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By Jonah Penne | December 22, 2009
C hristmas is almost here, and this year video games are again among the most popular gift items. They also spark the most controversy. Electronic entertainment, from Xbox to online multiplayer games, often features brutal and bloody violence. This understandably concerns parents and teachers. But this sort of entertainment also promises a kind of wild freedom that is comparable, in some ways, to what philosophers describe as a "state of nature." The state of nature, according to political philosophers, is a hypothetical world in which humans exist without laws, principles and central authority.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Alexa Cottman-Robinson and The Baltimore Sun | July 9, 2014
When you think of rock music you probably don't think about "Super Mario Bros. " or "Space Invaders. " But a subculture of video game rock bands? Yes, it's a thing. And now that you know the bands exist, you're likely all too eager to start your own video game rock band. For your sake, we got to chat with John DeCampos a member of [Explosion Sound] (yes it's in brackets), a Baltimore-based video game rock band performing at this year's Bit Gen Gamer Fest, which holds its ninth gathering Saturday at Rams Head Live (for more information, go to bitgen.magfest.org .)
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NEWS
July 2, 2011
A reader finds it ironic that the same court that cautions against teaching morality in the public schools says we must allow the teaching of immorality in violent children's video games Regarding your editorial "Virtual Violence" (June 29), don't you find it interesting that the same court that cautions us about teaching morality in public schools says that we must allow the teaching of immorality in violent children's video games? Al Funk, Timonium
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | June 2, 2014
Can we please stop holding the country hostage to crazy people? Every year a tiny number of mentally ill people go on horrific killing sprees. It just happened in California. I won't name the person because I think the media attention lavished on these horror shows encourages some of these young men -- and they are almost all young men -- to seek fame or validation through bloodshed. In an entirely human response, we get spun up into a frenzy of finger-pointing. In the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting, many of the country's leading journalists and politicians suggested the former congresswoman was shot because of the "violent" political rhetoric of Sarah Palin, Rep. Michele Bachmann and other tea party-affiliated politicians.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case | July 12, 2011
In a time where every artist utilizes multiple social-media outlets to make a name, it can be difficult to separate the aesthetic and the art. In the case of singer Lana Del Rey, the 25-year-old New York City singer born Lizzy Grant, she offers a couple headscratchers: a self-proclaimed groaner of a title ("gangster Nancy Sinatra") and strange genre-definers (her Facebook says her music is "Hollywood Pop and Sad Core"). On most days, this would have me running for the hills, yet here I am, listening to "Video Games" repeatedly.
NEWS
June 28, 2011
The Supreme Court was right in ruling this week that video games, even ones that depict scenes of graphic violence, are protected speech under the First Amendment and that states can't pass laws restricting their sale to minors. The better approach is a voluntary rating system similar to the one that many video game manufacturers and sellers already have adopted, which is akin to the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings for violence and sexual content in movies. Yet, strongly as we support the constitutional principle at hand, we're troubled by the reasoning the court used to arrive at this conclusion.
NEWS
By Ian Kirksey | August 15, 2013
When I was in high school, I had a friend over who happened to share an interest in video games. We were both engaged in a particularly rough game of "Dead or Alive," a fighting game. My mother walked in on us and commented on how we were glued to the screen and how when she was growing up, she thought that video games were just a fad. Man was she wrong. Today the video game industry is a multibillion dollar industry that is second only to cinema in terms of appeal and could very well surpass it in the next decade, according to DFC Intelligence, a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment.
NEWS
By Michael D. Gallagher | October 4, 2010
The First Amendment to the Constitution holds such an important place in our society — socially, politically and legally — that special rules exist when our government attempts to abridge the cherished right to speak freely. The right is not absolute. It can be restricted, and — as in the case of not being allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater — sometimes it has been, but only if the government can provide a "compelling" basis for the restriction; never if the basis rests on a myth.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2013
Big Huge Games in Timonium closed last May, taking nearly 100 jobs with it. Nine months later, a local studio that was launched from the ashes of the video game-maker shut down, too. And Zynga, which created FarmVille and Words with Friends, closed its Baltimore County office several weeks ago. So why aren't local game developers freaking out? They're used to volatility - not this much, but quite a bit. And even with big game-makers facing tough competition and multimillion-dollar costs, tiny independent studios are popping up locally to take advantage of new opportunities in mobile and online gaming - and new ways of raising money to get games made.
