Kotaku

What EVE Online's Weird & Wonderful Players Look Like Away From The ComputerYou might think, given the game's abundance of politics and griefing on an intergalactic scale, that the kind of people who play EVE Online are complete psychos.



Well, you're only half right.



Ezra Morris and Ben Ritter from Motherboard went to the EVE Fanfest in Iceland last year, and while there, brought a nice camera and the intent to profile a number of the game's players, to see what motivates them and how their feelings on the game may have changed.



I love features like this. It's so easy to fall into the trap of assuming everyone who plays a certain game is alike, so it's nice to get reminders that, even in the world of tumultuous science fiction MMOs, you can never be sure who the person on the other end of a message/missile salvo is.



EVE Online, Offline: Meet the Geeks Living Inside an Interstellar Virtual War [Motherboard]



What EVE Online's Weird & Wonderful Players Look Like Away From The Computer


Kotaku

The Scribblenauts Miiverse Board Is Like A Warm Blanket Made Of Good Times and Smiles We live in divisive times. The public discourse is rife with bickering and malice, and yet there is at least one thing we can all agree on: Scribblenauts is adorable.



Today's Miiverse Moment is a dose of sunshine and cotton candy from the most heartwarming place in the Miiverse: The Scribblenauts Unlimited community. It's a place jam-packed with devoted, creative fans of series that is cute-as-a-button. Below is just a small sample of what they've made. Enjoy.



The Scribblenauts Miiverse Board Is Like A Warm Blanket Made Of Good Times and Smiles



Miiverse Moments is an ongoing series showcasing the best, the worst and the weirdest that the Wii U's Miiverse has to offer. If you stumble across something exceptionally amazing, foul or funny in the Miiverse, feel free to share it in the comments.


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Here is a fascinating dissection by Vimeo user Matthias Stork which is seven months old, but recently written up by Indiewire and tweeted by Roger Ebert, so I thought it was worth sharing. It delves into the relationship held between movies and games—which goes further than simply having more cutscenes in games (though this, too, is explored). The relationship is actually mutual in some cases: I was impressed to see almost identical-looking footage of Spider Man and Mirror's Edge side by side.



All in all, a hugely informative video that I highly recommend watching. It makes me wonder about something a game designer once said to me: that the movie industry is becoming more and more influential in the game world—and yes, not just because of cutscenes and cinematic games.



Transmedia Synergies - Remediating Films and Video Games [Matthias Stork ]


Kotaku

Missouri Pol Wants a Sin Tax on Violent Video GamesA Missouri state representative wants a 1 percent sales tax levied on "violent video games" sold in the state, despite the fact similar efforts to tax specific games based on their content failed in other states, including most recently Oklahoma, Missouri's better-looking cousin.



Diane Franklin, of Camdenton, Mo., said the 1 percent tax would finance law enforcement measures and mental health programs. The Associated Press notes that both the state's Democratic governor, and the Republican majority controlling the general assembly, oppose any new taxes. Franklin is a Republican. Her proposal is assuredly motivated by national concern over mass shootings such as the one a month ago in Newtown, Conn.



Last year, an Oklahoma state lawmaker—this one a Democrat—proposed a similar tax on video games rated T or stricter, reasoning that "Violent video games contribute to some of our societal problems like obesity and bullying," he argued at the time, "but because they raise a lot of revenue, they can also provide part of the solution." That proposal was shot down in committee as more senior lawmakers questioned its usefulness or validity.



Mo. lawmaker wants tax on violent video games [AP, image via Wikipedia]


Kotaku

SimCity Social 'Rock Royalty Part 2' Quests: Everything You Need to KnowWe've already brought you a complete look at the first portion in the Rock Royalty event in SimCity Social, which brings music to your town. Now, there are four quests to complete in this second section of the music event, and you'll need to invest quite a few Simoleons and materials to finish it off. We're here with a guide to completing these four quests, thanks to the game's official forums.



Cue the Music

• Build the Hit Factory

• Ignore Horrid Hits

• Perform 5 Rival Actions



The Hit Factory costs 72,000 Simoleons to purchase, and it comes in the form of a literal factory that has a "low" pollution rating. It produces at least 305 Goods every five and a half hours, and it requires three energy to build its base. After the base is complete, you'll need three Robot Workers, two Kribbles, three Cameras and four Heavy Metal to finish it off. As for the Rival Actions, these can be completed in a friends' town by choosing the "naughty" choice when interacting with items. You'll receive a free Wrath when you finish this quest.



