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Extra Credits parts company with The Escapist.

Breaking news is happening more and more often on socail media as people, groups and collectives choose to speak first to the people who are their fans and have connected with them. This is what happened this evening as the ExtraCreditTeam used Facebook and Twitter to announce they have parted company with The Escapist.

Statement taken from the Facebook status page:

http://www.facebook.com/ExtraCredits?sk=wall&filter=2

Hi Guys
I’m sorry about a lot of things over the last month. I’m sorry that I’ve been incommunicative. I’m sorry that I’ve been snappish. I’m sorry that I haven’t talked to you about what’s been going on. It’s been a rough few weeks, but I can finally talk about it, so here’s what’s been happening with us…
(this may take a bit, I’m sorry for spamming you too…)
When Allison hurt her arm all I wanted was to help her. I believe that a person has a responsibility to those near them and you should feel shame when you can’t live up to that responsibility…but I couldn’t. I was near destitute. I had spent all my money on the show.
Dan and I work on it for free and I pay Allison’s salary out of pocket each month, then, in turn, The Escapist was supposed to pay us for our work – not much, but enough to cover Allison’s wages – unfortunately they were never able to.
When Allison hurt her arm, The Escapist had only paid us for four episodes over the course of a year. That meant I was down $20,000. That was the $20,000 I could have put in to help Allison. That was the $20,000 I would have used to get her surgery while figuring out how I could earn more money. It hurt that I couldn’t tell you that then but I was asked not to.
I felt so bad asking without being able to do more than sell a computer and call in old debts…but you taught me a lesson in humanity and the goodness of people. I had never lost my faith in mankind, but that first Rockethub week you redoubled it.

And that was truly one of the greatest weeks of my life. Better than releasing games, better than lecturing in the halls of GDC. I really can never say thank you enough.
But since then things have not gone so well. We joined The Escapist because we believed in what was going on there. We believed in the idea of examining games more thoroughly, whether it was Yahtzee’s blunt honesty or ENN delivering game news, we liked the idea that it was a place where consumers and developers could have a real conversation about games. We believed we were all in this together, fighting for the same ideals and goals.
We asked the guys at The Escapist if we could trade some of the debt they owed us for the rights to our intellectual property back if they weren’t going to be able to pay us so we could do things like sell t-shirts or write a book. We thought this was going to be an easy discussion. Instead they responded by telling us that they felt that they were entitled to 75% of the Rockethub money, thus their debt was covered and, despite not paying us for nearly a year, we owed them $9500 dollars
What followed was weeks of legal wrangling, lies and muck. Unless you guys really care about the details I won’t go over them here. I do think The Escapist does some good, and I wouldn’t want to destroy what good it does with how they operate their business. I’m going to work under the idea that our situation was unique and that their other content creators are paid regularly and don’t have a contract that was as onerous as ours.
Again: we don’t want to add to the damage done. I’m already kind of heartbroken that things turned out this way. I had faith in what The Escapist stood for. That faith is in tatters, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t good people doing good things for The Escapist.
What matters is that the show won’t stop. We’ll be releasing it on YouTube every Thursday until we find another site to pick it up. We’ll be posting links to here and on our twitter feed whenever a new episode goes up…but we’ll be counting on you guys to help let people know.

More of the issue esp around money outstanding and the nature of the contracts signed was posted about on twitter. That The Escapist held the rights to all the Intellectual Property rights associated with the Extra Credits show.

http://twitter.com/#!/ExtraCreditz

@ExtraCreditz ExtraCreditTeam
(I’ve now spent more on lawyers than we were ever paid for the show…this isn’t what I wanted at all)

@ExtraCreditz ExtraCreditTeam
The Escapist is still claiming our IP and our back catalog of episodes as “work for hire” though we weren’t paid ;_(

Extra Credits is a show which I have always watched, the content being some of the best which I have see discussing female gamers, gender in games, how achievements play a part in the gaming experience, the socail impacts of games as we learn about the psychology of gaming and how it can be used in other areas of life.

When 1 part of that team needed surgery the many fans of the show who want to see the show go one, chipped in to make it happen and frankly it is galling to read that the powers at be at The escapist tried to say they had a right to that money, esp when they had not been for filling their end of the contract which was in place.

I wish the Extra Credits Team the very best and hope that they will continue their good work else were.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Gaming with your daughter is good for her

http://ingame.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/02/01/5962255-gaming-with-your-daughter-is-good-for-her

By Winda Benedetti

Listen up parents: If you’re not a video game player and your child is, now might be a good time to pick up a game controller and pick up a new pastime.

While many parents worry that letting their children play video games will have a negative impact on them, a new study from Brigham Young University has found that when parents play games with their children — specifically their daughters — it can actually be good for them.

