February 12th, 2006

GamePolitics Hosting Battlefield 2 Server

Hey, Battlefield 2 fans!!

GamePolitics is now hosting our very own BF2 server for your enjoyment. We're starting things off with a 16-player map rotation featuring the two most popular urban levels from BF2 (Strike at Karkand, Mashtuur City).

You'll find GP on there from time to time. You'll have no trouble figuring out who I am. I must warn you, however, I am deadly with anti-tank weapons.

Our able server admins, clockworklime and $tumpy, will make sure you enjoy your BF2 experience. And hey, if there is interest in starting up a GP clan, we'd be cool with that.

If you're a BF2 fan, please join us. The server name is GamePolitics.com, of course, and the server IP address is 209.40.96.129.

NOTE: Bumping this just to make sure all the BF2 fans who read GP get a chance to see the news about our new server.

GamePolitics Site Update

We've added a few tweaks to the site today:

Upper right margin: GP's Xfire profile, mainly to show when I'm online in our Battlefield 2 server.

The server (209.40.96.129), by the way, was really active last night. I had a blast being blasted and blasting back. If you're checking the server out let me know your BF2 name so I can say hello.

Also, we've moved our Frappr stuff down on the lower right margin. The GP Frappr community is still going strong with over 500 members. Feel free to join!

Commentary: Is It Time to Change the Name of the Game?

Video game ratings, video game violence, video game sex, Hot Coffee - their political and cultural impact are debated endlessly by politicians, gamers, parents, media pundits, activists and the video game industry itself. It's a battle that rages on but never seems to get anywhere, in large part due to the irreconcilable disconnect between those who "get" games and those who don't.

Thoughtful observers have long realized that, in the minds of many, games are inherently a form of child's play. It's not hard to understand why. When video games came along a quarter-century ago, even their creators saw them as children's entertainment. They were marketed to kids in retail toy stores - still are, in fact.

Such critics will always equate "games" with "toys" - and thus with children. And it's not just the nay-sayers. Too many parents either don't understand game content and ESRB ratings or simply can't say no to when their kids ask for age-inappropriate games. And, although the retailers, publishers and ESRB have made great strides, there will still be a certain amount of games sold or rented to kids who aren't old enough for its content. No system is perfect - not voluntary compliance systems like the one currently in place or legislated systems such as those currently under review by the federal judiciary in California and Michigan.

Things have changed, of course. Video game content now runs the gamut from kid-friendly titles like Curious George and LEGO Star Wars to adult-themed offerings such as GTA San Andreas and Black to the highly socialized online communities of World of Warcraft and Second Life or the largely adult-populated casual game scene of Pogo.

Over the years, gamers and game designers have recognized the artistic and expressive potential of video games, along with their power to enlighten and entertain players from four to ninety-four. But there are also millions who missed that particular cultural bus. Perhaps they had no gamer children. Or they weren't into technology. Or they simply just don't hold with video games. No one says - or should say - that video games are for everyone.

So there will always be people - adult people, voting people, influential people - who either don't understand or don't care to understand video games. Thus the video game industry finds itself in a Vietnam-style stalemate: an endless culture war it probably can't win, but can't lose, either - thanks to a series of successful First Amendment holding actions.

So it may be time to change the name of the game.
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