Tag Archives: XBOX

Is Microsoft Paying More Attention to Female Gamers?

In an interview the week before the release of Halo 4, Bonnie Ross, from Microsoft’s 343 Industries, and Kiki Wolfkill, Halo 4’s executive producer, boldly announced that Xbox Live would be implementing a lifetime ban for “players who are found to be making sexist or discriminatory comments against others.” The blogosphere lit up with claims that Halo 4 on Xbox Live would be “banning sexism,” but what does this really mean?

According to ESA game player data, female gamers now make up 47% of all game players, and females over 18 are the industry’s fastest growing demographic.  Nonetheless, sexism in gaming is a prevalent issue. Websites like Fat, Ugly, or Slutty encourage gamers to submit screen shots of players making rude, sexist, or inappropriate comments. Sexist comments are an integral part of the banter over the microphone headsets that gamers use to communicate with each other.

The fact that two industry leaders behind a popular game like Halo 4 are women is quite impressive.  It is also important to have them calling out sexism in gaming as “behavior that is offensive and completely unacceptable.” The question is, do their words have any real impact? At it turns out; their seemingly groundbreaking announcement does not reflect any actual modification of the current Xbox Live policy.  The code of conduct, has not been changed, and reads as follows:

Don’t create a gamertag, profile content, Avatar action, Avatar content, or in-game content that other users may be offended by. This includes, without limitation, anything related to or suggestive of: profane words/phrases, topics or content of a sexual nature, hate speech (including but not limited to racial, ethnic, or religious slurs), illegal drugs/controlled substances, or illegal activities.

As you can see, the code of conduct includes no new language specifically addressing sexist comments. Since the interview, a Microsoft representative has said that the company is not changing their Xbox Live policy for Halo 4, adding that Microsoft does not support any form of bigotry.

So to summarize, Xbox Live is not placing a lifetime ban on players who use sexist comments, and Ross and Wolfkill’s announcement does not mean that Microsoft will be initiating any special measures to stop sexism on Xbox Live.

The few days of excitement over the possibility of Microsoft taking steps to actively fight sexism raises important questions; should sexism be fought in online gaming forums? With women now making up a large and growing percentage of gamers, is this an issue that needs to be pursued, or should online gaming outlets stay out of the situation?

In their interview, Ross and Wolfkill placed more of the responsibility for ending sexism in gaming on the developers. As the number of women in the gaming world grows, it will be interesting to see how companies like Microsoft handle the issue of sexism.

Amelia M. Torre

Re-blogged on The F-Bomb

Fall Games – Uncharted 3, Battlefield 3 & Modern Warfare 3

For the fans of the Uncharted series on the PS3, Uncharted 3 Drake’s Deception was released November 1, 2011. The Uncharted trilogy is coming off of one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2009 with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. I would highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys playing a video game with a great story mode that is almost cinematic for anyone else watching.

Then we have the first person shooters, or FPS, as we like to call them. Two groundbreaking FPS are coming out exactly two weeks apart from each other. The two games I am talking about are Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. Do not let the names fool you both of these games have more than three predecessors. After the Battlefield name had huge success on the PC, Electronic Arts began making games for consoles and this third one is expected to put up a fight against Modern Warfare 3. Both of these franchises have an extremely compelling story mode and make you never want to put the controller down, ever.

For the Call of Duty franchise, Modern Warfare 3 is the 8th game to hit console as well as PC. It will be interesting to see how many copies this game will sell after the groundbreaking performance that its predecessor Call of Duty Black Ops sold which was more than 7 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release. I will not lie, I am in love with the Call of Duty franchise and I will continue to purchase their video games. The CoD fan base is so large that I can put in almost any of the older CoD games and still find a lobby to play in online. I have always given my edge to the Call of Duty franchise because not only can you spend hours online playing with your friends but they also have extremely fun Cooperative extras such as Nazi Zombie and Special Ops.

After playing through the Battlefield 3 campaign and spending a little bit of time on Battlefield 2 it has started to grow on me, though not as much as Call of Duty has. I would still recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a great first person shooter.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my two-part review of some of these big games coming out this year!

Steve Marksteiner

Fall Games – Forza 4, Gears 3, Assassins & Batman

The gaming community is going to have their hands full this month and they will be the last to complain about it. There have been many games, especially sequels, coming out for some major title video games. Read my two-part series on the new video games for the fall season!

I’ll start with the recently released games such as Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4.  Gears of War (GoW) was released on September 20 and is the final game to the current trilogy. Selling over 1 million pre-orders, GoW was one of the most anticipated games for the Xbox 360 console in 2011, but trust me there are many more! Hopefully the Gears of War franchise is not over because it has an extremely large fan base that has built up over the last three games.

For you racing fans and Xbox 360 Kinect enthusiasts, Forza Motorsport 4 is the right game for you. Forza 4 is also exclusive to the Xbox 360 console, and this game is Kinect-ready, meaning you can steer and shift gears without the use of the ever-popular physical steering wheel (though you can purchase one if you prefer it). Forza via Kinect lets you to check your blind spots with the simple turn of your head as if you were driving a real car!

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is set to release in mid November of 2011 for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Revelations is the fourth game of the franchise, which has also gained a vast amount of fans. With the addition of multiplayer mode in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, AC Revelations is including new game types and more customizable character features.

Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to the 2009 game Batman: Arkham Asylum, was released October 18. Arkham City was one of the only games of 2011 to receive a 10 out of 10 stars from the ever-popular Game Informer Magazine. I would suggest this game for to anyone who likes to roam the streets and beat the crap out of bad guys. This latest version keeps you guessing with tons of side missions. New features are more enhanced gliding through the air, grappling onto buildings without ever touching the ground, and a bunch of new gadgets for Batman’s utility belt.

This concludes part-one of my review, check back in a couple days to see the second part!

Steve Marksteiner

Gears of War 3: Beta and Beyond

When the Beta for Gears of War 3 came out back in the spring it was without a doubt the greatest moment for gamers at the time.

After spending literally countless hours zombified in front of my TV waiting for the next day to start so I could hop back on and take out more gear heads like myself, I woke up one day to realize that the Beta was gone and just like that I had to go back to being social. (Read beta review here) Luckily there was E3 to hold me over until the drop date.

At E3 we got a first look at a few of the new gaming modes like Beast and also a look into the 4-player campaign. While it was still exciting to get a first look at everything they were a little short with the details, which made sense seeing as how the game was not due to drop for a few more months. While they did have playable demos out, it was much like the Beta so what could be tested was extremely limited.

Then came the actual game itself. While the online play is what I know everyone was looking forward to, I personally was in it for the campaign. The Gears saga has become one of my favorite stories all the way from the very beginning. The story in this one was Epic (pun intended), but sadly nowhere near as long as I expected it to be. Three friends and I beat the campaign in the first three nights and that included taking breaks to do online play.

The story was great and the cinematic scenes were flawless, but I feel that if they waited this long to release the game the campaign could have been longer. However, in Epic’s defense it was four experienced gamers who chose not to sleep against their crowning achievement, it didn’t stand a chance.

While the online play is great, what I really appreciate is the lag fix, no longer are the days where a person magically skips from one side of the map to the other… well it still happens occasionally, but nowhere near as much. In all this, the game has met my expectations and surpassed, this is definitely one that will get continuous play on my Xbox, and anyone with just a PS3 should be jealous.

E3 = Every Gamers Dream

At E3, being a gaming nerd is an entrance requirement.  E3 stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, and it is one of the largest gathering of gaming software and hardware developers in the world.  The Expo takes place in sunny Los Angeles, California during the first part of June every year.  The convention lasts for three days and is filled with glitzy and impressive “first look” displays of the new games and gaming systems premiering in the fall.  This year, E3 hosted more than 47,000 attendees from over 100 countries, and 200 exhibitors that took up the better part of the Los Angeles Convention Center.  I was there with fellow Modern Media Mix reporter Freddie Dickerson, and a dozen other SIU folks.  We enjoyed playing Star Wars and Dance Central 2 for Microsoft’s Kinect, Resistance 3 for Sony’s PlayStation 3, playing many other titles, and checking out some new hardware, as well.

Here are some Game Titles coming out this fall and holiday season that were previewed at E3:

  • Batman: Arkham City  – Trailer
  • EA Sports FIFA Soccer 12 – Trailer
  • Star Wars Kinect – Trailer
  • Gears of War 3 – Trailer
  • Battlefiled 3 – Trailer
  • Modern Warfare 3 – Trailer
  • Resistance 3 – Trailer
  • Saints Row 3 – Trailer (explicit)
  • Just Dance 3 – Trailer (Anyone sensing a theme with the 3s this year?)
  • Hitman Absolution – Trailer  (My personal favorite trailer)
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations – Trailer (2nd favorite)

Amelia Torre and Freddie Dickerson playing the Star Wars Kinect demo.

 Hardware coming out this fall and holiday season that were previewed at E3:

New hardware like a Playstation 4 or Xbox 720 are not rumored to come out for at least another year, and so this year at E3 the hottest products were the games.  At this stage in the console lifecycle, more money is being channeled into game development.  Games like L.A. Noire and Need for Speed-The Run are investing in live action capture techniques to make the games more realistic. Consumers are demanding games that are better looking and more complex, and the demos at E3 proved that the industry is listening. Check back with ModernMediaMix.com for more detailed information about E3 and what’s coming out this fall. To see a bunch more E3 pictures “like” ModernMediaMix on FaceBook!

Amelia M. Torre

Gears of War 3 Beta is Live

The kind people at Epic games have finally answered the hardcore Gears fan’s prayers and released the beta version of this long awaited game. The beta was released April 18th to those who bought the game Bulletstorm and was given another release a week later for anyone who pre-ordered Gears 3. I must say, as a Gears fan myself, I could not be happier, yet, as a Gears fan I must say, it is just as much fun as aggravating. There is nothing worse than clearly uneven teams being paired together and then being slaughtered, but on the other hand it’s a great feeling when on the winning side.

Even though I’ve only had the beta for two days, in my hours upon hours upon hours (no exaggeration), I can see they’ve put a lot of work into getting this game father away from Gears 2 than expected. With new weapons such as the Digger, Oneshot, Retro Lancer, Sawed Off, and Incendiary grenades, there are a lot more things to watch out for when running around , including new execution moves for every weapon, so keep your guard up. Along with other changes made would be the interactive maps, for example; Thrashball features a hanging score board which can be shot down onto opposing players.

The game also features ribbons, which in my opinion seems a little like Call of Duty’s medals, which appear after every match to let you know a little about how you played. In all there are way to many different things added to Gears 3 to name, but I can tell you that this game seems to be well worth the wait.

-Freddie Dickerson