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Glenn Beck takes aim at ‘Watch Dogs’

- May 30th, 2014
Watch Dogs

“Watch Dogs.” (Supplied)

Conservative TV host Glenn Beck — who possibly hasn’t heard of Hackers or almost any modern crime procedural — is worried that Watch Dogs will glamorize the criminal underworld world of hacking in the impressionable minds of today’s youth.

“Why must everyone be an anti-hero? Why must everyone break the law? Why can’t we have a Superman? Why can’t we have somebody who is doing the right thing, does the hard thing? Instead, everybody is an anti-hero,” Beck said on The Blaze.

Superman actually has a long history of breaking the law, including some of his earliest adventures, where does stuff like literally smash in the slums or drug and kidnapping an innocent football player.

“This game is teaching people to hack into whatever is docked in your bedroom. What the heck is wrong with us? What are we thinking? We are inviting this into our home and our lives. We are teaching our kids (hacking) for entertainment purposes.”

Watch Dogs does not actually teach you how to actually hack.

“These games re-wire your brain; we don’t even know what they do yet. This is brand new stuff.”

It’s really not that new.

h/t Gamespot


Angry gamer locks dog in freezer for 30 hours

- May 28th, 2014

A Florida gamer allegedly barred his dog — Fancy Ketchup — in the freezer for 30 hours because the mutt had the nerve to get between him and his first-person shooter.

The Spring Hill Courier reports:

Thirty-nine-year-old Dennis Gibbs told authorities “I was playin’ the game, and he just jumped and knocked the controller out of my hand. … I just got caught up in the moment”.

Fortunately for Fancy Ketchup, (How could someone bestow such a glorious name upon a creature only to treat it so miserably?) Gibbs’ freezer was stereotypically full of Totino’s Pizza Rolls and ice cream which, according to police, sustained the pooch during its 30-hour ordeal.

And fortunately for the good name of gamers everywhere, another player called the cops when Gibbs bragged in-game about what he’d done.

Fancy Ketchup sustained only minor freezer burn.


YouTube purchases Twitch for $1 billion

- May 18th, 2014

Looks like Google couldn’t scratch that itch.

Variety reported on Sunday that YouTube, one of Google’s largest subsidiaries, had struck a deal to buy Twitch, one of the largest video game stream hosting sites, for $1 billion.

Although it’s still rumoured with no official comment from either the YouTube or Twitch camps, if the acquisition is approved and formally announced, it would be YouTube’s largest purchase since being bought by Google in 2006.

Interestingly enough, when YouTube was acquired by Google and brought into the company’s massive extended family, it also came with a $1.65 billion price tag.

Although the deal is still being smoothed out, it didn’t take long for streamers to express their support or disapproval of the merge.

While some welcomed the notion of having a financially secure and well run company like YouTube and Google at the helms of the still young and upcoming streaming service, others expressed concern over the idea of losing all rights to creative content uploaded.

One of the biggest questions coming into play is whether the more popular Twitch streamers, often times already repped by a professional gaming agency, will become YouTube sensations. If that’s the case, there’s a chance this isn’t the last time Twitch makes industry headlines.

When Disney announced they would be purchasing Maker Studios -a talent agency that works predominantly with YouTube stars, for $500 million, the online world trembled. Would YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie suddenly be considered Disney stars?

It’s not a stretch of the imagination by any means, then, to assume that as Major League Gaming ((MLG) and its top ranking players become bigger names world wide, and as the streaming numbers continue to climb, it’ll eventually become an area Disney will be looking to invest in.

The acquisition of Twitch, however, is one of the most logical moves YouTube could have made. According to Matt McLernon, Communications Manager for YouTube, the most popular content on the site is filed under the gaming category.

McLernon also admitted the company had been looking into ways to cater to their gaming audience who wanted a better platform to stream from on the site.

Looks like they found it with Twitch.

Twitch, launched in June 2011, allows people from around the world to stream, upload, and watch live gaming channels for free. The more popular channels, which boast anywhere from one million viewers to 15 million viewers, can be subscribed to for a premium fee, often set at $4.99.

