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The Week in Review

| 18 Feb 2012 14:00

This week we learn that ACTA has Europeans up in arms, Dear Esther makes a bit of money and FortressCraft tries to rationalize its existence.

European Street Protest Against ACTA Draws Over 30,000

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ACTA (known to its friends as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is, according to the British government, a "plurilateral treaty that seeks to improve the global enforcement of intellectual property rights" through "common enforcement standards." However, according to Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group, the treaty is "setting up dangerous new pressures to censor the internet to remove users and put pressure on [Internet Service Providers] to start policing for copyright." Sound familiar? (Link)




Plans to Create a Mildly Irradiated Pop Group Scrapped

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The Japanese pop market is ridiculously competitive. Acts can form, reach the peak of their popularity and fade into irrelevance in a matter of weeks. In a bid to make his new group stand out in the crowd, one businessman from the Chiba prefecture put forward plans for a pop group consisting of girls between 10 and 22, recruited from areas most affected by the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant meltdown. He intended to name his collection troupe of glow-in-the-dark performers the "Hot☆Spots." (Link)




Dear Esther Hits It Big

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Dear Esther is a bit of an oddity. It sprang to life in 2008 as a Source mod and was reborn yesterday as a longer [although still very short] and far more detailed stand-alone "game." The word "game" is in quotes because Dear Esther, by most conventional measures, barely qualifies; it's a story, a metaphor, quite possibly a hallucination, all of which unfolds over a slow journey on a perfectly linear path across a deserted and entirely non-interactive island. It's most definitely not the sort of thing you'd expect to see burning up the sales charts. (Link)




Australian R18+ Bill Hits a Snag

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I'm starting to think that what we're seeing in Australia's stumbling shuffle to a functional videogame rating system is not actually an irrational fear of the future but rather the longest-running and most elaborate legislative troll ever perpetrated by a modern Western government. How else can you possibly explain these bizarre shenanigans? Immediately after the bill to amend the Classification Act finally came before Parliament, the first step in what will still be a relatively drawn-out process to get the legislation passed, it was referred to yet another committee for further examination. (Link)





FortressCraft Creator: Minecraft Doesn't Focus on Creativity

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Unless you've been living under a giant grey voxelated rock for the past few years, you've probably heard about indie-gone-rocket ship Minecraft. Without going into the details of the game's various successes for the umpteenth time, let's just say that developer Mojang has made millions upon millions of dollars, and that a hefty percentage of people across the planet are currently too busy building doom castles to even read this post. Up until now, Minecraft has survived primarily as a PC affair, so as the game and its hordes of fans finally prepare an immigration to console-land this Spring, accusatory pointed fingers are starting to land squarely on the platform's current "craft-king," FortressCraft, a voxel building game that's currently the most successful title on XBLIG to date. (Link)

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