Time to get caught up again - this is a huge one.
Games - Upcoming
Penny Arcade’s Mike “Gabe” Krahulik provided his thoughts about Star Wars: The Old Republic . Meanwhile, an EA representative says Star Wars: The Old Republic will feature 200 hours of gameplay per class .
Respawn Entertainment (founded by ex-Infinity Ward leaders Vince Zampella and Jason West) has a blurry image on their website promoting an upcoming game . Zampella and West’s lawsuit against Activision will be going to trial soon.
The XBL Summer of Arcade starts July 20 th – here are the titles .
The winners of Portal 2’s Summer Mapping Initiative were also announced.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has launched iCivics , a group intended to use gaming to improve children’s understanding of civics and history. Similarly the United Kingdon’s education minister wants more games in the classroom .
There’s a new Arkham City trailer out , featuring The Riddler.
Games – Reviews / Current / Analysis
Destructoid’s Jim Sterling talks about the game community vitriol against Metacritic .
Giant Bomb took a look at Ubisoft’s foray into rhythm games, Rocksmith .
Destructoid looked at Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and wonders why more people aren’t talking about it.
Crytek lead developer Cervat Yerli feels that Crytek 2 ‘s design decisions backfired , and a future patch will bring more bleeding edge graphics to the game.
Mass Effect 2’s producer Jesse Houston looked back on what worked for his game .
Minecraft has over 10 million users – that’s almost as much as World of Warcraft.
Team Fortress 2 went free to play (F2P). RPS’s Andrew Smee thinks that’s a good thing . A player made a mod that insta-kick’s F2P players , mainly because they believe the F2P mechanic eliminates the barrier to entry that helps reduce antisocial gaming behavior.
Rock Paper Shotgun’s Paul Dean talks about an 80’s confluence where Frankie Goes to Hollywood met videogames. In a similar nostalgic vein, Jim Sterling reminisces about one of my favorite games, Final Fantasy VII. While we’re strolling down memory lane, it’s the 30 th anniversary of Donkey Kong .
Ubisoft joins the increasing number of studios requiring memberships to play games with their Uplay Passport .
Microsoft claims the Xbox360 is halfway through its lifespan .
U.S. album sales are increasing for the first time since 2004 . CNET’s Greg Sandoval did some analysis to determine what the numbers mean . TechDirt came out with a timely post on RIAA accounting and how artists can avoid getting screwed. Meanwhile music bloggers are creating their own record labels.
Technology and the Internet
Different Anonymous folks broke into consultant Booz Allen Hamilton and released 90,000 military usernames and passwords .
The Kindle e-book store is getting spammed by useless, low-cost books .
Crazy perks are starting to slip back into technology startups , reinforcing the 1999 vibe in the tech industry and the “bubble” comparisons.
Think Geek has a device that will turn your iPad into a mini standup arcade machine .
MIT is working on preventing mid-air collisions.
Hotmail is going to ban commonly used passwords .
A lawsuit against Sony for the PSN fiasco claims that Sony laid off security personnel just prior to the breach .
Venture capitalists tell Congress the Protect IP act will have a chilling effect on tech investment .
The Netherlands has passed Europe’s first net neutrality law . In the U.S., a bandwidth capping plan by Shaw Cable that favors its own video-on-demand offerings demonstrates exactly why net neutrality legislation is necessary.
The U.S. Senate wants to make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material a felony , which could unintentionally affect how-to gameplay videos. The Entertainment Consumer Association’s Hal Halpin provided his take on the bill.
U.S. ISP’s voluntarily agreed to participate in a six-strikes copyright enforcement plan. The White House says it will enable us to ” win the future .” Ars Technica details how to appeal these regulations .