Recent Entries in Gaming

Game invites users to play the role of JFK's assassin, causing some observers to wonder whether video games have gone too far.

A controversial new video game that has drawn harsh criticism from both politicians and the general public asks players to test their theories about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Traffic Management Limited, a Scottish video game company, released JFK Reloaded earlier this week. The game re-creates the assassination of JFK, and lets players take the role of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The game depicts the presidential limo as it cruises through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, and allows the player to fire at the president from Oswald's perch in the school book depository building. After shooting at Kennedy, the player sees a slow motion replay and an analysis of where--and who--the bullets hit. - JFK Reloaded Game Causes Controversy

There's a new media king, only he isn't on the radio or in the movies. His name? Master Chief. His role: Interstellar soldier and star of "Halo 2," one of the most anticipated video games ever.

Across the nation, fans lined up for hours at some 7,000 planned "midnight madness" events Tuesday to get first crack at the $50 sequel from Microsoft Corp.

Miguel Chavez, a 36-year-old father of two boys, waited about 10 hours at a Toys "R" Us in New York City's Times Square to buy his copy of the game. He took along an Xbox console and a projection system so they could play the original "Halo: Combat Evolved" to pass the time.

Fans flock to buy sci-fi epic ``Halo 2''

Game on.

Intel on Monday launched its latest Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor for high-performance desktop PCs, such as game systems.

As previously reported, the new chip runs at 3.46GHz, a slight increase in clock speed from the previous version, and incorporates 2MB of cache that enlarges its main pool of onboard memory to boost performance. The chip also features a 1,066MHz front-side bus, which speeds up the movement of data back and forth from the chip to memory.

Mainstream Pentium 4s have 1MB of main cache and an 800MHz bus--although Intel, which has redrawn its processor road map several times this year, said in October that it will step Pentium 4 chips up to 2MB of cache next year. At the same time, Intel said it had abandoned plans for now to deliver a 4GHz Pentium 4.

Intel ratchets up game chip | CNET

You already need your photo ID to buy booze or cigarettes and now you'll need it to rent or buy certain video and computer games.
Canadian retailers and entertainment software makers Thursday were to announce a broad initiative aimed at curbing children's access to violent and age-restricted games, including asking customers to produce photographic identification in some cases.

Called The Commitment to Parents program, the campaign also aims to help parents make the right choices for their children by providing more information and better staff training in the stores, the Retail Council of Canada said Wednesday.
"The program will allow parents to get more information on the content and age-appropriateness of the games," retail council president Diane Brisebois said in a telephone interview late Wednesday. "It's a voluntary program based on the ratings you already see on the game boxes."

Photo ID now required to buy, rent games in Canada

Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has confirmed that Half-Life 2, developed by Valve Software, has gone gold with a planned retail street date of November 16, 2004. The countdown to the highly anticipated retail street date has begun around the world, as VU Games completes plans to ship localized versions of Half-Life 2 simultaneously in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese.

"Half-Life 2 has surpassed our expectations in every sense � its high-quality graphics, ground-breaking physics and immersive first-person shooter gameplay set a new standard for PC action games," said Bruce Hack, CEO of VU Games. "Half-Life 2 will go down as one of the best-selling PC titles, and we are thrilled to deliver this ground-breaking title to the worldwide gaming community this fall."

News: Half-Life 2 Set for Mid-November Release

Technology News: Entertainment: Pirates Hijack Xbox's 'Halo 2'

A version of the popular "Halo 2" video game for Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox platform has appeared online in an act of digital piracy.

While games figure as the least pirated digital entertainment medium, falling far below music and movies, "there was going to be piracy, no matter what," Yankee Group senior analyst Mike Goodman told TechNewsWorld.

The popular game is scheduled to be released November 9 in the United States and November 10 in Europe.

The recently-released Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude for the PlayStation 2 is notable for being one of the small but growing number of console games to feature nudity. The nudity is, however, the least compelling reason to play the game, unless you have a fetish for visibly polygonal cartoon breasts and women who appear to be wearing giant "censored" signs below their waists.

The original Leisure Suit Larry game, a graphical text adventure, was released in 1987 and was one of the first games to put adult humor and images into a game worth playing. Earlier adult games were notable for the controversy they inspired, but Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards actually won an award from the Software Publishers Association.

