Sunday, November 28, 2010

History of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is a global event. It’s the most-watched fashion show worldwide, seen in more than 90 countries.
Victoria’s Secret is the only fashion retail company to have its own television special. The 2010 show airs Nov. 30 on CBS.
I was fortunate enough to attend the taping of this year’s show on Nov. 10 in New York City. I also got a chance to interview some of the models during their hair and makeup sessions.
I asked model Edita Vilkeviciute of Lithuania if the show could be too sexy.
“Never. Come on. Everybody likes sexy,” she said.
The first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was held in 1995. This year’s show is the 15th overall and the 9th to be broadcast on network TV.
The following is a timeline for the show, with information supplied by Limited Brands.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show timeline

1995
Model Stephanie Seymour opens the first Victoria’s Secret Fall Lingerie Show with a cotton white bralette and black stretch bikini dressed up with naughty black vinyl go-go boots and a low slung belt at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. (New York)

1996
The Victoria’s Secret Spring Fashion Show returns to New York City and is covered by media in cities such as London, Tokyo and Sydney. (New York)

1997
The Annual Victoria’s Secret Spring Fashion Show becomes one of the most widely anticipated fashion events in the world. (New York)

1998
Media from all over the world travel to New York City to cover the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street stars fill the audience. (New York)

1999
Victoria’s Secret announces the first live webcast of its Fashion Show with a commercial during the Super Bowl, which immediately drives millions to VictoriasSecret.com. The show and webcast made fashion, advertising and Internet history with an audience of a billion people in over a hundred countries. (New York)

2000
Victoria’s Secret and Miramax Films partner to hold the spectacular Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and Webcast at the Cannes International Film Festival to benefit amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2000 in France, raising a record amount of about $3 million for Cinema Against Aids. (Cannes, France)

2001
Victoria’s Secret debuts its first-ever television broadcast of the Fashion Show with a 1-hour special on ABC drawing the network’s largest audience and highest ratings of the season for that time period. Supermodels make appearances on several shows including “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” raising thousands for charities. The show is held in November to kick-off the holiday season. (Bryant Park, New York)

2002
“The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” jumps to CBS and airs on Nov. 20. The show coincides with the opening of the world’s largest Victoria’s Secret store in Manhattan’s Herald Square. (New York)

2003
“The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” returns to CBS and airs on Nov. 19. The Broadway-spirited show was hosted by supermodel, Heidi Klum, as well as some of Victoria’s Secret’s other well-known Angels, and featured musical performances by Sting and Mary J. Blige. (New York)

2004
No fashion show this year. Fallout from Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl stunt prompted the cancellation of the show. Instead, the Angels (Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio) did an Angels Across America Tour, visiting four major cities: New York City, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

2005
The holiday-themed show marks the final “Victoria’s Secret Fashion show” for Tyra Banks and the first post-pregnancy runway appearance for Heidi Klum. It also debuted the next generation of Victoria’s Secret “Angels” Selita Ebanks and Izabel Goulart, and featured musical performances by Seal, Ricky Martin and Chris Botti. (New York)

2006
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show takes place in Los Angeles at the legendary Kodak Theater featuring the “Angels” and musical performances by Justin Timberlake. It aired on CBS on Dec. 5. (Los Angeles)

2007
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show returns to the Los Angeles Kodak Theater. It aired on CBS on Dec. 5. The show featured celebrity “Angels” and musical performances from the Spice Girls and Seal. Plus, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Victoria’s Secret, the Hollywood Historic Trust and Johnny Grant, the late Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, presented the Victoria’s Secret Angels with its “Award of Excellence” and a star on Hollywood Boulevard. (Los Angeles)

2008
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show takes place at the legendary Fontainebleau Miami Beach, an iconic resort re-opened after a $1 billion renaissance. It aired on CBS on Dec. 3. The show included Grammy Award-winning superstar Usher as the sole musical guest, red carpet interviews, model profiles and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the world’s most celebrated fashion show. (Miami)

