Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily recap of the top gaming headlines.
American Psychological Association affirms link between violent games, depression
Playing violent video games is linked to increases in aggression and decreases in sensitivity to aggression, according to an American Psychological Association (APA) review of recent research. There is “insufficient evidence” about whether playing violent video games can also lead to criminal violence or delinquency, according to the APA review.
The review comes in a 49-page report from the APA’s Taskforce on Violent Media, which the organization established in January 2013 to review scientific literature published between 2005-2013 about the effects of violent video games.
“The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive effect, and decreases in prosocial behavior, empathy, and sensitivity to aggression.”
-The American Psychological Association’s Taskforce on Violent Media, in a statement
The Entertainment Software Association refuted the report, according to a statement to Polygon.
There isn’t enough evidence of a potential link between playing violent games and committing acts of criminal violence, according to APA Task Force chair Mark Appelbaum, PhD.
“No single risk factor consistently leads a person to act aggressively or violently. Rather, it is the accumulation of risk factors that tends to lead to aggressive or violent behavior.”
-The APA Task Force
Playing violent video games is one risk factor, according to the report.
Based on the report, the APA has adopted the “Resolution on Violent Video Games” to replace the 2005 “Resolution on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media.”
In the new document, the APA “strongly encourages” the ESRB to update its video game rating system “to reflect the levels and characteristics of violence in games, in addition to the current global ratings.” The APA will also endorse the development of “rigorously tested interventions” that educate children and families about the effects of playing violent games, and will support further research into the field.
Additional research is necessary to fill in the gaps of knowledge of the consequences of playing violent video games, according to the report. The APA Task Force identified limitations of the existing body of research like the effects of playing video games on children under the age of 10 – most studies have focused on teens and adults – and whether the effects differ between male and female individuals.
Nintendo localizer fired after podcast appearance
Chris Pranger, a former Nintendo employee that worked in the Kyoto, Japan-based company’s Treehouse localization group, was fired from Nintendo after appearing on the Part-Time Gamers podcast earlier this month where he spoke openly about the company’s products and localization efforts.
“[I] was terminated this week due to a podcast appearance I made last Monday. It was a stupid judgement call on my part and ultimately it cost me far more than I could have imagined.”
-Chris Pranger, former Nintendo employee, on Facebook
During the over-an-hour-long podcast, Pranger spoke on the frustrations of Nintendo not bringing some games like Captain Rainbow stateside:
“[People who say] ‘Look how many people want this! Don’t you want money?’
“And it’ll be like, ‘Yeah, we do want money, which is why we know it’s a colossal waste to localize that in this current market because look at you people. You don’t make up a big enough group.
“You look at something like even Xenoblade Chronicles. People love that game within a certain group. That game is not the type of game that just pulls in enough to justify the costs on that. We got it in the States by luck, that [Nintendo of America] decided ‘Oh, we’ll take the bullet. We’ll localize that.’ Like, ‘OK!’ because someone is going to have to eat the costs somewhere, because that game is guaranteed to not sell enough to justify how big that game is. You know, hundreds of hours, all voiced. That’s a lot of money that goes into that.
“And people are like ‘Why do you guys hate money?’ We don’t. That’s why you literally can’t make everything. And people don’t like finding out that their fanbase is actually too small to justify the costs of the thing they want. And they don’t get that. And then they’ll say, ‘Why don’t you do that anyway?’”
Pranger also spoke on the Super Smash Bros. series, and the complaints he hears from “hardcore” players that get upset if they hear that the game is designed for a more casual audience. Again, according to Pranger, this response is the same: They don’t make up enough of the player base.
“I spent the last week in a miserable place once the podcast began getting coverage. I was instantly scared when a coworker poked me and said, ‘Hey, you’re on GoNintendo.’ Suddenly, article after article began appearing in game sites of all languages. Comments sections painted me as an idiot and the like. My Twitter started giving me hourly reminders from people meaning well and otherwise. It seemed unthinkable that I’d be let go for a single moment of poor judgement and my own misunderstandings, but here we are.”
#GamerGate: Bomb threat shuts down SPJ event on controversy
A bomb threat shut down a Miami Society of Professional Journalists panel featuring some key figures from the Gamergate movement.
Miami-Dade Police responded to the threat at Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center around 2:30PM, according to Miami ABC affiliate WPLG-TV, after being tipped off to the threat. Someone at the Miami Herald received an email about the bomb threat and sent it to authorities. No explosives were found at the scene.
