The in-game assassin occupation is born

While video game addiction was once a uniquely American thing, times have changed, and kids in China are coming down with the illness, too. But they have their own way of handling things over there.

Xiao Feng, 23, believed himself to be the best online video game player around. For years he was playing games and neglecting school. His father was upset that he wasn’t even looking for a job. So, an in-game assassin-type guy was hired to go after his son to make him get bored with the games.

But where was his tiger mom?

Luckily there’s no stab button in real life

A 27-year-old man fought off an armed teenager in a dark parking lot when the would-be robber demanded his copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 at gunpoint. This was apparently a selling point not marketed by Activision for the game.

Police say the teenager confronted the gamer in his apartment parking lot about 1 a.m., racking a round in his gun and shouting “Give me the game.” When the gamer told him off, the gunman racked a second round, ejecting the first onto the ground. That’s when the gamer made his move, struggling over the gun until the teen fled. This is a stupid move because a gun is involved. A real gun, not a digital gun.

Police arrested the teen hours later, after discovering him standing in line at the same GameStop where the original copy in question of the game was purchased, waiting to buy his own copy of the game.

Call of Duty: Modern Not Really As Serious As This Situation Dictates.

Worst. Crime Spree. EVER.

Four men from New York City have been arrested after going on a video game-stealing rampage along the entire East Coast of the United States. Laaaaaaaame.

Rodney McCreary, Gilberto Matos, Derrella Winfrey and Wilfredo Matos were caught by police when an off-duty cop saw them stuffing video games down their pants at a Toys ‘R Us in Annapolis. The officer followed them to their car, saw the four men leave and then called in some on-duty cops to make the bust. When police searched the men’s car, though, they found a lot more than just a few games from a single Toys ‘R Us.

Instead, they found 219 video games, along with road maps and a long list of Toys ‘R Us stores right down the aforementioned East Coast. Police are now investigating which stores on the maps had already been robbed and which hadn’t, while the four alleged perpetrators have been released on $50,000 bond.

Guys, how about next time, trying for something a little more valuable or worthwhile, okay? Or at least something that won’t make you somebody’s play thing in jail.

Next fad: police vs. samurai

Some people don’t like cops, that is a given fact. Normal folks take their violent fantasies of debauchery and vile behavior to Grand Theft Auto style video games, however, one man decided to take his anger out another way. Recently, a young man attacked a police officer with a Japanese samurai sword in central Tokyo in broad daylight. He managed to slice off the left thumb of the officer before he was subdued by other officers. As of now, there is no motive of his actions, he either just wanted to try out his newly purchased sword or he was just a psycho. Whichever the case, he was arrested for attempted murder and possession of, well, you know … a samurai sword. Which is apparently a crime.

The attacker is in his mid-twenties and it seems he isn’t connected to any political organizations. What we do know is the sword had a blade about 70 centimeters long, which is more than enough length to bring ultimate doom to coppers.

Kids, avoid sharp objects, don’t use drugs, stay in school, eat your vegetables and only use the power of a samurai sword for good.

Take it from Snee: What isn’t art

In the weeks following Roger Ebert’s tweet (ugh) about video games never being art, I decided to try something new. Instead of instantly reacting and writing, I thought. And read. And observed. And then I thought some more. I may have also masturbated to a Michaelangelo. But, then I thought about that.

Point is: you can call this a slow reaction to a story that everyone has already had his or her say on. I call it deliberate.

You see, Ebert brought up an excellent idea, perhaps without realizing it (though I wouldn’t put it past the cheeky booger-monger). What do we consider art, and more importantly, why isn’t it? Video games can’t be the only field that millions of people–including the artists that work on them–mistake for art.

So, after a lot of revoked library cards and expulsion from every major art gallery with a listing on Craigslist, I have come back from the wilderness, not to tell you what art is, but what isn’t art. Continue reading Take it from Snee: What isn’t art

Won’t somebody think of the minors?

No, really-how do they get ruled in this?

The legality of a state regulating the sale and rental of violent video games to minors will be decided finally by the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices decided today.


