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Is World of Warcraft Watching You?
game: World of Warcraft
editorial | 10/15/05 | Aaron Stanton
A recent posting on RootKit.com suggests that Blizzard installs software that watches the personal information of people playing their game. The software is designed to hunt for cheat-ware, but reads the title headings of any window open, regardless of its relation to WoW. The poster reports that he, \"watched the Warden sniff down the email addresses of people I was communicating with on MSN, (and) the URL of several websites that I had open at the time.\" Don\'t like that? Too bad. Considering that it\'s part of Blizzard\'s anti-hacking measures, it might be considered illegal for you to turn it off, or even try to. At what point do we consider this a problem?
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Evil Dead: Regeneration Review
game: Evil Dead: Regeneration
review | 10/15/05 | Jeremy Kauffman
Deadites rejoice! THQ is once again providing the campy horror antics that only Bruce Campbell and CO. can provide. At under $20, there is more than enough to satisfy Evil Dead fans, although non-fans might be left wondering what the big deal is. Check out the review of Evil Dead: Regeneration, and Jeremy\'s triumphant return to GF!, right here.
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Joystiq Puts Together Xbox 360s Content Delivery Plans
news | 10/14/05 | Shawn Rider
In a great analysis of Microsoft\'s latest announcements about Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360, Joystiq\'s Vladimir Cole details how Xbox Live Arcade is a growing threat to the traditional retail chain. And that\'s not necessarily a bad thing for game publishers: \"Sure, the games on offer right now are non-threatening casual games, but it's only a matter of time until gamers are downloading entire triple-A titles and not just demos of them. With more and more retailers moving towards the sale of used games, first- and third-party publishers are going to push the direct-to-consumer channel even harder.\" Check out the full story on Joystiq here.
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Trauma Center: Under the Knife Review
game: Trauma Center: Under the Knife
review | 10/14/05 | George Holomshek
Trauma Center: Under the Knife is one of the most unique games available on a system that\'s known for offering some rather unique experiences. The medical puzzle game is challenging and addictive, and uses the DS stylus to make cutting someone open fun instead of just icky. It\'s mindblowingly difficult, which gives us that much more respect for medical professionals. It\'s also kind of weird: Why is the best move the \"cool\" move? Is it just us, or is it weird to prefer \"cool\" over \"good\" medical procedures? Oh well, we have a botox party to get to. Enjoy the review!
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Rumors Suggest Oblivion Delayed, Not a Launch Day Title
game: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
news | 10/13/05 | Aaron Stanton
Rumors on the Internet have 2K Games announcing that Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will miss the Xbox 360 launch day by two weeks, giving the much anticipated title a new release date of December 5th, 2005. How reliable this information is remains to be seen; while a number of high profile game sites have reported Oblivion\'s delay, IGN Insider is now reporting that Bethesda denies any such thing. Questions about Oblivion\'s role in the Xbox 360 launch have been floating about the Internet since it failed to make Microsoft\'s previous list of confirmed same-day launch titles. Speculation that it could be released during the system\'s launch window instead, within a month or so of the actual system, is still very much valid.
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A Close Look at Turner's GameTap Service
feature | 10/13/05 | Sean Hilliard
No M-rated games. No AIM/ICQ style of gamer-to-gamer communication at launch. Space Ghost interviews big-name game developers.

That\'s the bad news about Turner Broadcasting Co.\'s GameTap service, which offers a library of games and game-related media content for download to subscribers. The good news is, GameTap also feature emulators, including a Dreamcast emulator. So if you can get past the sketchy bits (and you have a fast broadband connection), then you might want to check out GameTap when it launches on Oct. 17. GamesFirst! sat down with GameTap\'s Vice President of Content Rick Sanchez to get the scoop on GameTap\'s launch.
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Call of Duty 2 Preview
game: Call of Duty 2
preview | 10/13/05 | Blaine Krumpe
Call of Duty 2 puts gamers back in the role of American, British, and Russian soldiers fighting for the Allies in World War II. Known for its gritty depiction of the battlefield, Call of Duty 2 amps up the realism and immersive qualities. Everything from the AI of enemies and allies to the stellar graphics and enhanced environments have been improved upon, making Call of Duty 2 one of the most hectic battlefield simulations out there. Check out Blaine\'s preview here.
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Heavy.com Launches Fall Season of Programming
news | 10/12/05 | Shawn Rider
Heavy.com has expanded its machinima offerings and broken new ground in the IPTV arena with the announcement of the first-ever full season of broadband-distributed programming. The network has announced several new shows, including \"Honey, I Killed the Geezer\" (created using Atari\'s Indigo Prophecy), \"Tourettes Cowboy\" (created using Activision\'s GUN), and \"Dr. Philprah, Colossus Whisperer\" (created using Sony\'s Shadow of the Colossus). There are several more series slated to premiere this month, and each will see multiple episodes released this Fall.
