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28th August 2009

Students Calling For Fairness in Copyright Consultation

Canadian Federation of StudentsToronto – Students are calling on the federal government to reform Canada’s Copyright Act in a way that fairly balances the rights of users and creators of copyright works. At a town hall meeting held in Toronto last night, as part of the federal government’s copyright consultations, students reiterated their call for fair copyright legislation.

“Students have been clear in their demand for fair copyright,” said Shelley Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. “New copyright legislation must carefully regulate technological protection measures, eliminate Crown copyright and provide a more flexible definition of fair dealing.”

Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement have been leading a round of public consultations on copyright reform. Thursday night’s meeting was one of two town halls designed to facilitate discussion from hundreds of live participants and online followers.

Because of the last-minute introduction of a lottery system that did not guarantee those participating the right to speak, students attempted to circulate a flyer detailing their position on copyright reform (PDF). Event organisers used private security guards to prevent the distribution of the flyers, threatening to remove the students from the premises of the hotel where the consultation was being held. The flyers contained an introduction to copyright that provided a summary of the results of campus copyright consultations held by the Canadian Federation of Students throughout Spring 2009.

“With the ever increasing cost of education, students should not have to pay even more to access the material they require to be able to study, research, and learn,” said Melanson. “It is ironic that while students are concerned that new legislation may allow copyright owners to lock up information, the government is locking up its own consultations.”

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28th August 2009

Crash Time 2 Available On Steam

Meridian4MontrealMeridian4 and RTL Interactive Games Publishing, are pleased to announce that their line up of games for North America are rolling out over the internet, beginning with the release of Crash Time 2 on Steam. Crash Time 2 is now available on Steam and if you purchase before September 3rd you’ll save 10% off the regular price of $19.99.

For more information on Crash Time 2 and the other RTL games being published by Meridian4, visit the games section of the Meridian4’s web site or visit Steam to pick up your copy of Crash Time 2 at the Crash Time 2special low introductory price.

About Crash Time 2

Solve exciting criminal cases on the mean streets as member of the autobahn police force – or freely explore the open game world while chasing down high-octane racers. Escort politicians, transport precious goods or take down the criminal element with over 500HP and close to 200MPH. With fully destructible cars, arcade gameplay, outstanding graphics and stunning slow-mo effects, Crash Time 2 puts you right in the driver seat, ready to burn rubber.

The game features:

·5 huge criminal cases to solve with up to 10 missions each
·Solve cases or freely pursue crimes in the game world
·Many bonus assignments and more than 40 new tracks
·Over 20 AI cars with visual damage system
·Spectacular pileups with impressive and realistic graphics
·3 different difficulty settings
·Additional tasks and mini games are hidden to be discovered

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28th August 2009

Habib Zargarpour Joins S-3D Gaming Alliance Advisory Board

S3DGAToronto – What began as a surprise announcement at SIGGRAPH 2009 has quickly become an industry-wide movement to ensure the adoption of stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) gaming in consumer homes around the world.

“When I saw ‘Need for Speed SHIFT’ in stereoscopic 3D at SIGGRAPH, I was impressed. The audience was blown away by how well ‘SHIFT’s’ immersive cockpit was represented by the 3D tech, and we see a great future for S-3D in

Habib Zargarpour

Habib Zargarpour

games. We need an industry-wide standard for S-3D gaming, and S3DGA has the drive and experience to push this forward. All developers and manufacturers should participate,” said Habib Zargarpour, Senior Art Director for Electronic Arts Inc.

As a Senior Art Director for “Need for Speed,” Habib Zargarpour’s game development credits also include “Need for Speed: Most Wanted,” “James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing,” and “Need for Speed Underground.” His diverse film background includes work with IMAX 3D, and a whole range of visual effects work for projects such as “Star Wars: Phantom Menace,” “The Perfect Storm,” “Twister,” “Star Trek: First Contact,” “The Mask,” and several more memorable films.

Neil Schneider, the President and CEO of S3DGA, is best known for his pioneering work on Meant to be Seen, the world’s leading website focused on stereoscopic 3D gaming and entertainment.

“When game developers purposely support just one or two S-3D solutions, the message is that stereoscopic 3D gaming is just a technology demo. We can do better! With XBOX, PS3, and PC gaming now available in S-3D, our industry has grown large and diverse enough to get well beyond this stage. It’s an honour that Electronic Arts is helping S3DGA fulfill its mandate, and with the industry’s backing, the S-3D gaming standard will happen,” said Schneider.

An introductory S3DGA meeting will be held 5:30PM PST September 17th at the 3D Entertainment Summit being held in Los Angeles this September 16-17.

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28th August 2009

Xona Games Title Accepted Into XNA Game Studio Contest

xona gamesNova Scotia – Indie studio Xona Games has announced that their arcade shooter Duality ZF has been accepted into Microsoft’s Dream Build Play 2009 Challenge. Duality ZF is an original Xbox 360 arcade shoot’em up featuring 4x multiplayer and dual play being developed by twin brothers Jason and Matthew Doucette. Following their philosophy of “Give the power to the player. The game’s difficulty should arise from enemy strength, not player weakness,” Duality ZF will be playable by anyone of any skill level.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Game Features as listed on the game’s website:

  • DUAL PLAY lets you control both fighters with the left and right thumbsticks.  The d-Pad also controls the “left” fighter.
  • DUAL PLAY is optional.  Use it only if you want.  Solo play is default.
  • DUAL PLAY is for beginners and experts alike.  Beginners should dual play in the easy modes.  Our weakest beta tester, who never plays video games, beat stage one with dual play.
  • DUAL PLAY is not difficult to grasp in gameplay.  All our beta testers managed it within a few game plays.  It turns out, most Xbox gamers are already used to controlling each thumb independently for independant purposes.
  • DUALITY ZF is not an expert-only bullet hell (danmaku, bullet curtain) shoot’em up.  Anyone can play it.  A four year old beat stage one in the easiest mode, including the intimidating end boss you see in the YouTube videos.
  • DUALITY ZF allows eight independently controlled fighters on the screen at once, a shoot’em up first.  This is possible via four players each using dual play.  The impact of eight times the firepower blew us away, and forced us to offer additional unlockable difficulty modes to challenge such extreme gameplay.
  • DUALITY ZF grows to match the skill of every player on the planet with unlimited unlockable difficulty modes.  These unlockable modes will be untainable by the average solo player, but are a bonus to elite players.  Elite players will have a “bullet hell” style experience, but this is out of the ordinary.  We are excited to see gameplay captures of these most elite players.
  • DUALITY ZF scoring system awards points proportional to the enemy strength and attack.  The same scoring formula used for all difficulty modes.  If the enemy is twice as hard to kill, you get twice the points.  The scoring system does not “care” about, or factor in, the difficulty mode, only how tough the enemies are.  It was important to make scores from all difficulty modes compatible, and we acheived this.
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