Russian Officials Brand The Sims 4 as ‘Harmful to Children’

Russia has come under fire from both gamers and the global LGTB community for its decision to restrict sales of Electronic Arts game ‘The Sims 4’ to 18+ gamers.

EA have claimed that this 18+ rating is due to the game’s depiction of same-sex relationships, images of which are deemed by Russian law as being “harmful to children”.

The Sims, in any incarnation, centres on the lives of a group of virtual characters. Players must ensure that the characters are fed, enjoy gainful employment, have somewhere to live (preferably with adequate toilet facilities) and are generally happy in their lives.

sims 4 2014There are very few mission-based objectives within The Sims. In fact, it is intended as a virtual depiction (some may say satire) of modern life. To this end, relationships play a part in the game, although characters are neither explicitly heterosexual nor homosexual, these are largely choices made on the part of the player. Relationships can either be brief flirtations, casual flings or monogamous, steady partnerships; it is entirely up to the gamer.

Depictions of sex (called ‘woohoo’) within the game take place under sheets, or in other private places. Players can tell that something is going on, but one would be hard pushed to guess that it was sex without some prior erm…Woohoo experience.

In 2010, Russia passed a law known as 436-FZ, which was created, ostensibly, to protect children from harmful content. The law gives Russian officials the right to censor anything that may elicit “fear, horror, or panic in young children”. It sounds fair enough, except when you try to envision any child, no matter how sensitive, being rendered ‘fearful, horrified or panicky’ at the sight of two, essentially genderless, computer sprites exchanging, essentially nothing, under a duvet.

For the record, Sims cannot take illegal drugs or self harm in any way (with the possible exception of being up all night woohoo-ing and then falling asleep at work and being fired, which I don’t think qualifies), so it is hard to imagine why else the game could have garnered such a severe age restriction.

Oh wait; I forgot to mention that in 2013, Russian authorities amended 436-FZ so that it prohibits the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships”. Now there’s an ill-fitting definition if ever there was one.

Many studies/groups (such as America’s TREVOR project) maintain that media-enforced pressure to conform to heterosexual norms can cause depression, anxiety and even suicide among LGBT youths, essentially proving that only showing one type of romantic relationship can actually be harmful to young viewers. On the flipside, as far as I know, there is no evidence to suggest that seeing a same-sex partnership in a video game will cause an otherwise heterosexual gamer to become a homosexual and even if there was, how exactly would they be being harmed by this unlikely metamorphosis?

Critics maintain that this move reflects little more than personal prejudice in the guise of child protection. Who’s ‘fear, horror and/or panic’ are Russia really preventing here?

In the rest of the world, The Sims series has either been rated at 10+ or 13+ (mainly because of all the woohoo, I suppose). Electronic Arts was voted as being one of the best places to work for LGBT individuals by the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) in 2012, it got a score of 100%.

One has to wonder what score the Russian government would get.

SOURCE

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27374539

Bringing the Cinema to the home with High definition projectors

Ever see any of MTV Cribs? We do. And we have been always most jealous of these quasi-superstar properties that came built with the miniature motion picture theatre. Well, now that knowledge has come down in price notably enough to provide us mere mortals a go, and wow, are we excited about that!

 

Big screen experience is just a click away, so let us be your guide. Buying an hd projector has never been closer, simpler, less costly or more worth it. 

 

Using your hd projector you may make any night a movie evening, showing your favourite Blu Ray or DVD films for assembled friends and family (and the few less-than-welcome hangers-on who always turn up) and astonish everybody. An high definition projector brings out the very best in any film, irrespective of its period and resources.

 

To actually catch the essence of the cinema in the home, you’ll need an high definition projector and a BIG display, then you can combine old classics with modern blockbusters to your heart’s content. By hooking your hd projector up to a state of the art surround sound system, your bone-crushing celluloid adventures will be complete.

 

Watch movies the best way they were preordained to be viewed, with your high definition projector. Take the cinema home with you (minus the sticky flooring, over-priced snacks and obnoxious kids) and bask within the luxuriousness that only your high definition projector can provide. Who needs a way of life like the rich and (apparently) shameless when you’ve got a cinema in the home?

Google are starting the robots race

Google has officially announced that it has acquired seven robotics companies in the last six months, with the ultimate aim of creating a Google robot.

As far-fetched as it might sound, the firm’s takeover of companies like ‘Bot & Dolly’, ‘Industrial Perception’, ‘Autofuss’ and ‘Redwood Robotics’ is a clear sign that Google has big plans in this area. Continue reading

Touch Bionics creating an app for Prosthesis limbs

A new bionic hand has been unveiled that can be remote controlled via a smartphone app.

The app’s developer, Touch Bionics, unveiled the groundbreaking application, along with their latest prosthetic hand, in April of this year.

