May 08, 2007

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Jack Thompson is demanding the fast food chain giant Wendy's to cancel its upcoming kids' meal promotion featuring the Nintendo Wii. The Wii is considered by experts to be the video game system of choice for gamers awaiting Rockstar's upcoming murder simulator Manhunt 2.

Dear Mrs. Anderson:

I should like to alert you to the inappropriateness of the above upcoming promotion at Wendy’s, in light of the below information.

On July 10, an extremely violent video game will be released for “play” on Nintendo’s kid-friendly Wii game platform. It is called Manhunt 2. It will feature, according to video game news sites, beheadings with hatchets, bludgeonings with baseball bats, the jamming of syringes into eyeballs, cutting opponents’ testicles off, and “environtmental [sic] kills” in which common objects in the field of vision, such as electrical cords to strangle victims. I attach news reports in these regards.

What makes this Nintendo Wii game all the more troubling is the nature of Wii platform itself. Instead of holding in one’s hand the typical game controller, the player holds motion capture devices, so that by moving one’s hands and limbs one is actually acting out with one’s own body the violent behavior. The American Psychological Association in August 2005 found a direct causal link between the play of violent video games and increased adolescent and teen aggression. One pro-video game industry site is referring to Manhunt 2 as a “true murder simulator” when played on Wii.

A dear friend of mine worked for Wendy’s and with Dave Thomas closely for years. From that I know that Dave Thomas never would have tolerated the use of Wendy’s good name to promote Nintendo’s Wii, not with this game available on the Wii platform.

Please cancel the Wii Kids’ Meal promotion immediately.

Regards,
Jack Thompson

Related: Jack Thompson Interview, Burger King Serves Up Games with Obesity

May 01, 2007

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Shocking news comes from Fort Bend of the removal of an asian high school student possessing a custom made video game level based on a local Texas high school on his home personal computer. Many swords were also confiscated from the suspects bedroom.

Police discovered five swords in the bedroom of a Clements High School senior whose home they searched after getting complaints about a 3-D computer “shoot-‘em-up” game map the student designed, which depicted a portion of the school.

FBISD officials said Tuesday school administrators weighed the violent nature of the computer game – a modified version of Counterstrike – along with the discovery of swords in the boy’s room, and other undisclosed information, and decided to classify the matter as a “Level 3” situation.

“When you have the floor plan of a high school that houses over 2,000 students in a game about killing people, you have to have consequences,” FBISD spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson said. “And also realizing what the reaction would be in the community,” district administrators “still felt very confident in their decision.”

Local officials were very fortunate to apprehend and investigate the gamer before any possible crime could have been committed.

Much better to be safe than sorry.

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Video game industry news site GameDaily BIZ reports of the consequences developers face when making realistic video games.

Most developers understand that well-known individuals have legal rights protecting them from the unauthorized use of their identities. But did you know landmarks and buildings do too? And famous (and not-so famous) stars and rights holders are asserting these aggressively against unwary developers and game publishers.

These legal rights aren't just theories in a text book. Two recent lawsuits in California have tested the boundaries of the law, and while the video game defendants prevailed, developers and publishers cannot disregard the identity rights of real world personas, brands, or locations.

Video games are nothing more than a menace to society. Developers show no sense of moral responsibility and a complete lack of respect for intellectual property. This is another major blow to the video game industry.

January 18, 2007

News of the world’s first level 70 character shocked the World of Warcraft community on Wednesday. Twenty-four year old French gamer by the alias Gawell played 28 frightening hours straight to beat the Burning Crusade expansion pack, a video game which experts predicted, “would take months to complete.”

Some gamers applauded such an achievement, while the disgruntled majority ridiculed Gawell as being a “loser” and having “no life.”

MAVAV has previously raised the threat level to red in preparation of the possible dangers, such as this, from the Burning Crusade expansion pack. This is a major concern for MAVAV, as Blizzard recently announced that the World of Warcraft surpassed 8 million players world wide. We urge all parents to be on high alert until further notice.

Related: Burning Crusade Gone Gold, Threat Level Red

January 09, 2007

tyme2die

The China Post reports that a Taiwanese psychiatrist at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei has concluded the first studies linking violent video games and 'textspeak', an awful slang language spoken by a subculture of underground gamers and computer hackers.