2009
The Fashion Show returns to New York for a holiday-infused lingerie runway show. It aired on CBS on Dec. 1 and included red carpet interviews, model profiles, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the celebrated fashion show. The sole musical guest was three time Grammy Award-winning superstars, The Black Eyed Peas. The show’s producers conducted their first-ever Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show model search – an innovative cross-country hunt using open casting calls to find a runway model sexy, sophisticated and beautiful enough to walk in our world-famous fashion show. (New York)

2010
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is headlined by supermodels Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. The show featured musical performances by Katy Perry and Akon. (New York)

See also:

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Wikipedia

Victoria’s Secret on Facebook

Victoria’s Secret website

‘The Walking Dead’ saves fall TV season

AMC’s zombie apocalypse series “The Walking Dead” is easily the best new show of the year.
It depicts the end of the world through the stories of a group of survivors. The characters are interesting and the stories are exciting and scary. And because it’s on cable, it doesn’t pull any punches with gore and violence.
The first season is only six episodes, but the series has been renewed for a 13-episode second season.
Two other new shows I’m watching are “The Event” and “No Ordinary Family.” Neither of them is must-see TV.
NBC’s “The Event” has been picked up for a full season, but its prospects for a second season are shaky. The science-fiction/government conspiracy show has been steadily losing viewers. Serialized television shows have to keep the plot moving swiftly or viewers will flee. (Example: AMC’s “Rubicon,” which was canceled after one season.)
ABC’s “No Ordinary Family” would be a better show if it weren’t so Disneyfied. The show about an ordinary family that gets superpowers is best when it takes a darker turn. The show can be sappy when dealing with family or teenage problems.
Two returning shows I like are still top-notch entertainment – “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries.”
I had my doubts about whether the CW’s “Supernatural” could go on after last season’s war between heaven and hell, but I’m glad I was proven wrong. Season six shows that there are still good stories left to tell about demon hunters Sam and Dean Winchester.
CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” isn’t showing any sophomore slump. It keeps the plot twists coming.

Photos: “The Walking Dead” cast (top) and “The Event” cast (bottom)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Favorite websites in review, part 3

These websites all have been featured on Tech-media-tainment. So they bear the TMT stamp of approval.
This is the third set of 25 favorite websites.

51. Illustrated 3-D Movie List (3dmovielist.com/list.html)
52. 3D Movies Database (3dmovieslist.blogspot.com)
53. Bearsharktopus-Man (deantrippe.tumblr.com)
54. TVShowsOnDVD.com (tvshowsondvd.com)
55. Digg (digg.com)
56. Hacking Netflix (hackingnetflix.com)
57. Cutting the Cord and Cutting the Bills (cuttingthebills.com)
58. Mila’s Daydreams (milasdaydreams.blogspot.com)
59. One Man’s Blog (onemansblog.com)
60. One Photo Reviews
61. Techdirt (techdirt.com)
62. TechCrunch Deadpool (techcrunch.com/tag/deadpool)
63. The Onion News Network (theonion.com)
64. CollegeHumor (collegehumor.com/videos)
65. Blogger (blogger.com)
66. Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics)
67. Bitly (bit.ly)
68. Listicles
69. Blogs of Note (blogsofnote.blogspot.com)
70. Paris vs. New York (parisvsnyc.blogspot.com)
71. Something Clever
72. MouseHouses (mouseshouses.blogspot.com)
73. Throw Grammar from the Train (throwgrammarfromthetrain.blogspot.com)
74. Laughing Squid (laughingsquid.com)
75. Walking Off the Big Apple (walkingoffthebigapple.com)

Update (3-17-13): Listicles is no longer available; Blogs of Note stopped posting to its website on Jan. 22, 2013, and directs traffic to a Google+ account instead; Cutting the Cord and Cutting the Bills hasn’t posted a new article since April 21, 2012; and Paris vs. New York hasn’t posted a new article since Dec. 3, 2012.

Update (2-17-14): Listicles is back in business. Walking Off the Big Apple has been discontinued and directs to new website. Something Clever has been taken private. One Man’s Blog is updated only sporadically. Bearsharktopus-Man is now called Dean Trippe - Moonbase One. 3D Movies Database hasn’t been updated since 2010.

