This week, the gun violence debate continues as industry folks and enthusiasts alike wonder how and when to participate in national policy discussions. We’ve also got some Gabe Newell, a retrospective on a weird Star Trek episode about virtual reality gaming, and a Christian videogame blogger talks about how Anna Anthropy’s game DYS4IA expanded his understanding of the LGBTQ experience.
- This week, Vice President Biden announced the creation of a gun violence task force that includes, among lawmakers and gun retailers, representatives from the videogame industry. The response among the videogame community was swift and varied; The IGDA wrote a letter pointing out that censoring comic books didn’t work, and neither would taking the same approach with a medium that is, in a lot of ways, the spiritual successor to comic books. (IGDA) Gamasutra‘s Kris Graft wrote that attending Biden’s task force would be tantamount to ceding that videogames are to blame for violence. (Gamasutra) But IGN‘s Casey Lynch disagrees, writing in a countering article that the industry has to take charge of its own defense. (IGN) At The Atlantic, Ian Bogost offers a good summary of both arguments, as well as weighing in on the videogame violence issue himself. (The Atlantic)
- Gabe Newell sat down with The Verge this week to talk about the Steam Box, the company’s foray into gaming hardware, as well as about mobile platforms, Windows 8, the future of gaming–you know, the usual. The full exclusive interview is definitely worth a read. (The Verge)
- Check out this awesome game HERadventure, a grant-funded project from Spelman College that tackles environmental and gender issues. (via DailyCaller)
- Here’s a first look at upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077, from CD Projekt, the developers of The Witcher. (YouTube)
- And there are updates on the THQ bankruptcy proceedings. (Joystiq)
- In 2012, over 2 million people pledged over $300 million on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding website had a pretty good year, wouldn’t you say? They’ve compiled some pretty impressive statistics for their 2012, which you can check out here. (Kickstarter)
- You can get 25% off some of the biggest upcoming videogames with online retailer Green Man Gaming, including Tomb Raider and Devil May Cry. (via Polygon)
- The rumored Firefly MMO is apparently legit! Though probably a long way from becoming a reality, says studio DarkCryo. (via Kotaku)
- The Japanese version of Far Cry 3 is much less graphic than the American version. Does that fundamentally change the game? (Kotaku)
- MMO Tera joins Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Universe Online as free-to-play. (Joystiq)
- BioWare lead writer and generally cool dude David Gaider opened up on his blog about his relationship with (part of) the fandom and how he avoids BioWare’s “increasingly toxic” message boards. (The Bittersweetest Thing)
- Here’s a great article from Game Church, a Christian game blog, about playing Anna Anthropy’s DYS4IA and gaining perspective on the transgender experience. (GameChurch)
- Remember that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, called “The Game,” in which the whole crew got addicted to this weird virtual reality game? Gameological Society’s John Teti wrote a pretty cool piece examining it, and what the episode says about addiction and obsession.
- Congratulations, you’re a Kotaku commentor!
- Nightmare Mode’s Dylan Holmes wrote a piece called “The wonderful accessibility of Dear Esther.”
- Border House’s Mattie Brice and a game she made was featured on a Kotaku piece called “It’s Time We Put The Bald Space Marine Away. It’s Time To Make Games For More People.”
- Intel’s latest study “Women and the Web” found that there are 25% fewer women than men with internet access in developing countries. Here’s the full report in PDF form and an overview at Putting People First.
- Actress Carrie Fisher wrote an amazing open letter to Princess Leia, the character she portrayed in the original Star Wars trilogy. (Bullet Media)
- Here’s a pretty cool Tumblr post explaining why breast-shaped armor is totally dumb.