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Pew Research: Online harassment rife among young, women

Western grey kangaroo
A recent study by the Pew Research group finds that online harassment is exceedingly common, with forty percent of adult Internet users claiming they have been the target of some form of harassment.

The study differentiates between "less severe" and "more severe" forms of harassment. While the former includes things like name calling, the latter includes stalking and death threats. According to the study, of those who claim to be victims of harassment, 45 percent claim to fall into the "more severe" category. Those rates are especially high among young women, the study finds, as 26 percent of female Internet users polled claimed to have been stalked online, while 25 percent claim to have been the target of online sexual harassment.

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Gabriel Knight and starvation wages at Pinkerton Road

Twenty-one years ago the world was introduced to the mysterious universe of Gabriel Knight from prolific games industry creative Jane Jensen. This month marks the celebration of that anniversary, with the release of the Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers remake – enhanced with new visuals, audio and, in some cases, tweaked to preserve the original game's intended emotional resonance.

One sequence, in particular, stands out to Jensen, she tells me: the police station.

In the original 1993 release, the scene plays out light and even campy: "When Gabriel goes to the police station and breaks into Mosely's office [...] in the game there was a puzzle sequence that had to do with cops and doughnuts and distracting them. It was all very silly," Jane Jensen admits.

The sequence, she says, has been changed in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers – 20th Anniversary Edition (one year late, but close enough), to better parallel Jensen's original novelization.

"I wrote a book about Gabriel Knight, I mean I wrote it as a novel after I had written the game, and so there were a few things that I had put in the novel that were new that we ended up rolling back into the remake," Jensen adds. In the novel, the police station sequence was written to be "much scarier," and given the opportunity to better convey the story's suspenseful hooks with the remake, the sequence was changed to better mirror the novel. It was the first of a few tweaks made in Gabriel Knight's return.

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Joystiq Deals: Name your own price game design bundle

For those who have always wanted to learn to make their own games, but don't want to shell out big bucks for training comes the Joystiq Deals name your own price game design bundle.

The bundle includes four training modules, with topics ranging from the Unity graphics engine to art design to gamification. At retail this bundle would be priced at $800, but Joystiq Deals users can name their own price. Visit the Joystiq Deals website, pay more than the current average (it currently stands at a very reasonable $6.07) and you'll walk away with all four training modules.

Best of all, 10 percent of your purchase will be earmarked for one of three charities, either the World Wildlife Foundation, Child's Play or Creative Commons. For more information and all the fine print, visit the Joystiq Deals website.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Lords of the Fallen dev addresses complaints about slow-moving characters



Lords of the Fallen, the Dark Souls-ian role-playing game from Deck 13 and City Interactive, has had trouble communicating what it's all about to potential players ahead of its release on October 28. Looking to better explain his game, Tomasz Gop of City Interactive released a video detailing the different ways Lords of the Fallen can be played.

Following a number of YouTube videos and live streams of the game, Gop moved to address criticisms that characters move too slowly. "The first thing I wanted to talk about it movement speed," said Gop. "We don't believe the game is too slow or too fast for anybody because you can adjust quite easily the way that you move."

He goes on to explain how weapon and armor choice significantly change the speed with which your chosen character can dodge and block attacks. Gop also reiterates that the game will take approximately 50 hours to complete, and that as with nearly all role-playing games characters change dramatically over that time.

Joystiq's own time with Lords of the Fallen during preview sessions at E3 demonstrated how difficult it is to get a sense of the full range of character options with just a short time with the game.

[Images: City Interactive]

Halloween Horror Streams: All along the Clock Tower 3 [UPDATE: Live!]



Halloween songs are misleading! "Monster Mash" implies good times at a graveyard bash. "Thriller" doesn't encourage caution; Vincent Price always sounds like he's kidding. "Don't Fear the Reaper" explicitly says not to fear the reaper. And since Ray Parker Jr. ain't afraid of ghosts, why should you be? Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by these crunchy jams, dear friends. When you do that, a giant freak wielding an enormous pair of scissors will sneak up behind you and cut you in half. It happens. Clock Tower 3 tells me so.

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Joystiq will kick off its Halloween Horror Streams extravaganza with Capcom's Clock Tower 3. Little known fact: Clock Tower 3 was conceived in part by Kinji Fukasaku, the film director behind Tora Tora Tora and Battle Royale. That is a very different sort of graveyard smash.