SimCity Social 'Rock Royalty Part 2' Quests: Everything You Need to KnowLive and Licking

• Have a 3-Star Rock Club

• Collect 2,000 Simoleons from the Rock Club

• Have 3 Heavy Metal



Once again, the Heavy Metal can be earned by asking your friends to send them to you. Meanwhile, the Rock Club (which we built in Part 1 of this event) requires a ton of energy and materials to upgrade. You'll need 15 energy and 5,100 Materials to upgrade to 1-Star, while 20 energy and 10,000 Materials are required for the second upgrade. To reach the 3-Star rating, you'll need 25 energy and 25,000 more Materials. Once the Rock Club is fully upgraded, you'll receive 1,200 Simoleons from it every 48 minutes, so long as you actually come back and collect them. When you finish this quest, you'll receive 10,000 Materials.



Find Your Groove

• Earn 3 Expression

• Find 5 Inspiration

• Collect from the Hit Factory



Reminder: The Hit Factory takes five and a half hours to recharge, so if you're working on the Live and Licking quest above and already have a "ready" Hit Factory, hold off on collecting it until you reach this quest, just to save some time in the long run. For the Expression task, you can earn these by assigning workers to Attraction jobs via the University feature. These jobs are under the green color section and can include jobs within the Botanical Gardens, Country Club, Stadium and more. Finally, the Inspiration can be found inside the Record Store. This business costs 68,000 Simoleons in the store and will provide 600 Simoleons every two hours. When you finish this quest, you'll receive two Creativity collectibles.



Long Player

• Stock "Pull Your Rocks Up"

• Collect from the Record Store



Finally, the Record Store costs 68,000 Simoleons to build and requires five energy. To finish it off, you'll need two Business Cards and two Platinum Records. You can then simply click on the finished Record Store and choose the "Pull Your Rocks Up" task once to finish off this quest. You'll receive 25,000 Simoleons for finishing this portion of the Rock Royalty event, but we're not done yet! There's still one more portion of quests to complete in this Rock Royalty feature, so check back for more.



Play SimCity Social on Facebook >



Which quest in the Rock Royalty event are you on right now? Have you already made it into Part 2, or are you still working on quests in Part 1? Sound off in the Games.com comments!





Republished with permission from:

SimCity Social 'Rock Royalty Part 2' Quests: Everything You Need to KnowBrandy Shaul is an editor at Games.com



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Kotaku

President Obama directed further research be done into the relationship video games may have to violence, part of a series of actions the White House is taking in response to the problem of repeated mass shootings across the country.



In a news conference taking place now, the president asked Congress to set aside $10 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the ties between violent images in the media—specifically mentioning "the effects violent video games have on young minds"—and violent crime.



The request followed a week in which Vice President Joe Biden met with leaders of the video game industry to discuss violent video games. The study is not the only proposal Obama made; among two dozen others, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity clips, and stricter background checks.


Kotaku

Pandora's Tower, The Third Operation Rainfall Game, Is Coming To America



Wow! Pandora's Tower is coming to the U.S. this spring, courtesy Xseed Games, the small publisher that brings all sorts of niche Japanese games to North America.



Pandora's Tower is an action-RPG for Wii, and the third member of the three games requested by Operation Rainfall, a fan campaign designed to get Japanese Wii RPGs to America. The other two games: Xenoblade, released by Nintendo last year, and The Last Story, also released by Xseed last year.



That makes Op Rainfall three for three.



"It's fantastic to be bringing such a highly-anticipated title like Pandora's Tower to such a vocal fan base," Xseed CEO Shinichi Suzuki said in a press release. "North American gamers have been very patient in waiting for this game to be released, and we're confident they will be pleased when they get their hands on the title."



Here's Xseed describing the game:




A tale of unfortunate circumstances, Pandora's Tower opens in the Kingdom of Elyria, where an unassuming singer named Elena succumbs to a wretched curse during a festival performance. Bearing an arcane mark on her back, she starts transforming into a savage monster, causing the town guards to attempt to kill her in order to prevent it. A young ex-mercenary named Aeron, whose heart has forever been pledged to Elena, whisks her away in the nick of time – and with the help of a mysterious witch named Mavda, he learns what must be done to avert her wretched fate. He must descend into The Scar, a massive chasm tied down by twelve chains connected to a floating island in its center, atop which sit thirteen interconnected towers. There, he must use his sword and a sacred chain to battle his way through each tower and extract the flesh of the boss "masters" that dwell within, which Elena must consume in order to reverse her ongoing transformation. But the clock is ticking! The longer Aeron takes to vanquish each beast, the less human Elena becomes, affecting her character and the game's final outcome in a profound manner. Time is of the essence...



