SURPRISE! GameStop wants to sell Used Digital Games

Wait…who’s surprised?  Definitely not me.  In the grand scheme, it’s not overly unexpected.  In our industry’s  little survival of the fittest battle, the publishers try to kill off the used game business, and the used game business finds new in-roads to stay alive.  I think there this gets really interesting is how this will effect the idea of ownership of digital properties.  Right now, games are all sold as “licenses” to the software — meaning that you don’t actually own the software, you just purchased a license to use that software.  Sometimes, that involves a physical medium, other times it doesn’t.

Big Publishers are likely to push against this and say that the license is non-transferrable (meaning it can’t be sold).  The counter claim to that will likely be the Doctrine of First Sale, which basically says that the publisher only has control over the first sale of the product, and not any subsequent sales of the product.  Again, the publishers are currently holding the stance that because they are only licensing the software, it doesn’t qualify for First Sale Doctrine.

When this battle comes up in the courts, I’ll be really excited because this has larger repercussions outside of gaming, specifically in cracking the lock on content to certain platforms (like those tied to the iTunes store, or the Zune store, or Amazon). Anyway, the article doesn’t say much other than GameStop mentioned exploring the possibilities, which again … surprises no one.

Via: GameStop Wants to Sell Used Digital Games – The Escapist 

FoxNews Makes up More Negative Gaming ‘facts’

I won’t repeat what The Escapist has already stated so eloquently– so hit the bounce back to check them out.  But basically, FoxNews is attempting to yet again demonize video games through whatever means possible under the guise of reporting the “news” without doing any such thing.

Makes me sick.  At least other biased new sources, like CNN and MSNBC, give fair effort to doing actual fact-checking instead of conjecture, hearsay, and anecdotal, completely unsupported ascertains.


Via The Escapist: Fox News Blogger Continues Bulletstorm Attack

The Original on FauxNews: Bulletstorm: Censored in Germany, Coming to America

Gamer is a bad word … I mean, what?

Gamer Logo


Gamer Logo

I don’t want to imply that I took offense to Yahtzee’s article entitled, “Don’t Use the Word Gamer,” but I can say that I did vigorously disagree with most of what he said.  The sum up his article, the word “gamer” implies two things – it reinforces a negative stereotype of overweight, neck beards, acne, and smelling faintly of milk.  Second, he says that the concept of “gamer” creates a division where there isn’t one.
Continue reading “Gamer is a bad word … I mean, what?”

Philadelphia Charging Bloggers $300 for Business License

Philadelphia is looking to charge bloggers within the city limits a $300 fee for a Business Privilege License, according to The Escapist.  According to the article, if you have any ads on your site whatsoever, they consider you a business, regardless of how much money you make.  The two bloggers mentioned made less that $100 over a 2 year period in ad revenue.  On top of that, the city is demanding that they make that ad revenue taxable incoming, in addition to their state and federal taxes.

Continue reading “Philadelphia Charging Bloggers $300 for Business License”

Wendy Despain and Game Development

“I have no idea why I make games. I just know that I can’t not make them.”

Wendy Despain

That’s how Richard Danskey answers when asked why he makes games.  The Escapist has an article, posted last week, about how the perception of the ‘gaming job’ is so vastly skewed from what the public opinion of it is. Entitled, “Making Games Ain’t Always Fun,” Wendy Despain writes about her experiences in the gaming industry, complete with doom-worthy citations from other industry veterans.

It’s always enlightening to read about how things actually work in the industry, but I can’t help but feel like she makes an effort to show the worst of the worst.  Perhaps it’s just an attempted to keep the balance when everyone has such a rainbows and butterflies view of gaming, but  I can’t help but think that the truth of making games is someplace in the middle – at times soulcrushing, and at others amazing enough to make you remember why you could never actually do anything else.

To read her account of working in the game industry, it’s a thankless job that no one in their right mind would want to, and is all horror and agony and disappointment, with the rare brief sunshine of success.  I like to keep the pragmatism in full force and that game design, like every other job on the planet, is not all rainbows and sunshine, but at the same time neither is all agony and doom and gloom for a few meager scrapes of approval and vindication.  BUT, regardless, a good read if you are interested in hearing the worst of what the world has to offer.


Vaginophobia – via The Escapist

Girl with an Apple

Girl with an Apple

Over on the The Escapist, there’s an article by game journalist Michael Thomsen called “Vaginophobia,” which tackles the oft-commented portrayal of women (and more importantly femininity) in video games.  This topic lies close to my heart because I wrote an undergraduate thesis of the portrayal of women in science fiction movies from the perspective of gender.  Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to write about this. Continue reading “Vaginophobia – via The Escapist”