June 29th, 2006

Shooter Game Helps Young Cancer Patients

It helps teens and young adults who are afflicted with cancer.

It has been shown to improve the quality of life for young cancer patients and to increase their understanding of the disease.

It also enhances their ability to talk about their cancer, manage its side effects, and stick with therapy regimens.

Could "it" be a miracle drug? Some revolutionary new medical procedure? White magic?

Nah. It's a video game. (Hey, this is GamePolitics after all!)

Created by Hope Lab in collaboration with several game developers, biologists, and young cancer patients, the somewhat whimsically titled Re-Mission is one of those serious games we love to write about because they show the positive potential of video game tech. Re-Mission is a third-person shooter starring a microscopic nanobot named Roxxi whose mission is to enter the bodies of patients and fight cancer and bacteria on the cellular level.
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Clinton, Lieberman Frustrate Columnist

Mike Antonucci aka "Nooch" is a longtime journalist for the San Jose Mercury-News. Along with colleague Dean Takahashi, author of The Xbox 360 Uncloaked, Mike is also one-half of the paper's Dean & Nooch gaming blog.

Writing earlier this week in the blog, Antonucci complained that his requests for comment on video game issues were pointedly ignored by the offices of U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT). Both are high-profile critics of games as well as co-sponsors of the Family Entertainment Protection Act, video game legislation currently before the Senate.

Nooch's frustration with being blown off is written in the style of a rant, but he makes his point rather well:

"Earlier this month, I made repeated phone calls to the press reps for Senators Joe Lieberman and Hillary Rodham Clinton, seeking comment on various video-game issues that have gotten them on their high horse..."
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Congress Turns Away From Games, Goes After Movies, Turns Back to Games

Congress just can't seem to tear itself away from video games these days. Even during a meeting ostensibly held to question movie ratings, the political talk turned back to games.

As reported by newsletter The Hill, a meeting earlier this week to discuss film ratings brought together many of the same members of Congress who flayed the video game industry - and especially the ESRB - a few weeks back.

According to The Hill, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) led a group of colleagues in criticism of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its film-rating system at a meeting with MPAA officials in Blunt's Capitol Hill office.

The Congressional attention was sparked by the PG ("Parental Guidance - some material may not be suitable for children") rating assigned to the Christian-themed film Facing the Giants, which some religious conservative critics say received a PG instead of a G ("General Audiences - all ages admitted") because it "proselytizes Christianity." The elected officials expressed concern that the MPAA's rating standards are out of touch with the public view.

"It comes from where you set your worldview. Hollywood has one; Nashville, Tennessee has another one" said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
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