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Parents: everything you know about video games is wrong

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:58 GMT By Scott Steinberg

We know gaming can be a healthy pastime for children, but many parents see it as an unnecessary evil. Scott Steinberg, author of The Modern Parent’s Guide book series, hopes to redress the balance.

As you’re aware, video games are one of today’s most positive, uplifting and enjoyable escapes, and a pop culture medium that even the famed Smithsonian’s now recognizing as among the era’s defining art forms. Alas, many parents still believe that gaming is evil, promotes violence and can foster issues like addiction, obesity and stunted social growth, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Happily, the next time someone tells you “video games are bad for kids,” or you observe a mother or father going into apoplexy just because their child asks for a PlayStation Vita, well… Here’s why you might gently suggest they plug themselves back into reality.

Fact: Controversy sells when it comes to games, but doesn’t necessarily reflect the status quo. While many popular games are rated M, and intended for discerning adults, not only is the average player a 37 year-old male – most game titles are perfectly safe and fun for everyone. “Games can definitely be good for the family,” says the ESRB’s Patricia Vance. “There’s plenty of selection. Oftentimes I think parents feel that they’re not because video games in the media are portrayed as violent, and hardcore games tend to get the lion’s share of publicity. But parents also need to be comforted knowing that E for Everyone is by far largest category [of software]. Nearly 60% of the almost 1700 ratings we assigned last year were E for Everyone, which means there’s a huge selection of games available that are appropriate for all ages.”

Fact: Research shows games can be tremendously beneficial to kids’ growth. Per a recent piece in Parents magazine by Harvard Medical School collaborator Cheryl Olson, “parent-approved video games played in moderation can help young kids develop in educational, social, and physical ways.” Having surveyed interviews with over 1,000 public-school students, her data shows that playing even nondescript outings (read: everyday titles found on GameStop’s shelves) can confer tremendous benefits on children. Beyond encouraging planning, problem solving, and creative self-expression, she also points out that many titles can promote lifelong loves of history and literature, while others encourage socialization, exercise, healthy competition, and leadership. Setting stereotypes aside, as she points out in no uncertain terms, games (shocker) are a perfectly normal part of childhood.

Fact: Games are a powerful tool for teaching and providing new perspectives on the everyday challenges kids face. Unlike boring, passive lectures and training courses, games and virtual worlds actively engage children, encourage them to experiment without fear of embarrassment or repercussion, and let them problem-solve in lifelike scenarios that evolve in real-time. Providing an experience that more closely resembles real-world scenarios, better engages pupils and promotes heightened retention, Duke University’s Dr. Jeffrey Taekman actually calls them the future of education. “The traditional textbook will soon become passé,” he asserts. “Gaming platforms will offer an interactive way for students to learn and apply information in context.” As you’ll happily note, even medical students are now being trained this way – a fact which may come in handy the next time newscasters run a sensationalized media story and Mom has a proverbial heart attack. Oh, and added bonus: Because of their ability to promote strategic thinking, interpretive analysis and rapid adaptation to change, The Federation of American Scientists even claims the skills games teach map well to those sought by today’s top employers. Next time someone tells you to get off the PC and get a job, you may want to let them know you’re actually building valuable career skills.

Fact: Games have great social benefits. Beyond titles such as Just Dance 3, which help bring families together, and can bridge the gap between generations, there are also many games that have positive social messages and encourage families to be a force for good. In a series of experiments published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that participants who had just played a “pro-social” game in which characters must work together to help each other out as compared to those who had just played a “neutral” game (e.g. Tetris) were more likely to engage in helpful behaviors. So-called “serious games,” specifically designed to teach and inform, are also teaching kids about real-life issues, humanitarianism, and geopolitical concerns. Even titles not specifically designated as educational help build confidence as well, providing kids with a sense of positive reinforcement and achievement as they solve puzzles and rise to the challenges contained within.

Fact: Gaming doesn’t have to make you fat and lazy, and can have marked physical benefits. Naturally, kids need both physical and mental exercise – cheerfully, motion-controlled games for Kinect, Wii and PlayStation Move help provide both kinds of workouts at the same time. In fact, the American Heart Association now recommends video games as a fun and entertaining way to enjoy physical activity. Upsides of active play are considerable too. A study reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine of 39 Boston middle-school children who played with six different interactive gaming systems found that the games compared favorably with walking on a treadmill at three miles per hour, with four out of the six activities resulting in higher energy expenditure. Other studies show that action video games can improve several aspects of brain activity, including multitasking. “The attentional and working memory demands of video games can be much greater than other tasks,” says Michael Stroud, a professor of psychology at Merrimack College. “Consider Pac-Man as an example. In Pac-Man, you must navigate your character through a spatial layout while monitoring the separate paths of four additional objects (the ghosts), while keeping the overall goal of clearing the small pellets in memory, as well as keeping track of the remaining large pellets. Think about how this may apply to skills such as driving… When you drive your car, you are faced with a constantly changing environment in the road, not to mention several other distractions that compete for attention that reside in the car. At the same time, you are attempting to navigate through the environment to reach a goal.”

