Oh boy, we can't wait to see the reaction to this one, so here goes. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror, and if need be, have your birth certificate handy. Do you see an overweight, 35-year-old depressed person staring back at you? if so, you qualify as an average gamer, says a new study.
Published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, and Andrews University put their heads together to comb through survey data from 522 adults ranging in age from 19 to 90 and living in the Seattle-Tacoma area.
"Video-game players also reported lower extraversion, consistent with research on adolescents that linked video-game playing to a sedentary lifestyle and overweight status, and to mental-health concerns," the researchers noted.
The findings apply to both men and women, noting female gamers are at a higher risk of depression than women who do npt play videogames, while male gamers reported a higher BMI and more time spent surfing the Internet than men who don't play games.
The researchers admit the study isn't conclusive, but went on say that their findings "appear consistent with earlier research on adolescents."
Originally released in February 2009, Acclaim's MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn has gone into a redevelopment stage. This is expected to carry into 2010 and will include a bevy of enhancements and changes as the game morphs from a monthly subscription model into a free-to-play title supported by micro-transactions.
In the meantime, Acclaim tells us it still has its servers running the original version and has decided to make Spellborn free to play.
"We felt like people missed out. They didn't get to see what Spellborn was really like. And we are going to fix that," David DeWald, Community Manager for Acclaim, wrote in an email.
While the original version remains 'frozen in time' and free to play, note that there will be no upgrades or patches.
Whether you lost your license for racking up too many points for speeding and reckless driving or just can't stand to be anywhere else other than behind the wheel, Logitech has you covered. The gaming peripheral company today announced the G27 Racing Wheel, which it says is "designed to deliver the definitive sim racing experience."
For three Benjamins, the G27 will have you gripping tight corners and feeling the road courtesy of a dual-motor force feedback mechanism. A hand-stitched leather wheel helps justify the cost of admission, as does a six-speed gated shifter complimented by a new LED RPM/shift indicator. Other features include steel-constructed gas, brake, and clutch pedals, and more programmable buttons than the G25.
Logitech says the G27 will be available in the U.S. and Europe sometime in September and will work with both PCs and the Playstation 3.
Last month we reported on the rather bleak fortunes of the gaming industry, and it appears as though the trend that was identified in June has carried over to July. According to the NPD Group, July marks the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year video-game sales declines. Not only is the gaming industry no longer considered recession proof, but it managed to shed a staggering 29 percent compared to the same period last year. Sales of software and hardware for July 2009 were approximately $848.9 million, down from $1.1 billion in 2008.
NPD blames the summer tailspin on lackluster new game releases, and fewer hardware purchases. The industry on a whole is expected to pick up some steam in the traditionally strong Q4 period with several high profile launches expected. "This isn't the best time of year for video-game sales. In a down economy it makes it all that tougher said Michael Gartenberg, a vice president at Interpret. "Of course, there's nothing that's ultimately going to be recession-proof if the recession goes on long enough."
“Video games have large amounts of entertainment value beyond short-term enjoyment," Gartenberg said. "That's typically one of the reasons video games have done well." Would you agree?
The PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA), a non-profit consortium created to promote the awesomeness of gaming on a PC, stands eight members stronger today. These new members include BFG Technologies, Bigfoot Networks, Flextronics, GameStop, GameTap, Gas Powered Games, Howie's Game Shack, and InstantAction.
"We welcome these new members to the PCGA, a rapidly growing organization where companies of all types can come together to expand and improve the PC gaming ecosystem," said Randy Stude, PCGA president and Intel director, Gaming Program Office.
The new additions will help fill a void created when Activision-Blizzard and "a few others" left the consortium last April because "they cannot justify the budget (membership and staff) required to maintain an active role in the PC Gaming Alliance at this time," the PCGA told Kotaku.
Other members include AMD, Intel, Capcom, Dell, Epic Games, Microsoft, Sony DADC, SMU, Digital River, EMG, Gas Powered Games, Razer, and WildTangent.
Jailbreak your game console and no one is likely to take notice. But make a home business out of jailbreaking consoles for others and you may draw the attention of Homeland Security.
