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November 12, 2010 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
With music video games now resembling a group that hits the top of the charts and quickly flames out, Viacom Inc. is looking to sell off its Rock Band business. The media conglomerate said Thursday that it was in talks with several potential buyers for Harmonix Music Systems, the Cambridge, Mass., video game developer that created Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Guitar Hero and then made Rock Band after Harmonix was bought by Viacom in 2006. Sales of music video games, which enable players to simulate the experience of being a musician, have plunged almost 80% in the last two years.
December 11, 2011 | By Matt Stevens, Los Angeles Times
Erin Reynolds is a graduate student, so she knows at least one thing for certain. "Everyone feels stress," she said. That's part of the reason Reynolds and 12 others on her team created a video game that uses heart-rate sensors to help players learn to stay calm as they wind their way through a decrepit house filled with their characters' horrific memories. The 28-year-old USC cinematic arts student said she believes her psychological thriller game, Nevermind, can help people develop ways to cope with stress.
April 25, 2010 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
Ask Dan Houser what Red Dead Redemption is about and the usually loquacious VP of creative at Rockstar Games pauses for 10 seconds. "It's America," he finally replies. "The birth of modern America. What was gained and what was lost." Some might scoff at the idea that a video game can tackle such heady themes, but Houser and his brother Sam, the co-founders of Rockstar, are used to being underestimated. Their label, part of Take-Two Interactive, is best known for its massively popular Grand Theft Auto series, which has sold more than 100 million copies and generated lawsuits, boycotts and legislation because of explicit violence and sexual content.
November 3, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
Among the pleasures of  "Wreck-it- Ralph," the Disney animated movie that has opened to strong reviews  this weekend, is watching a history of video games flash before you (and, perhaps, your own history along with it). There are prominent references to contemporary first-person shooters like "Call of Duty" (here called "Hero's Duty"). But most of the fun comes with nods to titles from video games' early days. The most obvious of them involves the title character, who is situated in "Fix-it Felix," a game clearly inspired by "Donkey Kong.
March 12, 2010 | By Alex Pham
Video game sales in the U.S. plunged 15% in February as skittish consumers continued to ratchet back their spending. The bleak sales report from the NPD Group marks the 10th monthly decline in the last 12 months. Game sales fell to $624 million. Console sales dropped 20% to $426 million, while sales of peripherals such as game controllers slipped 1% to $204 million. The drop occurred despite three major titles released last month: BioShock 2 from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., Dante's Inferno from Electronic Arts Inc., and Heavy Rain from Sony Corp.
November 30, 2009 | By Tony Barboza
UC Irvine has long sought to be known for preeminence in fields such as engineering, medicine and business. But now the university is embracing a new discipline: video games. Once ridiculed within university halls as merely a nerdy pastime, computer games are being promoted to a full-fledged academic program at the Irvine campus, a medium as ripe for study as the formats before it: film, radio and television. This fall UC Irvine established the Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds, and construction is underway on a 4,000-square-foot, 20-room "Cyber-Interaction Observatory" for faculty research.
March 1, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Playing action video games could help dyslexic children read faster, a new study suggests. Neuroscientists from the University of Padua in Italy tested the reading ability of two groups of 10-year-olds after one group had played action video games and the other played non-action video games. According to the study , published Thursday in Current Biology, playing fast-paced video games helped improve dyslexic children's reading speed more than a year of intense, traditional therapies could.
February 27, 2014 | Nathan Fenno
Electronic Arts Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Co. wanted to use the names and likenesses of college athletes in video games, according to an NCAA document unsealed in federal court Wednesday. The report was among hundreds of pages of documents that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ordered to be made fully or partially public in the long-running antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA fronted by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon. The case is scheduled for trial in June and, in the interim, the document dump provides another window into the often contentious issues of amateurism and compensation raised by the case.
November 16, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
Parents may not like how much their teens play video or computer games, but gaming appears to be harmless for most kids, a new Yale University study suggests. The survey of 4,028 teens found that playing video games didn't lead to unhealthy behaviors in boys, who accounted for the majority of gamers in the study. But 5% who reported "problematic" or addictive gaming habits were more likely to smoke cigarettes, use drugs and get into serious fights. Check out the full study, published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics . This likely won’t be the last word on the effects of gaming on kids.
May 10, 2013 | By Chris O'Brien, Los Angeles Times
Fly toy helicopters with your mind. Be a DJ and shift musical tracks based on how you feel. Wiggle robotic cat ears by increasing your state of calm. Astonishing advances in the ability to harness brain waves have made the fantastic notion of moving and controlling objects with the mind possible. Now neuroscientists are grappling with another challenge: Find a "killer app" that will demonstrate the true potential of tapping into brain waves and ignite the neurotechnology revolution.
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