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Want Lower Crime Rates? Play More Video Games

Yet another study on the mental effects of violent video games has revealed what game developers have been saying all along. Ever since video game consoles have become commonplace, and game titles became more violent, it seems that youth have become less likely to act on their impulses. Using information pulled directly from FBI statistics, there is a direct correlation between the increasing popularity of violent game titles and lower crime rates.

Some researchers have said that sexually explicit and violent video game titles prompt minors to attempt to recreate the images that they see, however, movies have always had questionable subject material. Some minors that commit violent acts will scapegoat the gaming industry. The same can be said for notorious music acts such as Marilyn Manson and Metallica. Even still, the proof really is in the pudding this time.

Since 1991, crimes committed by children under the age of 18 has decreased. At the same time, highly addicted drugs like crack cocaine became less popular. One could theorize that the war on drugs has been a success, but this wouldn’t explain why other drugs such as meth have become popular in more affluent communities. One thing is clear – children do not want to commit crimes simply because they play a violent video game, listen to rock or watch a scary movie. Lawmakers and scientists have long been blaming the gaming industry for particular offensive acts, but it seem like the juvenile offenders are actually getting their cues from somewhere else.

Driving to Success with Racing Games

Speeding around a racing track is something that really gets the adrenaline pumping and playing racing games online can give you that satisfaction without even having to move away from your computer. Many of these racing games let you customize and personalize your racing experience by allowing you to choose what car you would like to ride in and also earn and apply several upgrade to your vehicle. Indeed, many let you change gear and control the handbrake as well.

The likes of Rally for example gives you a challenging and ultimately rewarding experience on the rally track as you take control of your vehicle and attempt to manoeuvre a difficult course. Obstacles such as tree’s and other barriers are there for you to dodge and don’t think about trying to take a short cut because the end result will be a long time stuck in the mud.

If rally racing is not your thing then there are plenty of other racing games available. Freeway Fury takes a different approach to racing as you attempt to move in and out of freeway traffic while trying to pull off ridiculous stunts in the process. The better the stunt the more points and nitro you earn to make your vehicle go faster. One of the big advantages of this game is that you can actually onto the roof to earn more points while pulling off a manoeuvre.

These racing games online only require you to use your keyboard however fast fingers are a must as – especially in the case of Freeway Fury – you need to be quick to get out of the way of traffic. The good thing about online racing games is that you can find one that will suit you whether it is rally racing, street racing or just something for fun; online racing games cover all angles.

‘Blackwater’ Game Makers Face Criticism And Possible Legal Action

505 Games, the developer of soon to be released ‘Blackwater,’ have already managed to get themselves in a heap of trouble. Both members of Congress and attorneys have called on the game maker to cancel its plans to release ‘Blackwater.’ Based on a deadly event that occurred in Baghdad, Iraq, in the year 2007, 505 Games believes that the game should not be viewed as offense simply because it uses the same name as a US based defense firm. In fact, employees from Blackwater worked with 505 Games to develop its upcoming title. One former employee says that he was happy to supply 505 Games with information on the inner workings of the company.

Although lawmakers have asked 505 Games to voluntarily stop the release of ‘Blackwater,’ they might just take legal action if the developer does not comply. While 505 Games is protected by free speech laws, the game developed could be hit with so many crippling lawsuits that it would be unable to do anything but answer subpoenas for the next few years.

The strange thing about criticisms of the upcoming titles is that no one has even seen the game yet. Simply because the game is named ‘Blackwater,’ does not mean that it will have anything to do with the 2007 shooting in Iraq. In all actuality, it would be better for the company Blackwater to allow 505 Games to release its game as planned so that the public would stop associating the company with one of the most shocking war crimes that have occurred in the 21st century.

EA Games To Offer Online Video Game Streaming

Redbox and Amazon have been offering consumers streaming online games and movies for awhile now, and GameStop recently got into the action as well. EA Games, the developer of some of the best selling game titles in the world, just premiered “Origin,” an online game downloading service that has been in the works for months. Selling video games to retail stores takes a substantial chunk out of the company’s profits. Online game downloads offer consumers the products that they want instantly while EA gets to keep expenses low.