The hand’s artificial thumb is controlled by signals from the users arm muscles, which are interpreted by the hand’s internal systems. However, in a world first, it can also be controlled, very simply, via the use of the new app. Continue reading

A look back at some of the best PS3 games

In which our hero (namely me) compares and contrasts three big-selling adventure games and reports to you, the consumer, which one he likes the best.

 

1)     Assassin’s Creed – Released by Ubisoft in 2007, Creed’s major selling points are twofold; firstly, it has a long and absorbing storyline for players to engage with. A young man is captured by mysterious forces, and placed in a machine that forces him to re-live the past adventures of his ancient ancestor, who belonged to an ancient cult of (you guessed it) Assassins. The second thing is the gameplay; Creed is tremendously playable, evoking memories of such classic games as ‘Metal Gear Solid’ and ‘Prince of Persia.’ What’s more, the story ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you wanting more. Fortunately there is now a whole series for you to play, together with at least one more ancestor to inhabit as our young hero struggles for his freedom. It is, in short, excellent. Continue reading

Apple Announces iPhone 5s-The Most Forward-Thinking Smartphone in the World

Editorial – So all of the rumours and speculation is right, apple have announced this years incarnation of the iphone, the apple iphone 5s. With fingerprint sensor (Touch ID), an improved camera plus a quicker A7 microchip, with an announcment of iOS 7 coming later in september, have apple given us a radical new device or have they just updated the iphone 5?

 

Apple® today announced iPhone® 5s, the most forward-thinking iPhone yet, featuring an all-new A7 chip, making iPhone 5s the world’s first smartphone with 64-bit desktop-class architecture for blazing fast performance in the palm of your hand. iPhone 5s redefines the best smartphone experience in the world with amazing new features all packed into a remarkable thin and light design, including an all-new 8 megapixel iSight® camera with True Tone flash and introducing Touch ID™, an innovative way to simply and securely unlock your phone with just the touch of a finger. iPhone 5s comes with iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone, engineered for 64-bit technology and featuring hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop®, enhanced Photos, Safari®, Siri® and iTunes Radio℠. Continue reading

Rock Band on the Playstation 3, what you might not find out about it

My friend ‘Little’ Chris, then aged about 9 , once stated that he wished there could be a ‘Bass Hero’, ‘Drum Hero’ and ‘Singing Hero’ to go along with the ‘Guitar Hero’ video games he loved. Someone must have been listening that day, because one year roughly afterward the very first rockband title appeared on shop floor.

 

Now on its third instalment, the immensely accepted rockband series seems to have eclipsed these guitar games for good, forcing a spot among more triumphant music sims of all time in the process. Yes, rockband is here to remain regardless of whether you like it or not and okay, that’s my friend Kieran playing bass on the cover of rockband 3 (OK, perhaps it isn’t, however it really looks like him). Continue reading

Why are sports games so trendy?

Sport games are the final fan’s revenge. You think that the referee threw the match? Put your money where your mouth is, sport gaming fan. Of course, if you think Mike Tyson was overrated, it doesn’t necessarily follow you’d be the man to inform him so. But perhaps Mohammed Ali or George Foreman might? Consequently, sport games are born.

 

One of those oldest gaming genres, sport games have an enduring application as eternal as sport itself. You just can not go and play for England in the next world cup on the whim, no, that sort of thing takes time, and airplane tickets, and days off work, and years in treatment and may end in a confused divorce. sport games are brilliant for proving your points during pub arguments. Continue reading

‘iPotty’ is Pure Crap, Says Child Consumer Group

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has officially selected the ‘iPotty’ (from CTA Digital) as the worst toy of 2013.

In case you’re wondering, the iPotty consists of a basic potty setup, but with the added innovation of a stand for holding an iPad (apparently an aid to toilet training). I’m also assuming that there is an app. There’s always an app.

Once the infant is placed on the potty, the iPad can be rotated 360 degrees around the seat on its stand, meaning that the device can be switched between vertical and horizontal views. The iPotty even has a protective touchscreen for use in case of…Well, you get the idea. Continue reading

Unsustainable materials used in our everyday gadgets, are going to run out someday

A new report has concluded that a sizeable proportion of modern technology (in particular smartphones, tablets and other commonly-used gadgets) is extremely over reliant on very rare materials.

If the report’s findings are accurate, the scarcity of the metals and metalloids in question, combined with a sharply increasing demand for such devices, could seriously damage design innovation, as well as the manufacture of future products.

The report, compiled by researchers at Yale University, discussed the use of 62 materials found in widely used technology. Ultimately, the study concluded that none of the 62 metals or metalloids could be replaced without damaging the efficiency of the product. In fact, 12 of the 62 materials could not be replaced at all. Continue reading