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Other People's Misfortune

Major Update For Counter-Strike: Source Now In Beta

Accused wannabe terrorists Carlos Eduardo Almonte and Mohamed Mahmood Alessa were arrested last week in new Jersey as they tried to board a plane to Somalia in order to join a terrrorists group called al-Shabab.

The two are suburban kids (Almonteis 24 and Alessais 20) with no connections to terrorism, and said they are looking for "dignity and honor" through terrorism, while living in the suburbs of New Jersey. But here's the detail that relates back to gaming: Along with watching Jihadi training videos on YouTube, lifting weights, and playing paintball, news sources are reporting the two enjoyed violent video games, playing first-person-shooters in the role of the terrorists.

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Burning MoneyIn order to "prompt discussion of whether to recommend policy changes to support the ongoing reinvention of journalism," the Federal Trade Commission is proposing a tax on consumer electronics. If passed, the proposal would add 5 percent to the cost of iPads, game systems and other devices. The money would presumably be used to subsidize paper-based sources of information.

Yeah, that should prompt a discussion... a discussion that begins with "What??!"

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Anime & Duck Hunt

The original NES was released in the USA in 1986 when I was all of 5 years old, and although I don't remember exactly when the console was first brought into my home, I pretty much grew up with the thing. Everyone who had one remembers the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt combo cartridge that shipped with the system and likely spent countless hours trying to defeat both. While at some point I was able to defeat all eight worlds in Mario, Duck Hunt was forever a confounding and frustrating experience. In today's links, Collegehumor explains what was really going on with that cackling dog and his feathered friends.

  • HolyTaco reveals all of the signs that will let you know if you are at a shady flea market.
  • In an example of life imitating art, Ong Bak star Tony Jaa is quitting acting to become a monk. Details on FilmDrunk.
  • Ever wondered what was controlling the difficulty in NES classic Duck Hunt? CollegeHumor knows the dirty little secret.

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You may have heard that an oil spill is happening in the Gulf of Mexico right now, and in spite of BP’s delightfully named efforts to impede the flow of crude into the ocean (Top Hat, Kill Shot, Junk Shot, Top Kill) nothing yet has staunched the flow even a bit. We may have to face the fact oil will continue gushing forth from the bowels of the earth for months, maybe years, killing all sea life and sea-based commerce in a significant part of the world. Happy beginning of summer, everyone.

But fear not, citizen: The environmental and human cost of this worst-disaster-in-history won’t prevent me from pivoting to make some stupid jokes about video games, believe me! Be prepared for your brave new future with my list of Games To Play To Prepare For Our Post-Oil Spill World.

Games To Play In A Post Oil-Slick World

Endless Ocean: Gulf of Mexico Edition – The gentle diving and sea-life simulator Endless Ocean lulled gamers to sleep with its no-danger, exploratory gameplay, but an oil slick version would provide hours of excitement… if you can deal with the innovative, all-black graphics of a simulation of a dip into the Gulf of Mexico.

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I don't want to alarm you, but today is Emergence Day.

It was prophesized by Gears of War, and today in Guatemala, the first holes opened up and the Locust swarms are due any minute now... Check out the below video from the Associate Press. You have been warned:

... and click here if you want to "official" (cover-up!) story.

Here's what we think will come out of the hole:

  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
  • The Souls of the Dead
  • Rapper DMX
  • Not hope
  • Smoke Monster from LOST
  • A huge baby

Add your own in the comments below... oh, and by the way, no deaths were reported.

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I understand that product placements in video games are here to stay. They offset the massive cost of game development and can even enhance games if used correctly... but that's a big "if."  A good video game creates a complete, fictional world for you to live and play in; hawking real-life products can break the delicate narrative-spell of a game as sure as a glitch can break gameplay. A NASCAR game with a car sponsored by STP makes sense; a post-apocalyptic RPG with a Taco Bell does not. With this simple rule in mind, check out my list of some of the worst, most game-breaking product placements in video game history.

Burger King Fight Night

Fight Night Round 3: Players can 'hire' the Burger King as a fighter's cornerman in this game. King gives your stat ratings a heart boost, making it easier to get up from knockdowns.  I'm a fan of lovably creepy adver-character The King, but making him an unlockable character in an otherwise realistic boxing simulator is jarring, stupid and corny. Yeah, I know it's just game, but come on.

