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Playing Rugby Games on the Net

Often called the sport of gentlemen, rugby hasn’t always found it easy to cross over into the virtual world. That being said, there are various rugby games on the internet that allow you to experience the sport firsthand.
Rugby games can range from taking control of the whole team to just focusing on one particular aspect of the sport. For instance, Team Rugby Challenge presents you with different scenarios for your team to overcome. After you have picked your country of choice you are presented with a challenge – scoring a try within 20 seconds for example – and you only have to use the arrow keys and the z key to move your players and pass the ball. Simple really but thoroughly entertaining.
However you do not need to control a full team to enjoy these online rugby games. Some, like Rugby Challenge, allow you to practice your conversion skills. By simply using the arrow keys and your mouse for power and direction you get the chance to try and get the ball in between the posts while earning points at the same time for each successful conversion you make.
In fact, with the England Academy game, you can practice various aspects of the sport in isolation – Rugby Challenge is limited to conversion kicks. In this rugby game you can hone your scrum skills, your passing, tackling as well as an advanced level on kicking. It is perhaps the most well rounded of the online rugby games that are available as it isn’t confined to just one aspect of the game but attempts to incorporate nearly all of them. Furthermore, at the end of your spell in the England Academy, you will get the opportunity to put all these newly found skills to the test and partake in the Six Nations Championship.

Consumers Testing Out More Games Before Purchase

Several years ago, only a handful of retail stores even had gaming demos set up for consumer use. It seems that nowadays nearly every single store has a different version of every console on the market on display that allows consumers to test drive new titles before making a purchase. These ‘gaming stations’ used to be reserved for only the most hardcore gaming fans, but now children and adults are making use of them to help them to make a decision.

This holiday season, shoppers frequently stopped and patiently awaited their turn at gaming stations across the US. Although it goes without saying that playing a video game for free is fun, the cost of titles almost necessitates this process. A game that does not meet up to the standards of a consumer can only be traded in for a lesser value. This means that consumers are much more cautious about spending their money, especially considering that unemployment is high in the United States.

For retailers, having the most gaming stations setup could mean the difference between making a lot of money or going bust over the holidays. Although the consoles themselves only cost a few hundred dollars, the constant game play, hardware and maintenance fees associated with keeping these gaming stations up and running can quickly add up. As shoppers continue to browse and sample the display versions of electronics sold by retailers, they will have to keep up with growing demands for both stock as well as variety.

Video Game Developers Brace For Sweeping Changes In The Industry

While several recent studies have put to rest the misconception that most gamers are socially awkward teens, industry analysts are still coming to grips with the newest bombshell to hit the industry. Meet the fiscally conservative gamer. The newest breed of video game consumers are slightly older, a little wiser and a lot more likely to look for the lowest prices before making a purchase. While some game players might still be loyal to their neighborhood Gamestop, its probably only because they aren’t old enough to use a credit card online.

Retailers and video game developers actually saw an increase in spending, however, the number also show that buyers are making more calculated decisions. For example, around 30% of all video game purchases were actually by way of second hand copy, download or rental. This means that gamers are less willing to spend their money on a brand new title unless then are absolutely certain that they will like it.

Gamers are also beginning to look for new titles that they can access on their smart phones. The Sony Xperia Play may not be getting a lot of press, but it is an innovative gadget. Gamers can play some of the most cutting edge games right on their smart phones with the Xperia Play, while still getting access to all of the features that they have come to expect from mobile carriers. It seems that the future of video game purchases will come through downloadable content and related online purchases.

Redbox Offers New Video Game Rental Service

Redbox may have been the first company to popularize the movie rental kiosk business platform, but now it is looking to dominate the video game rental industry. Now that Blockbuster is out of business and smaller movie rental stores are all but obsolete, most gamers turn to the Internet when they want to rent a new title. Even companies like Netflix refuse to get into the video game rental industry, and for good reason. The price to replace a new movie that never gets returned can range from anywhere from $10 to $30 dollars, but a new video game can cost as much as $70. In other words, movie rental companies have more to lose by getting into the video game market than they have to gain.

