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India loses its mental balance...

And its all because of the video game: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds


Link Here 25th March 2019
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a Hunger Games -style competition where 100 players face off with machine guns and assault rifles until only one is left standing. It has become the most popular smartphone game in the world, with enthusiasts from the U.S. to Russia to Malaysia.

And nowhere has resistance to the game been quite like India. Multiple cities have banned PUBG, and police in Western India arrested 10 university students for playing. The national child rights commission has recommended barring the game for its violent nature.

One of India's largest Hindi newspapers declared PUBG an epidemic that turned children into manorogi , or psychopaths . There are dangerous consequences to this game, the Navbharat Times warned in a  editorial, Many children have lost their mental balance.

Local politicians, parents and teachers have expressed outrage over PUBG, arguing the game will spur violence and divert students from their academics. They've blamed the game for bullying, stealing and, in one Mumbai case, a teenager's suicide. A local minister went so far as to characterize it as the demon in every house.

At a public meeting last month, a concerned mother complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about her son's addiction to mobile games. Is that the PUBG one? Modi shot back.

 

 

Seeing the Light...

Nintendo removes console game Super Real Mahjong PV from its eShop


Link Here 18th March 2019
Super Real Mahjong PV is a 2019 Japanese adventure game by MightyCraft

The console game Super Real Mahjong PV, originally released on the Sega Saturn and recently released for Switch, has been removed from Nintendo's eShop due to some scenes with insufficient censorship.

According to a notice from the publisher, Mighty Craft, Nintendo temporarily removed Super Real Mahjong PV from the eShop due to scenes with insufficient censorship as the reason. This is something that was pointed out by Japanese entertainment rating organization CERO (Computer Entertainment Rating Organization).

The publisher says it is currently working on checking and revising the entire game, and are getting ready to have it reviewed by Nintendo.

It turns out there are some instances of the censorship rays being too thin and left some images of female breasts exposed.

 

 

Updated: Steamy debate...

A video novel game on Steam is announced with the incendiary title Rape Day


Link Here 7th March 2019
A computer game called Rape Day has been  added to the Steam games distribution website for release next month.

The rather incendiary title is coupled with a no frills description noting that game is a dark comedy and power fantasy where players can rape and murder during a zombie apocalypse. However Rape Day is not quite the immersive experience that will be luridly described by newspapers, it is a visual novel game with still images and story choices, but no animation or voice acting.

The Rape Day developers, Desk Plant, say the game will have more than 500 images, 7,000 words of story and evil choices. Players will choose from options in a pre-written story to progress through the game. Rape Day isn't actually animated either, each scene is told with a sequence of still images, with written dialogue and story choices. The game is more like a choose your own adventure book with multiple paths than a traditional video game where a player controls their character.

The game is a digital-only release and has no official rating. Those without a Steam account cannot see the game at all as it has been removed from appearing in the searches of non-members. Subscribers can then see a preview page with 25 screenshots of the game, which include nude women being sexually assaulted and held at gun point.

No doubt this will test Steam's resolve in allowing games with sexual themes. This is quite a recent policy change inspired by a fans backlash against its previously over strict censorship rules. Of course it now have to weigh the fans backlash against a backlash from campaigners who aren't customers. The title has caused a long debate on Steam's forums

Update: Rape Day pulled by Steam after outcry

7th March 2019. See  article from bbc.co.uk

Rape Day has had its release cancelled on gaming platform Steam after thousands of people signed online petitions calling for it to be banned. In a statement, Valve, the company which owns Steam, said it had removed the game because it poses unknown costs and risks.

Desk Plant, the creator of the game, has said it will look for another platform to take it

 

 

Offsite Article: Prodded by censors...


Link Here 26th February 2019
Are sexy Japanese games forcing international rating boards to reconsider their approaches?

See article from highimpactclassification.wordpress.com

 

 

Keep calm and play on...

Violent video games found not to be associated with adolescent aggression


Link Here 18th February 2019

Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, have found no relationship between aggressive behaviour in teenagers and the amount of time spent playing violent video games. The study used nationally representative data from British teens and their parents alongside official E.U. and US ratings of game violence. The findings were published in Royal Society Open Science.

