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  Who Would You Shoot?  
 
 
Posted 2005-05-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
ABC News reports that Iraqi rebels have created an online game called "Who Would You Shoot?" to train prospective real-life snipers. Unfortunately, the web site carrying the game isn't identified (ergo, no screen shots), but the game reportedly consists of Q&A-style play, so it's nowhere near as immersive as America's Army, an online game created by the U.S. Army that trains prospective real-life snipers.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Gaming the U.S. Military  
 
 
Posted 2005-04-20 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative has realeased a report entitled "Massive Multiplayer Online Gaming: A Research Framework for Military Training and Education" which identifies trends in the use of games and simulations for education and training purposes and finds that multiplayer online gaming can lead to measurable learning outcomes.

The report says that "Millions of potential recruits have gone through 'basic training'" in the Army-developed game America's Army, and mentions how Full Spectrum Warrior, co-developed by the U.S. military's Institute of Creative Technology (ICT), "offers ideal supplemental training," and "has been used by the Afghan National Army to fight alongside U.S. troops." The report doesn't mention that Full Spectrum Warrior's value is debatable.

Continue reading: Gaming the U.S. Military
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Sin City  
 
 
Posted 2005-04-04 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I didn't read Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novels, but I did read his groundbreaking Dark Knight graphic novels. I mention the latter because, thematically, there are some core similarities between it and the former. Corny monologues, urban ultraviolence, aging warriors, teenage girls... modern pulp fiction predating Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Miller's work is (obviously) highly cinematic, but I'm not sure a movie version of Sin City was all that necessary.

While highly stylized, textured and atmospheric, the film is just too over the top for its own good: Cheeseball dialog, painfully-deliberate camera shots, nonstop gore and dozens of ass-cheeks. By the end of it all, I was certain that Sin City's remorseless trenchcoat-wearing macho men would make a fine role-model to the future perpetrators of the next Columbine massacre.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Food Violence and Our Children  
 
 
Posted 2005-02-14 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
A pre-teen Michigan boy reportedly stabbed his sister when she refused to hand over a microwavable chicken pot pie. This is only the latest in a string of near-deadly food-related attacks in America. Last fall, two Georgia schoolgirls allegedly served their classmates a deadly cake, while last summer a group of girls planned to create a computer game entitled "Dr. Evil Stinky and the Poison Cake."

Food has always been an influence on children, but it seems food-related violence is on the rise. The solution to this modern problem is to limit the exposure of young people to food. If governments will not regulate food-exposure, we must look to the food industry to self-regulate and either refrain from selling food to minors or clearly label food based on age-appropriateness. For example, "E" might indicate that the food is safe for Everyone, whereas an "M" might indicate that the food should only be sold to legal ("Mature") adults.

Clearly any sort of pie or cake should be an M-rated food.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Gamers:  The Army Knows Where You Live  
 
 
Posted 2005-01-13 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Everyone hates a cheater. But the U.S. Army is angry, and is coming for them. Slashdot reports that due to cheating in the recruitment game America's Army, extreme countermeasures are possible: "We know who you are, and can track down where you play from. We have incontrovertible proof you did something illegal. The Army is angry, and we're coming for you."

Good to know the Army's attitude is consistent, even when dealing with American citizens. Any military expert can tell you that idle threats make an army look foolish, so I fully expect cheaters to be lined up and shot over this.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Games and Fear, Part II  
 
 
Posted 2004-08-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
See yesterday's post and comments for a preamble.

A Windsor, Ontario mom had that city's transit system remove an advertisement for the game Prince of Persia because its menacing imagery frightened her son [report]. So far there's been nothing but ridicule from the gaming community [Shacknews: "This was just too funny to pass up."] The Shacknews author is American (from Florida), and if I had to guess at the IGN commentor's country of origin I'd wager he's American, too. I feel that many Americans can't appreciate this Canadian situation due to U.S. gun culture. Canada's school system is teaching kids that violence and violent instruments are bad. I've seen the effects of this first-hand: some kids actually fear the sight of a gun or knife. Which is probably not an unhealthy reaction to something that can kill you. Furthermore, Prince of Persia is rated "Teen" by the ESRB, i.e. not appropriate for children. So, yeah, maybe we're all a bunch of wussies here in Canada, but we don't lose thousands of our people each year to gun violence. It's a tradeoff I can live with.

Continue reading: Games and Fear, Part II
 
     
 
   
 
  10 comments  
  Media Orgy Over “Xbox-Related” Murders  
 
 
Posted 2004-08-09 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Six people were recently murdered in Deltona, Florida by baseball-bat-weilding teenagers. The murders were reportedly over a stolen Xbox console and clothing. There are several significant details in this case that might be headline-worthy, but its the Xbox that's getting top billing. I guess that's because Mainstream Media sees the Xbox as the most important element of the story despite details of equal or greater weight.

Game violence is so tired. Could we just get back to beheading-porn, please?
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Art Crimes:  Teen vs. Bush  
 
 
Posted 2004-04-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The US Secret Service was alerted last weekend due to the actions of a 15-year-old boy. The Washington-state high-school student had drawn sketches depicting violence against US President George W. Bush and pro-Green Party sentiment for an art assignment. His school called the police, who faxed the drawings to the Secret Service. The teen was disciplined by his school. Because expressing yourself is evil. [story]
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  MTV’s Take on Game Violence  
 
 
Posted 2004-04-27 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Nomadic writer and producer Adrian Cook was approached by MTV to appear in a televised debate on the subject of "Videogames and Violence in Society," arguing for the side of "Videogames don't cause violence!" He's kindly reprinted the pre-screening questions they posed and his detailed answers. An interesting read, both for his opinions and experiences, and the fact that by approaching Cook, MTV just saved themselves having to do research on the topic.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Shock and AWE  
 
 
Posted 2004-04-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The US Army brings their video-game obsession to a new dimension with their There-based Asymmetric Warfare Environment. Gamespot.com chatted with chief scientist and technology officer of the US Army�s Simulation, Training and Instrumentation program, Dr. Michael Macedonia. Macedonia comments on the recruitment game America's Army and of course, their new AWE-simulation system.

Choice quotes:

"America�s Army is focused on recruiting. It�s really a marketing tool in a lot of ways--marketing and education, I should say." See? It's an educational game. Kids can learn how to unquestionably obey their superiors.

"In none of these games do you shoot. Well, you can role-play and shoot, but it�s not really focused on shooting."

"We built downtown Baghdad in this environment." Cool! I'm sure it's exactly like the real thing except that the concrete isn't painted in blood.

"What�s a soldier�s experience in Iraq or Afghanistan? Who�s the enemy? How do I get these people to not [necessarily] like me, but to relate to me?" How about starting with not shutting down their newspapers or beating them to death for carrying photographs of their leaders?
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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