However, the owners of Redbox believe that they have built up a favorable rapport amongst consumers. The company reports that few people fail to return DVDs. Of course, Redbox will have to deal with the headaches associated with stolen credit cards and chargebacks, but gamers are stoked about the new service. Instead of having to wait two or more days to rent a new video game, gamers can simply drive to their nearest Redbox kiosk and browse the available selection. In addition, they will know which titles will be available in the future and they can even reserve the games that they want to play online. It will probably be another few months before Redbox is able to post reliable data about how the new video game rental service is going.

‘Cars 2′ Game Debuted By Disney Interactive

Although Disney Interactive was recently forced to lay off the majority of its staff due to poor sales, ‘Cars 2′ looks like a great title. Keep in mind that this game was developed for children, primarily the same ones that will be going out to see the ‘Cars 2′ feature film. At the same time, there’s no reason that adults cannot join in on the fun.

In ‘Cars 2,’ the cars are the characters. Each talking car has its own unique personality. This family oriented game title is best when played in arcade mode. You can putz around in a talking car by yourself, but its more fun when you have a little friendly competition. Graphically, ‘Cars 2′ is impressive, mainly because you get to feel like you are in the movie.

Disney Interactive first gave gamers a look at ‘Cars 2′ at the E3 convention. While most of the people in attendance were more interested in getting a sneak peak at soon to be released shooting games, Disney Interactive was still able to impress. Of course, gamers won’t just be racing in ‘Cars 2,’ they will also be attempting to take out other racers. The weapons are somewhat limited, and you won’t see any killer explosions, but remember that this game is made by Disney. If you have a niece or nephew that you can’t see yourself playing ‘Call of Duty’ with, pop in ‘Cars 2′ and you will both be thoroughly thrilled and entertained for hours on end.

Study Says – College Students Becoming More Aggressive Because Of Video Games

What college dorm doesn’t have its fair share of late night video game tournaments? While an exhaustive amount of studies have been conducted measuring the effects of video games and impressionable teens, University of Missouri researchers allege that college students are more aggressive after playing violent games. The study was conducted by having test subjects play games such as “Call of Duty,” and then they measured their responses compared to those who played non-violent titles like “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.”

Measuring brain waves, the results show that violent game titles incite violent reactions. University of Missouri Associate Professor of Psychology Bruce Bartholow believes that violent video game players are definitely more prone to bouts of violence and aggression. The test subjects weren’t exactly punching holes in the walls, but the participants that played violent games did dish out more of what is referred to as a “noise blast.” In basic terms, noise blasts are used when research participants are being studied in a competitive setting. The violent video game players were much more aggressive in that they opted to turn up the volume on their opponents’ headphones, causing a significant amount of white noise.

Although video game developers will contest the findings of this study as they do with all other negative test results, there might be a bit of truth to what the University of Missouri found. Gamers play violent titles because it gets their blood rushing and their adrenaline pumping. They may show more signs of aggression, but few actually act out.

Homefront Game Developers Anger California Environmentalists

THQ thought that releasing red balloons during the Game Developers Conference in San Franciso, California would be a great way to celebrate their new game, but local residents were not please. The problem? Once the helium started to escape from the hundreds of balloons released by THQ they began to fall into the San Francisco Bay, which could potentially harm the wildlife. The video game itself is set in 2027, and the People’s Army of Korea are invading the US. While the red balloons and the theme of communism didn’t go over the heads of spectators several environmentalist groups in California say that the stunt was nothing short of irresponsible.

Homefront is set to be released in the United States on March 15th, but it seems that THQ is going to have to do more damage control than promoting. What the game developer did not expect were the strong winds and adverse weather conditions that caused the red balloons to fly straight into the ocean instead of towards the crowd that had amassed. The event took place in front of the video game retailer store Gamestop, and THQ printed coupon codes on the sides of the balloons released. Thinking that gamers would be visually captivated by the publicity stunt, THQ had no idea that virtually none of their consumers would be able to utilize codes. So far, the game developers has failed to release an official apology but as environment groups continue to put on the pressure THQ may be unable to continue to make excuses.

