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Posts with tag politics

Latest political smear: He's a Halo player

Video games and politics aren't strangers to one another. Since the days of the crusades against Mortal Kombat -- pretty tame nowadays -- and extending into the storied and humorous career of one Jack Thompson, video games have lingered in the halls of politics (let's not get into all the unsuccessful and costly legislation attempts). We think this is, however, the first time that claiming a political opponent plays Halo has been used as a smear tactic. And yet, there it is. In a politcal fact sheet produced for Arizona's Maricopa County District 1 Supervisor race, the fact that 26-year-old Ed Hermes is an avid Halo player is used in an effort to defame him.

"Skilled player of the popular video game Halo," the flyer reads, opposite a more politically relevant statment about Fulton Brock -- Hermes' 56-year-old opponent. It continues with a quote from Hermes made in a university newspaper: "I am addicted to Halo, and play almost every night."

We find ourselves wondering if a young Fulton Brock was once accused by an elder statesmen of "Watching the boob tube," or "Reading the Devil's picture books."

[Via Joystiq]

Time to work on that resume, Thompson disbarred in Florida

While not pertaining to the Xbox 360 specifically this piece of news is important to gamers who are tired of defending comically-inaccurate statements lobbied at their favorite titles from a certain Florida attorney; or should we say soon-to-be-former attorney. Joystiq reports that the Florida Supreme Court has finally decided to disbar John Bruce (Jack) Thompson after being found guilty of 27 out of 31 violations of professional misconduct by the Bar association.

Documents filed by the court maintain Thompson, "has demonstrated a patter of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes."

In response Thompson has filed an emergency motion against seventy-seven defendants including the Florida Bar association, this despite the first filing posed against him that he may only file a motion in the Florida Supreme court through another attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar acting on his behalf. Lawyer or not, we wouldn't expect Thompson to hangup the gaming hate anytime soon.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Gallery: Jack Thompson disbarred doc

Obama-Biden top very scientific voter poll on Xbox Live

The results are in and Xbox Live has selected the next President of the United States. It's Master Chief. In other news, a completely unofficial presidential election poll has been running on Xbox Live as part of the Rock the Vote campaign. The scientifically engineered vote was based on gamercard download numbers; download a specific candidates card and your vote is cast.

According to the team at GamerScore Blog, Obama-Biden nabbed a 12% lead over Republican rivals McCain-Palin. Independents and "Others" combined account 26% of "votes" in comparison to the Democrats 43% and the Republicans 31%. MS says more than 100,000 Live users have participated to date.

So, what's the point? The point is pretty simple, come November 4 put that game on pause and hit your local polling station. It is your right to vote and deciding to stay in your gaming lair perfecting your Barbie Horse Adventure speedrun isn't a vote. We're not being rude but if you don't vote you're not allowed to complain about anything for the next four years. It's a rule.

Tecmo attempts to quiet Itagaki, denies exodus rumors

In an effort to quell widespread rumors surrounding the business practices of the company, Tecmo has filed an injunction against former Team Ninja lead Tomonobu Itagaki. Filed in a Tokyo District Court, the injunction places a four-point gag order on Itagaki, effectively removing his opinion from the public forum beyond his existing comments on the matter against Tecmo.

The provisional disposition prohibits:
  • Disclosing or leaking information regarding Tecmo's game software, sales, development or any other company secrets
  • Using newspapers, magazines and the internet to criticize company software and company employees
  • Obstructing the company's business through slanderous remarks to third parties
  • Interviews regarding Tecmo or discuss the company and its practices to the press
In a statement made today, Tecmo has vehemently denied recent reports that dozens of Team Ninja employees have resigned in the wake of Itagaki's announcement and a lawsuit has been filed against the company on behalf of its 300 employees. Calling the reports "groundless" and "inaccurate," Tecmo has asked the media to approach the situation with a fair and balanced view. We'll update the story as details emerge, however, as proven by the injunction against Itagaki it looks like Tecmo would like to silence anyone who could shed light on the situation.

[via Talking About Games & Joystiq]

Jack Thompson: "I guess my "mistake" was not killing 3000 people to make my point"

He fought the law and the law is winning. Jack Thompson, hot off the heels of a Florida Bar recommendation that he be disbarred for ten years for 27 violations of professional misconduct, is again testing if the pen is mightier than the sword. In a letter written to Chief Judge Federico Moreno, Thompson claimed his recent trial was a mockery of the system and demanded a fair trial.

