventures. "And I be beating him bad," he added with a coy smile and a nod toward his 15-year-old brother.

[read on]


Site mixes music, social networking and games
Associated Press, 3/17/2009

Music fans who want to mix games and social networking while listening to songs on the Internet now have a site called Loudcrowd, created in part by developers behind "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero." [read on]


Parents groups protest release of Wii's violent video game, 'Madworld'
Daily News, 3/12/2009

Over-the-top violence, gore galore and enough gushing blood to turn your TV screen red. Would you expect to find a game like that for the family-friendly Wii?

Though many believe the Nintendo system and its games are meant for kids, the M-rated "MadWorld" offers such a graphic thrill-kill spree that parents' groups are warning against buying it.

[read on]


So You Want to Be a Game Designer, Part 1
TechNewsWorld, 3/9/2009

In the tech industry, there are few careers with a cool factor equal to the title "game developer." For a whole host of gamers, making a living out of creating video games is akin to finding the holy grail, winning the lottery or becoming a renowned actor or musician.

For their legions of fans, the best game designers are nothing short of rock stars.

[read on]


Microsoft Reveals Results of Second 'Play Smart, Play Safe' Study
GameDaily, 3/5/2009

Microsoft today announced the results of their 'Play Smart, Play Safe' study. The results show that 61 percent of U.K. parents think that games are a great social experience, 80 percent see gaming as a component in a composite experience of entertainment and 52 percent feel video games bring their families together. [read on]


The mad rush into used games
The New York Times, 3/5/2009

Amazon.com launched a used game sales service today where gamers can trade in used games for store credit. And Toys ‘R Us is also starting to test sales of used games in its stores. Best Buy is as well.

The Amazon news prompted a 14 percent drop in GameStop’s stock price today, falling $3.84 a share to $23.46.

[read on]


The naked truth: Junk and jubblies sell games
MSNBC, 2/27/2009

This just in: A penis is on display in a video game!

You heard right, a penis. A man’s sexual organ. A willy, if you will.

No, it’s not a pair of bouncing boobies (for once). It’s a penis. And I, for one, say … yeah! And, uh, ick!

[read on]


Microsoft explores learning link to video games
Associated Press, 2/21/2009

Devin Krauter sits on the end of his bed, tapping buttons on his video game controller to shoot down alien beasts while chatting with other players through a headset, texting on his cell phonehttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29300899/ and talking to a visitor.

The 17-year-old high school junior is ranked by a video game Web site among the best players at "Gears of War 2," in which soldiers attack the enemy with an assault rifle that has a mounted chain saw bayonet.

[read on]


Casual games are growing but have a mixed outlook
VentureBeat, 2/12/2009

Paul Thelen, chairman and chief strategy officer of casual game distributor Big Fish Games, said his company grew faster in the fourth quarter than it did at any time in the past two years. That raises the question: Just how is the recession affecting casual games? [read on]


Sony unveils third and final 'God of War'
Associated Press, 2/11/2009

The gods must be crazy. Why else would they continue tormenting Kratos, a bald warrior who is as brutal as he is well-armed?

Sony has unveiled the third and final chapter in its blockbuster "God of War" game franchise, a PlayStation 3 exclusive that finds its anti-hero battling chimera and cyclops on top of massive Titans.

[read on]


Can video games fix our flaws?
The New York Times, 2/6/2009

I don’t want to sound paranoid or anything, but I'm starting to suspect that Nintendo has secretly hidden some sort of spy camera in my home.

I say this because there are two things in life that I’m especially awful at: math and cooking. And rather suspiciously, Nintendo recently launched two games that seem aimed specifically at me: "Personal Trainer: Math" and "Personal Trainer: Cooking."

[read on]


Will you keep paying top dollar for games?
MSNBC, 2/4/2009

For 60 bucks, you get 400 TV channels for a whole month. You can buy three cases of Budweiser. Or, you can buy one video game.

Yes, yes. I know you’ll get 20 hours of quality gaming entertainment for your “Killzone 2” purchase versus 200 hours of “Iron Chef.” But times are tough, and consumers are spooked.
[read on]


Start-Up Uses Online Games to Teach Math
The New York Times, 1/28/2009

Education is one area the Internet has not yet transformed, and a new crop of start-ups and venture capitalists are rushing to fill that void, creating Web tools that serve as home tutors for children who need help outside the classroom.

The latest entry is DreamBox Learning, which on Tuesday is unveiling a Web site to teach math to children in kindergarten through second grade.

[read on]


Free Online Gaming Grows As Economy Struggles
WebProNews, 1/27/2009

The usage of online gaming sites has grown 27 percent during the past year to 86 million visitors in December 2008, while the total time spent playing online games increased 42 percent, according to comScore.

American's total amount of Internet time spent playing online games grew from 3.7 percent in December to 4.9 percent in December 2008.