No mention of Burger King is complete without noting that Sneak King, Big Bumpin'  and Pocketbike Racers, a trio of Burger King games that just exist as advertising. I have no problem with these at all. Sneak King was fun, and hey, free achievements!

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Namco BandaiUbisoft adaptation of "always on" DRM with Assassin's Creed 2 may have rubbed some PC gamers the wrong way, but perhaps we'd all better get used it. Publisher Namco Bandai favors the solution as well, saying that forcing gamers to hook up to the internet to keep piracy at bay is a good strategy.

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Gaming Addiction: Fact Or Fiction?Since the 1980s, certain medical professionals and moralists have been decrying the physical and mental deterioration brought on by gaming, whether it's Pac-Man Elbow or moral depravity brought on by Grand Theft Auto. It's an old story, but every once in a while, a new wrinkle appears that make me take notice. Today's wrinkle: Steve Pope, a U.K. counselor and therapist, says that playing games for two hours is equal to doing a line of coke.

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Links Of TheFeed: The Lost Art Of Crazy

I'm probably the only person at the G4 offices who doesn't watch Lost. I missed the boat when the show first arrived, and never tried to catch up and get on board. Once you hit the working world, there's only so many hours in the day, and you have to pick and choose your entertainment. I picked video games, live sporting events, and the occasional show that's probably not as good as Lost (although recently I've been blowing through all 5 seasons of The Wire and I can't imagine any other show ever being better).

So every Wednesday morning when I come to work I get to hear countless conversations about stuff I could care less about, even if I'm slightly intrigued by the whole story of the show. However, with the series finale just 2 days away, I figured I'd share a gallery of pretty awesome Lost artwork compiled on UnrealityMag.com. Check it out, along with Chris Klein's audition freak-out, a indictment against the new Robin Hood movie, and more.

  • If you haven't seen it yet, CollegeHumor has Chris Klein's maniacal audition for a part in Mamma Mia.
  • It sounds like the new Robin Hood movie is terrible. Check out FilmDrunk's scathing review.

Alan Wake Is (Finally) Done, Gets New Developer Diary

I love Alan Wake. The game's creepy atmosphere, engaging gameplay and awesome visuals hooked me, but what  impressed me most was the carefully crafted story. It's a story that you can take seriously--at least at first. Check out our Alan Wake review for more.

In Episode Four, though, there's a piece of product placement that's so jarring, so nonsensical, and so downright bad, it's the fictional equivalent of a game-killing glitch. Check it out below the cut... (Spoiler warning, of course.)

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Red Dead Redemption Bonus Outfit Voting Begins

An Irish newspaper is warning the people of The Emerald Isle that they might be angry when Red Dead Redemption is released there. The game features a character referred to as "Irish," who has a silver tongue but is often drunk.

Categorizing Irish as a "nasty surprise," Cormac Byrne (who may or may not be Irish) writes in the Herald: "The stereotype of the drunken Paddy will again be taken advantage of."

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When you do something as evil as tying a nun to some railroad tracks, you have to expect retribution from on high. Ladies and Gentleman, please enjoy this most enjoyable Red Dead Redemption glitch: The Demonic Flying Horse:


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First Look: Atomic Games' Breach

Atomic Games, the creators of Breach and Six Days in Fallujah, has close ties to the armed forces and is known for creating military grade tactical simulators as well as consumer first-person shooters, so you really shouldn't try to steal source code from them -- they'll totally catch you. This lesson that seems to have missed Justin D. May. The 20 year-old gamer is accused of having stolen Breach source code from Atomic at Pax 2010 a couple months ago, and this morning, May showed up for his first day in court to face the charges.

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Older GamersI have no doubt that you and I will spend our last years on earth video gaming. The nursing homes of the future will feature PlayStation 14s and Xbox 5,665s, and we will forget the imminent approach of Death by playing endless games of Mario Kart between meals of strained peas. But right now, the game industry is missing out on billions of dollars by ignoring the older gaming demographic, according to a "white paper" co-written by The AbleGamers Foundation and 7-128 Software.

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Sexy Pirate

Nintendo may be the makers of gentle games and consoles for loving families, but when it comes to piracy, Nintendo is ruthless. The company announced today it filed a civil lawsuit against the owner of multiple websites that "sell illegal video game copiers."

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