The streaming service has made headlines multiple times over the past year, with channels like Twitch Plays Pokemon (a collaborative effort from millions of people to defeat the original Pokemon game live) gaining immense online traction. The San Francisco start up also played host to the League of Legends (a massive online battle arena (MOBA) game) championship, drawing in 32 million live viewers for the final match.

Since the integration of Twitch into the newest generation of consoles –the Playstation 4 and Xbox One- Twitch has seen an exponential increase in active streamers and watchers. At last check, Twitch reported it had 45 million monthly users.

To put that in perspective, that’s about five per cent of Twitter’s monthly active user base.

Variety also reported the acquisition should be announced relatively soon, with inside sources telling the trade magazine consumers can expect to hear a more public announcement within the upcoming week.

‘Flappy Bird’ creator Dong Nguyen teases new game on Twitter

- May 16th, 2014

It might be time to give your fingers a rest and stop flapping for a bit.

The gaming community erupted into a mixture of jubilant cheers and defeated moans Thursday when Dong Nguyen, the infamous creator behind one of the biggest gaming sensations of the year, Flappy Bird, tweeted a teaser photo of his new game Thursday:

The photo doesn’t give us much to go on, but there are some general assumptions we can make based on what Dong has teased.

Chances are his newest game, which remains nameless at this time, will be an endless runner touch game, akin to something like Jetpack Joyride.

Essentially, the player will be faced with multiple obstacles that he or she must jump over or manoeuvre around in order to continue moving forward and collect more points.

Sound familiar? If you’re scratching your head thinking, “huh, that sounds a lot like Flappy Bird,” you’re correct.

Runners are a genre of games that use the touch capabilities, and in turn, the limitations of its medium, extremely well. Players can use both hands to run, shoot, and jump around objects, and it isn’t overly difficult for the developer to replicate the levels.

For someone like Dong, a self-professed amateur game designer and developer, it’s a perfect concept. Looking at the art work, it’s fair to assume he’ll be using the same game engine to create his new game, leaving players with an elegantly simple, yet mind boggling difficult game to obsess over.

For those living under a rock, Flappy Bird was one of the biggest free mobile games around. But Dong pulled it after he became the victim of online harassment from players and Internet trolls.

At the height of the game’s popularity, Dong was making $50,000 a day through running pop-up ads that would transition in during the beginning of every new game.

In a game where death wasn’t just a possibility, it was an annoying reoccurrence every couple of seconds, it’s a bit of an understatement to say Dong was raking it in.

Although, months after pulling the game, Dong told CNBC Wednesday night that he had plans to resurrect the game, this time with added challenges and better designs.

Diehard Flappy Bird fans who may have deleted the game can expect to see it floating around the Apple App Store again some time in August.

As for now, give all that flapping a break and try your hands at some (virtual) exercise with his new runner.

Halo 5: Guardians coming to Xbox One next year

- May 16th, 2014

The next chapter in Master Chief’s saga now has a name and a release date.


Halo 5: Guardians will land exclusively on Microsoft’s Xbox One console in the fall of 2015, continuing the story of the cybernetically enhanced super solider we last saw in 2012’s Halo 4.

Mourning the loss of his A.I. companion Cortana, who sacrificed herself to save humanity at the end of Halo 4, Master Chief will be struggling with some weighty moral issues in Halo 5.

“He’s questioning everything,” said Bonnie Ross, general manager of Halo development studio 343 Industries, at the Halo 5 announcement this week in Santa Monica, Calif. “He’s questioning his past, his purpose, what he’s fighting for and why he’s fighting.”

Frank O’Connor, Halo’s franchise development director, said Halo 5 will actually affect the way other games are developed for Microsoft’s Xbox One console.

“It’s a big deal to us because of the transition to the Xbox One platform,” says O’Connor. “All of the Halo games, more or less, have added something to the Xbox One ecosystem.”

343 Industries isn’t saying much more about Halo 5’s storyline right now, but in a blog entry posted to the Xbox Wire website this morning, Ross wrote that Halo 5: Guardians “is a bigger effort than Halo 4. That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine.

“Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen.”

While Halo 5 won’t arrive until late next year, Microsoft says there will be some big Halo news unveiled at next month’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles, related to something that will be coming in 2014. Maybe that Halo dating sim will finally be a reality.