Law and Order

Political Ad Focuses On World of Warcraft

Does a person's participation in an online world have any affect on their real life? How serious should we take comments left on the internet? Those are some of the questions raised by some messages sent by the Maine Republican Party.

It seems the GOP in Maine has learned that Colleen Lachowicz, a Democratic candidate for state senate in Maine's 25th district, is a committed gamer, and they suggest that her choice in online persona reflects poorly on her ability to be a leader in the real world.

Maine GOP communications director David Sorensen sent an email alerting reporters to Colleen's (totally not-hidden) alter-ego, saying she "has been living a time-consuming double life as a member of the World of Warcraft community."

Lachowicz, AKA Santiaga, is a level 85 Orc Rogue in a World of Warcraft, and she often posts on message boards about politics, gaming and other topics. Her political opponents feel this is worthy enough of consideration to have created a web-page about her hobbies, Colleensworld, where her comments are collected.

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Halo 4 Avatar Armor Tied To Election 2012 Coverage

Tonight at 9PM ET on Xbox Live, you'll be able to witness and take part in history. Xbox 360 owners can interact live with the presidential debate through the Election 2012 Hub on Xbox Live.

Sadly, you won't be able to yell "noob!" at Mitt Romney, or scream "OMG! Wallhacks!" at the president. Instead, Gold members will be able to respond to real-time poll questions about the candidate’s performances, their responses to questions, and views on issues. You can also submit poll questions via Twitter – #XboxPoll.

The Obama and Romney campaigns will no doubt use the results of these polls of the Xbox Live community to craft future policy, and Democracy will be led into a new Golden Age. Okay, maybe not, but it will still be cool to see how your fellow gamers feel about the election, no?

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EA Sues Zynga: Does The Ville Infringe On The Sims Social

The dispute might be about Facebook games, but there's nothing casual about the lawsuit Electronic Arts just filed. EA has filed against social game maker Zynga, alleging that the "....ville" creator has lifted The Sims Social's design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions and put them in The Ville. According to EA, the similarities between the two games are unmistakable.

"The similarities go well beyond any superficial resemblance," writes Lucy Bradshaw, general manager at EA's Maxis. "The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are largely indistinguishable to an uninitiated observer."

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Lulzsec Hackers Plead Guilty


Posted June 25, 2012 - By Stephen Johnson

HACKERS movieTwo supposed members of the Lulzsec hacking group have pleaded guilty in The United Kingdom today. 19-year-old Ryan Cleary and 18-year-old Jake Davis admitted being members of Lulzsec, the group thought to be responsible for hacking Sony's PlayStation Network as well as other networks last year.

Cleary and Davis pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to do an unauthorized act or acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, the operation of a computer or computers, but they deny the charge that they posted "unlawfully obtained confidential computer data" on the internet.

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Feedback is about to get serious, Law & Order serious. Like an episode of everyone's favorite crime drama, this episode is ripped from the headlines.

  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developers, 38 Studios, failed to make a payment on their 75 million dollar loan to the state of Rhode Island. This resulted in the layoffs of nearly 400 employees.
  • Infinity Ward and Activision are about to go head to head in court over unpaid bonuses. The trial is currently set for June 1st.

This week special guest Rob Jones, VP of Gaming Programming at Machinima, joined Blair Herter, Jessica Chobot, and Stephen Johnson.

Feedback: Infinity Ward vs Activision Trial And 38 Studios »

The AUDIO MP3 of this episode of FEEDBACK is available here: Right-click and Save.


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HACKERS movieAccording to a recent article in Foreign Policy magazine, the U.S. Government may begin searching through Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii consoles in search of criminals and nere-do-wells of various stripes.

The governmental types believe that easy access to your console hard-drive will allow the authorities to catch pedophiles and terrorists who use their consoles to engage in illegal activities. Privacy advocates, on the other hand, are concerned with law enforcement over-reaching and breaching privacy.

Obscure Technologies, a San Francisco-based company that performs computer forensics, has already earned a $172,250 research contract to develop ''hardware and software tools that can be used for extracting data from video-game systems'', and ''a collection of data (disk images; flash memory dumps; configuration settings) extracted from new video-game systems and used game systems purchased on the secondary market'."

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The state of New York, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and other companies have joined forces to ban sex offenders from online gaming networks.

New York law requires convicted sex offenders to hand over all email addresses and internet screennames to the state, which makes that information available to websites and companies. The companies can then insta-ban objectionable people from their services. 3,580 people have been banned in what they're calling "Operation: Game Over."

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Video Game Industry Issues Arguments Regarding Appeal Of California's Violent Video Game LawCongressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) on Monday introduced a bill that would require most video games to bear a warning label that says, "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

I guess the rest of our nations problems have been solved.