Update (Feb. 28, 2015): One Photo Reviews has changed its focus and is no longer what made it interesting to me.

Photo: Diorama from MouseHouses.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More blogs: Throw Grammar from the Train, Laughing Squid, Walking off the Big Apple

Continuing the subject of yesterday’s post, here are a few more favorites I’ve curated from Google’s Blogs of Note.

Throw Grammar from the Train


Jan Freeman writes a very entertaining blog on grammar usage, word origins and other nuances of the English language. Freeman has written The Word, a weekly Boston Globe column, for 13 years. Throw Grammar from the Train was started in October 2009.

Laughing Squid


Laughing Squid is “an online resource for art, culture & technology,” according to its founder, Scott Beale of New York City. It features entertaining videos, amusing photos and art. Beale has been running the blog for 15 years.

Walking off the Big Apple


Walking off the Big Apple is a strolling guide to New York City. It’s written by Texas native Teri Tynes, who now lives in Greenwich Village. She launched the site in January 2007.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Art blogs of note: Paris versus New York, Something Clever and MouseHouses

Last week, I mentioned that Google’s Blogs of Note has a soft spot for blogs featuring arts and crafts.
Here are three blogs they’ve honored that I like.

Paris versus New York


Paris versus New York, subtitled “a tally of two cities,” uses graphic art to compare the two great cities. It’s the work of Vahram Muratyan, co-founder of art direction and graphic design studio ViiiZ in Paris.
“A visual but friendly match between those two cities seen by a lover of Paris wandering through New York’s infinite details, clichés and contradictions,” Muratyan writes.
See two examples here.


Something Clever

Something Clever is a blog by artist Lindsey Lydecker, who currently works for Six Point Harness Animation in Hollywood.
I love her style and sense of humor.

MouseHouses


Maggie Rudy of Portland, Ore., creates stories with pictures of anthropomorphic mice figures and miniature sets. The photos at her blog MouseHouses are extraordinary.
Her work will be featured in the children’s book “The House that Mouse Built” by Rudy and Pam Abrams, due out in March. The book is available for preorder at Amazon.com.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Curating Lingerie Football League wardrobe malfunction photos

Tech-media-tainment has become the Web’s leading aggregator of Lingerie Football League wardrobe malfunction photos.
It’s a niche that I’m a little embarrassed about, but it sure does drive traffic to the website.
With photos of LFL players inadvertently exposing their breasts and rear ends, my PG-13 blog is entering R-rated territory. But since these pictures are no more sexual than what you might see in National Geographic, I think it’s OK.
So who are these people coming to my website to see photos of LFL wardrobe malfunctions?
Maybe they’re people interested in debating the pop culture significance of the Lingerie Football League and its skimpy uniforms. (Seriously, it’s not a sport if the uniforms aren’t even functional.)
Or maybe all these Web surfers are just perverts.
Whatever.
On to the pictures!
These latest shots (above and below) are edited close-ups of photos taken by John Pozadzides of One Man’s Blog. They were taken at the Oct. 23, 2009, game between the Los Angeles Temptation and the Dallas Desire.

Update: For the uncensored photos, check out the LFL Wardrobe Malfunctions blog.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Blogs of Note: Spotlight on the little guys

With millions of blogs on the Internet, finding new and interesting ones can be difficult.
Blog directories tend to give too much attention to big, well-known commercial blogs.
So hats off to Google’s Blogs of Note, which spotlights noteworthy blogs of individuals. It typically honors one blog each weekday that uses Google’s Blogger service.
Blogs of Note leans heavily toward artist and craft websites. Too many for my taste. But occasionally it finds a real gem.
Some blogs that I’ve highlighted in Tech-media-tainment’s favorite websites feature I learned about through Blogs of Note.
They include My First Dictionary, That is Priceless, The Big Storm Picture and Mila’s Daydreams.

