Xbox Fitness and the Digital Future

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Xbox Fitness is not an isolated case, but unlike an aging service being taken offline—the DSiWare shop opened in mid-2009—Microsoft has an active, relatively new product. And, when the servers turn off next year, Xbox Fitness won’t work whether the file remains on a user’s hard drive or not.

“If we were talking about DVDs, a retailer would never try a stunt like this. But Microsoft, armed with a license agreement that denies consumers any meaningful legal rights, is training consumers to not only suffer, but to expect this sort of treatment,” said Perzanowski.”

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How VR Roller Coasters Recreate a Lost Joy

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“I adore tech, even if progress can be terrifying. The Wii’s motion controls were first to elicit a scare, requiring physicality beyond what was usually comfortable. Microsoft’s Kinect was too frequently unplayable for me. I’ve watched the creation of more active VR like the Virtuix Omni, allowing people to run in place as they play first-person games. Seeing videos of that almost becomes like an out-of-body projection. You envision yourself trying (and failing) to keep pace with the runner playing a military simulation. There is a fear tech will outpace what I can do.”

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On Ghostbusters: The Video Game

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“Bill Murray’s attorney called within two days. He agreed to reprise his role. “I can tell you, there was a dogpile of producers in the hallway when we got that call. It was almost like when a pitcher charges the mound after winning the World Series, like, it’s the only time I’ve ever hugged another man like that,” Melchior quipped. “Little did we know how difficult it was going to be from there.”

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Video Game Rentals Skirt Legality

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“Upon booting many contemporary video games, the screen floods with text which states your rights as a consumer. Buried in the wording is the language stripping ownership. In Bethesda’s Doom, the text reads, “You agree not to: Distribute, lease, license, sell, rent… without the express prior written consent of the Licensor.” In 2K’s Battleborn, the language is the same, adding additional restrictions for “Virtual Goods or Virtual Currency.”

Because the rental industry relies on rights granted by the First Sale Doctrine and Video Rental Amendments Act of 1990—rights being eroded by Vernor v Autodesk and the legalese agreed upon when booting a new game—are game rentals now illegal in certain circumstances? “Yes,” stated Rosenblatt. “Unless [the video store] obtained separate permission from the game company they are probably violating copyright or a contract. And if they do that, they’re taking a calculated risk.”

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Dangerous Golf and Jackass

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“There’s a touch of innocent social consciousness to the work. Dangerous Golf ribs America’s food obsession by staging scenarios in stocked kitchens. Australian levels exist in a deserted gas station, the only landmark for miles. France-based challenges impart their snooty admiration for fine art and museums. The British show off their castles, stocked with suits of armor, lit by stained glass. It’s quaint, a bit of friendly joking with national stereotypes. ”

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On Nathan Drake and Uncharted 4

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There’s a normal life to consider. This is where Drake resides during his time off. Reaching near death in the deserts of Uncharted 3 must have slowed his adventurous sense, forcing him to reconsider what matters. He now dives for treasure as part of a salvage company. A video game protagonist with a playable day job—how odd. The Mario Bros. may be plumbers, but they’ve never unclogged a residential toilet in-game.

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On MLB: The Show 16 and Chaos

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“Sony’s San Diego Studio has been working on The Show since 2006; they’ve spent years building up these details. Their organic approach to sports simulations is unparalleled, enough to oust their rival 2K Sports from the world baseball games entirely as of 2013. San Diego Studio’s baseball has matured into an unpredictable, dicey, and irregular sim. Otherwise, this wouldn’t be baseball. 2K couldn’t catch up, so they dropped out.”

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