UPDATE: Rebuttal piece to The Boston Globe on the violent arcade games issue added below
It’s been a really slow news week but overall its seemed slow in other areas too, at my own arcade its a far cry from where it was just a month ago. That is normal as the post-Christmas doldrums are passed.
Despite the slow down there are a few things to accumulate that are worth mentioning so lets get to it. A couple of these cover Stinger Newsfeeds 1282 and 1283.
First off, a company in Japan which has produced some home games as well as some anime has announced that they are going to dabble in the amusement business, that company being Marvelous AQL. This will apparently involve the creation of a “kid vending” type game (like we saw with Animal Kaiser or Hero of robots) based on the Pokemon series. I guess Pokemon makes sense with these kinds of games since they all vend cards, although I’m not sure if Pokemon is as big as it used to be or not. Here’s the game cabinet [Via Inside Games JP]
I can’t remember the last time we posted about a music video that had something involving arcades in it, it might have been the Golden Tee music video which was produced a few years ago. This is from a band called Anamanaguchi who fits into the Chiptune niche of bands. As their music involves the use of many retro game sounds, their first music video would be expected to make use of games in some fashion and an arcade is the perfect setting for that. Here is the video, the song is called MEOW (which explains the cats) [Via Polygon]
This next story I just got from Phil Arrington, found at the Boston Globe that has been picked up by some game sites like Kotaku already. After a single complaint, the state of Massachusetts removed all violent video games from their rest stops, meaning games like Time Crisis and Beachhead 2000 (not necessarily the most violent games you can find on the video game market) among the specific titles. Since the shooting at Sandy Hook last month there has been a constant discussion just about everywhere about guns and violence and that sort of thing. A lot of it though doesn’t seem like it was anything that had any effect on the shooter and his motives from what is known so I’d put it into the emotional overreaction area. Don’t get me wrong, as a father of two young kids, one the same age as some of the victims, that event had an effect on me but I’m not going to let it defy logic either. One thing I have seen at my own arcade where I have a few gun games is they have not dropped in earnings and I’ve not heard a single complaint about them simply existing. I can understand if someone doesn’t want their kids to play the games which is fine. It can be another when you start wanting to ban such things just because of the effect they might have. This does make me wonder however whether arcade game makers will be pulling back on any light-gun game developments. The Boston Globe says that they tried to get a hold of the game makers with no comment although I find that a little silly since these games were not exactly released yesterday and have been played by millions of people since they did come out. I will have be filled in if there is hard evidence that they drove anyone (including what happened at Sandy Hook) towards mass murder. As far as this ban goes, it only covers rest-stops owned by the State of Massachusetts, privately owned locations are not affected although I have to add “yet” unfortunately.
UPDATE: Apparently the attempt by the Boston Globe to contact representatives at Namco for example was pretty lame. They sent an email to them at 7:30PM (a time where reps are probably not at work checking their emails), only to publish the story two hours later. Guess waiting for an actual response wasn’t as important as publishing the heart-string pulling story that’s soaking up the hits. Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report and the DNA Association sent this rebuttal to the BG piece as well:
“In Answer to the Massachusetts Orders that Light Gun Video Games Pulled From State-Operated Rest Stops”
– The details of the situation raised in the The Boston Globe, has still to be clarified, but based on the current available information the situation seems that the amusement trade and its products have been unfairly maligned in order to deflect criticism of other entertainment media such as console games, but also to deflect the discussion regarding gun ownership and the NRA.
That the American amusement trade has evaluated the issue of parental control over the quality of the games that are played by children – and their level of violent depiction – seems to have been ignored from the ‘wiki’ research familiar in the media at present. For the record :
“The American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) together with its sister association (AMOA) have developed a coin-operated Video Game Parental Advisory System [PAS] for coin-operated video games. The system was developed to educate consumers about the content of various video games, using an easy to follow color-coded system.”
