How long until free to play and in-app purchases are regulated?

This is going to be a relatively short post, because two other writers have already a lot of my work for me. Step 1: read Rob Fahey’s editorial on Gamesindustry.biz: “How to control free-to-play spending?” Step 2: read this Wall Street Journal feature: “Mom, please feed my apps!” Step 3: let’s have a quick chat…

Games Law Update: April 2012

Hi everyone – here’s your dollop of games law news over the last month, curated by yours truly… Lawsuits: The big daddy in games lawsuits approaches: the Infinity Ward/Activision/EA lawsuit apparently has a trial date set of May 29th 2012.  Regular readers will know I’ve been following this lawsuit with great interest for some time. … Continue reading Games Law Update: April 2012

Is Australia getting grown up about age ratings?

This is a guest post by Lachlan Kingsford, an Australian games scholar and the brains behind Nerdy Gentleman.  I asked him to tell us a bit about the latest state of play regarding Australian games classification, which I’ve written about previously. There is something rotten with the state of gaming in Australia. Unlike other entertainment… Continue reading Is Australia getting grown up about age ratings?

The ESRB mobile app rating system: is it missing some teeth?

The first move towards pan-mobile industry age ratings began last week – but I’m not sure it got off to a roaring start. The move was made by two US bodies: the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB – the body responsible for the self-regulatory model of games age ratings in the USA) and CTIA (“The… Continue reading The ESRB mobile app rating system: is it missing some teeth?

The US violent games case: Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus

Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court handed down its decision in Brown v EMA, AKA the Californian ‘violent’ games law case, AKA Arnie vs all gamers, everywhere.  The law, if upheld, would have given lawmakers the ability to ban certain games and place stringent requirements on others. However, the US Supreme Court struck down the… Continue reading The US violent games case: Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus

Medal of Honor, Games Classification and Free Speech

I’ve been meaning for some time to write about two things: (1) EA’s stunt over introducing the Taliban into Medal of Honor as a playable faction, and their subsequent u-turn; and (2) the pending US Supreme Court case over games classification in California.  In both cases, I am v interested in what these developments mean for… Continue reading Medal of Honor, Games Classification and Free Speech

Analysis: are age ratings coming to social and mobile games?

Are we seeing the start of a trend towards governments extending their games classification rules to mobile and social games?  If so, this is going to cause some serious friction with the games industry. Examples: in August, the Australian Labour Party promised (if re-elected – which now looks highly likely) to apply its notoriously restrictive games classification laws to… Continue reading Analysis: are age ratings coming to social and mobile games?

EA courts controversy with Medal of Honor ‘Taliban’ playability

News has emerged that the next Medal of Honor game, EA’s wannabe answer to Acti’s Modern Warfare, will permit gamers to play as the Taliban in multiplayer mode. At which point, various people (including me) raise an eyebrow and conclude that this is quite deliberately intended as a media stunt (as was Modern Warfare 2’s infamous… Continue reading EA courts controversy with Medal of Honor ‘Taliban’ playability

Teen convicted of crashing PlayStation site in banhammer

In March this year we wrote about a Pennsylvania teenager who pleaded guilty to criminal offences over his hacking and crashing of a Playstation web site in 2008, which he did in revenge for being kicked out of a tournament for the PS2 game SOCOM US Navy Seals for using a cheat mod.   Now, Nukezilla reports that the teenager has been… Continue reading Teen convicted of crashing PlayStation site in banhammer