September 14th, 2006

Games Reported to be Fueling U.K. Inflation

You know games are big business when they get top billing - over gasoline - in an article about British inflation.

A Reuters report claims that "strong rises in the cost of toys and games pushed Britain's inflation rate up more than expected in August, reinforcing expectations that interest rates will rise again before the end of the year."

Government statistics conclude that August featured the highest jump in consumer prices since 1997. But are games to blame?
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If You Can't Do the Time, Don't Do the Game Crime

"So, what are you in for?"

"Triple homicide. You?"

"Defrauding MMO players of their virtual loot."

Could this be the future of prison inmate chit-chat? A recent CNET News story examines the potential of real world punishments for virtual crimes.

Perhaps you've heard about the EIB scandal that recently plagued the sci-fi MMORPG Eve Online? A player using the screen name "Cally" established the Eve Intergalactic Bank (EIB) - a private, in-game institution promoted as a place where other Eve Online players could invest their virtual money and accrue interest. Long story short, Cally absconded with approximately 790 billion ISK - the game's currency. At current exchange rates, that amount of ISK has a real-world value of approximately $170,000.
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Jack Thompson Taking His Act to Utah?

In the wake of a contentious relationship with officials assigned to defend his Louisiana game law, anti-game violence attorney Jack Thompson says his next stop will be in Salt Lake City. Thompson plans to testify on video game violence before the Utah House next week.

Although he has not responded to GP's e-mail request to elaborate, it seems likely that Thompson will appear before the Judiciary Interim Committee which meets on September 20th. Lame duck Rep. David Hogue (R) is on the agenda to discuss "material harmful to minors."

GP readers may recall Hogue's failed attempt to pass "games as porn" legislation earlier this year. Indeed, some of Hogue's remarks bore an uncanny resemblance to Thompson's rhetoric. Hogue said at the time, for example, that Red Lake Minnesota school shooter Jeffrey Weise "literally trained himself on Grand Theft Auto."
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Montreal School Shooter Had Game Connection, Early Reports Say...

Canadian media are reporting that an obviously disturbed school shooter had at least a passing interest in a controversial amateur video game.

As detailed by the Associated Press, 25-year-old Kimveer Gill (note: not a kid) seemed obsessed with violence, with more than 50 photos of himself in paramilitary poses on the web site VampireFreaks.

In his last entry on the site, posted about two hours before the shooting, Gill described himself as drinking whiskey, "crazy" and "postal." His profile reveals someone full of hate and rage, obsessed with guns, and describing himself as the "Angel of Death."
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It's Official - Bully Gets a T Rating...

Just got word from the ESRB:

Rockstar's upcoming Bully has been assigned a T (Teen 13+) rating with content descriptors for Crude Humor, Violence, Sexual Themes, Language and Use of Alcohol & Tobacco.

Currently, on the game's official site, Rockstar is displaying an image of Bully bearing the familiar T (13 & older) rating.

There has been much speculation that the game would receive an M (17 & older), but we can put that to rest now.