Wired News: Leisure Suit Larry No Seducer

In a dark corner inside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Nice Guy Ed and Darryl Kucmerowski sit hunched over a microphone Thursday, belting out play-by-play and colorful commentary on the Brazil-Italy soccer match being played nearby.

But this is not the World Cup. Nice Guy Ed and Kucmerowski are announcers for Radio iTG, and they are excited. They're bringing the first round of the World Cyber Games 2004 FIFA Soccer 2004 tournament to a worldwide audience.

Gamers Spar for National Honor

On weekdays, Yutaka Okada is a mild-mannered economist crunching numbers for a big bank.

But at night and on weekends he transforms into a ruthless property magnate, wheeling and dealing to amass vast real estate empires, all the while trying to keep out of jail.

Okada is the world Monopoly champion.

Paper Tycoons Vie for World Monopoly Championship

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, the only U.S. citizen to ever hold the title, has been detained in Japan by immigration authorities, officials said on Friday.

A brilliant but volatile player, Fischer became world champion in 1972 after beating Boris Spassky of the then-Soviet Union in a match considered something of a Cold War propaganda victory for the United States.

Fischer, 61, was taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of holding an invalid passport when he tried to leave from Tokyo's Narita airport for the Philippines, Kyodo news agency said, quoting Japanese chess officials.

  New Playstation Coming

Sony said it expects to show off its latest PlayStation at the E3 trade show next May, increasing pressure on Microsoft to take the wraps off its Xbox successor at that time.

Sony(SNE).s game-business head said the company plans to unveil a playable version of the new console at next year's E3, the annual video-game trade show scheduled to take place from May 18 to 20 in Los Angeles.

E3 could be the stage for a showdown of new home consoles from the industry's main hardware makers, including Nintendo, which has pledged to take the wraps off its new game machine, codenamed Revolution, at that time.,1367,64173,00.html?tw=rss.BIZ

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's first Internet church has fallen victim to a plague of virtual demons, some of whom have been logging on as Satan and unleashing strings of expletives during sermons.

The "Church of Fools" was launched last week as a unique chance for Christians to worship interactively by choosing a "3D" animated character who could kneel, sing hymns, talk to others, hear a sermon, or shout "Hallelujah".

The site attracts between 5,000 and 10,000 worshippers daily and those who log on can also give money to a collection plate via mobile phone.


A Chinese court has ordered an online video game company to return hard-won virtual property, including a make-believe stockpile of bio-chemical weapons, to a player whose game account was looted by a hacker. Li Hongchen, 24, had spent two years, and 10,000 yuan ($1,210) on pay-as-you-go cards to play, amassing weapons and victories in the popular online computer game Hongyue, or Red Moon, before his "weapons" were stolen in February, the Xinhua news agency said on Friday. Li asked the company, Beijing Arctic Ice Technology Development Co Ltd, to identify the player who stole his virtual property, but it declined, saying it could not give out a player's private details, it said.

Police also gave Li no satisfaction, so he took his case to court, demanding 10,000 yuan in compensation, Xinhua said. "I exchanged the equipment with my labor, time, wisdom and money, and of course they are my belongings," it quoted him as saying of the virtual property he collected online. The company argued that the value of the virtual property only existed in the game and was "just piles of data to our operating companies." In the end, Beijing's Chaoyang District People's Court ruled on Thursday that the firm should restore the player's lost items, finding the company liable because of loopholes in the server programs that made it easy for hackers to break in.

  Good review for SWG

Finally, someone else likes this game.

"At the moment, if you are enthusiastic about the idea of Star Wars Galaxies I would say buy it, if you have the desire to play I believe you will enjoy it through the various issues present. As much as the problems can be annoying it is nice to watch the game developing and taking shape."


  Beating the Odds at RISK

RISK is a classic board game of global conquest. First published in 1959, this war game remains a popular pastime.and continues to attract mathematical attention. Recent analyses reveal that the chances of winning a battle are considerably more favorable for the attacker than was originally suspected.

I'm a Star Wars fan, but other than a few weirdos, who isn't? Now I'm not the rabid type of fan who dresses up as my favorite character, but I know a sarlacc from a tauntaun, and I care enough to be angry that Greedo shoots first in the Special Edition release.