In fact, online gaming and online game downloads are expected to increase to approximately $18 billion in total sales this year. EA Games is going to capitalize on this market by releasing “online only” version of some games. In addition to a wide selection of new titles, gamers will also be able to keep track of all over their purchases for all of their consoles.

Some consumers like the way a physical game title feels in their hands, but EA games can get around this by offering pre-orders for in-store games. Now that EA Games is offering “Origins,” digital download sales are expected to ramp up. When new games premier, more fans are expected to pre-order their titles rather than stand in long lines. This is bad needs for video game retail franchises, but they have already responded by offering their own online digital download stores. EA Games will see exactly how its newest service is received when the company sells “Star Wars: The Old Republic” later this year.

Atari Sues Game Developer Zoo

Every gamer in the world knows what Atari is famous for. As the makers of the very first commercial video game, Atari has continued to play a major role in the community. Unfortunately, it seems that game developer Zoo thought that they would be able to defraud this legendary company out of $2.5. After Atari signed a deal with Zoo for a series of children’s games for the DS, Zoo promised to develop, manufacture and package the games before delivering them directly to retailers. The contract was signed in 2008, and as of yet Zoo has failed to deliver the goods. In fact, Zoo went to retail companies such as Target and Walmart and sold them the very same games that Atari was waiting for.

Atari has filed a lawsuit against Zoo seeking more than $6 million in actual and punitive damages. Atari alleges that Zoo stole their money and that their failures have damaged their business relations with other companies. Zoo is headquartered in Ohio, but it is not clear what state the lawsuit was filed in. Zoo will have to prove to the courts that they are either still working on the games promised to Atari or the company may end up having to pay up.

Since its inception Atari has created hundreds of video games. In recent years the company has partnered with several small scale game developers. This is the first time that Atari has taken another game maker to court, but if the allegations are true then the developer may have to think about how it works with other game makers in the future.

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Special Look At Rockstar’s Long Awaited ‘La Noir’

Rockstar Games award winning ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series may have a serious contender. ‘La Noir,’ a video game that Rockstar Games has been working on for more than three years is finally due to be released in May of 2011. The game has been described as a thriller that chronicles the journey of a homicide detective that is tracking a notorious serial killer. Unlike the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ franchise, ‘La Noir’ centers less heavily on gore but more than makes up for it in its graphics. In fact, the main reason that it has taken Rockstar so long to produce the game is because of the ‘MotionScan’ graphics system that is being used. The technology is a part CGI, part human composite hybrid that is something similar to what you see in the special effects used in major motion pictures.

Fans of Rockstar Games that have been waiting for the opportunity to play the role of the ‘good guy’ will not be disappointed with ‘La Noir,’ but they may begin to wonder exactly where Rockstar stands when it comes to the law. ‘La Noir’ is set in the 1940s, which the game develops has not failed to capitalize on. Not only are the characters much more realistic, Rockstar has included in excessive 20 hours of animated footage in the game. The storyline looks much more complex, the graphics will be difficult for other game makers to duplicate, and the overall gaming experience is expected to gain Rockstar stellar reviews.

Plants Vs Zombies Scores Surprise Hit with Mobile Gamers

Although when it first hit the iPhone a short time ago many critics had reviled it, Plants Vs Zombies, the latest title from Pop Cap Games, has managed to score big with iPhone and iPod Touch gamers. The game offers a very simple and easy to understand style of play that incorporates zany characters and game play with very simple controls and what is proving to be quite addictive play choices that gamers have been enjoying and going so far as to express serious fondness of over such social networking sites as Twitter and Facebook. The mobile gaming crowd has proven to have distinctly different tastes in games than the closely similar handheld crowd which tends more towards complex games. With the mobile gamers, titles such as Plants Vs Zombies have managed to secure a solid fan base with the zany style of play that might not work on other systems, say reviewers.