[read on]


Global Game Jam Attracts Over 1,750 Developers
GameDaily, 1/27/2009

The first ever Global Game Jam (GGJ), an event founded by Susan Gold, director of Game Program Review and chair of the Education Special Interest Group of the International Game Developers Association, is off to a positive start with over 1,750 developers now signed up to participate in the event. The goal is to showcase the talent of individual developers and teams from across the globe. [read on]


For Video Games, Mainstream Success Comes With a Price
The New York Times, 1/23/2009

So there I was Friday morning, listening to the customary locker-room banter on WFAN, the sports-talk pioneer, as conversation turned to the betting odds on the best picture Oscar. As a few of the numbers were listed, Craig Carton, the bawdy provocateur who is one of the morning show’s hosts, dismissively cut off the segment and started talking about how he had an appointment that evening to play NBA 2K9 online against a friend in upstate New York. [read on]


Is this the future of video games?
MSNBC, 1/22/2009

Prognosticating is usually a thing best left to palm readers and Ouija boards. But if you want a look at the future of video gaming, you can’t go wrong by taking a gander at the recently announced list of finalists for the Independent Games Festival Awards. [read on]


Opinion: How Will Obama Administration Affect Game Legislation?
Gamasutra, 1/20/2009

With the election of Democrat Barack Obama, both gamers and the industry have speculated as to the future of games regulation under his administration.

In a new Gamasutra feature posted today and written by researcher Neils Clark, he looks at what he and other commentators believe may change under the new Presidency for the game business.

[read on]


The most anticipated video games of 2009
CNETnews.com, 1/15/2009

As we say goodbye to an amazing year of gaming that was 2008, we look ahead to 2009 in search of the most anticipated games of the year. [read on]


Legislation Proposed for 'Health Warning Label' on Games
GameDaily, 1/12/2009

U.S. Congressman Joe Baca has proposed the Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009. This piece of legislation would alter the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) so that all games rated "T" for Teen or higher will feature a label reading, "WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior." [read on]


Video Games Taking Bigger Share of Entertainment Spend – Lazard
GameDaily, 1/12/2009

Following our CES report, which noted that games are becoming a bigger part of the annual show, Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian has commented, "While the interactive entertainment industry is traditionally not a core part of the CES conference, we note that an increasing number of game-related products and services displayed at the show is indicative of the incremental market share that video games are absorbing of consumer spending on media and entertainment." [read on]


John Smedley Discusses the Impact of Free MMO Games
GameDaily, 1/8/2009

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) once again set up shop in a penthouse suite inside the MGM Grand Casino during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). In addition to having new playable versions of PlayStation 3 and PC massively multiplayer (MMO) games Free Realms and DC Universe Online, the company held its annual poker tournament.[read on]


Video Games Vie for Bigger Part of Consumer Electronics Show
GameDaily, 1/8/2009

Ever since the Electronic Software Association (ESA) spun off from the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) and launched its own Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 1995, CES has been steadily luring back game publishers.

According to the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA), the event group that puts on the mammoth 2009 International CES, there will be 46 exhibitors spread out over 9,440 square feet in the Gaming Tech Zone, which includes the Gaming Showcase and Casual Gaming areas.

[read on]


Study Stresses Importance of Kids to Game Industry
GameDaily, 1/7/2009

The NPD Group's most recent report, Kids & Digital Content III, has found that more and more kids are obtaining entertainment, including games, in a digital format and that usage of consumer electronic devices is up among kids ages 9 to 14. Gaming remains the most popular activity on these devices with 85 percent user penetration.  [read on]


Microsoft Has Sold 28 Million Xbox 360s
GameDaily, 1/6/2009

Boasting its "biggest year in Xbox history," Microsoft today sent word that life-to-date unit sales of its Xbox 360 console are now up to 28 million worldwide, which the company says puts its lead over rival PlayStation 3 at more than eight million units. The company's leading Xbox Live service also saw plenty of growth last year, as membership swelled to 17 million and online spending increased by 84 percent. [read on]


Which games won me over in 2008?
msnbc, 1/1/2009

When a freak snowstorm paralyzed much of the Seattle area over the Christmas holidays, I did not organize my closets. I did not clean out my refrigerator. I did not wash the dog.

I did, however, sink about 25 hours into “Word Twist,” a wickedly addictive Facebook game.

[read on]


How the World of Goo became one of the indie video game hits of 2008
VentureBeat, 12/31/2008

The growing popularity of the indie game, World of Goo earned it the No. 1 rank on Amazon’s top ten best-selling PC games recently, albeit temporarily, among giants like World of Warcraft, Spore, Left-4-Dead, and Fallout3. This independently developed game’s success illustrate the changes that are taking place in the video game and digital content distribution landscape.  [read on]


Wii to Get Video on Demand…Sorta
The New York Times, 12/26/2008

It’s about time! Nintendo is developing a video-on-demand service for its hit Wii game consoles, it said today in a joint announcement with Dentsu, the Japanese advertising company. However, the service will only be available in Japan starting this spring; according to reports, no international expansion plans have been specified. [read on]


Online Gaming Study Challenges Gaming Gender Stereotypes
GameDaily, 12/23/2008

BBC is reporting that roughly 40 percent of online gamers are now female. This information comes from a study examining gender differences in over 2,400 EverQuest II players. All participants in the study were voluntary, both answering questions about their game habits and life, with Sony Online Entertainment providing information on in-game behavior.  [read on]


World of Warcraft Exceeds 11.5 Million Subscribers
GameDaily, 12/23/2008

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that World of Warcraft has exceeded 11.5 million subscribers worldwide. This comes after the game's latest expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, sold 2.8 million copies its first day and over 4 million copies in its first month. [read on]


EA Titles to Get Steamy
TechNewsWorld, 12/22/2008

PC gamers will now be able to buy and download titles from Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) via Steam, an online game distribution platform that delivers games straight to the buyer's computer.