Which is why, along with thousands of others, I was really looking forward to the appearance of Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided. And ultimately, it's why I am disappointed with the final product. On the other hand, it's still much better than Episode I

[Star Wars Galaxies.jpg]

  Need A Star Wars Name?

Now that Star Wars Galaxies is shipping, you're going to need a name for all your characters. Since you can't use regular human names, like "Joe Smith", or joke names, like "Chewintobacca" or "Oggie Ben Doggie", this is the site for you.

"Welcome to the SWGS Random Name Generator, now powered by PHP! To start generating names, choose a species from the menu to the left, select the number of names you want, then hit submit.

"If you would like to see the basis I used for creating the names, read our naming guide. In it, you can find ways of creating your own Star Wars names, and see the various naming patterns found amongst the eight playable species of SWG."


  Wanna be in a movie?

At E3 2003, we managed to sit in for a demonstration of The Movies, Lionhead's upcoming strategy game. The Movies will let you play as the owner of a movie studio over a period of about 100 years, from 1900 until the present day. You'll begin by making black-and-white films, though over the course of your 100-year career, you'll research such groundbreaking technologies as boom microphones and color film.

Though we were able to see only a temporary, "placeholder" version of the game's interface, Lionhead designer Adrian Moore assured us that the developer wishes to make playing The Movies as simple as possible. In the menu screen we saw, Moore was able to plan a movie from a single menu, choosing the genre (horror, in this case), the actors (Bruce Campbell, Drew Barrymore, and Vincent Price as "the monster"), and the writing allotment. Coming up with a good script will require a lot of time and effort from your team of writers, represented by a five-star meter that gradually fills up as you wait. However, waiting as long as possible to let your team put together a five-star script will cost you a lot of money, since you'll be continuously paying your writers and your actors and other staffers in the meantime. In the demonstration, Moore chose to rush the script by interrupting his writers at about a star and a half, which resulted in the perfect script...for a cheesy B movie.

As perhaps the clearest evidence yet of the power of sophisticated but inexpensive game consoles, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has assembled a supercomputer from an army of Sony PlayStation 2 devices.

The resulting system, with components purchased at retail prices, cost a little more than $50,000. Researchers at the supercomputing center believe the system may be capable of a half trillion operations a second, well within the definition of supercomputer, although it may not rank among the world's 500 fastest supercomputers.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the project, which uses the open-source Linux operating system, is that the only hardware engineering involved was placing 70 of the individual game machines in a rack and plugging them together with a high-speed Hewlett-Packard network switch. The center's scientists bought 100 machines but are holding 30 in reserve, possibly for high-resolution display application.

A software maker that specializes in tools for measuring performance of PC components has accused graphics chip giant Nvidia of manipulating test results for its latest graphics chip.

Saratoga, Calif.-based Futuremark on Friday said in a statement that Nvidia tweaked software needed to run its new GeForce FX 5900 processor to distort performance in Futuremark's 3DMark 03 testing application. Futuremark is one of the leading independent providers of software and services for performing PC "benchmark" tests.

The company said drivers--software files that govern how a component interacts with the rest of the PC--for the new Nvidia chip were altered to detect activity characteristic of a benchmark and adjust performance accordingly.

  Tron 2.0 Preview

You could say that the film Tron did a good job of typifying the 1980s--it had frizzy-haired men, greedy corporations, a helicopter landing on a rooftop, and people throwing away hours of their lives each night on a new fad called "video games." It's been more than 20 years since the motion picture's premiere, and Monolith Productions and Buena Vista are now hard at work on a game-based follow-up to the movie. Tron 2.0 will be a first-person action game that will follow the motion picture closely, but will also have pretty much everything you'd expect from a first-person shooter, plus several unusual new features and gameplay modes, like the lightcycle racing and disc battles featured in the movie.


After 20 years, the world of Tron returns.

Currently, Tron 2.0 is in a prebeta state, but even at this point (just as when we last saw Tron 2.0 at the 2003 Game Developers Conference), the game looks extremely impressive and totally distinctive. There is simply no other modern-day action game that looks anything like Tron 2.0. The game takes place in a digitized world much like the one that Jeff Bridges' character Flynn explored in the movie, and it looks the part, thanks to a distinctive DirectX-based glow effect that Monolith and Nvidia have developed specifically for the game.

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