Kotaku

That NRA Shooting Game Isn't For Four-Year-Olds Anymore, Thanks To AppleIn the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, the National Rifle Association backed a free shooting simulator called NRA: Practice Range. The iTunes app was rated ages 4 years old and up. Was, because political pressure caused Apple to reclassify the game as 12 years old and up.



The app is an "Official NRA Licensed Product," and it allows players to fire a variety of weapons in shooting ranges. While the app is free, you can unlock an AK47 assault rifle for just $0.99. Initially, Apple rates apps ages 4 and up if they "contain no objectionable materials."



"It is the height of hypocrisy," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is pushing for greater gun control. "If you remember the head of the NRA's speech on television, he blamed violent children's games for causing things like the terrible tragedy in Connecticut." Continuing, Bloomberg said (via CBS) the decision to release the app this Monday was "mind-boggling."



Monday was the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.



"How dumb can you get? How insulting can you be? They are tone deaf. You can quote me on any of that," Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said on Tuesday (via NBC).



Sen. Charles Schumer from New York called on Apple to raise the game's rating to 17 years old and up. On Tuesday afternoon, Apple changed the app's rating to 12 years old and up.



"Apple did the right thing by acknowledging that this game isn't for young children, but should go farther and make the restrictions as tight as possible," said Schumer. (via NBC) "The NRA has acted in an unbelievably hypocritical fashion by blaming the nation's gun violence on video games and movies, then coming out with a game for children featuring assault weapons. Apple should not facilitate children using it."



Last December, a week after the shooting, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre laid the blame on video games like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse as well as movies. Said LaPierre, "There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry, that sells and sows violence against its own people."



As game designer and academic Ian Bogost told Kotaku, the app serves as part of the NRA's campaign to present gun ownership as part of sportsmanship and present the game as an educational tool. "For example," Bogost told Kotaku, "when game devs and critics call the game 'terrible,' as some have done, the NRA can simply respond that our community must only want to partake of the violent uses of firearms, and that's why we are unable to appreciate a firing range simulator."



Bloomberg: New NRA Shooting App Is ‘Height Of Hypocrisy,' ‘Mind-Boggling' [CBS via GamePolitics]



Malloy, Lawmakers Outraged Over NRA Shooter App [NBC]


Kotaku

Google's Homepage Today Features A Terrific Little Ice Game It's Frank Zamboni's 112th birthday! You might wonder who Frank Zamboni is. Have you tried googling it? You could either look him up the usual way, or try out Google's newest playable Doodle.



The game, while simple at first, gets complicated fast. You, stepping into the role of a bespectacled handyman, are tasked with cleaning up progressively larger arenas using an ice resurfacer, Zamboni's famous invention. You have to plan your moves carefully, as driving around the arena depletes your fuel. Run out of fuel, and you're done.



Google's Homepage Today Features A Terrific Little Ice Game



As you progress through the levels, more and more powerups start to appear, dropped by the various visitors. Some, like the ice cream cones, only give you extra score, while coffee puts you into a caffeine rush, allowing you to zip across the arena with great speed. Fuel cans (obviously) restore a little bit of your fuel meter. Banana peels, on the other hand, send your resurfacer spinning out of control; but you can use them strategically to clean up a small area of ice without using up fuel.



Google's Homepage Today Features A Terrific Little Ice Game



At the end of the (rather short) game, you are given a final score depending on how well you did—how many bonus items you picked up, and how fuel-efficient you were. I think I did okay, but you guys can probably do a lot better. Wanna give it a try? If you do, make sure to post your scores below.



Frank Zamboni's 112th Birthday [Google]



Google's Homepage Today Features A Terrific Little Ice Game Google's Homepage Today Features A Terrific Little Ice Game Google's Homepage Today Features A Terrific Little Ice Game


Kotaku





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As mentioned earlier, Final Fantasy All The Bravest is strictly combat. Square Enix just released this launch trailer for the iOS game showing how insane that can get in parties this size. The trailer also gives you a look at how the old-school jobs, sprites and music are integrated into the game.



My advice: Use earbuds if you're playing this on public transportation. The game has launched in New Zealand because it's Thursday there already. It arrives in North America on the iTunes App Store tomorrow.


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