EA's putting some of its top-shelf content up for availability on the platform, including titles like "Spore," "Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack," "Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning," "Mass Effect," "Need for Speed Undercover," and "EA Sports FIFA Manager 2009."

[read on]


The Zombies Look Better Every Year
The New York Times, 12/19/2008

THE video game industry has never been more reliable in producing high-quality mass entertainment for a variety of audiences with a variety of tastes. Three years into the current generation of game systems, developers are ceding nothing to other entertainment media in terms of high-end production values and overall attention to detail... [read on]


From Parkour to Post-Apocalypse: The 10 Best Video Games of 2008
TechNewsWorld, 12/17/2008

It's been another spectacular year for video games, with more than enough compelling adventures to satisfy even the most demanding player. It's been a particularly gratifying year for Xbox 360 owners, who have benefited from a consistent flow of first-rate software from Microsoft and other publishers. [read on]


Despite a recession, it’s time for fun and games
The Washington Times, 12/16/2008

A recession may be forcing consumers to tighten their purse strings this holiday season, but that isn't stopping them from reaching for a joystick. While the U.S. retail industry has projected the slowest Christmas sales growth in six years at 2.2 percent, the video game sector has been a reliably bright spot amid the gloom.  [read on]


Best Xbox 360 games of 2008
msnbc, 12/15/2008

First, the bad news. The dreaded “Red Ring of Death” continues to plague Xbox 360 owners. Some reports have put the failure rate of the console at one-third. It's a bummer, because there are so many great games for the console.

The good news -- provided you're in the lucky majority with a valid warranty -- was that 2008 was another great year for Xbox fans. Not as jam-packed as last year, mind you. But with improved reliability and a new low price of $199, there's no reason to miss the top 10 Xbox 360 games of 2008.

[read on]


Grand Theft Auto IV Wins Best Game at VGAs
GameDaily, 12/15/2008

On the same night that the Xbox 360 exclusive episodic content for GTA IV, The Lost and Damned, was shown in trailer form for the first time, Spike's Video Game Awards honored Rockstar Games' latest with Best Game. GTA IV also won for Best Action Adventure and Niko Bellic voice actor Michael Hollick also was awarded Best Performance by a Human Male.  [read on]


Best Nintendo DS games of 2008
msnbc, 12/14/2008

If ever there was a time for hand-held gaming, it’s the holiday season. Not only do these portable games fit nicely into stockings hanging by the fireplace, but they’re a good way to keep the little kids (and the big kids) entertained during the sleigh ride to grandma’s house. [read on]


Survey: Over half of adults play video games
Associated Press, 12/11/2008

After a day of dirty diapers and "Dora the Explorer," of laundry and homework time, when her four kids are finally asleep, Sarah Ninesling begins roaming the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C., fighting mutants to help save the survivors of a nuclear war.

[read on]


These great games will cost you nothing
MSNBC, 12/11/2008

Just because times are tough — and likely to get a whole lot tougher — doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one of your favorite pastimes. When you’re looking for that gaming fix but just can’t spare the bucks, free games are the way to go.

Jay Bibby, founder of the superb gaming site Jayisgames.com, points out that some of the coolest, most inventive games out there are Flash games — games that can be played for free through your Web browser. And so with Bibby’s help, we’ve put together a list of some of the best free games the Internet has to offer.

[read on]


Video Games Awards, and Sneak Previews
The New York Times, 12/11/2008

WHEN the Video Game Awards are held here on Sunday, game publishers and voice-over actors will line the red carpet. But the viewers will be watching to see something else: sneak peeks at the most anticipated games of 2009. [read on]


Best PlayStation Portable games of 2008
MSNBC, 12/10/2008

Three years after its release, and the PSP is still lacking games -- most people use it to watch movies on the go. But a nice mix of sports, arcade, shoot-‘em-ups, creative and traditional titles have made their way to the handheld platform this year. Though all but one were released in the first half of 2008, these are the best PlayStation Portable games of the year.  [read on]


Best PC games of 2008
MSNBC, 12/8/2008

Not sure whether that special someone on your shopping list has the latest video game console? Chances are, they’ve got a perfectly good gaming machine on their desk –- a PC. And whether you’re looking for a hardcore game or just a casual distraction, there's a PC game for all tastes. These are our top holiday suggestions for that special PC gamer.

[read on]


Real Networks launches its first cross-platform game for iPhone and other platforms
VentureBeat, 12/8/2008

Real Networks is moving into cross-platform mobile games today as it diversifies from its focus on PC-based titles.

The first cross-platform game is Tiki Towers, where the player builds bamboo bridges so that a gang of monkeys can cross over gaps and obstacles. It will be available on the iPhone, iPod Touch and other cell phones today. A WiiWare version is available for download starting Dec. 22.

