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10/08/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: culture
NPR\'s All Things Considered has an excellent piece covering the recent Corrupted Blood plague in World of Warcraft. They consult everyone from computer mediated social interactions expert Sherry Turkle to other scientists and epidemiologists. The piece also features players discussing their experiences and covers some examples of in-game philanthropy as players donated resurrections and cures to other players who had died in the plague. It\'s a quick audio file, and definitely worth the download. Get it here.


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10/08/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: happening
Entries for the 11th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition are in, and the competition is now open for voting. The Interactive Fiction Competition has been a major factor in the recent renaissance of the \"text adventure,\" aka Interactive Fiction. Plenty of new writers are using open source tools to make some amazing stories, the likes of which were never found in the Infocom catalog. And if you get that joke, you\'re exactly the kind of person who should check this out. Read on for more about how you can participate.


10/07/05 | | Aaron Stanton
game: PSP
category: happening
A fair warning to all you potential PSP hackers in the world; there\'s a virus for your PSP that\'s masquerading as a firmware downgrade. With the release of an actual firmware downgrader, it\'s easy to see why people might be tempted to download this little virus and install it in an attempt to run their PSPs back to a more flexible state. However, the virus - called PSPbrick - ends your PSP. By deleting key files, the Trojan destroys your PSP for all practical purposes. Since you can\'t undo the damage without a functioning PSP to hack, PSP owners are basically out of a system. Of course, since hacking your PSP voids the warranty, Sony has announced that they\'re washing their hands of the problem. Such is the risk of system hacking. For those of you without a hacked PSP, you needn\'t worry. The virus isn\'t capable of transferring between systems without the user actively installing it.


10/07/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: happening
The sixth annual computer and video game charity auction opens today and runs through October 14, 2005 on eBay. The auction is sponsored by the ESA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Entertainment Software Association. The auction is held in conjunction with the ESA Foundation\'s \"Nite to Unite for Kids,\" which has so far raised nearly $7 million to benefit a variety of children\'s charities. There are a bunch of cool items available, so if you\'re in the mood for that warm and glowing feeling you get from helping some sad kid, read on for links and more info.


10/07/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: announced
After making a stellar appearance at X05, Ubisoft\'s Tom Clancy\'s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will be sliding back its Xbox 360 release date into the new year. Ubisoft announced today that the new Ghost Recon will release in February 2006. The delay of release date might be a bummer for fans, but Ubisoft claims the delay will not impact their revenue forecasts for the fiscal year. They know they\'ll sell a boatload of these. Ubi dropped a couple new screens on us to keep us satisfied. Check them out here.


10/06/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: screens
It\'s well-known that much of the GF! Staff is stoked to get their hands on Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The sequel to Morrowind will be absolutely incredible, and we know that for a fact. Bethesda dropped some new screens at the European X05 event, and they just make us all the more excited. With rumors that Oblivion may be slipping in its release date, all we can do is gaze longingly at these screens and go back and read our previous coverage.


10/06/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: announced
Atari announced in Amsterdam (at Microsoft\'s annual Xbox showcase, X05) a next-generation version of Alone in the Dark. The original survival horror game will get a full makeover by Eden Games, who will do much more than rehash the old games. Alone in the Dark will feature a free-roaming environment, full real-time physics modelling, and a completely interactive environment. Plus, it should look real pretty. Check out the promotional art we\'ve got here.


10/06/05 | | Shawn Rider
game: GUN
category: screens
I don\'t even like westerns, but I love Deadwood. The grimy, gritty Old West environment, teetering between nature and civilization, lends itself to some gripping drama and high adventure. Plus, there\'s plenty of cursing. So I get very interested when I hear that Neversoft, one of my fave game developers, has also been watching Deadwood, and has created an entire game based in the Wild West, with the goal of expanding the open-play scenerio beyond cops and robbers. GUN will come out this Fall for Xbox, PS2 and Xbox 360. We\'ve got some XB360 screen here and a bit more about the game.


10/06/05 | | Shawn Rider
category: screens
Capcom\'s upcoming Dead Rising puts Keiji Inafune, creator of the Onimusha series, at the helm of a whole new kind of zombie game. You play photojournalist Frank West, who has more to worry about than celebrities gone wild. The dead have risen, and they attack you in giant zombie hordes. Sound fun? Oh yeah, you know it.


10/05/05 | | Shawn Rider
game: Crackdown
category: announced
To put it in marketing language (from all companies, not just MS), we\'ve moved beyond the era of \"GTA Clones\" and into the era of the \"action-driving\" genre. However you want to classify it, Crackdown looks like it will bring something good to the Xbox 360. It helps that Microsoft has tapped Real Time Worlds, which is headed by David Jones, and whose key members created the original Grand Theft Auto as well as Lemmings. So something good could happen here. Read on for more info about Crackdown, which should be on the must-have list for any action-driving fan.


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Candid and thoughtful.