Researchers from BYU’s School of Family Life in Provo, Utah, found that girls who played age-appropriate video games with a parent felt more connected to their families, had fewer mental health issues and fewer problems with aggressive behavior.

And the researchers say this is the first study to show that gaming with an adult can be good for a girl.

For the study, published in Tuesday’s issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers Sarah Coyne and Laura Padilla-Walker had 287 families with children between 11 and 16 years old complete video game-, behavioral-, and family-related questionnaires. They report:

We found an association between co-playing of video games and lowered internalizing (e.g., depression/anxiety) and aggressive behavior. Furthermore, girls who co-played with their parents reported more prosocial behavior toward family members, which may be a function of higher relationship quality between daughters and parents who co-play. These findings certainly confirm parents’ own views of co-playing, who believe that co-playing would result in positive social and emotional outcomes. Furthermore, they allay fears that co-playing video games results in negative outcomes, at least for girls.

So why the positive impact? According to the article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the researchers surmise:

[I]When parents play video games with their daughters, they may be sending a myriad of messages. First, parents may show that they are willing to engage in an activity that is important to daughters. Second, playing video games can represent quality time between a daughter and a parent, especially when such play involves conversation between parent–child.[/I]

As a gamer and parent myself, this all simply makes good sense to me. After all, parents and their children have been playing games together since the dawn of time. Just because a game now appears on a TV, via a sophisticated machine, doesn’t mean it has to be any less of a healthy, positive experience for a family.

But there are a couple of interesting twists in the study’s findings.

The researchers found that playing games with a parent did not have an impact on the behavior or family connection for boys. Compare that to girls, for whom playing with a parent accounted for as much as 20 percent of the variation on the measured outcomes.

The researchers said it’s possible that the time boys play with parents doesn’t stand out as much because they spend much more time playing with friends. The researchers said they plan to explore the reasons behind the gender differences as they continue working on the project.

Something else worth noting: The BYU researchers found that 31 percent of the children reported playing age-inappropriate games with their parents (42 percent of boys, 15 percent of girls) and they report that “heightened parent–child connection was not found for girls who played these age-inappropriate games with their parents.”
[I]
“It is possible that exposure to such inappropriate content may influence both parent and daughter mood and ability to respond to each other,” the researchers write. “Additionally, such games are often very intense and may interfere with conversation or interaction that may lead to heightened levels of connection.”[/I]

And finally, the researchers point out that few of the mothers surveyed played games. So it was really the father/daughter time that was having an impact on the girls.

To that I say: Kudos to dads who play games with their daughters. And to the moms who don’t: Give it a try. It’s a lot of fun and your daughters and sons will love you for caring enough to give gaming a go.

In case you’re wondering, “Mario Kart,” “Super Mario Brothers,” “Wii Sports,” “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” were the games played most often by the girls in the study. Meanwhile, boys reported “Call of Duty,” “Wii Sports” and “Halo” as their most-played games.

All of which makes me wonder … parents, which games do you like to play with your sons and daughters? And which games do you think do the best job helping you connect with your kids?

Being a gamer myself I may be sligthly biased but I do think playing with your kids is awesome, for me and mind it’s co op games on the xbox like castlecrashers or being each other’s henchmen in Fable or cardgames like Munchkin or boardgames.

My parents played with us when I was growing up from the atari system to boggle, scrabble, card games endless games of ludo and chess. Some of my best memories are of time spent sitting about playing games and I try to make that happen for my two.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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MineCraft and my brats.

This has been a huge hit in our house and with a lot of my gamer friends.

Both kids have their own accounts and work together and with others to build, mine and explore. It’s been my daughters first foray into online servers for a pc game and it’s going well. Yes she has discovered asshats but is learning that as with real life if you don’t like how people are playing there comes a point where you walk away.

She has been playing that more then online games for the xbox as chat is the norm on xbox live and she no longer wants to be in a situation where she gets hassle for being a girl and young and playing on xbox live.

This doesn’t happen with Minecraft, both my brats know well how to stay safe online and not to give out info and how to quit any conversation they are not happy with and how to block people who are annoying asshats and to be careful they aren’t the annoying asshat.

Notch/Markus Alexej Persson (the creator of minecraft) currently is the desktop picture on my son’s pc. It seems that he may have replaced Peter Molyneux as the person he wants to be when he grows up. Yes Santa is bringing Fable 3 but the indie start up of Minecraft has certainly captured his imagination and at almost 13 he has already decided that he wants to do Computer Applications in TCD and then the MA in game development in DIT.

Minecraft is giving them both a chance to have control and crate the virtual environments they play in. They have both toyed around with level editors for games, usually race track games but the scope of minecraft is something they keep coming back to.

