Other People's Misfortune


Wanna hear something good about video games? I sure do! Apparently, some research presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2011 Annual Meeting (a wild, wild affair) playing video games can help kids with amblyopia, also-known-as "lazy eye."

Basically, kids with lazy eyes played a shooter game using only their weaker eye, and showed great improvement in their condition.  Around a third of the 10 to 18 year olds in the study achieved "vast gains" towards correcting their vision. Over the course of a year, about 30 of the 100 participants had made great improvements towards their vision while 60 percent showed some improvement.

So the next time someone says you're wasting your time playing a game, tell them you have a lazy eye and you're making it stronger!

Source: Examiner

SkinvadersWe get many, many emails and announcements regarding iOS games. There's a bit of a gold rush going on in the iOS space: Cheap development costs plus success stories like Rovio's Angry Birds means a lot of folks are trying to jump onto the iPhone game bandwagon -- it's like a slot machine. It's a bit overwhelming, honestly. But sometimes, a game comes along that's so unique, I have to tell you about it. That game, today, is Skinvaders, a augmented reality game in which tiny monsters attack your face.  Not only that, they lay eggs in your skin.

It is just as creepy as it sounds You stare at your own mug being attacked by horrible bugs, aliens and other creeps, while tiny maggots (I guess) hatch from your abused skin. Judging from the above art and the below video, Skinvaders perfectly mimics a cocaine overdose, and the delusional "cocaine bugs" that druggies try to dig out of their flesh.

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Xbox Live

Interesting reports of Xbox Live hackings have been trickling in on the internet for the past couple of week or so, with users reporting that purchases are showing up on the credit card attached to their Xbox Live account. While the occasional isolated hack-report is expected, some believe a pattern is emerging, and a widespread security flaw is becoming evident.

Many of the gamers reporting hacks say that FIFA Soccer 11 or 12 has been played on their account, even though they don't own the game, leading to the speculation that there's some FIFA-specific hack going on.

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Retailer Game Crazy Closing 200 Stores


British newspaper The Sun has reported that video games are "Giving kids dementia."

Before you get too up-in-arms, consider this: Americans always seem to think British people are super smart because of the accents, so when we report that a "British newspaper" says something, many take it seriously. But you shouldn't. British people seem to love super-dumb, super-exploitive tabloids with questionably journalistic credibility. Example: The Sun.  While probably not good sources of information, they are entertaining.

According to The Sun, a "top scientist" names Baroness Greenfield said  "Screen technologies cause high arousal which in turn activates the brain system's underlying addiction. This results in the attraction of yet more screen-based activity."

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HACKERS movieLast week, we learned that a computer virus has infected the cockpit computers of the American military’s Predator and Reaper drone planes, and pilots keystrokes were logged as they remotely flew missions over Afghanistan and other warzones. Today, we've learned the source of the virus, and its connection to facebook game Mafia Wars.

According to a source quoted by The Associated Press, the virus came from "malware that is routinely used to steal log-in and password data from people who gamble or play games like Mafia Wars online." So, it's not a direct connection to the game itself, but it's still a quirky and interesting little story that highlights the extremely creepy world of unmanned military death drones..

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There isn't much more satisfying in an online shooter than hunkering down with a sniper rifle and taking some noob's head off from across the map. So enjoy this clip of an impressive sniper on the PC-only map in the Battlefield 3 "Caspian Border" as he takes out the enemy from across the entire map.

 Resident Evil 5

This morning in Toronto, 16 zombies were injured on the set of the Resident Evil 5 movie. "Big deal," I'll bet your thinking, "I killed like 16 jillion zombies last night." Well, my cynical friend: These were real zombies. Or, more accurately, real actors dressed as zombies.

According to completely reputable news source TMZ, a gaggle of fully-made up actors were standing on set with wheels. The set  "suddenly moved," and 16 zombified-actors plummeted over 20 feet to the ground. That's like falling off the roof of a two-story house! Reportedly, none of the injuries were life-threatening, but there were still broken limbs and back injuries, so it's not like this wasn't a serious deal.

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EA Sues EA: Electronic Arts Vs. Energy ArmorEA has filed a suit in California against Florida fitness supply company Energy Armor over the EA logo. Check out the competing logos to the right. Would you be likely to confuse one for the other? Electronic Arts thinks you would. The company writes:

"Energy Armor's use of the Energy Armor EA Mark is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive consumers as to an affiliation, connection, or association between Energy Armor and Electronic Arts,"

Energy Armor manufactures "Negative Ion" products, like magnetic bracelets and other stupid crap uneducated people believe in... oops, I meant "scientifically supported health improvement devices!"  Sorry for the typo.  Anyway, part of EA's marketing strategy seems to be showing pictures of athletes rocking the snake-oil bracelets, and, according to EA, this is where the problem comes in. Energy Armor associating its sports and professional athletes is "similar to how Electronic Arts advertises and markets its EA Sports products," the complaint says.

