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The ATO has every intention of taxing those who make real money by selling items, farming gold and so in MMOs such as Second Life and World of Warcraft. A spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald that 'if you are getting a monetary benefit then it's not treated any differently - normal rules apply. Your income will not be treated any differently than if you earned it working nine to five in an office.'

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/10/06 - 11:34 PM Permalink

While the debate continues on the maliciousness of the adware / spyware capabilities of EA's newly released Battlefield 2142 game, it seems that Australian gamers and consumers have not been informed of its targeted in-game ad serving functionality like other BF 2142 buyers have around the world.

A Kotaku news item reports of an Australian gamer who noted that their purchase of BF 2142 did not include the paper slip detailing the advertising technology (as seen here), and as the news item touches on, it does bring forth the question whether Australian law requires software companies to disclose a notice when adware / spyware software is installed or when there is a potential for information (such as I.P addresses that could identify persons) to be harvested.

More details and a huge picture of a kangaroo over at Kotaku...

News

(press release)

Manifesto Games: The revolution has begun and it?s coming to a computer near you!

For Immediate Release
New York, New York -- September 27th, 2006

Manifesto Games officially launched today, and can be found at www.manifestogames.com. Gamers bored with franchise titles and the limited variety of the conventional game market now have a single place to go to find "the best of the rest," the games that the retail channel doesn't have the room for or feel it?s worth carrying. Manifesto Games offers reviews, previews, and strategy articles for independent games, as well as player reviews and a forum on which the staff participates, staff blogs, community contributed content, and of course, games.

Formed in the fall of 2005 by veteran industry innovators Greg Costikyan and Johnny Wilson, Manifesto Games?s mission is to create for the game industry what independent music and independent film provide for their respective forms: a viable path to market, and an audience for independently created, offbeat, and innovative works.

Offering computer games for direct download, Manifesto Games is based on the principles of Long Tail distribution theory, which explains how over time, the aggregate of the modest, the cult and the quirky can equal or exceed the compressed sales of high-budget blockbusters. Offering a path-to-market for independently produced and niche games that are frequently unable to find shelf space in the bricks-and-mortar world, the company expects to reinject creativity and innovation into a dynamic field that has become increasingly moribund. Costikyan and Wilson feel that the independent games movement is analogous to alternative music and independent film. ?We are the Independent Film Channel in relation to EA?s HBO,? explains Greg Costikyan, Manifesto?s CEO.

"Those of us who love games," said Dr. Johnny L. Wilson, Manifesto's EVP of Content and Community, "know that individual creative vision is essential to the creation of good gameplay, and that's something hard to sustain with the massive, bureaucratic teams that prevail today. Our raison d'etre is to connect gamers with great games that the larger industry overlooks, to provide a comfortable home for everyone who chafes at the sameness and lack of variety offered by the large publishers."

The Manifesto Games site launches with more than 100 games of a wide variety of types, from turn-based games, shoot-em-ups, graphic adventures, and RPGs to unclassifiable innovative "indie" games and European titles that have received little exposure in North America. In addition to the launch rooster, Manifesto will continue to add new titles regularly, and plans to launch Manifesto Originals, titles that will be funded and produced in-house, in the second year of operation.

"Gamers arise!" said Manifesto's CEO, Greg Costikyan. "Ever-spiraling budgets and ever more risk-adverse publishers have turned what was once the most creative art form on the planet into a morass of stultifying drudgery and sterile imitation. Only by smashing the existing distribution channel and replacing it with a path to market that rewards innovation over imagery, gameplay over glitz, and playfulness over polygons, can we hope to sustain the enormous ferment of creativity that is gaming's proud heritage. Let a thousand flowers blossom, let a thousand different games contend!?

