Do you hate going to the dentist? If so, maybe you should consider spending less time fragging your friends. According to new research, playing Counter Strike or any number of other video games is bad for your teeth. Say what?
It's not the games themselves that break down your tooth enamel and leave holes in your teeth, but all the snacking that inevitably occurs. Those who spend substantial time defusing virtual bombs and knifing their buddies in the back are more than twice as likely to develop tooth decay as those with more active lifestyles, the study suggests.
"This study helps our understanding of the dietary habits and subsequent decay risk of gamers when the effects have previously been unknown," said Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation. "Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under acid attack for up to one hour. This is because the sugrar will react with the bacteria in plaque -- the sticky coating on your teeth -- and produce the harmful acids. So it is important to keep sugary foods only to mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk."
Spending too much time playing video games has often been mentioned in obesity reports, but this is one of the first studies to make a link between gaming and oral health.
Do you consider yourself a gullible gamer? Maybe you should, based on what security firm BitDefender has to say. According to BitDefender, gamers are 50 percent more likely to receive spam and be the target of phishing attacks.
Why so? Apparently gamers are a bit too gung-ho to add anyone to their friends list in order to have more people to play with.
"Users are more likely to accept spammers in their friends list when they are in a social network than in any other online communication environment," said George Petre, BitDefender threat intelligence team leader.
"This fact brings spam and social engineering schemes closer to the user than any e-mail spam or online scam. Moreover, we have seen that in a social applications environment, users can easily be tricked to add spammers to their profile. Thus, we recommend social gaming aficionados use extreme caution before enlarging their circle of friends."
BitDefender came to its conclusion after creating three false accounts. One of them had no photo and little information, one had a pic with a little bit of info, and one added more detail. BitDefender then signed up to a generic interest group and after one hour, the three profiles had 23, 47, and 53 friends, respectively. Doing the same in a games group, however, netted the profiles 85, 108, and 111 friends.
Nothing is set in stone just yet, but according to analyst Michael Pachter, Electronic Arts is planning to charge gamers for what he describes as very long game demos.
"The PDLC would be sold for $10 or $15 through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009's Battlefield 1943," Pachter explains. "A full-blown packaged game would follow shortly after the release of the PDLC, bearing a full retail price."
The revelation came during an analyst visit to Electronic Arts' Redwood City headquarters, in which Pachter met with EA Group General Manager Nick Earl. According to Pachter, Earl describes the extended demos as a "low-cost marketing tool."
"EA's view is that the PDLC costs a lot less to develop (essentially, it's the first few levels of the full-blown game), and they have the opportunity to fix whatever needs to be fixed in the packaged product that is released a few months later, whether than entails doing more of what people like or doing less of what they don't like," Pachter said. "It sounds like a brilliant strategy to me."
And to us it sounds like paying to beta test a product, which we suppose would be brilliant if EA manages to pull this off.
MTV and Harmonix on Thursday finally committed to a release date for the upcoming "Green Day: Rock Band" standalone music videogame. It will launch worldwide on June 8, 2010 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii game consoles.
"Green Day's music and explosive live performances transcend age barriers," said Tom Whalley, Chairman, Warner Bros. Records. "By partnering the band with Harmonix, Warner Bros./Reprise is thrilled to help create a Rock Band experience devoted exclusively to their impressive catalog."
Harmonix promises players will have access to a setlist of 47 tracks, including "Brain Stew," "Jaded," "Hitchin' a Ride," "American Idio," "Wake Me Up When September Ends," and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." All the tracks will be exportable and playable in previous versions of Rock Band.
In addition to the 47 songs, gamers can also unlock more than 100 collectible images and over 40 minutes of unreleased video from interviews, outtakes, and performances, Harmonix says.
What happens if you take Nintendo's Wii remote and nunchuck and paint them black, streamline the controllers, and cut the tail? You get Sony's PlayStation Move motion controller and sub-controller.
Instead of a sensor bar, the PlayStation Move platform relies on the PlayStation Eye camera to help "deliver an innovative and highly immersive experience." The camera purports to detect precise movement, angle, and even how far away the player is from the console.
As for the motion controller itself, it includes a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a terrestrial magnetic field sensor, as well as a color-changing field sensor that the camera uses to track movement. According to Sony, this combination allows for both fast and subtle motion.
Kotaku has put together a handy list outlining the differences between the PlayStation Move and Nintendo's Wii remote (see here), including fewer buttons, "a smarter controller," and no wire between the motion- and sub-controller.
Sony says it will launch the new controllers worldwide this fall, but didn't offer up any pricing info.