[Taken from the AAMA website – http://www.coin-op.org/?page_
The PAS color coded markers would have been on the cabinets in the reported truck stop and the parents that complained would have had to have seen them to point out the machines they were “concerned” about. This scheme is far superior to a number of the violent content certification in the entertainment industry – though has not received the adequate promotion from trade or operators.
Likewise, the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) was not present when representatives from the “games” industry met with Vice President Joe Biden today (11/1/13). Sadly it would seem that amusement has become an all-round whipping boy when issues of video game violence are raised – and the trade that represents its members has decided invisibility is the best policy!
What a shame!
On a final note, we have another amusement trade show approaching fast in London in a couple of weeks and there the DNA Association will be holding a seminar, here are the details as found in a press release:
Impressive Line-up for DNA London Seminar on 21st January, 2013
– Amusement & Attraction Trade Gets Exclusive Insight into
[January 11th, 2013, London, UK] Into the New Year with a bang and it is time to book your place to attend the “one of a kind” DNA London Seminar 2013. The Seminar dedicated to the emerging Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment (DOE) sector has be able to build on attracting leading speakers from the international sector, with representation from leaders from 4D/5D development, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, and Gesture-Based experiences.
Major names have signed up to play their part in the DNA London Seminar event on Monday the 21st January, 2013, organized by the DNA Association supporting all those involved in the DOE sector and the industries it touches; the one-day seminar is taking place
the day before the EAG International Expo at the ExCeL London venue.
Described by some as ‘Arcade 2.0’ – the DOE sector represents a major new shift in the social-tainment scene, using digital entertainment as a means to invigorate the new gaming audience. The brand new DNA London Seminar 2013 has invited informative presenters defining the key sectors of the market. ‘Amusement’ and the new approach to defining business (from BMI Gaming); while ‘Attraction’ development represented by leaders in the 4D experience in leisure (with Attraktion! GmbH, Cinema Next, and vStream Digital Media) – while the new sector of Interactive Dark Ride (iDR) technology is presented by those defining the sector (from Alterface, de pinxi and Triotech)
The diversity of the DOE sector is also investigated withdevelopments in the ‘Hospitality’ and ‘Retail’ sector represented (by Mindstorm Entertainment), while the ‘Leisure’ and ‘Edutainment’ sector application of the latest apps empower the visitor experience are discussed (with Dogfi.sh Mobile and Hide & Seek). The important of the DNA and its associate seminar is underlined with sessions on Hybrid Entertainment – Augmented reality, mixed reality, virtual reality, and gestural technology bring key new interactive dimensions to leisure facilities (presentations from Total Immersion, Animalive, Possible Worldwide, Tripventure, and Six to Start).
The seminar will include also high level discussions on the UK Trade and Industries investment in their ‘Experience Economy’ initiative, and the developments that are shaping the Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment Network Association (DNA) following on from its formation last years and its growing membership – with news on new developments that will be launched this year. A full description of seminar sessions and speakers can be found online.
Ticketing – The DNA London Seminar 2013 will take place at London’s ExCeL international exhibition and convention center, on the 21st January 2013 – along with sessions running from 9:30am till 6:00pm and an evening mixer, attendance includes an invitation to EAG International Expo’s opening night party, the following day.
One Day Seminar Admission Fees :
£140 – (from Jan. 10 to Jan. 19)
£180 – (from Jan. 20)
(*Certain trade association and partnership discounts are available)
For all details on the seminar – and the DNA Association – contact :
Kevin Williams (KWP / DNA Association) :
– Background –
The DNA London Seminar 2013 will mark the latest development in establishing the DNA Association in the international entertainment sector focused wholly on the Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment (DOE) sector. This emerging association has already carried out highly successful conferences in London, UK, in 2011 and Los Angeles, USA, in 2012. The DNA also announces a dedicated new web-portal to support its efforts in attracting members and circulating information (including a series of Podcasts) on the sector.