"Basically, we're a Long Tail play," explains Costikyan, calming down a bit and referring to Chris Anderson's best-selling book, which holds that Internet retailers can thrive by offering a wider range of product than bricks-and-mortar retailers can reasonably provide. "Plenty of great games never get retail exposure, but it has been hard for consumers to find them, since they have to visit dozens of independent developers' sites online. Our goal is to make Manifesto the place people turn to first when looking for games they can't find at Gamestop--and ultimately to build a thriving marketplace independent of the conventional retail channel where developers inspired by the desire to create can follow their bliss and still make a reasonable living."

Manifesto will be launching new games on its site on a weekly basis. It also plans a continuing series of promotions and special offers for site members--starting with a free copy of Digital Eel's Plasmaworm to new registrants through September 30th.

About Manifesto Games

Manifesto Games, Inc., is an ecommerce retailer of downloadable computer games for PCs, Macs, and Linux machines, and is headquartered in New York City. It is a start-up, and is not traded anywhere under any symbol. Its slogans "Gameplay over Glitz!" and "Gamers of the World Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Retail Chains!" are not trademarked, never will be, and may be used with impunity. Past results are no guarantor of future success, which is a darn good thing, as a lot about the past is awfully depressing. Use as directed. No animals were harmed in the making of this press release (tropical deforestation is a possibility, though). Games are good, and we will meet anyone who claims otherwise, on horse or afoot, with sword or pistol, at a time and place of their choosing. More about Manifesto Games and the ideas that inspired its formation may be found at www.manifestogames.com/corporate.

News

I wouldn't say it's grafitti since there isn't any actual spray paint or permanent markings involved, but some game fan has managed to put up a mural of a Link sprite from the early Zelda series of games from... beer coasters!!

It's actually been made out of Carlton draught beer coasters from a pub that have been painted and stuck on the wall. Found near Swanston Street, near RMIT university in Melbourne, Australia.

This is yet another fantastic piece of game related public art work by those shifty Melournians, the last of which was seen hanging on a highway wall of the game "Tetris". That was made from roping up a few milk crates together. Pure genius.

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 10/08/06 - 4:11 PM Permalink

  • 1. - Thu, 10 Aug 2006 10:22:46ZThat's a good video and the message still holds true today.
  • 2. Glenn - Fri, 11 Aug 2006 13:53:22ZThe whole mismanagement thing, where the directors just don't know what they are doing still applies today. Happened to a few aussie companies.
  • 3. Amckern - Sat, 12 Aug 2006 1:40:41ZNow, if they shiped Hardware with a AAA Game, i would be happy - Ship me a Video Card with Quake Wars, and i'll buy it!

I've been hunting around for things to watch on Google Video and I found this gem.

Imagine and Ocean were two very well known publishers and developers of games during the 8 bit computer era in the mid 80's. You could consider them like the Vivendi Universals and Electronic Arts are of now (yes, i know EA was around back then!).

This old documentary looks into the two companies during some trying times in the industry where sales were down due to the proliferating business of cassette pirating, and the explosion of game companies who were saturating the market with the same kind of games. Both companies are caught up in preparation for the highly critical Christmas sales period and you get an extraordinary look at what game development was like two decades ago, where games were sent in by sole teenage programmers and QA sessions were completed in computer clubs at local primary schools.

Imagine, the larger company with a massive 70 employees (the same as a reasonably sized team working on just one game these days) has some ambitious plans for a "Mega-game" costing a whopping 40 pounds (roughly $100 Australian), which was an incredible amount for a game in the 80's!. Consumers were used to buying games for 6 pounds ($14 AU), but the Mega-game would come with extra hardware and 30 pieces of items in the box (including a music cassette tape). During filming, you'll see problems with delays, a boardroom meeting of the severe cash crisis, and the resigning of company directors. Finally, you'll get to see the once famed company abruptly close its doors, locking their employees out to even grab their personal belongings.

If you grew up playing Commodore 64 games in the 80's, I'm sure you'll appreciate the inside look that this documentary offers!