[read on]


Lego Batman Wins Best Game at Children’s BAFTA Awards
GameDaily, 12/5/2008

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment happily sent word today that Lego Batman, from developer TT Games, took home top honors as the best game at the Children's BAFTA Awards this week. The Lego version of the caped crusader beat out Mario Kart Wii, Guinness World Records and Professor Layton and the Curious Village to win the award. [read on]


Xbox 360 Sells Better Than PS3 by Three-to-One During Black Friday
GameDaily, 12/5/2008

Microsoft today announced that the Xbox 360 recently had the most successful Black Friday in its history. The console saw a sales increase of over 25 percent compared to last year during the same period and outsold the PS3 by three-to-one during Black Friday, the company said. Exact sales figures were not provided. [read on]


Microsoft Preparing for ‘Tough Times,’ Remains ‘Cautiously Opimistic’ onXbox
GameDaily, 12/4/2008

Although October industry sales were good and indications from Black Friday were positive (especially for Xbox 360) despite economic concerns, Microsoft is still a bit wary of its video game business possibly slowing down this holiday season.

Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, Shane Kim, Microsoft's vice president of strategy and business development for interactive entertainment, said Microsoft is currently "cautiously optimistic."

[read on]


Microsoft’s Massive scores in-game ad deals with Activision Blizzard
VentureBeat, 12/3/2008

Microsoft’s Massive announced today that it has won multi-year contracts to provide in-game advertising to Activision Blizzard. In doing so, it has landed the big kahuna of the video game business.

In separate deals, Massive will provide ads to both Activision’s line of games and the Blizzard Entertainment division. Massive’s deal with Activision will cover 18 games, including Guitar Hero: World Tour, James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen and Tony Hawk.

[read on]


Gift-Giving Ideas for Buying Video Games
The New York Times, 11/27/2008

In these challenging economic times, it may come as a surprise that a well-chosen video game can be one of the most cost-effective gifts possible. Sure, the $60 price tag on some top games can be daunting, but when you realize that the right one can wrangle dozens or even hundreds of hours out of the right player, games can start to look like the smart entertainment investments they are. [read on]


10 Questions: ESA's Michael Gallagher
GameDaily, 11/26/2008

Your questions for Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime are now on Reggie's desk, but today we are happy to present you with the completed interview from Entertainment Software Association CEO Mike Gallagher.

Gallagher fielded your questions about the impact of an Obama administration, fixing E3, curbing video game piracy, supporting education programs and more. As always, thanks to everyone for sending in questions. The full Q&A is below.

[read on]


Watchdog group praises games industry, criticizes parents
Yahoo.com, 11/26/2008

The video game industry can breathe a sigh of relief. It won't have to hide its report card anymore.

The National Institute on Media and the Family, a conservative media watchdog group that has repeatedly criticized the game industry for failing to adequately warn families about inappropriate content, issued its 13th annual video game report card on Tuesday. And for the first time, the industry got nearly straight A's, receiving high marks in its ratings system and retail policies.

[read on]


National Geographic getting into video games
Associated Press, 11/18/2008

National Geographic, best known for its yellow-framed magazine and often breathtaking nature shows, is getting into video games.

National Geographic Ventures, a unit of the nonprofit National Geographic Society, was set to announce Tuesday it will work with game publishers to turn its material into games for PCs, consoles and handheld devices.

[read on]


ESRB Introduces Video Game Rating Summaries
GameDaily, 11/17/2008

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) today announced an expansion to its video game ratings system – a supplementary "ratings summary" to help parents when buying games this holiday season and in the future. The ESRB said that these summaries "explain in objective terms the context and relevant content that factored into a game's ESRB rating assignment."  [read on]


Hey, kids, try this at home: Beat your video-game addiction
Globeandmail.com, 11/17/2008

The recent disappearance and death of a 15-year-old Ontario boy after a dispute with his parents over a video game has brought to the fore long-simmering concerns about computer games. This is not the first time these issues have been raised; people have been worried about video games since Space Invaders or even Pong. What's changed is that game playing has become nearly universal among youth: Nearly all children and teens - 97 per cent, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project - play computer games at least occasionally. [read on]


Fun And Challenging Video Games For Everyone In The Family
North American Press Syndicate, 11/15/2008

With an ever-growing array of gaming styles and subject matter, video games have quickly evolved from kids-only pastimes to activities that the family can enjoy together.

With the holidays just around the corner, here are a few suggestions for everyone on your list

[read on]


Game Makers Going Soft? Don't Count on It
TechNewsWorld, 11/14/2008

The military squad members from the hyperviolent "Gears of War" video game franchise are on your TV screen, sandwiched in between football scoring drives or reality show arguments or autopsies on "CSI Des Moines." Only there's not an insectoid killer alien to be seen for miles in this particular commercial.

Instead, the game's central character, Marcus Fenix, broods under a lone tree in a field.

[read on]


Microsoft Overhauls Games for Windows – Live
GameDaily, 11/13/2008

Games for Windows – Live wasn't exactly the most warmly received service when it first launched. Perceptions improved, of course, when Microsoft finally decided to make Games for Windows – Live entirely free to use this past July. Now, however, the Games for Windows team is taking it one step further.  [read on]


Violent video games linked to child aggression
CNN.com, 11/8/2008

About 90 percent of U.S. kids ages 8 to 16 play video games, and they spend about 13 hours a week doing so (more if you're a boy). Now a new study suggests virtual violence in these games may make kids more aggressive in real life.

Kids in both the U.S. and Japan who reported playing lots of violent video games had more aggressive behavior months later than their peers who did not, according to the study, which appears in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.

