2010: Year in Review

The Escapist Staff | 31 Dec 2010 16:00
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July 22nd, 2010

"Journalist" Who Wrote Fake GTA Story Ridicules Gamers


The "journalist" who made-up the story about Grand Theft Auto Rothbury in yesterday's Daily Star says he's "baffled" by the uproar and has responded to complaints by ridiculing adult gamers.

A quick update in case you missed it yesterday: Jerry Lawton, a "journalist" with the U.K. news site Daily Star, wrote a story about a new version of Grand Theft Auto based on real-life killer Raoul Moat. He even extracted an obviously anguished quote about GTA Rothbury from the grandmother of Moat's ex-girlfriend, one of his victims. The problem? There is no such game. Lawton found a fake cover of the non-existent game online and proceeded to build an anti-gaming story around it.

The uproar eventually led to the story being pulled, albeit without any kind of apology, explanation or even an acknowledgment that it existed at all, but the man behind it is entirely unrepentant. In fact, he claims to be surprised that people are upset by his story and seems oblivious to the fact that Grand Theft Auto Rothbury doesn't actually exist at all. He even took the opportunity to ridicule adult gamers on his Facebook page, which has since been set to private.

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July 27th, 2010

Michael Jackson Estate Forces Removal of Plant-Eating Zombie


The family of the late King of Pop has taken offense to a Thriller-parodying brain-eater in PopCap's popular Plants vs. Zombies.

Plants vs. Zombies is great for many, many reasons - and one of those reasons is the game's sense of humor. It's delightfully tongue-in-cheek with its various horticulture-based weaponry and flesh-eating undead, including one particular "dancing zombie," who was clearly meant as an homage to the iconic dance break in Michael Jackson's classic "Thriller" music video.

The latest update to PopCap's relentlessly addictive original, however, replaces the dancing zombie's distinctive red jacket (with matching pants) and curled hair for something more disco-themed. MTV Multiplayer reached out to the casual developer and found that the change had been made at the request of Michael Jackson's estate.

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Jul 29th, 2010

Blizzard Offers Fix for StarCraft Computer-Melting Bug


StarCraft II is the hottest game of the season in more ways than one - but luckily, there's a fix to stop your graphics card from burning itself up.

Are you playing StarCraft II? Judging by the "approximately 1,000,000 people on Battle.net" I saw last night, you aren't alone. However, a small portion of the thousands upon thousands of StarCraft II buyers (including a staffer at GameInformer) have been confronted with a nasty problem - the game makes their graphics card work itself to death.

The issue deals with the game's interactive menu screens that pop up between missions, where Jim Raynor can explore his flagship and chat with crew. While the rest of the game has limits on what can be rendered, the menu screens have no framerate cap whatsoever, and some computers will interpret this to mean "go hog wild." Rendering framerates of over 200 frames per second for extended period of times means that computers with insufficient ventilation melt themselves into oblivion. And that means you can't play SC2, and we don't want that.

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