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Gaming News Round-Up: November 23rd, 2004

Today's update includes a DIY game console competition, some disappointing Dwango results, and yet more complaints over violence in gaming. - Nurve Networks, the compan...
Today's update includes a DIY game console competition, some disappointing Dwango results, and yet more complaints over violence in gaming. - Nurve Networks, the company behind the XGameStation Video Game System hobbyist development kit, has launched a XGS Development Contest. Running until December 31st, 2004 at midnight (PST), the contest lets developers enter graphics and sound/music demos, as well as completed video games in for judging. Winners will receive a choice of game-related books, as well as either an SK-KEY programmer or blank SXG Expansion card. The XGameStation, created by author Andre LaMothe, is described as a "retro-inspired educational video game console designed specifically for both hardware and software hackers." The XGameStation's hardware is powered by an 80 MIP RISC processor, has direct raster controlled graphics, 3-channel sound, built in programmer, and is capable of outputting both NTSC and PAL composite video. - Mobile game and entertainment developer and distributor, Dwango has reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30th, 2004. During the quarter, Dwango reported revenue up 208% to $545,000, but unfortunately reported a loss of $2,775,000. The company's mobile game offerings are only one part of its product line, which also includes ringtones and downloadable content of other kinds, including licensing deals with Rolling Stone Magazine and 'premier multi-faith media company and online community' BeliefNet. However, the company especially noted of its flagship game product, Bassmaster Legendary Lunkers, that "first-of-its-kind SMS wake-up functionality" had been implemented for use with the title. - The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility has announced that five parent, church and women's groups, alongside New York City Council Member Eric Gioia, have released a top ten list covering what it calls the worst violent video games. The groups include the aforementioned ICCR, the National Committee on Women's Organizations, Mothers Against Violence in America, Center for Advancement of Public Policy, Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ, and the following titles were listed as the current worst games regarding violence: DOOM 3, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Gunslinger Girls 2, Half-Life 2, Halo 2, Hitman: Blood Money, Manhunt, Mortal Kombat: Deception, Postal 2 and Shadow Hearts. The list oddly contained games that haven't yet been released (Hitman: Blood Money), as well as those that aren't available in North America (Gunslinger Girls 2), and was accompanied by a statement "urging retailers to stop selling the inappropriate games directly to children and calling on the industry to come up with an improved and more widely promoted game rating system that parents can understand." This statement came on the same day as the National Institute on Media and the Family's report card on ESRB ratings and game violence.

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