Dutch court sees game objects as goods.
The Dutch Supreme Court ruled on January 31st that the taking away of possessions in the game Runescape from a 13-year-old boy, who was threatened with a (real) knife, was in fact theft because the possessions could be seen as actual goods. The highest court explained this not by arguing it was software that was copied, but by stating that the game data were real goods acquired through ‘effort and time investment,’ and ‘the principal had the actual and exclusive dominion of the goods’ — up until the moment the other guy took them away, that is. [Source].
The craziness that is kick volleyball.
Sepak takraw or kick volleyball, is a sport native to the Malay-Thai Peninsula. Sepak takraw differs from the similar sport of volleyball in its use of a rattan ball and only allowing players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball.
Takraw originates in South-East Asia. It is thought the Thai and Malay people played the game as far back as the 15th century. But as with all history the true origin lies in debate, with many countries claiming it as their own.
Some believe the practice evolved from a similar game played by the Chinese military, which is thought to have spread through trade with China.
Takraw is popular in Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and Indonesia but is largely unheard of in the West. It has made some impact in Western countries, notably Canada and the U.S.A.
This is largely thanks to Asian students studying in the West but also Western travellers / backpackers picking up the sport, and/or the ball used to play it. [Source + Source + video].
“Hovering the hoverboard” from Rayman III.
Is it sad that I genuinely like this piece of music independent from the game? Ha ha, funky!
Ha! I can clearly hear from 50Hz - 18000Hz. Past that, onto 19000Hz… No. Ha ha! I’m concerned about my inability regarding the lower frequencies! When I was younger, I had terrible hearing.. so I had grommets put in. After that, my hearing became above average.
But I could not even sense the vibration of the lower frequencies down from 50Hz, it seemed!! O_O I’m saddened. My gosh, I remember a club night when the sound dipped low with heavy vibrations.. I genuinely thought I was going to faint (and my friend thought I was going to vomit, ha ha), it was a blow to the system. Ha ha, my ears hurt for a week after that.
Forgot my ear plugs, and was not used to such noise either. Heh. I’ve decided to keep them my wallet at all times, ‘cause I forget them too often and hate myself for it too often.
You can lose your ability to hear from 16000Hz+ by the time you are in your twenties. 20000Hz+ is stepping into the dog whistle range. However…
“Young humans can generally hear sounds with frequencies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (the audio range or hearing range) although this range varies significantly with age, occupational hearing damage, and gender.
The majority of people can no longer hear 20,000 Hz by the time they are teenagers, and progressively lose the ability to hear higher frequencies with age”.
[Source - another sound testing website].
Are Games Worth Complaining About?
The Opposable Thumbs blog ran a piece titled, “In gaming, everything is amazing, but no one is happy.” The thrust of the article is that discussion about modern games focuses almost entirely on flaws, which are often blown out of proportion. “Every game is too short, although we never finish the games we play. Every game is too expensive, although we demand ever-increasing levels of interaction, graphical fidelity, and length. The same people who claim every game was 80 hours and a masterpiece 10 years ago are 10 years away from saying that today was the golden time, once they have the distance needed to scrub the bad games from memory.” Today, gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun offers counterpoint, saying that video games need active criticism for the industry to improve. “Everything is amazing, andsometimes people are happy. That’s how it will always be. And we should probably make the most of it, and then strive to make it better.” [Source].
To be honest, I think this is really talking about the high-ranking games. Not games in general. I mean, I think of some games (like that one where you pretend to be a truck driver) and am not surprised if some are more critical of games in general, when taking into consideration the potential of gaming technology currently. However, with games that are expected to be of great potential, I could understand this behaviour.
Still, I have to say I haven’t noticed this trend (although not familiar with official reviews, etc). I find most people I know are pretty satisfied with many of the high-ranking games!
Spot and Shoot, as it is called by the Israeli military, looks like a video game, but is actually technology used to kill people at the click of a button. They are remote-controlled machine-guns mounted on watch-towers every few hundred meters along an electronic fence that surrounds Gaza, where operators sit in front of a TV monitor from which they can control the action with a PlayStation-style joystick.
The demand for such devices, the Israeli army admits, has been partly fueled by a combination of declining recruitment levels and a population less ready to risk death in combat. There are hopes that within a decade at least a third of the machines used by the Israeli army to control land, air and sea will be unmanned.
Rapid progress with the technology has raised alarm at the United Nations. Philip Alston, its special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, warned last month of the danger that a “PlayStation mentality to killing” could quickly emerge.
According to analysts, however, Israel is unlikely to turn its back on hardware that it has been at the forefront of developing — using the Occupied Palestinian Territories (especially Gaza), as testing laboratories.
The Spot and Shoot system — officially known as Sentry Tech — is operated by 19- and 20-year-old female soldiers, making it the Israeli army’s only weapons system operated exclusively by women. Female soldiers are preferred to operate remote killing devices because of a shortage of male recruits to Israel’s combat units, and they can carry out missions without breaking the social taboo of risking their lives.
The system was phased-in two years ago for surveillance, but operators were only able to open fire with it more recently. According to the Israeli media, it is believed that several dozen have been killed with this technology. The Israeli army, which plans to introduce the technology along Israel’s other confrontation lines, refuses to give accurate figures.
Israeli developers, G-Nius, (makers of the Guardium, an armored robot-car) have made the world’s first “robot soldier”, reminiscent of the “robot-armour” worn by soldiers in the sci-fi movie, Avatar. They’ve also created an unmanned naval patrol boat.
In addition, Israel officially unveiled the 14 meter-long Heron TP drone in February, the largest ever. Capable of flying from Israel to Iran and carrying more than a ton of weapons, the Heron was tested by Israel in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in winter 2008-09, when some 1,400 Palestinians were killed.
More than 40 countries now operate drones, many of them made in Israel, although so far only the Israeli and US armies have deployed them as remote-controlled killing machines.
Blech. The worst thing possible to happen to the western worlds military is to detach people from combat by turning it into video games. To completely dissociate people from the reality of the death that they cause is one of the most irresponsible ways to facilitate collateral damage I could think of.