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Video Games

GSN Offers Paris Hilton Video Game


Paris Hilton hasn’t even slipped off her perp-walk pumps, but has her paying her debt to society in an online game.

The Prison Life: Paris features an animated Hilton making license plates, that feature such phrases as PRTYGRL, ABUVLAW, DUI4ME, DRV2FST and PRVTCEL. John P. Roberts, GSN’s Sr. V=P of Digital Media & Interactive Entertainment, is the originator of the game.

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Game Over: Larry Shapiro Leaves CAA, Ken Kutaragi Leaves Sony


Among the shape-shifters leaving CAA is Larry Shapiro, as reported by Nikki Finke.

Shapiro was the head of the video game unit. Seamus Blackley is still there, along with Ophir Lupu. The team brought Doom to the multiplex, but the Halo movie stalled.

Back in the day, actors actually thought they would have some influence on characters and plotlines. SAG couldn’t even get them residuals, much less script approval.

Far bigger news in the game world is the retirement of Sony CEO current director, chairman, CEO, and “father of the PlayStation” Ken Kutaragi.

Can Buzz Be Explained in a Q&A? Mais Wii

‘Tis the season of consumer madness. Of people lining up for days outside Best Buy and Circuit City for the chance to spend the equivalent of some countries’ GNP on a PS3. Of people getting into scuffles. Of people getting shot. We expect that. It is, after all, almost Christmas.

But our jaws dropped when we saw a recent “South Park” episode in which Cartman, unable to stand the anticipation of the launch of the Nintendo Wii, freezes himself to, you know, make the time go by faster.

How does a PR agency buy that kind of buzz?

The answer is simple: They don’t.

“The South Park episodes happened completely unexpectedly and on their own — we had no role in that,” Perrin Kaplan, Nintendo of America’s VP of marketing told FBLA.

What they do have a role in is getting normal, showered, employed people to act like morons in anticipation of a toy going on sale. To explain how buzz spills from Ain’t it Cool News to Fit For Kids, Perrin agreed to illuminate the insidious world of brainwashing, er, marketing:

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Huff Poster Fearless Enough to Ask “Are Video Games Art?”


The Huffington Post’s Fearless Voices section seems to be moving farther and farther away from fearlessness and ever closer to banality. USC student and blogger Frankie Thomas asks the question Can Video Games Be Art?, but she doesn’t really mean it. The piece is really about her boyfriend, and violence, and other stuff she doesn’t like, like this:

I’m one of those antediluvian killjoys who have always found them a mind-numbing, headache-inducing, imagination-trammeling, morally desensitizing, graphically violent and misogynistic waste of time.

Unlike the rest of her life, outside of Uncanny Valley.

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L. A. Noire-Video Game Goes into the Past


RockStar Games, in conjunction with Team Bondi, has a video game for people who might not bee all that into games. A detective thriller, it’s set in 1940s Los Angeles:

L.A. Noire blends action, detection and complex storytelling and draws players into an open-ended challenge to solve a series of gruesome murders. Set in a perfectly recreated Los Angeles before freeways, with a post-war backdrop of corruption, drugs and jazz, L.A. Noire will truly blend cinema and gaming.

Developer Brendan McNamara was looking for help:

We still need more help so if you’re a big Chandler, Hammett or Ellroy fan and still love making video games please get in touch.

FBLA would love to help, but we’re here and they’re in Australia.

GTA’s Pig Pen Not Play Pen


Grand Theft Auto is officially art. Rockstar Games had been sued by the owners of an LA strip club, who felt that the Pig Pen was too close to their own Play Pen. But US District judge Margaret Marrow ruled:

Defendants’ use of the Play Pen trade dress and trademark bears some artistic relevance to the game, and does not explicitly mislead consumers as to the source or content of the game.

So with this and the Hot Coffee ruckus behind them, Rockstar can gear up for the release of Bully and the accompanying media squwaks.

Videogame, meet movie; movie, meet videogame

E3 (or for the uninitiated, the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is upon us, literally choking the streets with geeks.

And, as usual, a cacophony of announcements shouted from the holy minarets of the PlayStation. Among them:

– “World of Warcraft” a game that’s responsible for the demise of countless happy marriages due to its utterly immersive and massively multiplayer qualities, might become a movie. Warner Bros. Pictures-based financier, Legendary Pictures is developing the game for a film.

– In a stunning bit of chiasmus, news of a videogame becoming a movie is followed by news of a movie becoming a videogame: “Hellboy” the campy 2004 action movie directed by Guillermo del Toro is set to become a game at Konami - and one with del Toro developing with comic book creator Mike Mignola, no less. (At right: Ron Perlman, part of the KZLA “Save a horse, ride a Hellboy.” ad campaign.)

Michael Mann‘s “Heat” may also be coming to your living room console.

We’re getting carpal tunnel at the mere thought of it.