The Week in Review

The Week in Review

In this weeks' edition, 'gay' stops being a dirty word on Xbox Live, Ubisoft tweaks its DRM, Valve teases Portal 2, a mountain of weirdness goes down at Infinity Ward, and gaming is compared to smoking.

Microsoft Lifts ban on Sexuality

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The long-standing ban on mentioning sexuality in your Xbox Live gamertag has been lifted, allowing gamers to describe their orientation for the first time on the service. The choices are currently limited to 'straight', 'gay', 'lesbian', 'bi' and 'transgender', which is probably the safest way to start the ball rolling. "I truly believe that our diversity is what makes us strong," wrote Xbox Live General Manager Marc Whitten. "Diversity in gaming and entertainment options, and diversity in the people that make up this amazing community." Well said Mr Whitten, well said. (link)


Ubisoft Tweaks its DRM

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Patches for games aren't uncommon, but patches for games that aren't out? That's a little bit more unusual, but Ubisoft has done just that with the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2. With the patch, should you lose your net connection it will let you resume the game from where you left off, rather than dumping you than back at the closest checkpoint. This is the first sign of Ubisoft actually modifying its DRM based on gamer feedback, although it seems unlikely that the company is going to back down from the idea anytime soon. (link)


Portal 2 Teased, Then Announced

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Valve updated Portal this week with a new achievement and a new challenge involving radios and morse code messages. It was quickly discovered that the game had a new ending as well, all of which seemed to suggest that a sequel was in the works. Well guess what? A sequel IS in the works, but the ARG that Valve set up around the news doesn't appear to be over yet. What's coming next? We'll just have to wait and find out... (link)


The Terrible Tales of Infinity Ward

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It's been a tumultuous week for Call of Duty creators Infinity Ward. First Activision apparently visited the building with security forces, then the two studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella got fired, then Zampella and West sued Activision for unpaid royalties and the Modern Warfare brand, which Activison replied to, saying it was 'disappointed'. On top of all that, it was announced that the newly-formed Sledgehammer Games would be working on the series as well as Treyarch, but that Infinity Ward would still making Call of Duty games too. So yeah, it's been quite a week. If West and Zampella turn out to be Bobby Kotick's long-lost brothers, I wouldn't be all that surprised. (So very, very, many links)


Videogames Are as bad as Smoking, Says Australian Psychologists

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Put down that game! Don't you know it'll turn you into a violent criminal? What's that, you didn't know that? How strange, because according to a gang of Australian psychologists, it's a proven scientific fact that violent videogames make you violent, and that violent games are worse for you than cigarettes. This is just another salvo in the anti-R18+ movenment, and for all it's "conclusive" proof, there aren't a lot of people willing to put their names to it. As a long-term gamer who is yet to commit a violent crime, I'm going to take this one with a couple fistfuls of salt. (link)

Permalink

1 - CoD/Halo community is still gonna sling the word "gay" around as though its still insulting.

2 - Follow the red arrow. They KINDA fixed it...but not enough.

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3 - I don't give a shit, until gameplay details leak. Seriously, teasers are BULLSHIT.

4 - Honestly, I just want this all to end. I don't care who wins.

5 - GAMING CAUSES LUNG CANCER?!

All in all, i would say a good(?) week for gaming. Games ares being annoucned and fixed.. just the developers and govements are butting heads in the meantime.

Uh, Assassin's Creed 2 was released on the 4th. At least, it was here.

It has definetly been a busy week in the news! IW problems and the Value teaser on Portal with Portal 2 been announced.

Its a mixed bag...some really good news...and then the really bad ; ;

My guess is Microsoft was looking at a whole bunch of lawsuits regarding the ban.

Do Ubisoft think the pirates are really going to buy the game now or even get it patched?

Atkinson will never allow a R18 certification, so the debate as a whole is pointless.

Portal 2...I could weep for joy right now.

008Zulu:
My guess is Microsoft was looking at a whole bunch of lawsuits regarding the ban.

Do Ubisoft think the pirates are really going to buy the game now or even get it patched?

Atkinson will never allow a R18 certification, so the debate as a whole is pointless.

For once, this is not a cynical corporate move (well, it is in that it's good PR to not be racist and homophobe, but you know what I mean). Apparently, Microsoft did this after meeting with GLAAD representatives, and GLAAD was directly involved in determining the new guideline (which is that you can call yourself gay, but using the word as if it was an insult is still cause for a ban, as it should be). It's just a matter of common sense, it seems, and it's been done right, so credit where it's due.

Good to hear about the sexuality ban has been lifted.

reg42:
Good to hear about the sexuality ban has been lifted.

I doubt that'll affect any of us))).
On a side not, still sobby about the IW situation.

Journeythroughhell:

reg42:
Good to hear about the sexuality ban has been lifted.

I doubt that'll affect any of us))).
On a side not, still sobby about the IW situation.

It won't affect me in the slightest, but I'm just all for gay rights and what-not, so this is a good sign.

Well, at least Microsoft got rid of its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Still sad about Infinity Ward, though.

For the first topic about the XBL sexuality thing, really i dont see the point??

I dont see what someone could really gain from posting their sexuality on their profile. Im not against it i just dont see the point. Perhaps someone wants to show off who they really are but i dont see how you can really do that in an XBL profile.

Given the anonymity from using XBL all i can see this doing is someone looking at someones profile and seeing "gay" and just send them abuse.

Dont really care that they have allowed this and i dont really see what it brings to your gaming experience.

 

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