With the public drubbing of Ken Kutaragi, it looked as if Sony were bending slightly toward a reasonable public face in the wake of their many and varied PR mistakes. I’m happy to report that there’s no such luck for Sony; as an entity, they continue to behave as appropriately in public as that sick mama at Wal-Mart who has her three young children pull her wheelchair down the aisles as though she were Santa and they the reindeer. Destructoid has the funniest writeup of last week’s monstrous fuckup of a PR stunt for God of War 2, in which the headless body of a goat was used as centerpiece of a faux-orgy, but not quite in the way that suggests. I can’t help but think of the Sony PR machine as a helpless body plummeting from the sky. Just exactly when it attains critical velocity is unimportant; what matters is the thing is going to make one hell of a splat when it hits ground.

From Slashdot, news of a fascinating debate on censorship in games involving a number of erudite (and important) participants. The debate took place last week, so transcripts are now available from XFire, which acted as forum for the event. Here’s my favorite exchange, first from California senator Leland Yee:

"When every leading psychological association supported my legislation and states they believe there is a link between ultra violent video games and real life aggression, then we need to step back and do something. We can’t wait for years to go by before we realize there is a problem. We did that with global warming and now look at the result."

And a response from Escapist editor Russ Pitts: "I think kids are a lot more resourceful than the ozone layer. They somehow manage to grow up in spite of our best efforts to forestall that notion."

Those clever folks at the Latino Review have gotten their hands on the treatment for the upcoming Gears of War movie. By "upcoming" I mean: "More likely to happen than my forming an original opinion." The treatment is by Stuart Beattie, who has adaptations of the Spy Hunter and Splinter Cell games under his belt, as well as work on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. El Mayimbe is pretty dern positive about the whole deal. We could be facing a space marine renaissance in the near future. Who has the rights to Warhammer 40K right now?

Last week, we got word that Call of Duty 4 would jump from WW2 to the modern era. Now we’ve got some footage in the form of an early trailer courtesy 1up and Game Videos. It looks… modern. What appeals to me about the earlier Call of Duty games is the frantic motion of a major offensive. Modern warfare is much more, well, Ghost Recon-y. I’m curious to see if the intensity can be sustained.

Finally, the week’s releases. It’s my birthday on Wednesday. What will you buy for me?

Fairy Godmother Tycoon
Penumbra: Overture
UFO: Extraterrestrials

Legend of the Dragon

Legend of the Dragon

Legend of the Dragon
Ultimate Board Game Collection
Winx Club: Join the Club (this; buy me this)

Shrek the Third