Since the game is leveraging the current fad in zombie based entertainment, many feel that it is likely to stay popular until the fad wears off, but what is more important to analysts is the fact that a relatively unknown title could gather so much fan acclaim in a short amount of time. Fan sites have been popping up across the web and some gamers have even formed small groups to compare their scores and share strategies with each other on how exactly they can advance their gaming. This embracing of home grown style games is expected to continue as consumers of games on mobile platforms more eagerly embrace smaller budget titles.

Veterans Hospitals Seek to Rehabilitate Through Video Games

The healing possibilities of video games have become increasingly more important to many in the medical professions as research continues to show there are a variety of applications where specialized games can do wonders for patients suffering from a number of physical injuries, diseases and emotional trauma. The virtual reality experience is going to be brought to Veterans Administration hospitals in the United States in an effort to help vets who suffer from brain injuries they sustained while on active duty in combat zones. The conditions, known collectively as traumatic brain injuries or TBI, are very difficult for the vets to get over without extensive surgery and therapy so neuro rehab tech provider Kinetic Muscles, Inc has stepped up to the plate with to be awarded a 2 year grant which it will use to design software for helping vets recover normal function.

The company has already succeeded with programs designed to help those suffering from strokes and the effects of cerebral palsy, so this next step of gaming therapy will come as a expansion of their current product line. The testing for the software will be extensive and involve a large number of patients in order to discover which technologies offer the greatest benefit. Should the research prove new methods of treatment for such sensitive conditions as TBI, the uses could expand far beyond the Department of Defense and into the whole field of brain injuries that medicine works to try and alleviate with limited therapeutic options, most of which are extremely intensive and not cost effective for patients.

New Square Enix and Eidos May Take Different Approach to Development

In a recent interview with Japanese media, the CEO of Square Enix, Yoichi Wada, has said that he believes the global team work which has gone on between both Square Enix and Eidos has a very strong bond that could well forge a super sized game studio in the future. The Japanese based Square Enix CG team worked very closely with Montreal based Eidos team to develop the up coming Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer to showcase that title’s features. The collaborations impressed Wada who sees major potential for the 2 studios to work together again in the future if the projects are right for both groups. The press conference itself was called over a new label for Square Enix called Extreme Edges, which will focus on games aimed at the 18 and older crowd in Japan, ported from game developers in Europe and the United States. The titles for this label will include such hits as Just Cause 2, Blur, Singularity, Supreme Commander and Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.

The Japanese company expects to be able to expand their fan base rapidly with the release of the new titles which have done well in the US and Europe. This way they can bring fans in Japan a fresh set of games from over seas and give them an experience close tot he way that many Japanese games are ported to other countries around the globe. Japan has historically been a leader in the video game industry, but catch up marketing by a number of foreign countries has proved markets all over the world are capable of producing hit games that Japanese gamers enjoy.

New Western Adventure on the Way From Rockstar

In what may come as a surprise to fans of the critically acclaimed fan favorite franchise of crime adventure games Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar has set their proverbial sites on a whole new genre that has rarely been done in the video gaming industry. Aiming to take gamers back in time to the American frontier, Rockstar is set to release a different type of game called Red Dead Redemption that will give gamers a classic cowboys and Indians type of experience the company promises will be unlike anything they have ever experienced before. The title has had a lot of development and was quite research heavy for the development studio which logged hundreds of thousands of hours studying what made the Old West setting unique. Gamers will not only be handling a variety of authentic fire arms from that period of history, they will also need to know how to survive in the environments that the game covers. While it will feature a fictional setting, Red Dead Redemption is true to the general lay out of the American western frontier during the era of cattlemen and tribal clashes with European settlers.

The game will be focused primarily, though, on the cinematic aspects and a carefully crafted storyline that allows movement for gamers to make their own choices, but plays to the general Western theme found in many Hollywood films of the Golden Age of movies, as it is called by critics. The game is expected to do well both in the US and abroad due in part to the subject, but driven largely by Rockstar’s reputation for developing mind blowing adventure games fans love.