High-tech parenting expert Scott Steinberg is the author of The Modern Parent’s Guide book series and host of “Family Tech: Technology for Parents and Kids.” A noted games industry consultant and business keynote speaker, the following is excerpted from latest book, The Modern Parent’s Guide to Kids and Video Games, free to download now.

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13 Comments

  1. LOLshock94

    ive played games all my life and im retarded

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Maximum Payne

    @1 Actually that is very true.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Colin Gallacher

    Nice piece Scott, my parents have always been in the unnecessary evil camp. I think they’re starting to accept that it’s not just a fad that will disappear over time.

    I like to think that gaming has certainly helped me in educational ways over the years, especially in memory and planning situations.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. daspadger

    My youngest son is 10. He’s been playing video games since the age of 2 or so (he completed Simpsons hit and run aged 2.5). He’s plays them most days and given I work in the industry, he’s exposed to practically every gaming platform and most of the titles you’d think you need to see.

    At school he’s way ahead of where he should be in maths, reading and his focus is spot on. He’s creative, entertaining and very popular with his peers. He’s a normal child (other than being afflicted with a daft dad) in every way.

    Athletically, he’s also been the fastest in the school come summer race day, for 3 consecutive years.

    I’ve read a ton about the nonsense gaming is supposed to harm kids, and yeah, I don’t hold much sway in it.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Christopher Jack

    @4, I’d assume you’d also push him to ‘get out’ & play some sports or something in the backyard, it’s the obsessive gaming in kids that cause problems, I think an active parent encourages active children.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. OlderGamer

    A little rose tinted glass viewing me thinks.

    Sure some of what was written makes sense. But there are so many counters it is just silly. One of the largest being; what looks good on paper isn’t always or even often the applied science at work.

    As an example, the games being described as good for you/kids aren’t the games that kids covet. Howmany kids want to play Pacman? Do you want to put down Assasins Creed to play Pacman? Which one do you think an average 10 yr old bugs their parents for? Most of what this piece and the “studies” it references (btw 35 kids doesn’t a study make, too small a size), would promote Wii gaming(and to be fair Kinect/Move). But just like many of you folks here, most kids would snicker at playing Wii. They would rather play the newest CoD. Just like most of you/us.

    I am not saying that games are the root of evil or anything. But I am also not convienced that gaming can make us a better society and better people either. As a whole, obiesity is way up, esp in kids. The education levels of graduating students (in performance testing) is down from where it was 30 and 40 years ago. Just two things that go directly against what this piece would proclaim.

    I like games too, right now I am here writting this only because my wow server is on a rolling restart. But no way I could look at another parent(I raised two kids), and say, “Hey have you thought about Xbox or Playstation?” I know parents that don’t allow games, at all. Those kids are very VERY happy. They play, laugh, and otherwise have a great time(reminds me of being a kid). They don’t miss them. Until they get into school. Then those parents(happend twice that I saw) lose their kids to the influence of other kids that see games as a needed aspect of their lifestyles.

    I think it is unrealistic to keep kids away from games. prolly unhealthy in the way that “when in rome, do as the romens do” type of thing. Games are a big part of our everyday life. They are everywhere, better to teach your kids how to manage their time, then to preach about them being evil. The kids would rebel from that anyway.

    Call me old, but if you think todays media atmosphere is good and healthy(and I am including games to social media) I just can’t agree and can’t see it. Cause I think we will indeed end up with a bunch of lazy, selfish, self centered, overwieght, anti social, ego maniacs that can’t make their own ways in the world.

    Perhaps I could barrow someones rose tinted glasses for a bit? I have a nice tin foil hat to trade.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    I completely agree with your stance on this kind of research OG, but I also think that the whole thing is fundamentally out of context.

    People are acting like entertainment shapes people, when that has pretty much never been the case. It’s people who shape entertainment.

    When I was a kid I was watching bad American action movies, playing with guns, playing violent videogames. It meant absolutely nothing to me. I thought it was exciting, but both of my parents were really humanistically oriented, so there was never any doubt in my mind as to the application of violence or what it means.

    And that’s really the issue. You can’t point your finger at any violent event and go “That happened because of a song” or “That happened because of a videogame”. It’s simply never the case.

    The only thing I saw on TV as a kid that left me with nightmares was people being murdered on the streets of Sarajevo.

    Kids need to be taught right from wrong. Games aren’t a part of that. They’re an outside influence that kids need to be equipped to handle. And kids are different. Some may be too exciteable to handle a certain level of intensity, and some may be completely impervious to even the bloodiest videogames.