Photo: Sample photo from Mila’s Daydreams.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Better Homes and Gardens magazine blurring the line between advertising and editorial

Times are tough in the consumer magazine business.
Last year, magazines lost a quarter of their ad pages from the previous year, the New York Times reported. So far this year (January-September), ad pages are down 1.6% from the same period in 2009, the Publishers Information Bureau reported.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, some may say. But the line between advertising and editorial is supposed to be sacrosanct. Advertisers may pay for product placements in TV shows, but they shouldn’t be able to buy their way into articles written by journalists.
The October issue of Better Homes and Gardens got me thinking about whether that publication had crossed the line.
On page 152 of the issue a woman is holding a bottle of SoBe, a beverage owned by PepsiCo. The label of the bottle is clearly visible and appears positioned for the camera. The same photo appears on the table of contents on page 5.
With Photoshop and other photo-editing tools, it would have been very easy to erase or blur the SoBe logo on the bottle. Magazine editors doctor photos all the time for effect. So I can only assume that the SoBe bottle was purposely visible.
Was Better Homes publisher Meredith Corp. compensated by PepsiCo for the product placement? I don’t know. There were no obvious ads for SoBe or Pepsi products in the issue as far as I could tell.
Either way, the SoBe cameo bothered me.

Photos: Intro page for the feature article “No Stone Unturned” from the October 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens (bottom), close up of SoBe brand beverage in the feature photo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pokemon: A cartoon ripe for parody

With kids ages 7 and nearly 5 in our house, we watch a lot of Pokemon. I know the names of too many of these “pocket monsters” and their various stages of evolution than I care to admit.
The whole premise behind the show is silly and ripe for parody.
I’ve joked about the parallels between Pokemon battles and dog fights or cockfights in a previous post.
The video-game comedy website Dorkly regularly pokes fun at Pokemon.

Here are some examples:

Ash Discovers New Pokemon (Oct. 11, 2010)

Pokemon: The Later Years (Oct. 20, 2010)

5 Pokemon Facebook Updates (Aug. 19, 2010)

And as a bonus, Pokemon fan art:

100 Pokemon Brought to Life through Creative Art (Sept. 18, 2010; Designzzz)

20 Pokemon re-imagined by artist Gavin Mackey on Dorkly

Artwork: Pikachu gives a jumpstart (top) and Pokémon Center Closed by Ry-Spirit (bottom).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2010 another winner; Airs Nov. 30 on CBS

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2010 took place Wednesday in New York City and it was another top-notch production.
The show featured a bevy of lingerie-clad beauties, including Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel, and musical guests Katy Perry and Akon. An edited version will air on CBS primetime on Nov. 30.
The show was performed twice Wednesday at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan – 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Each performance lasted 45 minutes. It was a swift-moving affair with quick set changes and musical performances taking place while the models changed outfits.
More than 1,000 invited guests were seated at each of the two performances. The auditorium was decked out in pink and divided by a long sparkling runway. One end of the runway was shrouded by a pink curtain adorned with a large Victoria’s Secret banner.
This year’s show included six segments for displaying sexy lingerie, corsets, gowns, shoes and boots. The segments were “Tough Love,” “Game On,” “Country Girls,” “Heavenly Bodies,” “Wild Things” and “Pink Planet.” In all, the models showed off 64 different outfits.
Newlywed Perry performed her hit single “Firework” and a medley of “Teenage Dream,” “'Hot N Cold” and “California Gurls.”
Akon fittingly sang “Angel.”
I always enjoy the dance remix numbers that play as the Victoria’s Secret Angels prance on stage. This year’s remixes included Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” with elements from LL Cool J’s “Momma Said Knock You Out” and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”
Yet another cool remix blended Muse’s “Uprising” with Blondie’s “Call Me.”

There’s been lots of media coverage about the show on the Web today.
Here’s a sampling:

‘Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show’ Live! Where models earn their wings (Zap2it)

Victoria's Secret takes it over the top (Toronto Sun)

Victoria’s Secret Angels Take to the Stage in Lingerie (StyleBistro)

The 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (Fox News)

Photos: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, and more (New York Daily News)

Adriana, Alessandra, Rosie and More Take Over the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (Pop Sugar)

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2010: Angels, Akon, and Katy Perry! (Real Beauty)

The 2010 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (The Superficial)

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2010 [Pictures]: A Dance Party With Katy Perry and Akon (CBS News)

