March 6th, 2006

Ivy League University Serving Hot Coffee to MBA Students

Could reading GamePolitics every day help you earn an Ivy League sheepskin?

Um, sure. Well, maybe.

Vladimir Cole, an MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School, reported on Joystiq that his Business and Public Policy prof included a Hot Coffee question on the final section of a recent exam.

Students were issued a copy of a CNN Hot Coffee report (what! Not GP's massive Hot Coffee coverage?) and were asked to:

1. Use the frameworks learned in the course to analyse the market and nonmarket effects of this issue on Rockstar's business.

2. What statement would you make in response to these issues, and how would you advise Rocktar's CEO to handle the anticipated effects of this news?

How would you answer?

The prof, Dr. Justin Wolfers (left), gets extra credit for making the exam fresh and real-world.

We hear Take-Two CEO Paul Eibeler had a lot of red ink on his exam book.

-Andrew Eisen

Is Game Violence More Acceptable In the Name of the Lord?

Does a religious theme sanctify Grand Theft Auto-like game violence?

That question will have to be answered when Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC title, is released later this year. According to Newsweek, Left Behind deals with the plight of New Yorkers who don't make the cut for The Rapture.

In the real-time strategy game, these "left behind" types must look for converts for a paramilitary resistance movement against the forces of the Antichrist.

GP: So, in RTS game-speak, build a barracks and start pumping out infantry. And why doesn't the Antichrist just nuke everyone and be done with it? He has to resort to conventional weapons? What kind of down-at-heel devil is this?

CEO Troy Lyndon told Newsweek Left Behind's themes will appeal to viewers who didn't blanch at the violence in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. But he does expect some backlash.

"We've thought through how the Christian right and the liberal left will slam us," he said. "But megachurches are very likely to embrace this game." The company plans to market the game directly to congregations as well as through standard game advertising channels.

The backlash Lydon expects from Christians seems to be starting already. Check out this piece by Joel Smoot, writing for the student newspaper at Michigan's Calvin College, which describes itself as a "distinctively Christian, academically excellent liberal arts college." Smoot's take on the upcoming game? Harsh - and passionate.

"The left and the right will slam this game mercilessly, he writes, and it should from all fronts. The day when trash like this is accepted by mainstream Christianity is the not only the day that all thought behind religion will cease, but the day I seriously consider starting a new faith based upon Jesus Christ."