[read on]


‘Fallout 3’ is a no-brainer for game of the year
msnbc.com, 11/2/2008

'Fallout 3,' out now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, is a deliciously mutated role-playing game, fitting given the game's post-apocalyptic fiction.

The well-worn conventions of the RPG genre — quests, loot and leveling up — remain intact, yet 'Fallout 3' feels utterly distinct and vital. 

[read on]


Beatles may make music with 'Rock Band'
Billboard, 10/28/2008

The Beatles could be coming to top-selling video game "Rock Band."

The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd. and MTV have scheduled a press teleconference Thursday at 10:00 a.m. ET to announce "an exclusive agreement to develop a global music project."

[read on]


‘Guitar Hero World Tour’ takes on ‘Rock Band’
MSNBC.com, 10/26/2008

A three-frame comic strip greets first-time players of the new "Guitar Hero World Tour." The first frame shows an ordinary person, looking ... well, ordinary. In the second frame, said individual is given a pair of drumsticks, a toy guitar or a microphone.

The third frame reveals a startling transformation: The ordinary sap, armed with a fake instrument and a little magic, has suddenly morphed into an animated rocker — complete with leather pants. And "Guitar Hero World Tour" does, in fact, have the goods to make any old average Joe feel like a bonafide rock-and-roller.

[read on]


The anatomy of the first video game
msnbc.com, 10/23/2008

Fifty years ago, before “Pong” and “Space Invaders,” a nuclear physicist created “Tennis for Two,” a 2-D tennis game that some say was the first video game ever.

The game was never meant for commercial use. “Tennis for Two” was a science experiment, created by William Higinbotham for the annual visitor’s day at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y.

[read on]


Disney Interactive Studios to Release High School Musical and Disney Sing It Video Games
ign.com, 10/21/2008

The holidays come early this year with the announcement of Disney Interactive Studios' imminent release of two new music and dance video games featuring popular music videos from Disney artists and dance moves from all three "High School Musical" films. [read on]


Celebrate National Gaming Day @ Your Library on November 15
School Library Journal, 10/15/2008

No doubt, the kids at your library are wild about gaming—so be sure to showcase your gaming services and programs in support of National Gaming Day @ your library on November 15.

Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), hundreds of libraries across the country are invited to take part in this first annual event by registering for two national gaming activities: a national video game tournament and a board game challenge.

[read on]


When has a video game ever made you cry?
MSNBC, 10/15/2008

Video games don’t often bring a tear to my eye. No, scratch that … now that I think about it, video games — unlike movies and books — have never brought a tear to my eye … not until this weekend, that is. [read on]


Microsoft Invests in Video-Game Research to Teach Science to Teens
Popular Mechanics, 10/8/2008

Microsoft believes that video games can make science and mathematics attractive to middle school students, and yesterday it took a step toward developing the games that could make it happen. Chief research and strategy office Craig Mundie announced yesterday a $1.5 million grant from Microsoft to the Games for Learning Institute, a figure that New York University and seven partner schools plan to match. [read on]


GameSpot Announces 20 Most Anticipated 2008 Holiday Season Games
i4u News, 10/2/2008

With the holiday season fast approaching you can guarantee if you have kids old enough that there are tons of video games on their holiday wish lists. This holiday season some seriously interesting titles are being announced and many of them are follow-ups to some of the most popular game franchises to hit the PC or console systems. [read on]


Video gamers are surprisingly fit, says study
LiveScience , 9/29/2008

Drop those stereotypes about people who play online role-playing games — chances are they're more physically fit than the average American.

That's just one of several new survey findings that explode the popular image of video gamers as socially awkward, overweight teenage males.

[read on]


Can games make your kid a better citizen?
MSNBC, 9/16/2008

Parents of video-gaming children, take heart: Your kid is not destined to become an anti-social hermit who lives at home until he’s 35. In fact, a new study shows that all that game time could actually be making him a better citizen.

No, this isn’t a study funded by the video-game association. It’s from the respectable folks at the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

[read on]


'Spore' is the Holy Grail: A game for all gamers
MSNBC, 9/8/2008

Few games charm as quickly as "Spore." Seconds into the game, you slip into the primordial ooze with your single-cell organism. The creature blinks at you with a now-what helplessness that fosters the kind of emotional attachment that so many epic adventure games loaded with 40-hour story arcs and blockbuster cinematics can only hope for.

[read on]


It was a hot summer for video games
MSNBC , 9/5/2008

Be warned: You're about to be bombarded.

Fall is nearly here and that means that video game companies the world over have already begun aiming their big guns in your direction. In the coming weeks and months, these guns will rain down flashy advertisements followed by a barrage of the companies' most polished and promising games.

[read on]


Prime time goes virtual with games
Reuters , 9/4/2008

Why watch TV when you can be the star?

Digital video recorders have done away with the notion of prime time for millions of gamers. Now game publishers are offering interactive TV stories that have ushered in virtual prime time entertainment.

[read on]


Gaming Evolves
The New York Times , 9/1/2008

By day, Thomas Near studies the evolution of fish, wading through streams in Kentucky and Mississippi in search of new species. By night, Dr. Near, an assistant professor at Yale, is a heavy-duty gamer, steering tanks or playing football on his computer. This afternoon his two lives have come together.