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IEMA Statement on California's New Anti-Violent Videogame Law
news | 10/12/05 | Shawn Rider
The Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association has released an official statement against a new California law signed into law yesterday by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who claims the law will \"require that violent video games be clearly labeled and not be sold to children under 18 years old.\" That\'s not a bad thing; in fact, games are already clearly labelled and rated for both age and content. And therein lies the problem: California\'s law does not recognize the ratings of the ESRB, and instead imposes a vague set of guidelines which retailers will be legally bound to. Needless to say, this puts retailers in a precarious position: In some way, every title must be separately re-rated in California, but the specifics of how that would work are not there. Click here to read more about the law and retailers\' statement against it.
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Nintendo DS Trojan: Nintendophiles Get Bricks Too
news | 10/11/05 | Shawn Rider
In a shocking turn of events (and just plain weird event in general), news comes to us through several sources of a Nintendo DS Trojan. The malicious program is known as either \"hentai loader\", \"r0mloader.zip\", or \"taihen.zip\", and is designed to \'brick\' your Nintendo DS. The program promises to load either pirated game roms or hentai (a Japanese term for pornographic comics and cartoons) on your DS when loaded using a flash rom device, which makes it possible to run homebrew applications and games on the Nintendo DS.
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Gamestop Completes EB Games Buyout
news | 10/11/05 | Shawn Rider
Gamestop completed its buyout of EB Games this week, making it the single largest game retailer in the country, as reported by Game Daily Biz. The merger creates a company with 4200 retail outlets worldwide, and expected annual revenues of $5 billion. Analysts expect the merger to lead to an increase in the used game market, which has recently been attacked by game publisher organizations as being detrimental to their business. The merger may well mean lower trade-in prices for gamers, too, which might in turn lead to an increase in traffic for online game trading sites as gamers flock to more worthwhile deals. And the news can only be seen as an indication that pre-release reservations and package bundles will enjoy unbridled growth. That could be problematic for gamers expecting to preorder an already very pricey PlayStation 3.
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IF Comp 2005 Open for Voting
news | 10/08/05 | Shawn Rider
Entries for the 11th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition are in, and the competition is now open for voting. The Interactive Fiction Competition has been a major factor in the recent renaissance of the \"text adventure,\" aka Interactive Fiction. Plenty of new writers are using open source tools to make some amazing stories, the likes of which were never found in the Infocom catalog. And if you get that joke, you\'re exactly the kind of person who should check this out. Read on for more about how you can participate.
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PSP's Red Death: Virus Masquerading as Firmware Downgrade
game: PSP
news | 10/07/05 | Aaron Stanton
A fair warning to all you potential PSP hackers in the world; there\'s a virus for your PSP that\'s masquerading as a firmware downgrade. With the release of an actual firmware downgrader, it\'s easy to see why people might be tempted to download this little virus and install it in an attempt to run their PSPs back to a more flexible state. However, the virus - called PSPbrick - ends your PSP. By deleting key files, the Trojan destroys your PSP for all practical purposes. Since you can\'t undo the damage without a functioning PSP to hack, PSP owners are basically out of a system. Of course, since hacking your PSP voids the warranty, Sony has announced that they\'re washing their hands of the problem. Such is the risk of system hacking. For those of you without a hacked PSP, you needn\'t worry. The virus isn\'t capable of transferring between systems without the user actively installing it.
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ESA Foundation Online Video Game Charity Auction Starts Today
news | 10/07/05 | Shawn Rider
The sixth annual computer and video game charity auction opens today and runs through October 14, 2005 on eBay. The auction is sponsored by the ESA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Entertainment Software Association. The auction is held in conjunction with the ESA Foundation\'s \"Nite to Unite for Kids,\" which has so far raised nearly $7 million to benefit a variety of children\'s charities. There are a bunch of cool items available, so if you\'re in the mood for that warm and glowing feeling you get from helping some sad kid, read on for links and more info.
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Ubisoft Delays Ghost Recon
game: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
news | 10/07/05 | Shawn Rider
After making a stellar appearance at X05, Ubisoft\'s Tom Clancy\'s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will be sliding back its Xbox 360 release date into the new year. Ubisoft announced today that the new Ghost Recon will release in February 2006. The delay of release date might be a bummer for fans, but Ubisoft claims the delay will not impact their revenue forecasts for the fiscal year. They know they\'ll sell a boatload of these. Ubi dropped a couple new screens on us to keep us satisfied. Check them out here.
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