Video games will have their day in court tomorrow. The case might be about selling violent games to kids, but for us, it's about the world appreciating our favorite hobby as a legitimate medium.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association tomorrow in Washington D.C. The case concerns a California bill to outlaw the sale of violent video games to minors. Opponents to the bill claim such a law would violate free speech under the First Amendment, an argument that helped unanimously overturn similar bills in other states. This will be one of the most important moments in video game history, but I don't think we'll have much trouble defeating the Governator in this key battle.
Microsoft launches the latest Xbox Live update and raises the price of its Gold subscription fees today in North America and the United Kingdom. The update allows users to watch sporting events through a partnership with ESPN as well as listen to music through the Zune Marketplace. It also enhances Netflix search features and family settings options. Microsoft also increased the Gold subscription fee from $7.99 US to $9.99 for a month, $19.99 to $24.99 for three months, and $49.99 to $59.99 for a year of Xbox Live. Unfortunately, you can't pass on the update to keep the old rates, so just try to make the best of it.
Tony Key, Ubisoft's senior vice president, believes Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience will turn dance games into a hugely popular genre. "I think we have to consider that this is a category that is about to explode," Key told Gamasutra. "You're going to be writing a story about how this is one of the bright spots of growth in the industry." Just Dance shipped four million units since its release as a Wii exclusive. Honestly, I wouldn't mind if dance games eclipsed the music genre. Maybe then those stagnating guitar games can move on to something more interesting.
Facebook announces issuing a six-month moratorium on access to the site's communication channels to application developers who shared user information. Last month, Facebook revealed several developers of games like Farmville were found to have been capable of collecting and sharing user information with data brokers, though site representatives claim they found no evidence any sharing took place. To enforce its zero tolerance for data brokers, Facebook is requiring some developers to submit to an audit process to ensure their compliance with its policies. Too bad none of the ten most popular Facebook games were punished. For a second, I thought we'd never have to see another request for random farm supplies again….
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