Kotaku is reporting a fun little story about a new crusade from the "ministry" behind educational site The Porn Talk. It seems the minds behind the site have decided to stage a little campaign against the Wii, because Little Johnny can browse the web on the console, and discover an abundance of boobs. The group’s press release is included in the linked article. This type of issue-based sleight-of-hand has a tendency to infuriate me, so I’m counting to ten as I write nine this ten. As often happens, the tools are being blamed instead of the tool-using primates behind them. It’s good to educate idiot parents that Internet-enabled devices may actually be able to display content from the Internet, but the trouble is with the parents themselves. They are the ones who give porn the mystique of the forbidden, and encourage the use of said tools. If you don’t want your kid to build a tree house, you don’t steal his hammer; you break his hands.
While I’ve got my dander up, check out this article from my favorite little slice of relevence, GamePolitics. It links to a recently-published piece by prominent sociologist Karen Sternheimer in which she articulates the soft-science argument against videogames causing violence in children. At this point, I’m more inclined to believe the soft science, because all the attempted statistical analyses have been big old carnivals of correlation being substituted for causality.
Now I am less dull! I’ve written before on my increasing curiosity about BioWare’s next two RPGs, Dragon Age for the PC and Mass Effect for the 360. Specifically, I’m wondering at how the company’s love affair with linear storytelling will mesh with the increasing demand for user customizability. In the case of Mass Effect, it looks like the limited character creation sets of Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire are being shooed away in favor of a more Oblivion-styled depth of player involvement in the look, feel, and abilities of their avatar in the game world. In an article on 1up, project manager Casey Hudson revealed that players will be able to control "gender, facial features, class, starting skills, and more" to tailor the game’s protagonist to their play style. Also, Hudson makes a small but potent little comment that, to me, encapsulates how developers ought to approach the greater demand for user-customizability. Regarding the 360’s ability to use custom soundtracks in each game: "The development team ‘[doesn’t] mind supporting’ custom soundtracks, [but] the game’s soundtrack is a ‘huge original score,’ that will add to the [ambience]."
A brief comment on a new position on PS3 sales, as conveyed by SCEA chief Jack Tretton. Tretton says that the staggering number of PS3s on store shelves, as noted by just about every gaming publication out there, is evidence of a strong supply chain, not of poor sales. The thing is, we wouldn’t have taken such glee in pointing out said abundance had Tretton himself not made the offer to pay $1,200 for any PS3 that had been sitting on the store shelves for more than five minutes.
This is pretty damn cool. The GameTab service, of which I am an unabashed fan, has announced that they will be featuring a new program to distribute independent games. Not independent like Introversion independent (two of whose games they already feature,) but independent as in you made it in your mom’s basement and still don’t pay her rent. GameTab is also sponsoring an award at the Independent Games Festival, the winner of which will receive some cash and a non-exclusive deal to have their game featured on the download service. Two other winners will receive slightly less cash and the same distibution deal. Other selected independent games are rumored to start showing up any time now.