•••• Mobile application vendors like Apple's App Store and Google'sAndroid Market might be breaking the law and harvesting a bunch of data from your children through their games. No biggie. [HuffPo]
•••• A Canadian study shows that violent video games like "Medal of Honor" can improve an adult's eyesight. The game used in this study was EA's "Medal of Honor," which is a fairly realistic military first-person shooter. Couldn't you then postulate that, you know, being in the military would also improve your vision? [Digital Trends]
•••• BioWare writer Drew Karpyshyn retires from video games. Karpyshyn was the lead writer on such incredible titles as the original "Mass Effect" and "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Repuplic." Shame on you for skipping through all that dialog and backstory to blow stuff up! [Videogamer]
•••• A research scientist at Wake Forest is using gaming technology to better understand, and potentially defeat, cancer cells. [The Vancouver Sun]
•••• California's failed video game violence law will cost the state $2 million when all is said and done. One of the bill's biggest backers was former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has of course never turned a dime on violent games. [The Kansas City Star]
On Shelves Tomorrow (Feb. 21)
•••• The biggest title dropping tomorrow is "Sydicate," a reboot of the nearly 20 year-old shooter, available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Just think, if the original "Syndicate" (which you possibly played on your Atari Jaguar), were a person, it could almost legally buy a beer! Needless to say, the new version looks nothing like its 1993 counterpart. If you are really into violence and mayhem, this game might be for you as it was simply not given a rating and banned in Australia.
•••• "Asura's Wrath," built on the Unreal 3 Engine that brought you "Arkham City," hits the shelves tomorrow for Xbox 360 and PS3. Color this gamer leery of the action/beat 'em up title until I read some more impressions from people I trust or or get my hands on it personally.
I thought it'd be fun to pick a freely available mobile game each week and challenge you to play along. This week, because we're all still a little sore over this, I thought we'd try our hands at PikPok's Flick Kick Field Goal, available in a free or premium ($.99) version on the App Store and Android Market. While it looks and feels like kicking in a pro football game, this game takes you back to a simpler time, when gaming was a tightly-folded sheet of notebook and a friend with index fingers and thumbs for goalposts. The "flick" part of the equation works exactly it should, with no unnecessary device-tilting required. With a little practice you'll be banging home 58-yarders in major crosswinds. My high score in "Sudden Death" mode was 117. Give it a go and let us know how you fared in the comments. Laces out!
Really Important Video
BioWare's latest, and most cinematic, trailer for "Mass Effect 3" premiered last night during AMC's "The Walking Dead." With the very impressive demo now in everyone's hands and the continual stream of promo content, "Mass Effect 3" (due out March 6) has already made a strong case as the gaming event of 2012 — and it's only February.