The Week in Review
This week we learn that Mojang is officially no longer an indie developer, Zynga rips someone off and Netflix backs away from the games.
British Politician Suggests State-Funded Games Addiction Rehab
Keith Vaz, British Member of Parliament for Leicester East and chairman of the very busy Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, has long been concerned about the potential he sees for societal harm in the consumption (and over-consumption) of videogames, especially in the world's youth. Now, in response to a study that found vague similarities between the brains of internet addicts to those of people addicted to narcotics, Vaz has called for people who spend unhealthy amounts of time gaming to be treated for their addiction on the UK's state-funded National Health Service (NHS). (Link)
Notch: Mojang No Longer "Indie"
Marcus "Notch" Perrson may have gotten his start as a no-budget programmer, but as Mojang has become more successful, the now famous developer has had to shift priorities, losing the ability to call his company "indie" in the process. "I don't think [Mojang is] indie in the sense of how I used to work any more," Perrson said during an interview with PC Gamer, "because we have a payroll to worry about and we need to do stuff to ensure the company lasts."(Link)
Indy Dev Calls Zynga Out Over Plagiarism
It's no secret that casual game-maker Zynga likes to blatantly copy elements from better games in order to scam as much money as possible from its clients. However, Mark Pincus may have copied one title too many, because the developers of the hit iOS game Tiny Tower just publicly accused Zynga of plagiarism in what is quite possibly the most amazingly public (and hysterical) way you could possibly imagine. (Link)
We're One Step Closer to True Invisibility Cloak
Who doesn't love it when fantasy and science fiction tropes become a reality? Well, guess what, the invisibility cloak isn't just for Harry Potter and Star Trek anymore. Previous attempts at such a technology have relied on covering an object with a "metamaterial" that would bend microwave light. The technique created an effect that rendered most objects undetectable, but a new technique has emerged that accomplishes the same effect without the use of metamaterials. A group led by Dr. Rainwater at the University of Texas published a paper in the New Journal of Physics proving it is possible to tailor a free-standing cloak to render a 18 cm cylinder invisible. (Link)
Netflix No Longer Wants Anything To Do With Games
Remember how, a few months ago, Netflix announced plans to spin off its DVD-by-mail rental service into a separate entity called Qwickster that would allow premiere customers to rent games, too? You know, before the company's stock prices dropped like an obese seagull, millions of customers canceled their mail accounts (or switched to streaming-only plans), and the whole concept of Qwickster was unceremoniously killed off? Well, in spite of this, a lot people were hoping that games might still come to Netflix. However, that possibility has officially been nixed. (Link)