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Posts with tag speech

The Lawbringer: Supreme Court decides Brown v. EMA

On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that video games fall under the same First Amendment speech protections as books, movies, music, and art. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion, decrying California's attempts to restrict speech as, at the same time, too under-inclusive and too over-inclusive. What does that mean for the video game industry? What does this decision mean for video games in general? Self-regulation, it seems, is doing the job when it comes to keeping parents in charge and violent video games in the hands where they belong.

If you have no idea what Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) (formerly Schwarzenegger v. EMA) is about, check out my first Lawbringer feature on the topic as well as Gamasutra's feature, as it is probably the best, concise understanding of the case as it was back in November of 2010. Now, however, we have a decision. After being argued on Nov. 2, 2010, the Supreme Court decided on June 27, 2011, by a vote of 7-2 that the California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Drama Mamas: Racism and setting social standards

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server.

We love updates! We've already heard back from the writer of last week's letter, Hacking a friend's account.
Hi, I recently sent in an email to the Drama Mamas; it was the "hacking a friend's account" one. Just sending this in to say thanks, he gave me a ring today, I manned up and answered it and probably wouldn't of done if not for you. We made up, both said sorry and I gave him his password back.

So all's well that ends well -- and sticking with a common theme, an end to situations that have no place in our game is what's on tap this week, too. The topic: racism and hate speech. (Before we begin: Standard warning for comments -- we'll be removing those that veer off the subject of handling racist hate speech in game, so please stay on topic and keep the language civil so we can have a productive conversation.)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Your favorite lines of spoken dialogue

While video game voice acting never really seems to draw the amazing big names, it's definitely steadily improving from the old day when it was spare members of the coding team and a couple people pulled off from the street or something. WoW seems to combine the best of both worlds here, in that Warcraft's Voice acting seems to run the gamut from awesome to pretty decent to painfully over-hammy. Still, to its credit, it's produced a whole lot of iconic lines, from the first "zug zug" to "You are not prepared" and beyond.

With so many iconic phrases, both breath taking and amusing, I'm interested to know what lines of dialogue stick with you and why. Is it the turn of phrase? The delivery? The context in which the line is spoken that adds to the drama or humor?

For me, it's all about Eadric the Pure. Pretty much every line of dialogue he gets in the Trial of the Crusader 5-man is amazing. Well acted, well scripted, with just the right balance between pomposity, noble righteousness and a sort of bemused sense of humor and enjoyment about the whole concept of the Argent Tournament. If I had to pick one line, it would be his final one: "I yield! I submit! Excellent work! May I run away now?"

Yes, you may Eadric. But please, come back again soon. You're awesome.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Lore, NPCs

Why the language barrier might be a good idea after all

It seems to come up quite often. Someone wants the language barrier bought down. Even if it requires questing or skilling up, they want to be able to talk to the other faction. It would even make lore sense, since at the least, Undead and Blood Elves should probably know common, and Thalassian is probably close enough to Darnassian that someone who knows one language should probably be able to get the gist of the other. That said, Blizzard's held pretty fast to the principle of squelching cross-factional communication. The only way you can make yourself known to the other side is with the default emotes, or sometimes with a bit of creative typing that can only convey crude messages.

Honestly, at one point I was pretty gung-ho on removing the language barrier. As an RPer, a big part of the fun for me is being able to talk, act out scenes, say stuff in character, and all that. It was sort of annoying sometimes that I could be in an epic struggle with, say, a guild of Undead assassins, but any actual communication we made, be it OOC arranging of the storyline and in-game events or IC trash talk, would have to all be on message boards and email. It loses some of the spontaneity of in-game interaction. That said, lately I think I've decided that I'm fine with the current of level of cross-faction communication. Talking to the other side would cause more trouble than it would be worth.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, PvP, Lore, Factions, RP, Battlegrounds, Arena

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