Textspeak is the process of shortening words and adding numbers to a text message to make it "cooler." The form of text messaging is highly annoying. One example suffice: "RU cmin out 2nite?" Deciphered: "Are you coming out tonight?"

[...] Twelve young adults were given tests in an experiment Dr. Chow conducted at his hospital. They were required to play one popular game, "PS2:Real Three Kingdoms;Nonpareil 4 Generations," for half an hour. Blood circulation in their brains was scanned. The entire process was repeated half an hour later. Chow found the blood circulation in the frontal lobes of all the samples reduced. "Reduction in blood circulation in the frontal lobe," the psychiatrist said, "indicates that it may affect language proficiency."

The psychiatrist urges parents to limit the exposure of violent video games to their children if “they don't want to receive any more 'textspeak' messages."

January 04, 2007

play.tm interviews Jack Thompson, an attorney and a leading figure in the fight against violence in today's video games.

Jack Thompson

"[victims] sometimes harmed by kids made more aggressive and more violent by the murder simulators..."

I'm sure that many people in the gaming community don't disagree with most your views on selling violent games to minors. Given this, don't you think you would get more support for your cause by being less overtly threatening towards what remains a popular past time?

I'm not out to make friends. I have enough of those. I'm out to accomplish something to protect children and the innocent victims who are sometimes harmed by kids made more aggressive and more violent by the murder simulators on which they practice that violence.

[...] Cocaine is a popular "past time," too. That doesn't make its consumption, certainly by kids, something we ought to look away from. I don't gauge what I do based upon polls, and certainly not polls of gamers. I couldn't care less what some 14-year-old thinks is good or not good for him. I listen to scientists, health care providers, public safety officials, and I base what I do based upon their findings, not what some readers of Game Informer magazine wish was true because of how they waste their time.

We recommend this three page interview to all parents as Thompson freely discusses about sex, violence, pedophilia, rape, murder, and video games as a form of mental masturbation.

December 27, 2006

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The New Zealand Herald reported three Auckland teens were killed in a vehicle crash while attempting to outrun police in a high speed pursuit.

National's transport spokesman Maurice Williamson says today's young people think they are bullet-proof. He blames Playstations and X-boxes for making teens think they can drive stupidly and just push the reset button if anything goes wrong.

Though police said the Playstation and Xbox are not suspects, they are "definitely of interest" in the still ongoing investigation.

December 22, 2006

Blizzard Removes Maintenance Breaks

Parents and friends of over 7 million World of Warcraft gamers were outraged today as Blizzard Entertainment revealed plans to remove its weekly maintenance downtime in favor of a no-interruption approach.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be testing the effect of a live maintenance, where regular maintenance tasks are run during off-peak with realms live. On Tuesday, December 26 there will be no scheduled downtime for weekly maintenance. We will perform all necessary maintenance tasks while the realms are live.

Blizzard’s weekly maintenance schedule along with its “rest experience points” system have long been criticized as ineffective precautionary measures to curb long hours of continuous gaming.

December 21, 2006

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Burger King released sales figures today revealing its three promotional video games, Sneak King, Pocketbike Racer, and Big Bumpin’ have sold over two million copies and over eight million combo meal deals in the United States in just four weeks.

There is controversy surrounding these games as they promote fast food, mischievous behavior, and sneaking and surprising.

November 02, 2006

Reality by Eran "pyxelated" Cantrell

A truly shocking illustration of young boy’s unfortunate addiction to the popular massively multiplayer online video game World of Warcraft.

From the artist Eran "pyxelated" Cantrell:

First, World of Warcraft- and videogames in general- were not specific inspirations in the creation of this picture. Obviously these "total experience" VR goggles don't really exist. I was more concerned with escapism in general. Not just the fact that it is a pervasive facet of our culture, but the fact that it is downright EASY. It's easy to relate to it, because everyone escapes into something when they can't handle life. I, personally, used to escape into books to avoid my problems.

Books, videogames, drugs, food, TV- anything can be used as a tool for escapism. Videogames, and other such distractions, are not the cause of the problem, they are only a symptom. If efforts are to be made, it should be at the source of things- the very nature of our society, and of our species. By attacking the symptom, and not the problem, we compromise ourselves, our civil rights and the very cause that we hoped to accomplish in the first place.

Reality by Eran "pyxelated" Cantrell [deviantART]

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