The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn't tested very well over time, says lead researcher Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute. Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concern.

The study is one of the most definitive to date, using a combination of subjective and objective data to measure teen aggression and violence in games. Unlike previous research on the topic, which relied heavily on self-reported data from teenagers, the study used information from parents and carers to judge the level of aggressive behaviour in their children. Additionally, the content of the video games was classified using the official Pan European Game Information (EU) and Entertainment Software Rating Board (US) rating system, rather than only player's perceptions of the amount of violence in the game.

Our findings suggest that researcher biases might have influenced previous studies on this topic, and have distorted our understanding of the effects of video games, says co-author Dr Netta Weinstein from Cardiff University. An important step taken in this study was preregistration, where the researchers publically registered their hypothesis, methods and analysis technique prior to beginning the research.

Part of the problem in technology research is that there are many ways to analyse the same data, which will produce different results. A cherry-picked result can add undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games. The registered study approach is a safe-guard against this, says Przybylski.

While no correlation was found between playing video games and aggressive behaviour in teenagers, the researchers emphasize that this does not mean that some mechanics and situations in gaming do not provoke angry feelings or reactions in players. Anecdotally, you do see things such as trash-talking, competitiveness and trolling in gaming communities that could qualify as antisocial behaviour, says Przybylski. This would be an interesting avenue for further research.

Researchers should use the registered study approach to investigate other media effects phenomena. There are a lot of ideas out there like 'social media drives depression and technology addiction that lowers quality of life that simply have no supporting evidence. These topics and others that drive technological anxieties should be studied more rigorously 203 society needs solid evidence in order to make appropriate policy decisions.'

The data was drawn from a nationally representative sample of British 14- and 15-year olds, and the same number of their carers (totalling 2,008 subjects). Teenagers completed questions on their personality and gaming behaviour over the past month, while carers completed questions on their child's recent aggressive behaviours using the widely-used Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The violent content in the games played were coded based on their rating in the official Pan European Game Information (PEGI; EU) and Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB; US) rating system, as well as player's subjective rating. The findings of the study were derived from a study following the Registered Reports Protocol; the study's sampling plan and statistical approach were evaluated before the data were collected. Multiple linear regression modelling tested whether the relations between regular violent video game play (coded by researchers) and adolescents' aggressive and helping behaviours (judged by parents) were positive, negative, linear, or parabolic.

 

 

That'll teach them...

Pennsylvania bill seeks to tax video gamers to fund guns for school teachers


Link Here 7th February 2019
Lawmakers from Pennsylvania have introduced a bill that proposing an additional 10% sin tax on M (mature) and AO (adults only) rated video games.

The money would go into a fund called the Digital Protection for School Safety Account that aims to enhance security measures at schools in the wake of the school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Newtown, Connecticut.

State representative Chris Quinn, a republican first introduced the bill in 2018 but is trying again in the current session. Explaining the bill last year, Quinn said violent video games might be an element in the rise of school shootings in America. One factor that may be contributing to the rise in, and intensity of, school violence is the material kids see, and act out, in video games, he said.

The Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of the video game industry, notes that the bill is a violation of the US Constitution.

 

 

Debugged...

Revisiting games censorship from 2001 during a cutscene from Onimusha: Warlords


Link Here 17th January 2019
C apcom's 2019 remastering of the 2001 action adventure game, Onimusha: Warlords has led to the revisiting of a censorship issue resulting from the original release.

Onimusha: Warlords was originally released uncut in Japan but was censored for the international version. A cutscene involving one of the bosses, Hecuba, was cut down from its original form. The scene was briefly snipped in the overseas release to avoid the slightly suggestive splaying of Hecuba's legs as she readies for transformation to a giant insect like demon. The abdomen of the insect then seems to emerge from between her legs.

It has been noted that the 2019 re-release contains both the censored and uncensored version. However the uncut version only appears if the selected language is Japanese.

 

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