    It’s a question of where their heads are at (and what their parents have done to recognize and affect that) – Not where the games are at. The cause and effect is completely misrepresented in this debate. Probably because it’s defined and perpetuated by people who don’t have a relationship with the medium.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. OrbitMonkey

    This is a nice counter-point to the EVE-Online bullying story isn’t it? :-D

    Oh wait it’s not the game making kids douches, their douches playing games… But made worse cuz of what their playing? It’s a real chicken or egg conundrum ;-)

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Freek

    Games, the internet and social media are definetly a ppsitive influence to society. They are a way of binging knowledge and social interaction to almost everyone, everywhere.

    You only have to look at projects like this:
    http://boingboing.net/2010/09/30/it-gets-better-video.html

    And
    http://www.ted.com/talks

    And
    http://bigthink.com/

    To see that, you no longer grow up in isolation without any perspective on the world. It’s verry easy to find knowledge and share it with other people.

    Why do you think opressive regimes try to block out the internet? It’s far to easy for citicens to start seeing the world the way it really is and start using social media to start a revolution. Exactly what is happening in the Middle East right now.

    That inlcudes games too. You start playing online, soon you make friends and start meeting up in real life.
    It is not a tool for social isolation when you play responsibly.

    And the example of Pac-Man is merely a simplification of a principle that aplies to all games.
    Problem solving skills and spacial awareness are key to almost every game. he could have just as easely said Tomb Raider, or Half Life or Portal.

    And it’s also utterly bizar to think that kids do not want to play Wii or Kinect games.
    Where do you think all those millions of units sold go to? Not to the hardcore gamer, he/she is not interested in it, but families and kids are. That is where the motion control money is made.
    That 60% E for Everyone marketshare doesn’t come out of thin air. It’s sales and money being made. The majority of games being bought, played and sold are not violent.

    Yes, bullying and obesity exist in this world, but do not go blamming people’s own lack of self control personality flaws on some of the greatest new technologies mankind has come up with. A way to interact and share all our knowledge and entertainment with nearly everyone.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Ireland Michael

    “How many kids want to play Pacman? Do you want to put down Assasins Creed to play Pacman? Which one do you think an average 10 yr old bugs their parents for?”

    My son actively plays Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX on my Xbox 360 every chance he gets, and fully accepts that games above his age rating (he’s 12), like Assassin’s Creed, are not allowed to be played without the prior consent of his mother and I first. We’ll monitor the content he plays, but never to the point of being totalitarian about it.

    His interest in games of a violent nature or heavy in action is almost completely non-existent anyway, and he spends 90% of his gaming time engrossed in ones that allow for creative building, customization and level design – LittleBigPlanet, Minecraft, etc.

    We both encourage this because we believe that its very healthy and productive for him to nurture his personal desire for creativity. I think this interactive element is probably the single best thing about gaming, and it has some powerful applications for learning when done right.

    (Tangent – I learned more about the colonization of America, the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution from playing Colonization on my crappy 586 Gateway 2000 PC back in the 90s then I ever did in any stuffy history class in school. Just sayin’.)

    Allow me to stroke our egos for a second and say that I wish more parents would follow our examples.

    Mind you, I so agree that the article comes across a little one sided, but I think the point of it wasn’t to champion gaming as some sort of all-encompassing, life-affirming hobby, but to dispel some of the more extreme myths about its negative sides. I’m sure Scott is more than aware that they exist, and what those negative sides are.

    Gaming, part of an active healthy diet!

    #10 3 years ago
  11. absolutezero

    “most kids would snicker at playing Wii. They would rather play the newest CoD. Just like most of you/us.”

    I’ll kill you to death.

    My Nephew is still playing Mario 3D Land on his 3DS he just got 100 coins. He has a Wii. He has shown no interest in the worst that the “mature” side of gaming has to offer.

    Im pretty proud of the little guy.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DarkElfa

    I like pie.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. shadela16

    Ah, I like this article.

    I am 17 years old. I like playing video games. I like playing VIOLENT video games. Such as Halo, Assassin’s Creed, maybe CoD if I go see my older brother (as I don’t have it, but he does).

    I have no interest in drugs, or commiting acts of violence (such as a shooting spree).

    @ #6 This is totally personal, but I play Assassin’s Creed. Do you know what this did for me? It got me interested in history. I am currently taking a world history class and I love it, because it is something I’m interested in. I wasn’t nearly as interested in history before I played those games. That same game has gotten me thinking about my education and my career, since now I really want to travel to multiple places in Europe, such as Italy (which is where Assassin’s Creed 2 takes place).

    Though there are many problems that can come about with children playing video games that are violent, there CAN be some good things that come out of them.

    What I’m saying is, parents shouldn’t be so PESSIMISTIC about video games. Try to see the good things that come out of them. Of course, encourage children to go outside, but allow them to have their play time too.

    #13 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]