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 01/07/06 - 10:04 PM Permalink

  • 1. Lorien - Sun, 2 Jul 2006 2:5:34ZIt's strange finding a site run by people I know well that was made in an inner melbourne flat (Rebecca made/looks after the selectparks site) described as "hardcore". Suppose they are though.

Submitted by Drew

The independently published print magazine was described by hardcore art/gaming web site SelectParks as a "a veritable wet dream for the hip yet hot-on-the-joystick game scenester."

Now, JumpButton--an Australian-based, gender-friendly magazine that focuses on the art and substance of videogame culture--has just recently moved online.

Articles that have gone 'live' since its online launch include an interview with French game developer David Cage about the *real* next-gen revolution of 'narrative as gameplay'; Bumper Action Amusements' retro pinball parties; an ideological look at gaming's 'invisible wall'; one Australian girl's sexual encounter with Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas --and how music and videogames are hopping into bed with each other; and more!

With at least one new feature article added every 4-5 days, JumpButton hopes to become the definitive magazine/blogazine that focuses on videogame culture as both an art form and a way of life. A magazine that believes gaming is as much about who we are, as it is about what we play and how we play it.

News

Submitted by Joseph Lieberman

Australian Game Developers (http://www.ausgamedev.com) has released The Omega Syndrome, a computer role-playing game for Windows 2000/XP that follows in the footsteps of classic games such as Fallout, Ultima 7, and Baldur?s Gate.

The Omega Syndrome?s story is a breath of fresh air for the RPG genre, as it is set in 1950?s America and the player works for a secret organization that hunts down aliens and UFOs. It was designed to appeal to the mature gamer, who fondly remembers the golden era of computer role-playing games, as it uses a top down view that affords a strategic view of the battlefield. Its combat is turn-based and it uses well written text to describe its quests and dialogue.

The Omega Syndrome?s rule system encourages different playing styles depending on the type of character created and the skills the player chooses to advance in. It also comes with an editor and an online community, so the players can make and share their games.

The Omega Syndrome costs $19.95 and is available from Australian Game Developers,
You can download a demo of The Omega Syndrome (for Windows 2000/XP) from http://www.ausgamedev.com

News
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 25/05/06 - 10:38 PM Permalink

  • 1. Mcdrewski - Thu, 25 May 2006 13:57:47ZGrats Irrational!

    Oz forever! :)

  • 2. CynicalFan - Thu, 25 May 2006 20:52:31ZI thought Bioshock was being done by the Boston studio... congrats indeed - well done Australia ;).

The 38 publications voting for the Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2006 are proud to announce this year's nominees. The committee has recognized 54 products from 20 different publishers.

Winners will be announced on this website and through other media outlets on the evening of Wednesday, May 31.

Best of Show
- Assassin?s Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC and Xbox 360)
- Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
- Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)
- Wii (Nintendo)

Best Original Game
- Assassin?s Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC/Xbox 360)
- Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
- LocoRoco (SCEJ/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
- Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)
- Wii Sports (Nintendo for Wii)

Best PC Game
- Crysis (Crytek/Electronic Arts for PC)
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision for PC)
- Hellgate: London (Flagship Studios/Namco Bandai Games for PC)
- Supreme Commander (Gas Powered Games/THQ for PC)
- Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)

Best Console Game
- Assassin?s Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC and Xbox 360)
- Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studios for Xbox 360)
- Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
- Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Handheld Game
- Elite Beat Agents (Inis/Nintendo for Nintendo DS)
- Killzone: Liberation (Guerrilla/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
- LocoRoco (SCEJ/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
- Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (Kojima Productions/Konami for PSP)
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo for Nintendo DS)

Best Hardware
- DS Lite (Nintendo)
- Logitech G25 Racing Wheel (Logitech for PC)
- PlayStation 3 (Sony Computer Entertainment)
- Wii (Nintendo)
- Xbox 360 Wireless Headset (Microsoft for Xbox 360)

