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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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?
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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).
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.
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.
Web Games On For Nets Multichannel News
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.
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.
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.