You're not likely to find a bona fide rock star on stage pounding a series of colorful buttons rather than strumming away on real guitar strings, so as fun as Rock Band and Guitar Hero are to play, they're not very faithful recreations of the real deal. Looking to bridge that gap is Seven45 Studios and the company's upcoming game, Power Gig: Rise of the SixString.
Like other musical videogames, you'll follow on-screen beat sequences, only you'll have to strum the right string rather than mash a button. There will also be a "Power Gig" mode in which players have to hit specific strings to produce chords. When you're finished chasing achievements, you can then plug the guitar into any standard amp and start playing for real.
"The leap to (playing) guitar will be seamless," said Jeff Walker, vice president of marketing at Seven45.
While price could end up an obvious prohibiting factor, Seven45 promises it will be comparable with existing music games. Look for Power Gig to ship this fall for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles. And if you get attached to the included guitar, Seven45 says it will also work with Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Groovy.
We don't often post Mac-centric news (being primarily a Windows PC-based site and all), but every once in awhile, we can't help ourselves. This happens to be one of those times.
Valve yesterday announced plans to bring Steam, its gaming service, and Source, Valve's gaming engine, to the Mac platform.
"As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."
Valve said its library of games, including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series, will all be available next month, though the company didn't specify an exact date. And these won't be run through emulation, but natively.
"We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation," said John Cook, Director of Steam Development. "The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward. We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360."
In addition, Cook said that Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, so it will be entirely possible to settle the debate between PC vs Mac in head-to-head matchups.
Somehow, blowing things up never gets old—especially blowing up Nazis. Sixty-five years after the fall of the Third Reich, it’s still a gaming favorite.
As the titular Saboteur, Irish mechanic turned French freedom-fighter Sean Devlin, you throw a wrench into the gears of the Nazi occupation in 1940... except this wrench is actually a wad of TNT that detonates in a spectacular fireball. The game equips you with an ample pile of explosives and turns you loose in a target-rich open-world version of Nazi-occupied Paris (complete with Eiffel Tower and Louvre) and its surrounding rural areas. Much of the joy of playing comes from planting bombs on poorly guarded Nazi equipment and casually strolling out of the blast radius before it blows, then watching it crumble down, jackbooted thugs and all.
Sure, the story, which follows Sean’s quest for revenge against a sadistic S.S. officer/race car driver is a little hammy and more than a little absurd, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In fact, it works well with the roguish Indiana Jones–style attitude of the character. The voice actors play along, delivering entertaining performances with caricature Irish, French, and German accents.
Holy moly, talk about a kick ass giveaway. 2K Sports this week announced it would give away an unprecedented cash prize to the tune of $1 million to whoever is the first person to pitch a verified perfect game in Major League Baseball 2K10.
"To compete, gamers must play in MLB Today mode, select from any of the available matchups, and then choose the option to participate in the ‘Major League Baseball 2K10 contest’ that will automatically default to the proper gameplay settings according to the official gameplay rules," 2K Sports states. "Entries must be recorded via camera or digital video recorder in compliance with guidelines provided by 2K in the Official Rules, and all eligible entrants must submit a copy of their recording in its entirety for verification. Submissions will only be accepted on DVD."
There are a handful of other rules you must follow, such as not being allowed to make any pitching substitutions, pause the game, or wait 60 seconds or more in between pitches. But should you be the first to get through nine innings with no walks, no hits, and no runs, you could end up a millionaire, at least until the tax man takes his cut.
Note that this contest only applies to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.
Dragon Age: Origins is the first in a new franchise from role-playing powerhouse BioWare, and while its swords ‘n’ sorcery setting may, at first glance, appear to be the result of an especially fruitful attempt at robbing J.R.R. Tolkien’s grave, don’t let that fool you. Dragon Age may very well contain one of the finest, most compelling videogame worlds ever created.
But that on its own isn’t what makes Dragon Age great. Rather, the game’s heart lies smack-dab at the intersection between setting and character development. It’s a fine line that many sprawling RPGs attempt to walk, yet BioWare has managed to cross the proverbial tightrope with startling ease. Chalk it up to years of experience with similar games, but with Dragon Age, BioWare has truly perfected its craft.
The story initially appears to be something of a straight line but quickly spins out into a complex web, with you at the center. It’s a surprisingly personal experience—especially when contrasted with other story-based RPGs—that begins with your choice of an origin story. Depending on your race/class combination, you’ll encounter any one of multiple, wildly different opening scenarios. Your origin, then, follows you through the rest of the game. Human, elf, or dwarf, male or female, rich or poor—the whole game changes in ways both big and small to reflect your humble (or not-so-humble) beginnings.