Nightly News Roundup 2011.03.16

BAFTA sends out its video game awards, exergaming gets a boost and Kung Fu Factory founder rips into the male-dominated industry.

By Andrew Hsieh. Posted 03/16/2011 20:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Nightly News Roundup

BAFTA Video Game Awards for 2011 list released

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts may seem exclusive to the domain of, well, film and television, but it’s been in the video game awards business for thirteen years now, with its first awards doled out to such games as GoldenEye 007 and Gran Turismo. Back then, BAFTA combined awards for interactive entertainment (such as the BBC News Online website) with video games; owing to the unpredictable growth in interactive entertainment (hello, Apple), BAFTA has since divided the categories (and canceled the interactive entertainment category, unfortunately.) Unlike many major media outlets, BAFTA considers television, film and video games on equal footing with each other– which makes every year’s awards just that much more interesting. Here’s the list for 2011:

  • Action – Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
  • Family – Kinect Sports
  • Techinical Innovation – Heavy Rain
  • Social Network Game – My Empire
  • Use of Audio – Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  • Handheld – Cut the Rope
  • GAME Award – Call of Duty: Black-Ops
  • Orginal Music – Heavy Rain
  • Strategy – Civilization V
  • Artistic Achievement – God of War III
  • BAFTA Ones to Watch – Twang!
  • Gameplay – Super Mario Galaxy 2
  • Sports – F1 2010
  • Multiplayer – Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • Story – Heavy Rain
  • Best Game – Mass Effect 2
  • BAFTA Fellowship – Peter Molyneux

While Nintendo showed up only with Super Mario Galaxy 2, that game won the gameplay award from BAFTA– which, considering Nintendo’s constant sphiel of gameplay-over-graphics, isn’t exactly insignificant. Congratulations to all winners!

Source: BAFTA

Video Games Help Children Get Exercise

In the latest report on video games and exercise, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Kinect and Playstation Move seem to be almost wholly vindicated. Brigham Young University, which sponsored the study, found that “active video games help children get moderate or vigorous exercise”, and that such video games generated “four to eight times the amount of energy expended as sitting on a couch”. Researchers did, however, note that the positive effects of playing games like Wii Sports did not nearly amount to the effects of going outside and playing the actual games in reality.

This study comes in a long line of other studies, such as one last month in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, which focused on both dance simulation games and fitness simulation games. That study found that players burned 298% more calories while playing dance games and 322% more while playing fitness simulation games, compared to the couch-gaming baseline.

Source: TopNews New Zealand, Los Angeles Times

Kung Fu Factory Founder Discusses Female Representation in Video Games today posted an interview with co-founder Ricci Rukavina of Kung Fu Factory, asking about the “typical, underwear-modelling, impossibly proportioned” women in video games, and how Kung Fu Factory subverts that with their release of Supremacy, a game that pits mixed martial artists of both genders against each other. Here’s one of the more interesting parts of the discussion with Rukavina, who, FYI, is male:

CVG: Do you think gaming perhaps has an issue at large when it comes to how women are represented?

RR: On the whole, I would say yes. And I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. Everyone knows that historically and statistically males have made up the larger percentage of game makers and game players. So you end up with women who are often put in the “princess in need of rescuing” role, or they’re objectified.

But this also happens in cinema, music, all facets of life. And then someone comes along and breaks the mould, by doing this differently. We saw a chance to do that and its fit perfectly into our plan of being a different type of game. It also fits our plans as a company.

Kung Fu Factory has a females in lead designer roles and technical roles and although they love women being portrayed as being sexy; they also love that we have real fighters who just as beautiful as they are bad-ass. I think the gaming industry has a ways to go in the area of representing women in games, or at the very least, just including playable women characters in the games we know and love. We think this is a great way to start.

Kung Fu Factory is an indie video game company which counts former staffers from Rockstar, EA, Disney and Ubisoft among its numbers, known for its specialization in visual effects and fighting game combat systems. Kung Fu Factory is the only third-party developer ever to have worked on a Mortal Kombat game for Midway.


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