Whatever the outcome, the decision of the justices could have a much wider impact on how freedom of speech is treated in the United States. SCHWARZENEGGER, GOV. OF CA V. ENTERTAINMENT MERCHANTS, ET AL. was one of two new cases the court granted Monday for a decision next term, which kicks off on October 4. While cases like this have been repeatedly won by the video game industry in different states, the U.S. Supreme Court decision will have national implications. A decision to not hear the case would have affirmed California’s previous judicial defeats and serve as another in a long line of gaming industry victories against state authorities trying to legislate against violent games.


Back to the part about minors: do they define minors by United States age-of-majority tradition (at 18) or by the ESRB’s age for M-rated purchases (at 17)? No one’s saying, and when you think about it, that might be one of the biggest issues at hand.

Konami code does not equal 12 step program

If you declare it an affliction, they will come.

Where there is a trendy new affliction, there is an expert with the answer. Thus it is that Britain became now host to the very first “game addiction” clinic in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

Broadway Lodge treats about four hundred patients every year for drug abuse, alcoholism and gambling problems, but has recently extended its reach to video games, adopting the Minnesota Method Twelve-Step program to ween youngsters off those crazy video games.

“… I would stick my neck out and say between five and ten per cent of parents or partners would say they know of someone addicted to an online game,” says chief executive Brian Dudley. “However, you can’t simply say to a 23-year-old male ‘you should never use the Internet again’. It’s just not practical. So we go through all the issues surrounding gaming use and ensure there are triggers through which an addict recognizes their usage has become a problem.

And your reasoning being?

”Behavioural shifts include users becoming aggressive, with chaotic lifestyles that result in irregular eating and sleeping patterns as well as social exclusion. I don’t know anybody else who is treating such cases in this country. There’s no helpline.”

If you live in Britain and can’t stop playing World of Warcraft, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because help has finally arrived. And then we will laugh at you.

MasterChugs Theater: ‘The King of Kong’

Because of our highly important alcohol conference, we’re running a MasterChugs Flashback this week. Enjoy!

The sporting world has known its share of classic rivalries: Ali and Foreman, Evert and Navratilova, Barkley and Godzilla. To this storied pantheon of titans we can now add Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe, the crème de la crème of competitive Donkey Kong players.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters follows Steve Wiebe; an average dude living an average life with a wife and two kids. He’s the kind of guy who’s always had a hobby — be it baseball or music — but for one reason or another, has always come up short, mostly due to a string of bad luck dating all the way back to high school. A huge Donkey Kong fan from back in the day, Wiebe gets it in his head that he wants to try for the record — a high score secured by the great gamer Billy Mitchell back in 1982. A score that remained on top for years and years and years … until now. But it won’t be easy; Mitchell is a celebrity in the world of gaming, as well as a self-made millionaire due to his line of hot sauce. He’s a legend, who comes with a legion of fans and henchmen. Remember the Mantle/Maris home run race in 1961? Yeah, well this is even more intense.

No, really. It is. Hit the jump to see why. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘The King of Kong’

Because murder, drug use and sexual assault weren’t enough

A study of young people who are also pathological gamblers, surprise, turns up a connection to video games, in a report on Australia’s ABC News. Oh noes! Notably, however, another researcher knocks down the suggestion of a causal link.

“If you look at those young people who are classified as pathological gamblers you will find that they do have a higher frequency of involvement with many different types of videogame. They’re much more likely to play games on Xboxes and similar consoles. They are also more likely to play arcade games. It does suggest that if you’re a person who is playing very frequently, more likely if you’re a male too, and doing it from you know year after year, it’s probably more likely you’ll have a pattern of activity which will make poker machines quite attractive when you turn 18.”

It never seems to occur to them that videogames are a hugely popular activity enjoyed by most teenagers, so there’s bound to be a correlation between games and most other activities. Correlation which is not, of course, the same as causation. But hey, videogames have been linked to all sorts of sin and vice, so what’s one more problem to throw on the pile? Alex Blaszczynski, a psychology professor at the University of Sydney, thinks otherwise.

“Does an interest in gambling lead to people becoming involved in video games or do video games lead to people becoming involved in gambling? Or is there a third factor which accounts for both gambling and videogames? There’s also the possibility that some people with certain characteristics would then tend to engage in both video and technology type gaming activity and gambling as well. And that may well be linked to things like risk taking or impulsivity or other factors.”

Good luck, Blaszcynski.