Updated: Jun 18, 2018 10:58 am Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Monday, Jun 18, 2018

WHO Classifies "Gaming Disorder"

Following up on previous indications, the World Health Organization includes "gaming disorder" as a new mental health condition latest edition of its International Classification of Diseases, reports CNN. "I'm not creating a precedent," says Dr. Vladimir Poznyak of the precedent, saying the WHO has followed "the trends, the developments, which have taken place in populations and in the professional field." The article looks at both sides of this, also quoting researchers critical of the change. Meanwhile, some of the WHO's statements about why this is necessary seem to indicate not all the facts are in yet:

Ultimately, WHO hopes that inclusion of gaming disorder in the classification will stimulate debate as well as further research and international collaboration, Poznyak said.

Game over, so to speak, is to "significantly reduce the current gaps in knowledge that we have when it comes to the prevalence of these conditions and when it comes to their nature and management."

Beyond Good and Evil 2 Beta Next Year?

An Instagram post from Michel Ancel tentatively expresses hopes that beta testing of Beyond Good and Evil 2 will begin before the end of next year. The post is French, but a translation helps us understand his outlook on plans for a sequel to the 2003 action/adventure, as he says, "We aim for a playable beta for the end of next year." Thanks IGN.

Games Removing SDK Amid Spyware Accusations

A thread on Reddit has a week's worth of discussion about Red Shell, an SDK used in a bunch of games that's facing accusations of being a form of spyware (thanks Bleeping Computer). This is used to allow publishers to track the success of affiliate campaigns in selling games, but apparently it also creates a fingerprint that includes information about individual users. This situation has already progressed to the point where they have a lengthy list of game that have removed or have pledged to remove the controversial SDK, and an even lengthier list of games where it remains in place according to community reports. The number of prominent titles shows just how widespread this is:

Games who used Redshell which removed or pledged to remove it (as of 16.06.2018):

  • Elder Scrolls Online (Pledged to remove it)
  • Conan Exiles (Pledged to remove it)
  • Ylands (Removed)
  • Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! (Pledged to remove it)
  • All Total War games, (Pledged to remove it)
  • Warhammer: Vermintide II, (Pledged to remove it)
  • Warhammer: Vermintide I, (might get removed also?)
  • My Time At Portia, (Pledged to remove it)
  • Dead by Daylight, (Pledged to remove it)
  • Battlerite, (Pledged to remove it)
  • AER Memories of Old, (Pledged to remove it)
  • Magic the Gathering Arena (closed beta & not on Steam), (Pledged to remove it for now)
  • Secret World Legends (Pledged to remove remains of it)
  • Hunt: Showdown (Pledged to remove it)
  • Escapists 2 (Pledged to remove it)
  • Omensight (Pledged to remove it)

Games still using Redshell according to community reports (as of 16.06.2018):

  • Civilization VI,
  • Kerbal Space Program,

Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: WARHAMMER II Linux and macOS Plans

Feral Interactive announces that the macOS and Linux editions of Total War: WARHAMMER II will arrive later this year. They say pricing and system requirements will be confirmed closer to release, and in the meantime, offer this trailer to celebrate the news. Word is:

Feral Interactive today announced that Total War: WARHAMMER II, the second instalment of the epic fantasy strategy series, will be released for macOS and Linux this year. Originally developed by Creative Assembly in partnership with Games Workshop and published by SEGA for Windows, Total War: WARHAMMER II is the follow up to the critically-acclaimed Total War: WARHAMMER, also brought to macOS and Linux by Feral Interactive.

Total War: WARHAMMER II puts players in command of one of four fantastical Races, challenging them to wage a war of conquest in order to stabilise or disrupt the apocalyptically powerful Great Vortex. The engrossing narrative campaign is set across four strikingly distinct continents: tropical Lustria, icy Naggaroth, the sophisticated Isle of Ulthuan, and the deserts, jungles and savannahs of the sprawling Southlands.

Continue here to read the full story.

F1 2018 Headline Edition Trailer

A new trailer from F1 2018 shows off a couple of classic racecars coming with a Headline Edition of the motorsport sequel that is now accepting preorders. Here's word:

You asked. We listened. Introducing the championship winning 2009 Brawn BGP-001, as driven by F1 World Champion Jenson Button and his team mate, Rubens Barrichello, and the 2003 Williams FW25, of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. Both of these iconic cars are included in the ‘Headline Edition’ of F1 2018, which is available for pre-order now and will be available as DLC at a later date after launch.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

It Came from E3 2018, Part 11

U.K. Sales Charts

GFK Chart-Track announces their new charts are now available, tracking last week's videogame sales in the U.K. On the all platforms chart Vampyr plunges to number eight after debuting in the top spot and God of War is god of the chart again. The Sims 4 drops to number two on the PC top 30 chart, where Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare lands at number one. Here's the PC top 10:

LW TW Title Developer Label Publisher
5 ˄ 1 CALL OF DUTY: INFINITE WARFARE INFINITY WARD ACTIVISION ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
1 ˅ 2 THE SIMS 4 THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
2 ˅ 3 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2018 SPORTS INTERACTIVE SEGA SEGA
3 ˅ 4 THE SIMS 4: CATS & DOGS THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
4 ˅ 5 THE SIMS 4: CITY LIVING THE SIMS STUDIO EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
- * 6 BUS SIMULATOR 18 SITILLALIVE STUDIOS ASTRAGON SOFTWARE ASTRAGON SOFTWARE
8 ˄ 7 WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS MACHINEGAMES BETHESDA SOFTWORKS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
16 ˄ 8 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - LEGENDARY BETHESDA BETHESDA SOFTWORKS BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
11 ˄ 9 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II DIGITAL ILLUSIONS EA GAMES ELECTRONIC ARTS
19 ˄ 10 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR NORTH ROCKSTAR TAKE 2

