April 9th, 2006

More GP Readers in their Pixelante Shirts - Send Us YOUR Pix Pic!!

Pixelante shirts are selling like hotcakes, with all proceeds going directly to the Get-Well Gamers Foundation.

What's that? You didn't buy one yet? What's up with that?

As promised, GP has been publishing pictures sent in by readers modeling their Pixelante-wear. On Thursday we showed you how readers OrigamiFrog and Androktasie looked in their Pixelante garb. The latest batch of submissions include the1jeffy (top) and squirrelofwrath (below).

Poor Squirrel looks as if he's just finished reading Jack Thompson's latest post... GP knows how ya feel, buddy.

When - not if - you get your Pixelante shirt, be sure and send us your picture!

25 to Life Controversy Spreads to Canada

Just when you though the furor over Eidos' "25 to Life" was winding down, another politician steps up to speak out against it.

Nova Scotia's Justice Minister Murray Scott (left) has issued a press release asking gamers, parents and retailers to "use common sense in controlling distribution of this game." Unlike most such outcries, Scott acknowledges that players can choose to be either bad and good in the game. Instead, Scott focuses the level of violence overall, especially a feature which allows the taking of hostages as human shields.

"Relationships between police and communities should be strengthened, not eroded by these graphic and offensive images that are packaged as a game," said Mr. Scott. "We need to be especially careful that our young children are protected from this kind of violence and negative themes."

Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister of Environment and Labour, weighed in as well, saying, "Many games are not for people under the age of 17 and that is why we implemented a video game rating system in this province - to help retailers and the public know exactly what content is in the video."

The Minister of Environment and Labour's Alcohol and Gaming Division enforces Nova Scotia's Theatres & Amusements Act, which requires retailers to ID minors when selling "T", "M" or "AO" rated video games, and "14", "18", and "XXX" rated movies. Although the Ministry rates movies itself, for video games it adopted the ESRB's system in 2004. (CM: Note that in this case "Gaming" refers to "Gambling")

Violating the Act result in a sellers' license suspension rather than a fine. Ms. Bolivar-Getson said everyone, from retailers, to government and parents has a role to play in ensuring the video games that young people buy or rent are suitable for their age.

CM: While it's disappointing that another set of politicians got suckered by Eidos into giving free advertising for a crappy product, It's encouraging that the press release focused more on the negative attitudes present in the storyline, and encouraged parents and even gamers to be responsible.

-Reporting from Saskatchwan, GP North American Correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes

GP Editorial: IEMA's Halpin Wows Gamers

Late last week GP received an unusual e-mail.

Hal Halpin, president of the IEMA, the trade group representing the majority of U.S. video game retailers, was volunteering to be grilled by GamePolitics readers. As Hal wrote, "There seem to be some misconceptions that should be cleared up and facts are always the best weapons in our arsenal."

Amen to that.

It wasn't perhaps the most elegant technical solution, but on Friday morning Hal registered himself an LJ account. GP started an article to alert readers, who, despite a complete lack of advance notice, proceeded to deluge Hal with questions and concerns about legislation, ratings, retailing and the like. It was truly remarkable to watch this interaction unfold between GP readers and one of the industry's major players.

We credit Hal for spending literally hours answering readers' questions. But more than that GP applauds Hal for having the intestinal fortitude to simply step up and be responsive. We've long been frustrated by the video game industry's public relations posture, which is best described as flying under the radar.

Hal Halpin changed that equation on Friday. We hope it continues.

GP: The format worked so well that we are looking at bringing other notables to GP, both critics and supporters of the game industry.

Wow... Bonus Pixelante Shirt Pics from Hot Coffee Modder Patrick W

GP loves running this site. You just never know what's going to happen next. And what just happened is really cool.

Patrick W, the Dutch modder who discovered Hot Coffee, just forwarded GP an e-mail with some very special Pixelante shirt pics. If you don't recognize him, the dude in the shirt is none other than CJ from GTA San Andreas. Hmmmm... Did he pay for that shirt?

If this doesn't convince you to buy a Pixelante shirt for charity, nothing will.