EXPLORE
October 8, 2012
The following is compiled from local police reports. Our policy is to include descriptions when there is enough information to make identification possible. If you have any information about these crimes, call the Wilkens Police Station at 410-887-0872. North Beechwood Avenue, unit block, between Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m. and Oct. 6, 6:30 p.m. Three controllers and 12 Playstation games stolen from garage. Kenwood Avenue, 100 block, Oct. 2, 12:16 a.m. Chain cut on storage shed adjacent to the Western School of Technology and Environmental Science building.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Andrew Conrad, aconrad@tribune.com | March 23, 2014
My bold prediction after last week's controversial episode of "The Walking Dead" was that this week's would slow things way down in preparation for the grand Season 4 finale next Sunday evening. Well, this week's episode, titled "Us," was not exactly slow, but I doubt it will draw the crowds to the water cooler this morning either. There was plenty to keep our attention, but not quite enough to demand it. Glenn has the blinders on a bit in his search for Maggie, and his poor decision making almost cost his life and Tara's life, but this seemed to be one of those episodes where the good guys win against the odds.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | March 13, 2014
A few words about Nathan Entingh's hand gun. Meaning, you should understand, not a gun you hold in your hand, but rather, the hand itself, thumb cocked and index finger extended to resemble a pistol. One afternoon late last month, young Mr. Entingh, who goes to school in Columbus, Ohio, was goofing off in science class when he raised such a "hand gun," pointed it at another kid's head, and said, "Boom. " Not a good thing to do, and Mr. Entingh, who is 10, should certainly have been reprimanded.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Cassidy Sterling | March 11, 2014
Joel Haddock and Chris Klimas regularly have, what they call, a "date night. " No dinner. No movie. Nothing like that. To them, "date night" is working on a personal project - Twofold Secret, an independent gaming studio the two founded in 2010. It consists of huddling at the kitchen table at one of their homes, hammering out issues and planning a week-by-week game plan for whatever project they're working on. The co-founders met as undergraduates at Washington College in Chestertown when the two were neighbors in their college dorm, and discovered they both had an interest in games.
FEATURES
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2014
It's a snowy night.  You have a few drinks, play some video games and then it hits you -- an overwhelming desire for a taco.  That's what apparently happened to one Baltimorean last night who posted on Craigslist under the title "DRIVER WITH 4 WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLE NEEDED FOR EMERGENCY TACO BELL RUN. " The poster said his or her vehicle, a "little hybrid douchemobile," wasn't up for the two-mile round trip to Taco Bell through the snow. ...
FEATURES
By Dave Rosenthal | October 3, 2013
Tom Clancy, the Baltimore author who died this week at age 66, will be remembered as the king of the techno-thriller novel . But he also was a leading example of a modern day phenomenon: the author whose works spawn a hugely profitable, multi-media franchise. Clancy's books sparked Hollywood blockbusters such as "The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games" and “Clear and Present Danger.” They also were turned into video games such as "Ghost Recon" and the "Splinter Cell" series.
FEATURES
By Dave Rosenthal | October 2, 2013
Tom Clancy, whose death was announced today , almost single-handedly created the techno-thriller genre and some of his books, including "The Hunt for Red October," have become classics. The Baltimore author introduced complex military terms to millions of readers, in hefty books that ran hundreds of pages. But he never got lost in the alphabet soup of Pentagon and Kremlin acronyms. He created compelling characters such as Jack Ryan, who was played by Harrison Ford in movies such as "Clear and Present Danger" and "Patriot Games.
NEWS
August 11, 2003
WHAT WAS THAT Baltimore County promotion booth doing in San Jose, Calif., when thousands of America's computer game developers gathered there in March for their annual convention? Trying to snake away a little more business for Baltimore County's Hunt Valley, which has become one of the nation's leading production centers outside California for entertainment and military simulations. A dozen programming companies are now based there, employing 600 people. This is a dramatic change from 1985, when programmer Sid Meier, joined by Bill Stealey, set off to revolutionize what was still largely a board game industry.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Dave Gilmore | August 14, 2012
This year has already been a watershed event for games in many respects, but for the most part we have now settled into the post-E3 dog days. For many gamers, this is a great time to reboot and actually get outside for a change, because as far as the release calendar goes, we are in the eye before the storm. Even with titles like "BioShock: Infinite" and "Grand Theft Auto V" shelved until 2013, there are still quite a few gems yet to be released in 2012. "Borderlands 2" Sept.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2013
Tom Clancy, the prolific Baltimore-born author whose novels "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games" inspired blockbuster movies and action-packed video games, earning him the nickname "king of the techno-thriller," died Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital after a brief illness. He was 66. "When he published 'The Hunt for Red October' he redefined and expanded the genre and as a consequence of that, a lot of people were able to publish such books who had previously been unable to do so," said Stephen C. Hunter, a Baltimore author and Pulitzer Prize-winning former film critic for The Washington Post.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2013
Tom Clancy didn't realize he was forever changing the spy novel back in 1982, while working in obscurity on his first book, a Cold War thriller centering on the defection of a Soviet naval captain and the technologically advanced submarine he includes in the bargain. But then "The Hunt for Red October" was published, and things would never be the same - not for spy fiction, which was given new life by the detail-obsessed "techno-thriller" genre he invented, and certainly not for Clancy, who seemingly out of nowhere became one of the country's most prominent authors.
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