We'll have horror streams on Joystiq.com/Twitch almost every day until Halloween. If you want to catch them all, make sure to follow us on Twitch! Tomorrow's stream: Slender: The Arrival with a ton of free Xbox 360 and PS3 copies to giveaway. Be there.
[Images: Capcom/Clock Tower Wikia]

Ghost ship mystery Return of the Obra Dinn waves in a demo

Return of the Obra Dinn is the first-person ghost ship mystery game with 1-bit rendering from Papers, Please creator Lucas Pope. Whatever else it is, you can find out right now with an early demo, downloadable for PC and Mac.

The demo covers the first 15 minutes of the game. "It's still very rough and very untested," Pope says. "For such a low-res game, performance is not great on a 2011 Macbook Air running BootCamp. Hopefully it runs OK on most machines. The core mechanic is only lightly touched on, but you should be able to mentally extrapolate out what's here to a full game."

Papers, Please, Pope's first game, swept the IGF awards this year, and Pope had planned to submit Return of the Obra Dinn to the IGF for 2015, but he says the game isn't quite ready: "That deadline was pretty useful in getting me through these past few weeks of crunch, but in the end I've decided not to submit the game as it is. Maybe next year."

In Return of the Obra Dinn, a ship declared missing in 1802 suddenly returns to a London port six years later, badly damaged and with no visible crew. Players are the insurance adjuster for the East India Company's London Office, and must board the ship and recover the Crew Muster Roll book. It wouldn't be a game from Pope if it didn't involve official documents, after all.
[Image: Lucas Pope]

Nanako learns new swears in faux Persona 4 Platinum

Image Persona 4 Platinum might not be real, but that doesn't mean Atlus can't borrow a few ideas from this biting fan-made spoof. Spending Chanukah with President Tanaka sounds delightful. [Image: Faulerro]... Continue Reading

Trion removing illicit gold from ArcheAge

Trion is serving notice to gold buyers that some of their ill-gotten gains are being removed from ArcheAge. "If you bought or were gifted gold from [a gold seller], you may see it disappear," the company wrote on its official forums. "We do have the ability to trace coin, and that's the gold that's being cleaned up right now."

[Thanks Direpath!]

Brutal Legend PC limited edition coming soon from IndieBox

Indie game distributor IndieBox revealed that it will soon ship a Limited Edition version of Double FIne's heavy metal action-RTS Brutal Legend to subscribers, celebrating the game's fifth anniversary and marking the first time its PC version has seen a physical release.

Launched earlier this year, IndieBox ships out physical versions of standout indie games to subscribers on a monthly basis, bundling featured titles with exclusive bonus material. The contents of Brutal Legend's Limited Edition were not announced, and will not be revealed until the package hits subscriber mailboxes.

Buyers can reserve a Limited Edition package for Brutal Legend by placing an order with IndieBox by 11:59 p.m. EST tonight. New subscribers can enter the promo code ROCKTOBER25 for a 25 percent discount. If you miss out on getting Brutal Legend via IndieBox's subscription service, standalone copies will be available soon at the company's official store.

[Image: IndieBox]

World of Warcraft previews the creatures of Gorgrond

Hello, I'm more interesting than orcs.
Draenor is not the same as Azeroth. Sure, the release of Warlords of Draenor will bring the heroes of Azeroth into a lush and vibrant version of Draenor, but World of Warcraft players will have to deal with creatures that most decidedly do not exist on Azeroth. Case in point: The preview of the creatures who inhabit Gorgrond shows off sentient plants and stones that have stood and wage war against one another on the steppes and in the jungles of the region.

The Botani are a race of sapient plants that wage war against the Gronn, the Goren, and their minions. They revere their walking demigods, the Genesaurs, and they are more than capable of gestating the seeds of their offspring in living hosts to produce shambling beasts called the Infected. Take a look at the full preview for more lore details, and get ready to sharpen your sword against a hostile plant-person when Warlords of Draenor releases.

Former EA CEO John Riccitiello is now CEO of Unity

Unity Co-Founder and CEO David Helgason has stepped down and appointed former EA CEO John Riccitiello as CEO of Unity Technologies. Helgason is now Executive Vice President in charge of strategy and communications.

"Unity has been a hugely positive force in the games industry for years," Riccitiello says in a press release. "Now it's my incredible fortune to have the opportunity to help guide Unity going forward. Unity is more than a great engine or packages of services, it's an amazing and diverse community of developers, many of which are changing the way we think about game design and production. Unity's mission – to democratize development – is an important one that I'm very happy to help drive forward."

