Round Up: GoW & Megadeth, Japan Regs, VG Racism Study

Today's Gamasutra round-up includes news of a partnership between Gears of War and rock band Megadeth, proposed video game industry regulation and changes in Japan...
Today's Gamasutra round-up includes news of a partnership between Gears of War and rock band Megadeth, proposed video game industry regulation and changes in Japan, and a new study on racism in video games, as well as the latest GameSetWatch posts, product news, Serious Games Source news, and Gamasutra job postings. - Organizers of the rock band Megadeth-headlined tour Gigantour announced that the event, which kicks off in September, will be sponsored by Microsoft and Epic's upcoming Xbox 360 squad-based shooter, Gears of War. The tour will kick off in early Spetember, and will hit 25 major cities before wrapping up in mid-October. "We're totally jazzed about the partnership between Gigantour 2006 and our forthcoming Xbox 360 blockbuster, Gears of War,” commented Craig Davison, Director of Global Games Marketing for Xbox. “Partnering a music extravaganza like Gigantour with the launch of a mega-hit game like Gears of War captures the excitement around two awesome happenings for fans of music and video games!" - According to a new report by Japanese website Famitsu, as translated by popular consumer website GameSpot, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has suggested a mandatory government-approved qualification exam for the game development industry as part of a new report distributed last week by the Game Industry Strategic Research Conference. In addition to the proposed exam, the report also noted that plans are in place which could merge or otherwise reorganize the Tokyo Game Show with other international events. Though no specific details were released, it's recommendation to "rethink the timing" of said events would seem to suggest that such large scale events in japan as TGS, as well as the Tokyo International Film Festival, Tokyo Anime Fair, and Tokyo Toy Show could be scheduled to take place concurrently (if not part of one large venue) in the future. - The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has reported on a new study – one of the first of its kind - conducted by University of British Columbia sociology graduate Robert Parungao concerning racist themes in video games. The study, which according to the report examined such titles as Kung Fu, Warcraft 3, Shadow Warrior and Grand Theft Auto 3, found that modern video games tend to portray non-white characters in a negative light, depicting them as “narrative obstacles to be overcome, mastered or ultimately blown to smithereens by the white hero." However, the report noted that reactions to the study have been mixed, with some siding with the results, while others noted that “political correctness” does not apply to in-game content. - The latest updates on Gamasutra sister weblog GameSetWatch include a look at several freely downloadable games such as World of Sand and Cannon Cat, a comical back issue of defunct gaming magazine PC Accelerator that predicted several potential 'Quake II killers', and a collection of debugs found in Nintendo games. - Also updated today: Serious Games Source news, including news of a Purdue University project using VR to educate the deaf and a look at serious games by the New York Times, plus Gamasutra product news including an agreement between Stream Theory and U.K.-based Interactive Entertainment Media Group, alongside the latest Gamasutra job postings, featuring openings from Amaze Entertainment, Blizzard Entertainment, Climax Studios, Cryptic Studios, Disney VR Studio, LucasArts, Pronto Games, Propaganda Games, and Sensory Sweep.

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