At least that's the case for Matthew Crippen, a 27-year-old Cal State Fullerton liberal arts student who was arrested by Homeland Security authorities on Monday. Crippen was picked up for allegedly violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
"Defendant Matthew Crippen willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain, circumvented a technological measure that effectively controlled access to a copyrighted work, more particularly, used software to modify a Xbox machine's Optical Disc Drive so it would circumvent the anti-piracy measures contained on the original unmodified Optical Disc Drive," U.S. attorney Thomas P. O'Brien wrote in the indictment (PDF).
In a telephone interview with Wired.com's Threat Level, Crippen maintains the purpose of his jailbreaking business was to allow patrons to make "legally made backups," not for piracy.
The indictment charges Crippen with two counts, and if convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
The recession has been pummeling the living daylights out of the tech industry for almost a year now, and even industries that were once considered “immune” are starting to feel the pinch. Last month both hardware and software game sales slipped a combined 31 percent to $1.2 billion, down from $1.7 billion during the same period in 2008. This unfortunate milestone marks the fourth month in a row of year-over-year declines, and unfortunately for developers, there seems to be no end in sight. To add insult to injury, June’s numbers represent the worst decline since September 2000 when the industry shed over 41 percent. Gaming hardware is defiantly leading the decline with a 38 percent plunge, but software at 29 percent isn’t far behind.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the gaming industry however, and as we noted last week Casual gaming is on the rise. "Online gaming continues to be one of the top gaining categories over the past year growing at ten times the rate of the total U.S. Internet population and reaching nearly one out of every two Internet users," said Edward Hunter, comScore director of gaming solutions.
So have you been doing your part to bail out the gaming industry? Or is everyone just playing a two year old shared copy of Peggle?
Old school adventure gamers who own an Apple iPhone may soon have reason to raise up a mug of grog, and those who have never matched wits with LeChuck might be in for a treat. In a not-so-subtle Twitter update, LucasArts stopped just short of saying it would release The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the iPhone.
"For our Monkey fans - an iPhone sized wallpaper. No reason. Wink wink nod nod," LucasArts tweeted.
LucasArts plans to release the remastered adventure game for the PC and Xbox 360 on July 15th, just two days from now, and the Twitter message is being seen as a (strong) hint that the game will also find its way to the iPhone, though it's anyone's guess as to when that might be.
The remastered title will feature high definition graphics, original cast member voice-overs, renewed music score, a new interface, an in-game hint system, and the ability to switch between Special Edition and Classic Modes at any time during gameplay, LucasArts says.
When it comes to computer games, you don't have to pay to play, and we're not talking about software piracy. Instead, an increasing number of online gamers are discovering free or low cost casual games which, according to comScore, has seen "significant" growth in the past year.
"Online gaming continues to be one of the top gaining categories over the past year growing at ten times the rate of the total U.S. Internet population and reaching nearly one out of every two Internet users," said Edward Hunter, comScore director of gaming solutions. "And the growth in the category is occurring not only at the top gaming destination sites, but also through viral distribution platforms, including widgets and applications. In fact, some online gaming companies that distributed their games across sites are reaching as many people as the top online gaming sites."
In May of 2009, online gaming claimed 87 million U.S. visitors, an increase of 22 percent over one year ago. Yahoo Games edged out EA Online in claiming the most visitors, but no matter where the online portals ranked in terms of visitors, many of them have seen big growth. GSN Games Networks, for example, isn't in the top 10 but still managed to grow a whopping 563 percent to 6 million visitors.
Toronto, eager to offset some of the losses in its manufacturing sector, has lured Ubisoft to set up shop north the border by offering the game publisher $263 million. Ubisoft has published such hits as Assassin's Creed, Call of Juarez, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, Far Cry, Prince of Persia, and many more across all gaming platforms.
The $263 million deal, which comes in the form of a tax credit, keeps Ubisoft in Canada for at least 10 years and is expected to create 800 jobs. For Ubisoft's part, the publisher plans to invest upwards of $500 million. Ubisoft reportedly made $1.7 billion last year.
While the tax break is significant, the government said it plans to make the money back through jobs created, tax revenues, and spin-offs, The Inquirer reports.