June 8th, 2006

When Guys Try to Write About Girl Gamers

Have you read ones of those ubiquitous "Women in Gaming" articles lately? If so, did you want to throttle the writer or did you merely roll your eyes?

Brit blogger Richard Cobbett offers male peers a humorous send-up of the genre in Writing A "Girls In Games" Article.

In the world according to Corbett, there is a 10-step formula for approaching articles about women in gaming. Number One is for the writer to consider himself a knight in shining armor or, what Cobbett calls a "champion of chivalry."

Once that's covered, the would-be journalist can move on to the next important topic of the day - deciding how to describe Lara Croft's boobs. Of course, in order to be recognized as a politically-correct correspondent, the formula requires the writer to over-generalize about female gamers and throw his arms (or pen) up in disgust at the attractive Frag Dolls. Keep in mind that the appropiately disgusted male writer should also post pictures of the Dolls, preferably in tight, short skirts.
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GP Interviews "Dead in Iraq" Game Protester

As previously reported by GamePolitics, Joseph DeLappe has a unique way of protesting the war in Iraq - he employs the U.S. Army's own recruiting game, America's Army.

Using an avatar named "dead in iraq," DeLappe simply logs onto an America's Army server and begins entering the names and dates of death of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq. GP interviewed Joseph DeLappe recently to find out more about his political use of the online game space.

GP: You're a professor at the University of Nevada Reno. What is your academic specialty?

JDL: My field is digital media. I've been working with electronic media as an artist here since 1983.

GP: Tell us about the "dead in iraq" project.

JDL: It's essentially an online intervention, memorial and protest of the America's Army computer game. It's conceived as a way of going into America's Army and rather than playing the game, I go in as a neutral interloper. My avatar is named "dead in iraq." Instead of playing the game I use the text messaging system to input all the names of U.S. soldiers who have died to date in Iraq. I started out with the first one (killed) back in 2003 and moved chronologically up to the present.

GP: Is it a protest against the war or the America's Army game?

JDL: It's kind of both. The idea for the piece came about well over a year or so ago, in just thinking about the notion of the nature of memorials. In principal it means something that is usually after the fact, after a war is complete and we want to do something in tribute to those who died. In this instance it seemed to me that with the questionable nature of this conflict in Iraq that it would be appropriate, perhaps, to do a memorial while it is still happening. I'm not the only one doing that. There have been other instances of that, people lining up boots in public parks and things like that.
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FTC Rules on Hot Coffee

In a long-awaited ruling, the Federal Trade Commission has found that the companies behind Grand Theft Auto San Andreas engaged in deceptive marketing practices.

The FTC issued a press release this morning, wrapping up a 10-month investigation into the so-called "Hot Coffee" scandal.

Although the FTC concluded that Take-Two and Rockstar used deceptive marketing practices by not revealing that hidden sex animations were on the GTA San Andreas disc, the proposed penalty was quite moderate, at least in economic terms. The ruling is a blow, however, to the public image of both companies as well as the video game industry.

Under terms of a proposed consent decree, the FTC will require Take-Two and Rockstar going forward to clearly disclose all content relevant to a game's rating on its packaging. The companies must also set up a content review system to spare the gaming public additional servings of Hot Coffee. Finally, the companies agreed that they would be subject to fines of up to $11,000 per game sold if they commit such violations in the future.

Essentially, the FTC is saying, "Don't do it again."
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