This week we learn that gamers' brains are in fact different, the Playstation 3 is almost old enough for kindergarten and Telltale doesn't trust outsider reviews of the latest Jurassic Park game.
A French judge found the state-owned nuclear power company EDF guilty of hacking the email of Greenpeace France back in 2006. The security chief hired a private firm called Kargus Consultants to infiltrate the environmental group to determine their plans for protesting the opening of nuclear plants in the UK. Judge Isabelle Prévost-Desprez fined EDF €1.5 million ($2,062,610) and ordered the company to pay damages of half a million euros ($687,535) directly to Greenpeace. Several executives were also fined and will serve up to three years in jail for the hacking. (Link)
Thus tweeted Minecraft creator and Mojang AB founder Notch early this morning. Minecraft 1.0, or simply Minecraft, will be available to download on November the 18th. Though this technically means the game is ready for release, it doesn't mean it's completely done, as Notch has promised Mojang will continue adding features for "a long time after the full release." (Link)
The bad news is that, according to the study, frequent gamers have the same sense of reward as pathological gamblers. The study discovered that when a gamer "loses," the reward centers of their brain activate, dispersing dopamine into the system, encouraging them to disregard the loss and continue playing. Much like gamblers, frequent gamers had a larger ventral striatum - colloquially called the 'reward center' - than other respondents. So next time someone says gaming makes you stupid, you can whip out your ventral striatum and show them a thing or two. (Link)
On November 17th, 2006, you could buy a PlayStation 3 in North America for a cool $599. Sure, having a Blu-Ray player for that amount of money in addition to a gaming system wasn't terrible, but you could say the chips were stacked against Sony's new console. The pricepoint ended up dropping, and several great exclusive titles have brought accolades to make the PS3 one of the most successful videogame consoles ever. To commemorate the five year anniversary, Sony asked several prominent game developers to list their favorite PS3 games and the diversity of their responses might surprise you. (Link)
Jurassic Park, the latest adventure game from the guys behind the latter Sam and Max games and the excellent Hector: Badge of Carnage, hasn't been fairing too well with the critics. The three professional reviews it's received start at 60 and get lower from there, and the Metacritic user reviews were even worse. That is, until a series of four positive user reviews cropped up in quick succession, each giving the game a solid ten and lathering on the praise. (Link)