On his laptop swims a strange fishlike creature, with a jaw that snaps sideways and skin the color of green sea glass. As Dr. Near taps the keyboard, it wiggles and twists its way through a busy virtual ocean.

[read on]


Active Video Games Help Kids Exercise
Forbes.com , 8/31/2008

Children love playing video games, and playing active versions of these games may help stop children from becoming obese, University of Hong Kong researchers report.

In fact, children playing active video games have higher heart rates and burn four times as many calories a minute than children playing passive video games, according to this new study.

[read on]


Videogaming enters the third dimension
Reuters, 8/28/2008

Videogamers, your glasses to transport you into three dimensional space.

Visual computing technology company Nvidia has unveiled the first mainstream 3D gaming technology at the inaugural NVISION 08 conference in San Jose, which focused on the convergence of technology with Hollywood, games and business.

[read on]


Parents' Guide To Good-For-You Gaming
North American Press Syndicate, 8/25/2008

Kids are playing video games at younger ages than ever and parents want to foster healthy gaming habits. A few simple guidelines can help parents ensure that their kids are making the most of game play time.

[read on]


Can 'World of Warcraft' make you smarter?
Associated Press, 8/18/2008

Parents, don't put away those video games just yet — today's gamer may be tomorrow's top surgeon.

Researchers who gathered in Boston for the American Psychological Association convention detailed a series of studies suggesting video games can be powerful learning tools — from increasing younger students' problem-solving potential to improving the suturing skills of laparoscopic surgeons.

[read on]


Game consoles remain classroom rarity
MSNBC, 8/18/2008

When David Brantley's first-grade students walked into their classroom this month, many felt right at home. Their teacher is a rare one who believes video games feed young minds, not rot them away. So these Indiana kids will throw virtual bowling balls down alleys on a projector screen and tally scores for math lessons.

"The tradition is to despise games as a brain-drain type of thing," Brantley says.

[read on]


Video game sales rise 28 percent in July
Reuters, 8/14/2008

U.S. video game sales rose 28 percent in July from a year earlier, boosted by continued strong demand for Nintendo Co Ltd's (7974.OS) Wii console, according to data from research firm NPD on Thursday.

U.S. sales of video game hardware, software and accessories totaled $1.19 billion in July, with software sales growing 41 percent and hardware sales rising 17 percent, NPD said.

Helped by a steady flow of blockbuster titles, the video game industry has proved resilient to the economic hardships hitting other industries.

[read on]


A thought-provoking look at how video games can contribute to real world solutions in education, healthcare & technology
NewsReleaseWire.com, 8/12/2008

Everywhere we turn, we hear more about visionary people recognizing how games can help train first responders, how they can help prepare surgeons, how they can help kids manage pain, how they can help prepare air traffic controllers and software engineers. Does it make any sense that we can acknowledge all of this, but we can't acknowledge that games can help kids learn about the American Revolution, or the Middle Ages, or that they can help kids learn about biology or physics, or they can help kids understand economics?"—Doug Lowenstein, President of the Entertainment Software Association at the 2005 National Science Foundation Summit.

[read on]


Let there be life: Games go organic
MSNBC, 8/8/2008

Consider for a moment, the flower — that delicate collection of stems and stamens, pistils and petals, that bringer of color and fragrance to our lives, and, of course, that perfect protagonist for today's video games.

Yes, video games. 
[read on]


'Grand Theft Auto' murder halts game sales
Reuters, 8/4/2008

BANGKOK – A Thai video game distributor halted sales of "Grand Theft Auto" on Monday after a teenager confessed to robbing and murdering a taxi driver while trying to recreate a scene from the controversial game.

"We are sending out requests today to outlets and shops to pull the games off their shelves and we will replace them with other games," Sakchai Chotikachinda, sales and marketing director of New Era Interactive Media, told Reuters.

[read on]


Top 5 E3 games we can't wait to play
MSNBC, 8/1/2008

The E3 Media and Business Summit was held this week in Los Angeles. In case you're not familiar with E3, it's an annual trade show that many video game companies use to showcase their new and upcoming titles. As usual, a staggering number of games were exhibited. These are just a few of many that we can't wait to get our hands on.

Check out the list then tell us which E3 games you're excited to play.

[read on]


Motion Gaming Adds a Mission That Blends Learning With Fun
The New York Times, 7/31/2008

Call it the Wii effect —video games using motion-sensitive wireless controllers like the ones that come with Nintendo's Wii game console. Vtech Electronics uses a similar device in its educational gaming console that came out this week, the V.Smile V-Motion Active Learning System.

[read on]


Exercise video games get kids off the couch
USA Today, 7/30/2008

Boxing in the living room and dancing in the den have elevated home gaming — and children's heart rates — to new heights.

New research shows that exercise video games such as Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution boost children's activity levels significantly.

[read on]


Online Casual Gaming Anything but Casual, MTV Networks Study Finds
MarketWatch, 7/22/2008

NEW YORK – 'An Exploration of Online Casual Gaming' Finds Strong Emotional and Physical Engagement with Online Games Across Nearly Every Age Group

Online casual gaming holds an exclusive place in the lives of gamers' of nearly all ages because it is both emotionally and physically engaging, according to MTV Networks' new study: "An Exploration of Online Casual Gaming."