Best Action Game
- Crysis (Crytek/Electronic Arts for PC)
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision for PC)
- Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studios for Xbox 360)
- Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Capcom for Xbox 360)
- Resistance: Fall of Man (Insomniac/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Action/Adventure Game
- Assassin?s Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PlayStation 3)
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC and Xbox 360)
- God of War 2 (Sony Santa Monica/SCEA for PlayStation 2)
- Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo for Wii)
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo for GameCube/Wii)

Best Fighting Game
- Heavenly Sword (Ninja Theory/Sony Computer Entertainment for PS3)
- Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Midway Games for PlayStation 2/Xbox)
- Tekken: Dark Resurrection (Namco Bandai Games for PSP)
- Virtua Fighter 5 (Sega for Arcade/PlayStation 3)
- WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 (Yuke?s/THQ for 360/PS3/PS2/PSP)

Best Role Playing Game
- Final Fantasy XII (Square Enix for PlayStation 2)
- Hellgate: London (Flagship Studios/Namco Bandai Games for PC)
- Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
- Neverwinter Nights 2 (Obsidian/Atari for PC)
- World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Blizzard for PC)

Best Racing Game
- Excite Truck (Nintendo for Wii)
- Formula One 06 (Studio Liverpool/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
- Gran Turismo HD (Polyphony Digital/Sony Computer Entertainment for PS3)
- MotoGP 06 (Climax/THQ for Xbox 360)
- Test Drive Unlimited (Eden Studios/Atari for Xbox 360, PC, PS2, PSP)

Best Simulation Game
- Microsoft Flight Simulator X (Microsoft Games Studio for PC)
- Sid Meier?s Railroads! (Firaxis Games/2K Games for PC)
- Spore (Electronic Arts for PC)
- The Movies: Stunts and Effects (Lionhead Studios/Activision for PC)
- Wii Music Orchestra (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Sports Game
- Madden NFL 07 (Tiburon/EA for PS3 / Xbox 360)
- Madden NFL 07 (Tiburon/EA for Nintendo Wii)
- NBA 2K7 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports for Xbox 360)
- NCAA Football 07 (EA Tiburon/Electronic Arts for X360/PS2/Xbox/PSP)
- Wii Sports (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Strategy Game
- Company of Heroes (Relic/THQ for PC)
- Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II (EA for X360)
- Medieval 2: Total War (Creative Assembly/Sega for PC)
- Supreme Commander (Gas Powered Games/THQ for PC)
- World in Conflict (Massive Entertainment/Sierra for PC)

Best Puzzle/Trivia/Parlor Game
- Elite Beat Agents (Inis/Nintendo for Nintendo DS)
- Guitar Hero 2 (Harmonix/Red Octane for PlayStation 2)
- LocoRoco (SCEJ/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
- Lumines II (Q Entertainment/Buena Vista Games for PSP)
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer Game
- Battlefield 2142 (Digital Illusions/Electronic Arts for PC)
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision for PC)
- Gears of War (Epic Games/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
- Huxley (Webzen for PC/Xbox 360)
- World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Blizzard for PC)

Note on software eligibility: Judges were given the option of "hands-on" gameplay with all nominated games. Games shown in non-playable form were not eligible for awards.

News

Submitted by the Control Freaks Team

WWW.CONTROL-FREAKS.TV IS BROADCASTING DAILY VIDEO FEEDS DIRECT FROM E3. ALL THE PRESS CONFERENCES. ALL THE MAJOR STANDS. ALL FREE!

Feeds start from Monday 8th May and will keep coming all week!

If you can't make E3 this year, this'll be the next best thing.

News

(from the forum)

What I wondering is if there any people out there who might be interested in joining AustralianGamer.com as potential reviewers/previewers/representatives/characters on the site. It's not a real job, more of a hobby, but potentially it could lead to interesting things down the track.

We are more interested in people with interesting 'personalities', from different states, and who own at least a few differnet systems. If you're interested, shoot me an email at yug@australiangamer.com. Or just send me an email to say hi. I like to talk. It's boring in Brisbane when it rains.

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