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BUSINESS
January 15, 2010 | By Alex Pham and Ben Fritz
The video game industry eked out a 4% sales gain in the U.S. last month, rising to $5.32 billion as shoppers snapped up nearly 2.8 million copies each of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. But the uptick in the crucial holiday shopping month couldn't counter an otherwise bleak 2009, which saw sales of video games, consoles and accessories total $19.66 billion, down 8% from 2008, market research firm NPD Group said. December capped a stomach-churning year for the game industry, during which retail sales fell in eight of the 12 months, leading several major publishers to cut costs and workers.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2009 | By Pete Metzger
The World War II-era action-adventure game The Saboteur may feature plenty of curvy burlesque dancers, but it doesn't quite measure up. Its open-world gameplay and "go anywhere on a nice big map" features aren't as well done as in Grand Theft Auto. The wall climbing and "free-running" across rooftops aren't nearly as good as in the Assassin's Creed series (see the review below). Even the plot, cut screens and controls aren't as good as in most games. But despite its lack of originality, The Saboteur includes a couple of key elements that make an effort to set it apart from its predecessors.
BUSINESS
December 4, 2009 | By Alexander C. Hart
Entertainment companies need to further restrict the way violent content is marketed to children, the Federal Trade Commission declared in a report released Thursday. Although the report says the film and video-game industries have "devoted substantial efforts" to their rating systems, the FTC recommended that those groups and the music industry expand their self-policing efforts. A major area of concern identified by the agency is the growing availability of unrated or "director's cut" editions of films, which the report says makes it harder for parents to select movies appropriate for their children.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2009
'Po Boy Tango' Where: David Henry Hwang Theater, Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Ends Dec. 6. Price: $25 to $35 Contact: (213) 625-7000 or www.eastwestplayers.org Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
NATIONAL
March 7, 2009 | P.J. Huffstutter
YAZAN AMMARI Gamer -- How did the renowned "clowN" -- dreaded, revered and awesomely lethal with a SG552 commando high-powered assault rifle -- end up back home with Mom and Dad? ClowN, not so long ago, was a hero to every kid whose parents ever nagged that computer games were a waste of time.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2008 | John Horn, Times Staff Writer
PARK CITY, Utah -- As a young teen, Oren Peli was so frightened by "The Exorcist" that for years he couldn't watch any movie involving ghosts -- even "Ghostbusters." The 37-year-old Peli eventually outgrew his phantom phobia, and now the San Diego videogame designer has crafted his own film about things that go bump in the night.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 17, 2007 | Aaron Ruby, Special to The Times
FOR 26-year-old Adande Thorne, a digital animator who works as a lifeguard at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, Fla., by trade, life as a professional athlete is almost too much to hope for, especially since many would hesitate to call him an athlete at all.
BUSINESS
June 9, 2007 | From Reuters
Walt Disney Co. will triple the amount of money it spends developing video games to benefit from strong growth prospects in the global market, the entertainment company's chief financial officer said Friday. "We are ramping up our investment in video games.... It is a market where there is real opportunity," Thomas O. Staggs said in London.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 16, 2007 | Heather Chaplin, Special to The Times
In 1998, when the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences hosted its first award show for videogames, it laid down a red carpet to add Hollywood glamour. Confused game makers, not knowing what it was for, carefully skirted it. Ten years later, they know what it's for, but they're still not sure they like it.
BUSINESS
January 9, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
DirecTV Group Inc. said a new program about a video-game tournament would be available to more than 100 million homes worldwide. DirecTV is in "final discussions" with British Sky Broadcasting and Hong Kong-based Star Asia to air "Championship Gaming Series," the El Segundo-based company said.
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