And just for fun …

Play Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Bingo! (Vanity Fair)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sorry, Wonka, the real Golden Ticket is entrance to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

I hung out with the Victoria’s Secret lingerie models today. What did you do?
With all due respect to “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” the real Golden Ticket isn’t a tour of some weird candy factory, but entrance to the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to this year’s show, taped at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. (It was official press business. I swear.) Musical guests were Katy Perry and Akon. But the real stars were the Victoria’s Secret Angels, including Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.
I also got a chance to interview four of the Victoria’s Secret models back stage, including Ms. Ambrosio, during their hair and makeup session.
The show airs on CBS on Nov. 30. I can’t wait to see the finished product.
More thoughts and observations on the event to come.

Photos: Ticket to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2010 (top) and Willie Wonka’s Golden Ticket (below).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Zombies are everywhere – TV, movies, books, video games and now toys

The hit television show “The Walking Dead” is further proof that zombies are hot right now.
AMC’s zombie-apocalypse series, based on a popular comic book franchise, is bringing in big ratings for the cable network. It was renewed for a second season after just two episodes.
A sequel to the comedy-horror movie “Zombieland” is in the works, as is a film adaptation of the book “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”
In video games, the comical “Plants vs. Zombies” by PopCap Games has proven to be a hit on PCs and mobile devices. It joins more hard-core games like the “Resident Evil” series of survival horror games by Capcom.
Now, a toy company has come out with a line of zombie animal plush toys for kids. The ZombieZoo toys are the work of children’s author and illustrator Neecy Twinem.
The ZombieZoo family of creatures includes Boo the black cat, Stich the pig, Muck the monkey, Rob the rabbit and Toxic the snake. The plush toys are 12 to 15 inches tall, made of soft fleece, and have a “loveable ‘Frankenstein’ quality of stitching adorning their bodies and over-sized heads,” according to a press release.
Lovable zombies? Who would have thought that?

Photos: ZombieZoo toys (top) and still from "The Walking Dead" (below).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finding a focus for your blog

The best blogs are focused. They cover one topic obsessively. And you always know what to expect when you visit them.
I have yet to find a topic that I’d be willing to write about exclusively. My interests are too varied. But I can’t help to think my efforts would be better spent on something with a bigger payoff. Instead of blogging for my own amusement and as a creative outlet, I could be freelancing or writing a book or doing a blog that’s at least commercially viable.
Tech-media-tainment is still just an experiment for me. (As is my on-again-off-again video blog One Stop Video.) TMT covers entertainment, pop culture, personal technology and media from a man’s perspective. So there’s a little too much emphasis on pretty women, adolescent humor, sports and such.
One blog I like to check out from time to time is One Man’s Blog by John Pozadzides. He writes about whatever tickles his fancy and his blog gets hundreds of thousands of unique visitors and around half a million page views a month.
Of course, John P. is a seasoned tech executive and entrepreneur. And I’m just an ink-stained wretch in my day job.
Over the last two years, I’ve toyed with doing blogs on everything from cool Web lists to dumb song lyrics.
There are lots of aggregators of interesting Web lists. (I wrote about several of them in May, including Listverse. A new one is Listicles.)
As for dumb song lyrics, I don’t think I’m as current on pop music as I’d need to be for a blog on the subject.
I’ve also thought about doing a blog on fatal animal attacks worldwide. I’m fascinated by cases of lions, tigers and bears jumping out of the woods and randomly killing people. Morbid, I know, but interesting.
And finally there’s no good blog on mancations – vacations for men. I’d like to see a blog about interesting vacations for the guys and not just trips to Las Vegas or golfing on Hilton Head.
A mancation blog is still a possibility for me. But I have so many other interests. Picking one is hard.