[read on]


AddictingGames makes social-network play
CNET, 7/16/2008

Nickelodeon's AddictingGames, one of the largest gaming sites for teens in the United States, is turning itself into a social hangout for generation Y and their younger brothers and sisters.

This week, the company will announce several steps to turn its Flash-based games site into more of a community for teen players. By the end of October, AddictingGames visitors will be able to create a member profile, featuring things like photos, member name, games played, high scores, and a buddy list. At that time, members will also be able to see a high-score list among friends who play the same games, rather than all-time high scores, and they'll have the ability to challenge friends or join them immediately in a game when they log on.

[read on]


Microsoft Wants Games to Appeal to the Masses
The New York Times, 7/15/2008

LOS ANGELES — Ever since Microsoft waded into the video game wars with the introduction of the original Xbox in 2001, the company has spared little expense in attempting to establish its bona fides with hardcore gamers. From the physical appearance of the first Xbox — hulking, extruded black plastic — to the testosterone-laden, shoot-’ em-up essence of Microsoft’s signature game franchise, Halo, Microsoft’s first, perhaps only, priority has been to reach out to the young men at gaming’s historical roots.

[read on]


Anticipating What's New at Video-Game Trade Show
The New York Times, 7/14/2008

LOS ANGELES — It is a cliché of the lowest order to say that Christmas has come early about anything, ever. It also happens to be the best way to describe what has transpired in video games in 2008.

The game business used to be all about the holiday season. Until recently gaming may have been the most seasonally imbalanced industry this side of the tinsel cartel. Just a few years ago the common wisdom was that to become a huge hit, a tent-pole game had to be released in the fall.

[read on]


Should you care about sex in video games?
CNET, 6/25/2008

The New York Times featured a story today that discusses the ongoing legal battle over the "Hot Coffee" scandal. For those of you who may have forgotten, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas featured a hidden scene where the star of the game was engaging in a form of sexual activity with another on-screen character. After parenting groups expressed shock that developers could throw such a "disgusting" act in a video game, the ESA was forced to change its rating to Adults Only and Rockstar Games was brought under fire for having so-called pornographic material in a video game. [read on]


Why video games are the new entertainment leaders
CNET, 6/24/2008

After playing through Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it became quite clear to me that video games have supplanted film as entertainment leaders. The game shines on so many levels, it's difficult to recount them all here. But perhaps more than anything, it allowed me to become a part of an environment that goes above and beyond anything I've ever experienced in a movie. And after playing through this instant classic, I can't help but wonder if the video game industry has finally realized that it commands mainstream attention and must favor a new type of gaming that creates unprecedented entertainment value. [read on]


New study reveals surprising results about kids and video games
reporternews, 6/8/2008

True or false: Violent video games cause children to become more aggressive. Sorry, that was a trick question. Despite much bandying of statistics and loud talking by critics on both sides of the argument, the real answer is that there is no real answer -- at least not one that's been proved scientifically. So say Cheryl Olson and Lawrence Kutner in their new book, "Grand Theft Childhood." "In fact, much of the information in the popular press about the effects of violent video games is wrong," write the husband and wife team, who direct the Center for Mental Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. [read on]


Grand Theft Auto Named Best-Selling Game
PC World, 6/7/2008

The NPD Group, which monitors U.S. video game sales, released the top 10 selling video games since the firm began tracking sales in 1993.[read on]


Promoting peace, not violence, in video games
CNET, 5/30/2008

Computer companies are pushing to swap the violence in video games with messages of social change. Next week, Advanced Micro Devices plans to announce a project designed to teach kids how to build video games that promote social causes such as fighting poverty or protecting the environment. Called Changing the Game, the project will fund nonprofit organizations that inspire kids with video games, and it will develop curriculum for youth to build their own software for games. Changing the Game is the first initiative funded by the chipmaker's newly formed AMD Foundation, a grant-making organization. [read on]


O.K., Avatar, Work With Me
The New York Times, 5/15/2008

WHEN Nintendo released the Wii 18 months ago, it upended the notion of what video games could be. Moving beyond the sunlight-deprived young men at gaming's core, Nintendo appealed to the rest of the world with an intuitive, family-friendly entertainment experience. Women, parents, even nursing-home residents have been drawn to the Wii's simple evocations of games such as tennis and bowling. The Wii has become the best-selling game machine of the current generation, selling more than 25 million worldwide, and remains scarce on store shelves across the nation. [read on]


"Grand Theft Auto IV" nets Guinness record
CNET News.com, 5/13/2008

If worldwide headlines about the record-setting first-day and first-week sales of Grand Theft Auto IV weren't enough, the game's publisher and its developer, Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games, now have a Guinness world record to boot. On Tuesday morning, Guinness issued a press release certifying the game's insanely profitable launch as the entertainment industry's best ever for one day ($310 million) and one week ($500 million). [read on]


Virtual worlds for pre-schoolers? They're here
CNET, 5/11/2008

The ride-height requirement on virtual worlds is about to move down a few inches. Knowledge Adventure, the maker of kids' educational game software JumpStart, plans Monday to begin selling virtual world software for 3- to 5-year-olds. The software, called JumpStart Advanced Preschool World, will encourage kids to learn their ABCs by playing games in a 3D version of the beach or a jungle, with heavy use of voice and images instead of text. And it will give young ones their first taste of creating and decorating an avatar. [read on]


