Video Game Bits 

Random nuggets of headlines from the gaming world.

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The new DC Universe massive multi-player game didn’t arrive in time for my deadline, so not having a new game to play has left me alone with my thoughts and the Internet. Here are some random nuggets that the two have combined to provide.

Urine for a Strange Experience
I remember how cool it was the first time I went into a sports bar and there, above the toilet, was a newspaper for me to read. Not that anyone could read it—not without soaking down the wall or your shoe, anyway. That concept has now been kicked up to the next level, however, by both Sega and Sony. The two companies are installing Urinal Games—Sega’s is called a Toylet—all over Japan. There will be several games to choose from: One where you force a sumo wrestler to squirt milk out of his nose, one where you clean graffiti off of a wall and one where you force the wind to blow a woman’s skirt up. And, of course, all of these games are controlled by the power of your urine as you relieve yourself on a sensor in the toilet. For those who might scoff at the idea, remember, that the Wii was considered a little strange, at first.

Down Time
Video-game-sales numbers are expected to decline for the second straight year, CNBC reports. That fact is bound to bring panic to the industry because it has never happened before, but I don’t think it’s a harbinger of things to come. I think this news is only a worry to those few optimists out there who thought the industry was recession-proof. Well, everyone thought Vegas was recession-proof, and now you can find a special to stay at the Bellagio for less than $100 a night. I think 2011 will be a rebound year. The late 2010 release of the Xbox Kinect and other new hardware, combined with new consumer-friendly pricing, is a good sign.

I’d Rather See the Q-Bert Movie
Of all the low-tech Atari games of the 1980s, Fox chooses Missile Command to turn into a movie, and Universal is bringing Asteroids to the big screen. Really? Maybe I’d watch a film based on Pitfall or Dig Dug, but Missile Command and Asteroids? What could the plot possibly be? I’ll bet 30 cents cash money that Shia LaBeouf ends up in at least one of these sure-to-be-horrible monstrosities. Paging Dr. Mario

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported that people who spend time in front of the television—watching it and playing video games—can increase their risk of heart attack and stroke by 113 percent over those people who sit and watch TV less than two hours a day. And, reportedly, it doesn’t seem to matter if they work out or are in reasonably good health. According to the report and ABCNews.com, if you sit all day at a desk job and then sit at home watching TV or playing video games, it can have an adverse effect on you, even if you exercise regularly. This seems crazy to me. So basically, we need to spend our evenings walking on a treadmill and being sedentary only when sleeping. I have a hard time believing that if the baby Jesus didn’t want me to play video games, he would not have invented chili-cheese Fritos and Final Fantasy.

Final Thought
It’s tough thinking about the tragic shooting rampage that occurred recently in Arizona. And I don’t want to dwell on what happened, but it strikes me as odd that the same right-wing pundits who blast liberals for suggesting that conservative vitriol may have driven the shooter into action are the same blowhards who want to blame violent movies and video games every time kids start hitting each other. I’m not saying that rhetoric played a part in these shootings, but if we have a conversation every time it’s discovered a killer plays Grand Theft Auto, isn’t it only fair to have a discussion when Sarah Palin “takes aim” at Democrats? I’m just thinking out loud here. 

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