Riccitiello resigned his position at EA in March 2013, in the midst of SimCity's online issues and shortly after Star Wars: The Old Republic switched to free-to-play. His departure letter noted that the company's financial performance was tracking below expectations. Riccitiello has served on the Unity Board of Directors since November 2013.

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Battlefield 4 class action lawsuit dismissed on 'puffery'

42-15392482| RF| ¿ Royalty-Free/CorbisAtlantic Puffins, One Gaping, Newfoundland, CanadaAtlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica)
No, not puffinry. Puffery.

A class action lawsuit levied against Electronic Arts for allegedly misleading investors over the performance of Battlefield 4 was dismissed this week, with U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Susan Illston labeling the publisher's promises as pre-release "puffery," rather than intentionally misleading hype.

The lawsuit was filed late last year, accusing Electronic Arts of misrepresenting "the development and sales of the Company's Battlefield 4 video game and the game's impact on EA's revenue and projects moving forward." Battlefield 4 suffered numerous issues upon its launch in November, leaving many players unable to access its online multiplayer component. Fixes arrived months after the game's initial release, leading EA CEO Andrew Wilson to later describe the debacle as "unacceptable."

EA argued that its pre-release statements had no direct bearing on the plaintiffs' decisions to purchase company stock. In addition, the publisher noted that five of the eight company-issued statements labeled as misleading in the suit were made after plaintiffs had already purchased EA stock.

"Defendant [CFO Blake] Jorgensen's Oct. 29, 2013 statement comparing 'BF4' to a World Series ace pitcher is puffery," Judge Illston wrote. "Defendant Wilson's Oct. 29, 2013 statement explaining that EA 'worked more closely with Microsoft and Sony throughout the entire process' resulting in a 'launch slate of games that are the best transition games that I've ever seen come out of this company' is an inactionable opinion, as well as a vague statement of corporate optimism."

Illston's response does not represent a total dismissal of the case. Lead plaintiffs Ryan Kelly and Louis Mastro must revise their statements by November 3 to continue the suit.

[Image: Getty]

Race around Yoshi's Circuit in Mario Kart 8 DLC video

Mario Kart 8's first paid DLC pack will feature the return of a track from previous Kart games, Yoshi's Circuit. Racers can catch a glimpse of the Double Dash and Mario Kart DS track in the video provided by Nintendo of Japan after the break. The trailer also shows off some of the additional goodies players will receive when they pick up the add-on content pack, such as the Cat Peach, Tanooki Mario and Link racers.

It also features the multi-colored Yoshis available to those that buy both the first and second DLC pack. The DLC packs are $8 individually and $12 when purchased together. The first pack will also include F-Zero's Blue Falcon vehicle, Mario's B-Dasher kart and a special Master Cycle based on The Legend of Zelda series. The DLC will launch next month, followed by the second, Animal Crossing-themed pack in May 2015.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Guild Wars 2 restricts gem store purchase options

gw2
An attempt to streamline Guild Wars 2's gem currency exchange may be causing more consternation than celebration among the game's playerbase.

ArenaNet simplified the exchange in a recent build, giving players preset options to buy gems with gold or sell gems for gold. However, as the lowest gem bundle price point is 400, it's irked players who wish to buy smaller increments for some of the cheaper options in the store and feel as though they're overbuying gems in these situations.

Forum Communications Team Lead Gaile Grey gave an explanation for the change and said that the team is evaluating feedback: "The goal was to make the gem store more like other shopping experiences, and if you think about it, there is more of that feel to it now. You may be surprised to know this (I know I was) but very few people bought gems at smaller denominations than the first one offered in the new system. That's not to say they never did, nor that there wouldn't be the desire to do so. But overall, the current options were selected based on player purchases in the past. The team is going to listen to your feedback and, if and when it's practical and desirable, they can look towards adjusting the new system to better meet your needs."

Camp Pokemon collects pins and stickers on iOS

Nintendo launched yet another Pokemon-themed game on iOS this week, a mini-game collection of sorts called Camp Pokemon. Like the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online app that arrived on iPad in late September, the game is free to download, though in this case it's available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users. Camp Pokemon is geared toward a younger audience, as players complete a variety of activities on an island, earning pins and stickers for their accomplishments.

The mini-game events include a pokeball throwing game and quizzes that test players' knowledge of evolutions, battle matchups and more. It's not exactly a traditional style of Pokemon game, but may tide a few players over while they await the launch of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby on November 21. The Sapphire and Ruby remakes will receive a demo on November 7, though Nintendo is requiring a little legwork to obtain access codes for the trial game.
[Image: Nintendo]

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