The Bill would require every game, except ones rated EC (Early Childhood), to carry the warning text. That means any game that is rated "E" for everyone, "E10+" for everyone 10 and older, "T" for teen, "M" for mature or "A" for adult. Even if the game isn't violent.

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Activision Seeking Internal Documents Related To West, Zampella And...Electronic Arts?

A State Superior Court judge ruled on two claims made by Jason West and Vincent Zampella, creators of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, today. It was a split decision: One claim was shot down. They other will go forward.

State Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle sided with Activision and agreed that a "fraudulent-inducement" claim made by West and Zampella, shouldn’t go forward. He let stand a claim for promissory fraud.

For those in the dark on the lawsuit, you can catch up with our Fall of Duty stories, but here's the short version:

A trial on all remaining claims is scheduled for May 7.

Source: Bloomberg

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Riot Games Announces Opposition To SOPA And PIPA

Riot Games have announced their opposition to SOPA and PIPA. The League of Legends developers have publicly come out against both pieces of controversial legislation because they felt they were misguided attempts to prevent illegal piracy of copyrighted content.

"This proposed legislation actually threatens any website that features user-generated content. In effect, any copyright holder could file a claim that a streaming website is hosting unauthorized content (such as a song in the background of a League of Legends stream). Under the law, ad networks, payment providers and internet service providers are now potentially liable for their user’s infringement. These services could then be compelled to immediately remove support for a streaming website or face a costly legal battle – at a minimum cutting off financial means, and likely shutting off the site entirely."

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Fallout MMO Legal Battle Is Over, Rights To Fallout Online Return To BethesdaThe legal battle between Interplay and Bethesda regarding the Fallout MMO is over. After several years of court hearings, a settlement has determined the rights to the Fallout MMO, often referred to as Fallout Online, will belong to Bethesda Softworks.

The legal battle began in 2009 when Bethesda attempted to halt the production of Interplay's Fallout MMO due to breach of contract. Bethesda bought the rights to the Fallout IP from Interplay before making Fallout 3. The rights to the MMO remained with Interplay, along with some merchandising rights. Bethesda felt Interplay violated the conditions of their contract and took them to court.

Back in September of last year, Bethesda was denied a restraining order against Masthead, the co-developer of the Fallout MMO. Bethesda and Masthead ended this matter through another settlement late in December 2011.

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PlayStation 3 Outsells Nintendo Wii...In Japan

Back in March of 2010, Sony changed the "add other OS" feature to their flagship console, the PlayStation 3.  The add other OS allowed for Linux installation, home-brewing and modding, but also reportedly lead to software piracy, so Sony took it out. Specifically, they made gamers choose between keeping the "Add other OS" feature and logging on to the PSN.

To be honest, you probably didn't notice the absence-- most gamers are content to use the operation system that comes with their console--but some hacker-types regarded the removal of the ability to put in another OS as removing a valuable function from the device, and they were mad enough to file a lawsuit.

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Battlefield 1943 For PC Available For Preorder, Still Coming Out Next Year

EA is heading to court over a promise to PS3 gamers. Earlier this year at a press event, EA announced gamers who bought Battlefield 3 on the PS3 would get a free copy of Battlefield 1943. For many gamers, that was apparently the incentive they needed to make the PS3 their BF3 console of choice.

As it would turn out, on the day Battlefield 3 was released it was revealed EA had no intentions of following through with these claims. Needless to say, many PS3 gamers feel slighted by this, and the firm of Edelson McGuire is here to take the case. The suit claims EA, “misled and profited from thousands of their customers by making a promise that they could not, and never intended, to keep”. 

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Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Supports 32-Player Console Games?

The release of a blockbuster video game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is bound to bring out some unsavory elements. It begins with the piracy -- parts of Modern Warfare 3 were apparently pirated weeks before its release -- and goes on to more visceral physical crimes, like robbery, terroristic threats and truck-jacking.

The first MW 3 crime we reported happened last week, when French thieves pulled off a brazen heist of the contents of a Modern Warfare 3 delivery truck. The gang of Pierre's crashed into the delivery truck, tear-gassed the driver, and boosted a shipment of games with a street value of over 400,000 Euros.

Today, I've got a couple of stories of less colorful, more desperate Call of Duty crimes: A robbery and some terroristic threats. Read on for the lowlife report.

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Last week we reported that  Richard "Lord British" Garriott, creator of Ultima and incredibly awesome rich guy, was selling his nerd-inspired house, Britannia Manor. Around the office, we were speculatiing as to whether Garriott was selling his crib because he was broke -- after all, it's not the best time to sell a house, given the real estate market being in the crapper.  Turns out, Garriott will be fine financially. A three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $32 million judgment against MMO publisher NCSoft.

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