And they are not alone, they are reading the wikis and sharing knowledge on how to make and create things with others who log on to the sever to share the experience. I guess I have to face up to the fact my kids are pretty much immersed in gaming culture esp when I dragged from the kitchen to
watch this.

Minecraft and country music, my daughter is thrilled and is doing her best to learn all the words, I guess that will join Jonathan Coulton‘s song ‘Still Alive‘ from portals as a sing along in the car song.

I guess I don’t write that much about the types and amount of gaming we do esp as a family, I guess I should. So be warned there will be more posts.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Funny cos it’s true….

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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You know your child is a geeky gamer child when…

Their complaining about the size and weight for their school bag runs along these lines:

“Stupid bag why can’t it be like a T.A.R.D.I.S. and be bigger on the inside then on the outside. Why can’t I have grav gun to carry it to school? Or better yet have a school bag made of sapient pear wood, but it might eat the teachers. Or why can’t
school bags be bags of holding or why can’t I cast a Mobiliarbus spell on it but I would still have to walk with it. Why can’t there be portals from home to school,
that way I wouldn’t have to walk with it and I would never be late or get rained on. Life’s not fair!”

This was the rant at lunch time when he came home and was switching his books for this afternoon classes, I had to try not to roar laughing.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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What is Gaelcon?

Ok I know that not every one who reads these insane muttering of mine, know what a gaelcon is.
Most of the people who are friends and who have been in my house do but some don’t and then
there are those people who stumble into this place via boards.ie or other internet tubes.
So for those of you who may not know, this is what Gaelcon is.

Gaelcon is a gathering of gamers, who all come together in a certain place at a certain time for the same reason, to play games and have fun. The average is about 450 from all over Ireland, the U.K. and some as far flung as the U.S.A. and even Israel. This is a tradition which has been on going for the last 20 years. Each October bank holiday weekend for 3 days the convention opens to provide a place were dice are rolled, cards are played, imaginations run riot, old friendships are renewed and new ones forged. Gaelcon welcomes anyone who wants to come and play, there are a large range of games from scheduled events to casual pick up and play games running all weekend.

Gaelcon also run a charity auction which over the past 15 years has raised and donated over €271,000 to many worthy children’s charities. Last year alone just over €21,000 was raised. The slogan for the auction has always been “For the kids” as the gaming community know how much joy can be had in playing games and contributes to trying to help children who’s life’s for what ever reason could use some help to be more fun.

Some of these charities have been:
Barretstown Gang Camp
DEBRA Ireland (the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association)
The Cari Foundation Children At Risk in Ireland
Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation
Temple Street Children’s University Hospital
Crumlin Children’s Hospital

The charity auction is made entirely up of donations and if you have something which you would like to donate to wards the auction then please use this email address to get in touch with this years charity officer. charity@gaelcon.com

That’s what a Gaelcon is, I have been attending on and off over the last 10 years and am glad to be able to give a hand this year to help organise it; and yes if you have never been to a Gaelcon before or to any gaming convention you will be welcomed when you sit down to play and gamers love to spread the fun and turn another person into a gamer. Personally I love bringing gamer convention virgins along with me to Gaelcon and have managed to do that for the last 4 years.

http://www.gaelcon.com October 24th – 26th 2009. D4 Hotels, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in Blogroll, irishblogs

 

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Gaelcon GM Call

Gaelcon GM Call
Hiya,

It’s that time of year again. I’ve been recruited to be Gaelcon’s GM Wrangler and I’m looking for volunteers.

However, it’s possibly not as straight forward as usual. We’re trying to promote new scenario writers but the problem that they are running into is that they don’t always have a couple of names that they can put forward to run games on the day so what we want to do is get GM’s together with Writers in advance of the con so that if possible they can get a copy of the scenario before the con starts.

This has the obvious benefit that GM’s won’t be handed scenarios just before running the games, which has been highlighted as an ongoing problem over the last couple of weeks on both the i-gaming yahoo group and on the livejournal community.

It will, also, be possible to volunteer on the day but we would like to have as many GMs lined up as possible before we open the doors.

So for those folks who are kind enough to volunteer in advance, we’d like the following information:

Name:
Contact Email Address:

Are you planning to attend the entire con or just one/two days?

What systems are you comfortable GMing?
What systems can you GM in a pinch?

If you want to volunteer, you can email me at deannawol[at]yahoo[dot]com or private message me on livejournal at deannawol? If possible, can you please set the email subject as “GMing at Gaelcon” so that I don’t miss your message.

All contact information will be kept private and don’t worry, I won’t be spamming you. :)

Thanks to all who volunteer,
Bon

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in Blogroll, irishblogs

 

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