Is it just me, or are the current Supreme Court hearings for Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association a lot like a Dungeons & Dragons game in full tilt? You state your intentions before casting your fate to the omnipotence of the Dungeon Master (in this case, the Supreme Court). Now, to await their decision….

News Blips:

Schwarzenegger v. EMA oral argumentsJennifer Mercurio, vice president and general counsel for the Entertainment Consumers Association, gives her reaction to today's Supreme Court session. "The oral arguments were an awesome display of intellectual prowess and debate," Mercurio said. "The Justices obviously have a clear understanding of video games, as well as the First Amendment principles at play in this case. We hope that their spirited dialogue was an indication that they agree that video games are protected speech like other entertainment media." Judging (get it?) by the Justices' responses to arguments in favor of the proposed California bill (which would outlaw the sale of violent video games to minors), "spirited dialogue" is putting it lightly. Fingers crossed, folks!

This is the final week to try your luck in GameStop's "Surprize Attack" sweepstakes for Call of Duty: Black Ops until its November 9 release. Wanna enter? Simply preorder the game at any local GameStop or on their website. Then, punch in your receipt's code or order confirmation number at the sweepstakes' website, and you might be able to get your hands on several levels of prizes, including a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a bona-fide sniper ghillie suit, and a chance to ride in a freakin' fighter jet. I think it's safe to say that having the opportunity to toss my cookies in a jet while it barrel rolls at Mach 5 is way more incentive to buy the game than some silly launch-day downloadable content.

Remember the "Red Shirt Guy" from BlizzCon 2010? Yep, he'll be a non-player character (NPC) in the upcoming Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft. Dubbed the "Wildhammer Fact Checker," the NPC will be located in the Alliance city of Ironforge, standing next to Falstad Wildhammer, who was the subject of the now-famous grilling the red-shirted fellow gave the WoW developers during a Q&A panel at the convention. Perhaps a certain crimson-colored chest armor is in order as a quest reward from him?

Former Capcom Creative Director Keiji Inafune explains his reasons for leaving the company. Speaking with 4Gamer [translated via NeoGAF], Inafune cited the Japanese development culture stifling creativity. "My generation is, for better or worse, holding the game industry back," he said. "There are a lot of people who take their company's commitment for granted and don't work as hard as they should." He went on to illustrate his woes with Japan's employment system and high development costs, contrasting them with the more appealing Western companies. "Wanting to try my own strength is absolutely driven by the desire to know if a game can sell because it's made by Keiji Inafune, and not 'Inafune of Capcom,'" he said.


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