Game key-selling platform assailed over stolen keys

G2A is a website where people can list and sell the codes that activate software, effectively functioning as an online pawn shop for video games. It was accused lately of allowing itself to act as a clearing house for stolen codes. Many reviewers, streamers and other influencer types are given them, such is the competition among developers to market their titles, but most codes remain unused -- and therefore valuable.

Devs hate reselling platforms so much, PC Gamer reports, that they "tell people to pirate their games instead of using G2A."

Things came to a head when indie game developer Mike Rose started a petition to convince G2A to delist specific games upon publishers' request: "G2A: Stop selling indie titles on your platform."

G2A responded to denounce the campaign and Rose himself. It claimed ethical values of honesty and transparency, offered generous remuneration in cases of proven fraud, and insisted that stolen codes were both rare and quickly acted upon when reported. It also asserted its prerogative to drive down the price of games as far as possible:

We believe that games can be cheaper. It’s the rule of thumb: the more sellers sell a particular product, the more competitive the prices become. People come to G2A because they know they can expect deals better than anywhere else.

Today, journalist and translator Thomas Faust exposed G2A as having asked him to publish an editoral under his own byline under the condition that he disclose neither the true author or its implied offer of payment. Read the rest

Search of Oakland's burned Ghost Ship warehouse ends: 36 people died

Firefighters and police have announced that they completed their search of Oakland's smoldering Ghost Ship warehouse, the artist community that burned during an electronic music party Friday night. A total of 36 people died. Our deepest sympathy goes out to those who lost friends and family in this heartbreaking tragedy for the Bay Area's creative community and beyond. What a loss.

The Gray Area Foundation for the Arts organized a Fire Relief Fund for victims.

(via SFGATE) Read the rest

How the press is distorting the Breivik trial to make video games central to the narrative

On Rock, Paper, Shotgun, John Walker tears into the mainstream press's treatment of mass-murderer Anders Breivik's video-game habits. Breivik's gaming has been prominently mentioned in press accounts, and the Norwegian prosecutor also called attention to it. Breivik himself described his World of Warcraft sessions as a "martyrdom gift," a "sabbatical year," and stated that he played to unwind after a difficult stretch of work in planning his atrocities and writing his 800,000 word manifesto.

Later, Breivik talks about using Modern Warfare to prepare for his massacre, calling it "a simple war simulator." But as Walker points out, Breivik's description of what he did with the game in order to train for his assault doesn't actually jibe with the way that the game works -- Breivik describes doing things that the game doesn't do. Walker points out that most of Breivik's statements about his motives and inspiration are treated skeptically by the press and prosecutors, but where Breivik describes using games to prepare for slaughter, his statements aren't just taken at face value, they are enthusiastically amplified and elaborated.

Walker shows that this reporting slant is widespread, across different news entities with different audiences, from CNN to The Irish Times to Al Arabia News. It seems like the press has already made up its mind about what role games play in social violence, and will cherry pick and even distort facts to support that narrative.

That’s not what Modern Warfare is, or lets you do. The scripted corridors, nor the multiplayer, offer no useful practice for any such actions, and don’t allow you to simulate practising killing policemen in the manner Breivik describes.

Read the rest

Inventors killed by their own inventions

Wikipedia's list of Inventors Killed By Their Own Inventions. AKA: Further evidence that the biography of Thomas Midgley, Jr. would make a great opera. (Via Paul Kedrosky) Read the rest