Gearing Up to Dominate the World, and Prove Parents Wrong
The New York Times, 3/30/2008

WHEN he graduates from Manhattan College in May, Sal Garozzo has options. He can parlay his computer science degree into an internship or entry-level technology position, or he can continue to play video games professionally. Yes, every parent who ever pried their children from a video game control by telling them they would never get paid to play Madden '08 has been proved wrong by the likes of Mr. Garozzo and his Guitar Hero/Ultimate Ninja-playing brethren. Mr. Garozzo, 21, has been winning money since 2001, when his father would drive him to Manhattan arcades and sign a consent form so he could enter gaming contests. [read on]


Web Games On For Nets
Multichannel News , 3/22/2008

Cable networks got game last week as Nickelodeon, Sci Fi Channel and Lifetime all announced casual game initiatives for the Web. Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group said it will add 1,600 new video games to its digital gaming portfolio throughout the year. The new games, which will include 600 exclusive, Nick-branded titles from such shows as iCarly and SpongeBob SquarePants, will add to the 5,000 games currently offered through Nick's original and acquired gaming sites including Nickjr.com, Nick.com, Neopets.com, AddictingGames.com, The N.com and Shockwave.com. [read on]


A Parents Video Game Guide
StarNewsOnline.com, 3/4/2008

So there's no doubt most people have heard the scare tactics by the anti-video game crowd, that would have you believe violent video games create violent teens, that too much gaming results in a lower IQ and antisocial behavior, that too much button-pushing will cause your thumbs to atrophy. Alright, I made that last one up, but it seems like the type of thing you'd hear. Rather than list all the myths, half-truths and op-ed ephemera that slant perceptions of the gaming community, I'll just list some reputable resources that will do the persuading for me. And rather than try to tell you what recent games are good or bad, I'll just send you to sites that will give up-to-date info on the latest releases. Hope it's helpful.[read on]


Book Dismisses Link Between Games And Violence
1UP.com, 3/4/2008

With the election season creeping up alongside the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, it's inevitable that we'll see (even more) politicians, pundits, and authors decrying video games as a cause -- nay, the source -- of all social evils. But not all authors jump on the bandwagon, and a new book takes research on the topic of game violence in a radically different direction. Game Couch has an interview with Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, the co-author of Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games. Based on data from a joint research study from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the book asserts that many studies on the topic of game violence have been skewed by various factors, including smaller sample sets, lower time playing, bias against media violence, and conducting the studies around games that the children didn't choose for themselves. [read on]


Device Helps Reduce Fat From Too Many Video Games
InformationWeek, 3/4/2008

Children can reduce their body mass index by reducing the amount of time spent watching television and playing video games, researchers from the University of Buffalo found. The researchers from the State University of New York also claimed weight loss success with use of a device that automatically limits time spent gazing at screens. [read on]


Making Your Game Systems Kid-Safe
CNET/Crave, 3/3/2008

Two decades ago, video games, like comic books before them, were written off as a form of entertainment strictly for children. Just like the comic book industry eventually produce mature, extremely-not-for-kids books like Alan Moore's Watchmen or Garth Ennis' Preacher, the video game industry has produced mature, extremely-not-for-kids games like BioWare's Mass Effect and 2K Games' Bioshock. These games can have violence, sex, and very strong language, and are not appropriate for children. Fortunately, each of the three major video game consoles (Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3) include built-in security features to lock out mature games and ensure that kids can't play anything you don't want them to play. [read on]


Mayo Clinic Shows Adding Activity to Video Games Fights Obesity
KIIITV.COM, 3/3/2008

If playing video games makes kids less active and contributes to obesity, why not create more video games that require activity? That's the question prompted by a Mayo Clinic research study published in the current issue of the medical journal Pediatrics.[read on]


10 Games Anyone Can Play
Yahoo.com, 2/20/2008

Let's face it -- today's video games are a complicated affair. Joypads, once compact and easy to grasp, now bristle with more sticks and buttons than the International Space Station. PC games all too often require complex controls, lengthy tutorials and vast investments of time. Here's the perfect antidote for this epidemic - ten of our favorite easy-to-play hits.[read on]


Arcade Games Make A Comeback
Forbes.com, 2/15/2008

Yes, the Xbox is more high-tech. But a new wave of game players are bringing home something even more special - old-style arcade games.[read on]


PlayStation 3 Could Be Top-Selling Next-Gen Console By 2011
CNET, 2/14/2008

For more than a year, the whole world has seen Sony's PlayStation 3 get its rear handed to it by Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360.

But if a three-year forecast from market research firm iSuppli is to be believed, the PS3 could out pace both the Wii and the Xbox by 2011.
[read on]


EA Details Plans For Hasbro Brands
GameSpot.com, 2/11/2008

Nerf and Littlest Pet Shop arrive in the Fall for DS and Wii, followed by multiplatform versions of Monopoly, Scrabble and more.[read on]


How Games Change Your Brain
MSNBC,

The effects of video-game playing on your brain have been studied for a quarter-century, but the latest research reveals that there are deep puzzles yet to be solved.

One of the earliest and most noted studies in the field was conducted back in 1992 by neuroscientist Richard Haier at the University of California at Irvine, who looked at how frequent sessions with the Tetris video game changed the players' brains.







[read on]

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