Disney Interactive Hopes Classic Video Games Will Help In The Future

While younger gamers may not remember classics such as “Frogger,” “Pong,” “Pac-Man,” or ‘River City Ransom,” Disney hopes that a new version of “Tron” will help to inspire audiences. Representatives for Disney Interactive point out that arcades are all but dead across the Western hemisphere. Instead, gamers are forced to hold inter-community competitions and tournaments, but the spirit of arcade games can live on by releasing newer versions of the classics.

Disney Interactive may be onto something big as a number of smart phone and Internet based games are eerily similar to classic arcade games. In addition, 3D movies are starting to become more popular, so it is possible that a 3D version of “Tron” would be just what Disney needs to rekindle its failing game market.

As it stands, there are no official plans to produce a “Tron” sequel, but classic game fans are likely to take note. Now that Disney has its hopes on the sales from the recently released “Epic Mickey,” the company may have to wait and see exactly what gamers respond to best. If a new version of “Tron” is, in fact, successful, Disney believes that it can make a franchise out of the single title. Most gamers are looking for titles which have next generation graphics and complex story lines, but the success of gaming platforms such as the Nintendo Wii show that more simplistic games still have a place in the gaming industry as well.

Kinect Revenues Grow By More Than 55%

Microsoft can now proudly proclaim that it is the maker of the fastest growing electronic device in history. Although the holiday season is over the XBox Kinect has steadily been gaining momentum. Since the XBox was released in 2005, this last quarter has been the most profitable for Microsoft. Compared to a year earlier, Microsoft revenues were up an astounding 55%, or $3.7 billion as of December 31. The jump in sales can largely be attributed to the release of the XBox Kinect.

Although the popular Nintendo Wii gaming console promises a similar gaming experience, Microsoft is already working on a number of extra features that have helped the Kinect to stand out. Experts believe that Microsoft was able to avoid investing the money required to release a new console with the Kinect. The gaming accessory became so popular before Christmas that an additional 6 million XBox consoles were sold before the end of December. Over 8 million Kinect units were sold within 60 days of its release, making it the most successfully selling electronic across all categories in history.

Microsoft may have a difficult time duplicating the success that it had with the Kinect during the next holiday season, however, the company has already learned how to capitalized on the sale of new and improved versions of previous releases. Microsoft is currently playing around with the idea of selling advertising to vendors by using information gathered from the Kinect’s sensors, but for now, gamers are enjoying the technology for what its worth.


Wikileaks Video Game?

Although Julian Assange has as many fans as he has enemies, it is unclear whether a video game based on Wikileaks will actually appeal to gamers. Apparently, this hasn’t stopped Sebastiaan Moeys from releasing a beta version of “Wikileaks: The Game,” to the web. Feeds across social networking websites have been helping Moeys to boost traffic, but some people fear that he will come under government scrutiny.

The game itself centers around a fantasy world in which Wikileaks founder Julian Assange makes an impromptu visit to the White House where he steals sensitive government documents. There is probably not a game developer in the world that would agree to produce Moeys’ title, but that hasn’t stopped people from playing the game online. While the game has been available on Moeys’ website since December 10th of 2010, it is not clear whether or not he will be able to continue to pay for the bandwidth required to keep visitors happy.

This is not Moeys’ first foray in the gaming world, “Wikileaks: The Game” is currently his most popular title. Moeys admits that the game is capitalizing off of the recent press that Wikileaks has produced, however, he hopes that his game brings a humorous touch to the otherwise sensitive topic. Depending on how popular the game continues to be in the coming months, it is possible that it could become available on smart phones. Until then, gamers will have to continue to play the game online on their computers.