The event began at 10AM ET, according to SPJ Region 3 director and “AirPlay” event host Michael Koretzky, and was barraged by bomb threats throughout on social media, all of which were not taken seriously because SPJ-hired security swept the auditorium the night before, locked it, and posted a guard outside the venue until the event began.
The threat that did send police to the Koubek Center came in with about 30 minutes left in the program, according to Koretzky. The auditorium cleared after a morning session and visitors milled about before the second panel got underway, meaning that room was no longer swept and secured.
“We only had half an hour left, I don’t think [Breitbart.com writer Milo Yiannopoulos] could have read everything they wrote in [a] half hour. As I told them, while AirPlay is about GamerGate, it’s not for GamerGate. It’s for journalists and their readers.”
-Michael Koretzky; SPJ Region 3 director, AirPlay event host
The event was broken into two sessions. The first was about gaming media and how journalists can do a better job. The second was about how mainstream media can and should cover online controversies. Yiannopoulos was among a panel of six.
“As a journalist myself, if someone cares enough to do that it must mean something’s gonna be said that’s going to be interesting. No one calls in a bomb threat or sends harassing emails to a boring debate.”
Unauthorized ‘amiibo’ device stores amiibo data, impersonates them on Wii U
The amiiqo, a device that allows players to store their amiibo collection’s data on a single disc is likely to attract attention from Nintendo, especially as it comes preloaded with data for 10 figurines.
The device is currently available for pre-orders in the UK for $78.02, according to its website. It also requires an Android device with NFC compatibility to operate.
The amiiqo comes with 10 preloaded figures on it, according to its’ product description, including “5 unreleased.” The product does not appear to be authorized by Nintendo.
“Added compatibility, [a] cheat system, and new transfer/control methods & apps” will come after the product ships, according to its’ product page.
Rainbow Six Siege delayed to December as team improves co-op experience, balance
Rainbow Six Siege won’t be launching on its original October 13 release date, according to Ubisoft, instead planning to launch the game on December 1st in all regions.
The delay is intended to give the team more time to improve “the co-op experience across all game modes, weapon and gadget balancing, as well as menu and interface navigation,” according to an Ubisoft blog post.
The game’s beta will still launch on September 24th, according to the Montreuit, France-based company, with the delay giving the team more time to test network elements like infrastructure and matchmaking.
The decision to delay the game was spurred in part by both E3 and Gamescom, according to Ubisoft.
Rainbow Six Siege will launch on PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.
Kickstarter not considering equity crowdfunding
With the launch of Fig, a dedicated video game crowdfunding platform that offers an equity investment option to backers, the main question is if Kickstarter would complete in the same space.
“Kickstarter has no plans to offer equity crowdfunding. Kickstarter’s mission is to help bring creative projects to life, and we welcome more options for creators.
“We’re constantly amazed at the ingenuity and diversity of games on Kickstarter – thousands of them, from quirky side projects to ambitious blockbusters, and from creators of all stripes. It’s a place where people make and support games because they love gaming. Kickstarter creative control of their work. And our strong backer community makes Kickstarter the best place in the world for game makers to find an audience – one that extends beyond the core gaming crowd.”
-A Kickstarter representative
Duke Nukem rights lawsuit settled; Gearbox declared full owner
Gearbox Software and 3D Realms have settled a lawsuit over an aborted Duke Nukem project, which became the forerunner to the upcoming Bombshell from Interceptor Entertainment.
Gearbox, 3D Realms, and Interceptor Entertainment “voluntarily ended all litigation between them,” according to a joint statement. In a separate statement, Gearbox reaffirmed that it is the “full and rightful owner of the Duke Nukem franchise.”
“When Interceptor acquired a license to develop Duke Nukem Mass Destruction from 3D Realms, we did so in good faith and were not aware of any conflict. We never intended to cause any harm to Gearbox or Duke, which is why we immediately ceased development after Gearbox reached out. To secure the future of Duke, 3D Realms has agreed with Gearbox that a single home serves the IP best.”
-Mike Nielsen, 3D Realms CEO
“It was my own decision to pull the plug on Duke Nukem [Mass Destruction], even though we were fully allowed to continue development.”
-Frederik Schreiber, Interceptor Entertainment CEO