Drop Your Pants and Grab Your iPhone
Fans of the anime series Gurren Lagann and Evangelion will be thrilled to know that now you can take your 2d dream girls with you wherever you go. On Wednesday, a new application was offered not only to Japanese users, but those in the U.S. as well, allowing you to take the busty Yoko and the docile Rei wherever you go. The Yoko application will have the curvaceous teen say various phrases throughout the day and allow contacts to be managed with character icons, while the Rei application will weather forecasts to the user, with special tidbits of information about Hakone City, the real-life model for the fictional Tokyo-3. But what if you are a fan that could care less about Eva or TTGL? Then you can be a pirate! Another lovely app released for the U.S. iPhone market this week is sure to cause quite a shitstorm, as it gives the user access to hundreds of unauthorized, translated scans from a variety of manga. Android has a similar application, but one of the primary differences between this and the iPhone application is the licensing conflicts; ‘scanlations’ are not uncommon, but many of the manga available are already licensed by North American companies. Viz Media and Yen Press already armed themselves with lawyers and prompted the application to remove titles licensed by these developers, but many others are still left to be read.
The Governator’s War on Games in Limbo
The United States Supreme Court will be deciding this week on a case that we discussed in previous weeks… no, not the man with the loli hentai. I am talking about a case that began back in 2005 will California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that would fine companies $1000 for selling violent video games to minors. The Entertainment Software Association was able to get this law blocked for being a violation of 1st Amendment rights, a decision that the courts unanimously upheld. But, last May, the State of California petitioned this decision once more, insisting that certain games of no “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors” were detrimental and harmful, while the ESA countered that many equally mindless movies, even some starring the Governator, were available to minors. If the Supreme Court denies the case altogether, the original ruling against the fine would still stand. However, if the Court decides to humor California and hear the case, both sides will argue their points, while the conservative soccer moms of America wait with bated breath to see if they will legally have someone else to blame for their brat being a pain in the ass.
Sending Grandpa…to the Netherlands!
If the Dutch have their way, you soon will be enraged to find that the sniper capping your ass is your grandmother. A study released this week shows that video games are great learning tools to enhance mental reflexes and responsiveness, with Assistant Professor at Leiden University’s Dr. Lorenza Colzato even suggesting that parents embrace games that teach their children how to make the red mist. Her argument is that in our fast-paced world, where multitasking is not just common but critical and essential for success, video games could be just the thing needed to improve the necessary mental flexibility. She also suggests that video games even be used in nursing homes, and with good reason. The correlation between idle time and mental deterioration has been proven by many other studies over the years, and while video games aren’t much more physical than simply watching TV, the mental gymnastics provided by a round of Call of Duty will still exercise the elderly mind more than watching another round of Wheel of Fortune.
Centipedes? On my interbutts?
Two vastly different stories this week, both involving the world on online gaming. First, as we reported almost two weeks ago, Microsoft has shut down the original XBox Live servers as of April 15th. Today is the 25th, ten days later… and some losers are still on it. When the original servers were shut off, apparently they were only shut off from people ever logging back on them, it did not kick off any players that were still online. Friday had twenty-seven users left online, while today only seventeen remain, all of them playing the titular bro-du-jour game, Halo 2. They have vowed to stay on until either their XBox refuses to keep going, or Microsoft finally gives them the boot. Only in America will you find such losers… and unfortunately, we are stuck with them! If you are excited to play the upcoming Starcraft II, hopefully you can tolerate whatever morons populate your country, as Blizzard has decided that it will be isolating players to their own regions of the world. Suck though this may, the reason is one of practicality: would you rather play a smooth functional game with your countrymen, or a laggy glitchy game with the Asian players that will kick your ass anyway? They have said that this will probably only be temporary, as they want to ensure server capabilities first, then will most likely offer a patch that will open up you up to the world. Then you can have all the Asian power-levelers kick your ass all you like, enjoy!