"We find yesterday that enemy combatants at Guantanamo are to get more due process from federal judges than what I am to have. I guess my "mistake" was not killing 3000 people to make my point ... I demand a hearing," Thompson wrote in the letter to Moreno.

Judge Moreno responded to the shocking letter by dispatching two U.S. Marshals to the home of Mr. Thompson. "The purpose of that visit was to intimidate and harass me," Thomson wrote to Moreno following the incident.

As the Florida Bar continues to seek disbarment for the controversial lawyer, Thompson is now seeking a meeting with the House Judiciary Committee in Washington to complain that the Justice Department is harassing him.

Jack Thompson is famously known in the gaming community for his stance against violent videogames, particularly titles from Take Two Interactive; publisher of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto franchise.

[via Game Politics]

Oblivion not PC enough?

While the rest of us are discussing Olgatha the Argonian's cup size, "Gamers with Jobs" are earnestly exploring the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion gender bias issues currently riling the feminist gamer blogosphere. The controversy seems to stem from two perceived slights that indicate the developers are (in the words of one critic) "blinded by male privilige":

  • Oblivion’s character creation system assigns certain bonuses based on gender, which vary from one race to the next. The Prima Strategy Guide notes: “Sadly, only three races offer females with power design advantages…In all other cases, to maximize a given race choice for its best-suited character role, pick the male. Where the stats differ between these sexes, the male gets the better benefit from the difference.”
  • All the illustrations for classes and races in the manual are male.

Bethesda's Pete Hines tries to explain it away as offering choice to the gamer, but the ladies aren't buying it. Unsatisfied wiith the mere omission of inflated breasts and dead prostitutes, they want a game where the lizard women can bench press as much as the men:

Though Hines is correct, the majority of the variations, when present, still tend to occur along lines that could be interpreted as following gender stereotypes: a review of the stats reveals that in races where there is a difference, male characters are always stronger and almost always have greater endurance, whereas female characters are always more intelligent, and almost always have greater willpower and personality.

Ah, stereotypes—those useful mental short cuts we all use to make sense of our wacky world. Stereotypes explain why, while none of the girls in my office can beat me at arm wrestling, most can spell Oprah's first name. A few years ago, "Math is hard" Barbie was blasted by critics for turning young girls off to calculus. Will Oblivion teach those same girls that men are dull-witted sword jocks who would rather whack you with a battle axe than engage in stimulating conversation? Furthermore, is the Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgendered community too busy counting theirs successes with World of Warcraft to notice that cross-dressing Orcs have been completely left out of this game?

When it comes to political correctness, the PC version of Oblivion is, naturally, a little more PC. There's already an affirmative action mod that equalizes racial attributes for a single gender, accomplishing with a few lines of code what do-gooding social engineers and and burning bras have failed to do in the real world. How long before every aggrieved victim group has it's own special mod? And does Microsoft, as the beacon of progressive corporatism, have a duty to make this stuff available (for 200 MS points of course) on XBLM?

Of course, just when you thought old-fashioned male privilige was on the defensive, Chuck Norris returns to save the day.

[Thanks SickNic]

Has Rockstar gone soft?

Those who waited with baited breath only to learn that the new 360-exclusive game from industry badboy Rockstar is based on Forrest Gump's favorite sport reacted with mixture of why and wtf? The basic gameplay action of table tennis (or Ping Pang Qiu as it's known in China) has a long and storied history in the video game world. Nevertheless, I get the feeling that gamers expected more grit from the creative minds that made running over hookers a national pastime.

Rockstar has taken enormous heat the past few years, as evidenced by this recent petition signed by Wailing Mothers Against Playground Cruelty. One has to wonder if  the accumulated bad press, not to mention the disaster brewed by a certain incident involving overly-warm Folgers, played a role in the company's sudden enthusiasm for competitive table tennis. Maybe Rockstar is eager  to prove that they don't need mature content to capture our imagination. Or maybe they're just relieved that Hillary Clinton can't make Pong 360 an election year issue.

Far too many of us have praised the joys of classic arcade gameplay (and complained about the idiocy of  edgy-for-edgy's-sake fare like True Crime: NYC) to prematurely bitch about a game that could turn out to be the King of Ping. That said,  I would hate to see Rockstar trade in its bloody chainsaw for a pong paddle just to appease a few grandstanding pols and clueless parents. Somebody has to carry the torch for embedded sex and violence.

You can't help but think that Rockstar is a little less Billy Idol these days and a little more Drew Lachey.                                                                                                                                                      

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