Morning Previews

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

To follow up on my visit to the local place that is set up so you can wash your own dog, it turned out to be a great experience. Like the late Hudson the Wonder Dog, the Gunnar-man has hair instead of fur, and needs haircuts as part of his grooming. It has been as struggle for me to do this over the years, as it requires a lot of crawling around on hands and knees bathing, clippering, and otherwise primping my poodle pal. This even eventually led to the drastic measure of trying professional grooming, which was easier for me, but was bad for Gunnar, who found the separation and other aspects of the experience traumatic. This place solved all my problems by taking all the difficulty out of the process... they have a raised walk-in tub for washing with a hose that easily switches between water, shampoo, and conditioner. They have a raised grooming table for trimming, and even supplied the towels. I spent 90 minutes in there making him perfect, left a giant mess of poodle hair behind, and got hit with a bill for a grand total of $16.10. There's old saying about something being a bargain at twice the price, and this service easily qualifies.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: UT2600 - Unreal Tournament demake for Atari 2600. Thanks PC Gamer.
Unfair Stunt.
Grand Shift Auto.
Story: False earthquake detected in Mexico City after Lozano's winning goal in World Cup match. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: The End of Dyslexia?
Media: Loaded Baked Potato.
What Violent Video Games Teach Our Kids. Headshots for everyone!
Swarms of fish flies in Saskatchewan field.
Relaxing music and our cat.

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Sunday, Jun 17, 2018 Independence Day (Iceland)

Star Trek Online Victory is Life

An update to the Star Trek Online Website welcomes players to a Victory is Life update that recently went live in the trekkie MMORPG (thanks Sphinx). This adds the ability to captain a Jem’Hadar faction and jump right into end game content, as shown in this launch trailer. A slow post-E3 Sunday provides a good opportunity to catch up with the game, so here's a bit:

Starting today, Captains in Star Trek Online will have the opportunity to create a brand new captain in their own Jem’Hadar faction. All Jem’Hadar captains will be as formidable right out of space dock as their namesakes, as they will be leveled up to 60 with a fully equipped ship, a fully geared crew, and a variety of completed Reputations, Specialization trees, and R&D progress. As a fresh captain you will have all the tools you need at your disposal to dive in and play Star Trek Online right at end game, all 100% for free.

On top of the ability to create a brand new Jem’Hadar captain that starts at end game, we’re delivering the first level cap increase in nearly four years. We have a variety of exciting content available for everyone. We’ll have 7 brand new episodes that will take you through an incredible story full of twists and reveals, a new queue, “Swarm,” that shows the devastating impact of the Hur’q, the all new Gamma Quadrant Sector Space Battlezone that takes the concept of a battlezone and increases the scope to include literally everyone playing in the Quadrant, and the Gamma Task Force Reputation that will give you everything you need to take the fight to the Hur’q. Players that create their Jem’Hadar captains during the first six weeks of launch will also be able to participate in the new Jem’Hadar recruitment system. This system provides challenges for captains to complete that will provide bonus personal and account wide rewards. This collection of fantastic content will put you in the boots of a Jem’Hadar, and give you a true Deep Space Nine experience.

Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Top 10

Valve lists these as the top sellers on Steam for the week ending yesterday:

  1. Jurassic World Evolution
  2. PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS
  3. Jurassic World Evolution
  4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition
  5. Jurassic World Evolution
  6. ARK: Survival Evolved
  7. Raft
  8. Dying Light Enhanced Edition
  9. The Elder Scrolls Online
  10. Nioh: Complete Edition / 仁王 Complete Edition

Sunday Patches

It Came from E3 2018, Part 10

Gatherings & Competitions

Sunday Mobilization

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Tech Bits

Sunday Safety Dance

Hardware Reviews

  • Cherry MX Board 5.0 Mechanical Keyboard on TweakTown.
  • Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 Pure Edition Hi-Resolution PCIe Gaming Sound Card on Mad Shrimps.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Here's hoping the toast wasn't burnt in your breakfast-in-bed and that the new tie goes with your sneakers. My dad died a few years ago now, but I get to express my thoughts on the occasion to my step-father, a wonderful man who did much more of the heavy lifting during my upbringing, so this is still a cause for celebration here at the BlueTower. Of course I am also doggie daddy to a wonderful poodle, but the Gunnar-man never gets me a card. I guess I'll have to settle for the gift of boundless joy and unconditional love, which he shares every day.

R.I.P.: Martin Bregman Dead- ‘Scarface’ Producer Was 92.

Paternal Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Head World Cup.
Stories: Indonesia python: 23-foot snake swallows woman.
‘Incredibles 2’ Box Office- Disney Sequel Lands Record $180M Debut.
Nuclear Power Won’t Survive Without A Government Handout. Thanks Slashdot.
Science: We’re all getting dumber, says science. Thanks Slashdot.
Blurred Vision, Burning Eyes: This Is a Lasik Success?
The reasons why women’s voices are deeper today. Thanks RedEye9.
Images: Maya being adorable. Thanks Kxmode.
Media: Mic'd up ump dealing with a pissed off manager. NSFW.
Indigo: Keeping Vaccines Cool Without Electricity.
You know what isn't sweet?
Follow-up: Some Survivors Of Category 5 Hurricane Irma Want A Category 6. Thanks RedEye9.
Gilliam's -Don Quixote- Has Another Setback.
The Funnies: Adult Children.
Windows Update.


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