Photo: Beautiful view of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, possible site of my next mancation.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tech-media-tainment now 2 years old

Tech-media-tainment, my catch-all blog about pop culture and technology, turns 2 years old today.
I had thought by this point I would have picked an area on which to specialize. But two years later, TMT is as scattershot as ever. I thought a focus would naturally emerge over time as I continued to post articles. While I have found favorite subjects to blog about, none has taken precedence over the others.
Favorite topics include what I call the “fringe sports” (Lingerie Football League, beer pong, etc.) and “the failed promise of digital content.” I also like writing about halls of fame, my libertarian leanings, and problems with modern copyright law.
Without much promotion, TMT now gets over 4,000 unique visitors each month. That’s not bad, considering that 55% of hobbyist blogs get less than 1,000 unique visitors each month, according to Technorati.
I use Google Analytics to track traffic to the website, which is hosted on Google’s Blogger service. I occasionally post Bit.ly shortened Web links on Twitter to promote blog posts. But that’s about it for promotion.
I haven’t been religious about posting something every day. But I try. Most hobbyist bloggers (23%) post two to three times a week, according to Technorati. The next largest group posts at least once a week (22%), followed by once every few weeks (21%) and once or twice per day (13%).
I tend to post between once a day and two to three times per week.

Most bloggers are well-educated hobbyists

To see the average blogger, all I have to do is look in the mirror.
Technorati’s annual “State of the Blogosphere” survey, out this week, described the typical blogger today and he looks a lot like me.
The website’s survey of 7,200 bloggers found that 65% are hobbyists and 79% have college degrees (43% have graduate degrees). That’s me.
The survey results also showed that two-thirds of bloggers are male and that bloggers are more affluent than the general population. Bingo.
Plus, 81% have been blogging more than 2 years. Guilty.
I agree with the most cited reasons for blogging: To speak my mind on areas of interest (35%) and to share my expertise and experiences (26%). Though having a creative outlet for my wacky pop culture interests is also up there.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Failed Promise of Digital Content: a recap

The public Internet arrived on the scene in the early 1990s with a lot of promise. Since then, it has revolutionized commerce, communications and entertainment.
But there have been bumps on the path to the libraries of content available anywhere and anytime that people were promised.
Over the last two years, I have written about the shortcomings of the Internet when it comes to content – music, video, documents, etc.
Here is an index of the first 20 parts of the series “The Failed Promise of Digital Content.”

Part 1: Music
Part 2: Video
Part 3: Newspapers and magazines
Part 4: Books
Part 5: Web content
Part 6: Embarrassing videos and photos
Part 7: Yahoo
Part 8: NBC videos featuring Conan O’Brien gone
Part 9: Google as a modern day Library of Alexandria
Part 10: Magazine cover stories
Part 11: Hulu
Part 12: Specialty websites sometimes don’t last
Part 13: Magazine covers a dying art form
Part 14: Erroneous information on the web
Part 15: Digital culture means less public culture
Part 16: Digital culture timeline
Part 17: Good TV shows locked in studio vaults
Part 18: TV shows not available on DVD or streaming
Part 19: Web services can disappear with little warning
Part 20: Web videos tend to expire

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The clash of politics and video games

The U.S. Supreme Court today heard arguments on the constitutionality of a California law that would ban the sale of violent video games to minors.
The timing is perfect, seeing how it’s also Election Day.
Politicians love to pick on video games, especially those with violent or sexual content. They say these games are corrupting our youth. It’s one of those family values-type issues that they think sells well to voters.
You’d think with high unemployment, a crushing federal debt and other major problems, they’d have more pressing issues to deal with.
Video games already have an industry ratings system in place, just like the movies, and retailers like GameStop and Toys R Us do an excellent job preventing minors from buying Mature video games. Plus, parents have to take responsibility for what their kids are playing on their game consoles and PCs.
During oral arguments today, Supreme Court justices seemed skeptical of the California video game law, according to Bloomberg and the New York Times.
So, in honor of Election Day, here are some video games that feature politicians as playable characters.
Up top are President Barack Obama and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as killers in “Mercenaries 2: World In Flames.” (See Vanity Fair article.) The Electronic Arts game is rated T for teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Below is a screenshot of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as basketball players in EA’s “NBA Jam.” The game also features Palin, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush, John McCain and Dick Cheney, among others. (See Huffington Post article.) The game is rated E for everyone.
And finally Obama and other world leaders appear in the PC game “Rulers of Nations: Geopolitical Simulator 2” from Eversim. It’s rated T for teen.

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