Source: Gamasutra

Unfortunately many PC gamers who bought Rage have been experiencing severe texture pop-in, screen tearing, audio stuttering, low framerates, and overall poor performance. Apparently driver issues with certain ATI and Nvidia cards are to blame. id Software's John Carmack Tweeted, "Everyone, make sure you have latest Nvidia/Ati drivers to play Rage."

Here's a video example of the PC issues:

AMD has fallen on the sword and taken the blame for many of the issues, admitting via a Tweet that the current Rage performance drivers were accidentally packed with old OGL files. The company has promised via another Tweet that new Rage drivers with the proper OGL component to be posted later today. When the correct driver is posted you'll be able to find it on the AMD website.

So if you're experiencing these issues don't worry; a fix is on the way. Many of id Software's PC games get Day One Patches and fixes, so this isn't anything extremely uncommon, just majorly annoying.

Are you a PC gamer experiencing rage from the video problems with Rage?

Source: PC Gamer

Is Sony Making An Android/PlayStation Gaming Phone?

I know we like to think our little gaming addiction takes place in a bubble, and larger world events don't affect our hobby, but it just isn't so. Example: The collapse of the Euro. While it's great for Americans who want to vacation in Luxemborg, it's terrible for Sony. The company expects the fall of the Euro to have a "huge impact," which means losses. Big losses. This is bad.

Sadly, there's nothing that can be done to offsets these losses, beyond a sympathy card to your favorite Sony executive.

"There are no countermeasures that we can take for the moment,” Hiroshi Kurihara, corporate treasurer at Sony, said. “There is a huge impact on our earnings.”

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer Reveal Hands-On

46-year-old Mark Bradford has admitted to tracking down and choking a 13-year-old boy after the boy taunted him through the game chat in Call of Duty: Black Ops.

According to an article from wownews.co.uk, Bradford admitted that he "just lost it" after the boy killed him in-game. He proceeded to find the boy's address, went there, and started to choke him. He was only stopped when the boy's mother pulled him off her son. Bradford called the attack a "moment of madness." He admitted to one count of assault by beating.

I know emotions can run high in online games, but come on - this is beyond unacceptable. Have you guys ever seen or heard of anything like this? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Wownews


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A UK documentary, Exposure - Gaddafi and the IRA, that looks in to claims that the autocratic ruler of Libya, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, supporting the IRA, said it was showing secret IRA film from 1988. But the clip turned out to be footage from the video game ARMA 2.

What?! In the footage below, you'll see the shaky footage of men (i.e. pixels) on camouflage pick-up shooting down helicopters. This definitely isn't secret IRA film, but rather a tactical shooter released in 2009.

According to ITV, the studio behind the documentary, "The events featured in Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA were genuine but it would appear that during the editing process the correct clip of the 1988 incident was not selected and other footage was mistakenly included in the film by producers. This was an unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise." The studio does have the real IRA film which they plan on replacing the video game footage with.

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Dark Souls Screenshots -- Is That A Zombie Dragon?

According to translations of Japanese gaming blog Esuteru, From Software, creators of upcoming game Dark Souls, have an interesting plan to deal with gamers who play the game before its official release date: Murder them. In the game, of course.

Esuteru is reporting that level 145 "Black Phantoms" are roaming around the Dark Souls world, and the way-overpowered monsters mean instant death for anyone who sees them. Apparently, the characters are being controlled by game-devs to punish gamers who are somehow in the game before the official release date.

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PSN Accounts Hacked: How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

In news that will send shivers down the spine of everyone who suffered through the great PSN outage of 2011, the PlayStation Network is currently down. This is not scheduled maintenance--something doesn't seem to be working correctly.

The news (like all news these days) comes to us via twitter. A tweet from Sony posted two hours ago reads:

"We're aware that some of you are having issues trying to log into PSN. We're working to resolve the issue, and we'll update you here."

UPDATE: 2:18 PM Reports are coming in from gamers all over the net that the PlayStation Network is back up and live. So get playing! Go! Go!

UPDATE: 12:30 PM PlayStationEU, the European twitter account for PlayStation, has confirmed the problem is being addressed and is expected to be go back up in 2 hours. 

"Current indications are that we'll be restoring PlayStation Network services in approx. two hours. We appreciate your patience."

Dead Island

Even though Dead Island has shipped over one million copies, you're going to have to wait on the Blood Bath DLC for the zombie slaying game as the game's developers have pushed it back to focus on fixing the title's numerous bugs.

"Right now the Dead Island development team's priority is working on fixes and updates across all platforms so that we can take care of all of the fans who have been so supportive of our game," a spokesperson from Deep Silver said. "There is some awesome DLC content planned for Dead Island, but first we have to put all our focus on the base game experience."

I think that this is a good move on Deep Silver's part. Dead Island was released with tons of bugs, and even though the company promised a Day One patch to fix everything they weren't released for the Xbox 360 or PC until this week. The team is currently working on a PlayStation 3 patch but they don't know when it will be completed.

Source: Kotaku

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