Category: Video Games

Texas man allegedly attacked son with samurai sword over video games

Posted on April 16, 2018  in Video Games

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Category: Video Games

The little Welsh video games developer taking on the likes of Rockstar and EA on Playstation, XBox and Nintendo

Posted on April 16, 2018  in Video Games

Many of the biggest video game developers have become household names as the popularity of games for consoles and PC continues to grow.

Names like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Rockstar are among the most recognisable in the business’s “megapowers”, with just about everyone having heard of FIFA, Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto.

But smaller, independent game developers have enjoyed a boom period since gaming started turning digital, with downloadable games offering the opportunity to save production costs on discs, cartridges and packaging.

One of those companies which has carved out success is Wales Interactive.

Its games have appeared on the Nintendo Switch and Wii U, as well as PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Mac and mobile devices and it has more than one million downloads to their name.

The company was founded in 2012 and hit the ground running with three games – Gravity Badgers, Jack Vs Ninjas and Stride Files: The Square Murder – with the former releasing on consoles, as well as mobile devices.

A steady stream of games have followed, all of varying genres, including Soul Axiom, an adventure-puzzle game, Coffin Dodgers, a comedy kart-racer, and most recently Don’t Knock Twice, a first-person horror game.

Wales Interative, which is based in Pencoed, Bridgend, was founded in 2012 by David Banner and Richard Pring.

Ben Tester

Ben Tester, from the company, said: “The first office was in the attic room of David’s house in the Rhondda Valley, but we now have a state-of-the-art games studio based at Sony UK Technology Park, with a team of 10 games industry professionals.”

“The original motivations for setting up the business were to create a significant games industry presence in Wales and to tap into the local graduate talent pool that we knew existed in the area,” Ben said.

“We not only planned to put Wales on the video games development map but create sustainable highly-skilled jobs in the games sector, which at that time, did not exist in this part of the UK.

“We have already achieved those goals and our studio has gone from strength to strength, continuing to develop and publish cutting-edge gaming titles that entertain the world.”

The team at Wales Interactive.

Life at Wales Interactive could appear particularly glamorous to those on the outside, especially considering some members of the team have recently returned from a game developers’ conference in San Francisco.

“We travel all around the world to the biggest and best gaming events and we are being recognised as ‘that Welsh game developer and publisher’, which is truly flattering knowing you’re representing your country in your industry,” Ben said.

“Our location has played a positive role in our success and has given us an identity internationally.

“Across the world, our titles have been downloaded in the millions and for every game that’s played brings the name, Wales Interactive, to every pair of eyes.

“We are always finding ways to reinforce the association our games have with Wales, including featuring support for the Welsh language, and this is proving to be a great success.

“Only recently, we had the opportunity to represent the country, along with other developers, on the first ever Welsh stand at GDC San Francisco – one of the biggest gaming conferences in the world.”

Typoman, a words-based puzzle platformer.

They even use local myths as inspiration.

“We have the opportunity to produce just about anything we want, from games featuring badgers in space to others featuring a ferocious-looking witch from Slavic folklore,” he said.

“Our design process can be influenced by the market trend and where we think it’s going, but at the end of the day we create the kind of games that we would want to play ourselves.

“We try not to focus on any one particular genre, and that’s the beauty of being an independent studio.

“The one thing that many of our games often have in common is that they all tell a story and this is where we tend to start our design process.

“We’re currently in production of a new story-rich horror game, which is inspired by a local ghost story right here in Bridgend.”

The company is a hark back to the past in that they have produced some FMV (Full Motion Video) games, which use pre-recorded video sometimes featuring actors rather than computer-generated visuals.

Some of the games developed by Wales Interactive.

Ben said: “Something we hear a lot of in the games industry is that FMV games died in the ’90s because the tech wasn’t advanced enough to produce high-quality video that runs smoothly on a gaming platform.

“Production values were also painfully low and part of the reason the acting was just so bad. Flash-forward two decades and now we’re in a position where we can create cinematic interactive movies with high production values that run well on console.

“Since 2016 we released The Bunker and Late Shift which were the first and only FMV games to make it to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

“The two games are set to release on Nintendo Switch later this month, which will be a big boost to the popularity of the genre.

“Our hope is to be the driving force behind the rebirth of FMV and we have many more games already in the making — one unannounced title in partnership with a Welsh film studio.

“Any gamers reading who want to know what’s next in the FMV world, keep an eye out for our next multi-platform title The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker.”

The company works on virtual reality games as well as more traditional titles.

Publishing a game isn’t a simple process of snapping one’s fingers, according to the studio – developing relationships with the companies behind the consoles is of paramount importance.

“We’re fortunate enough to have strong relationships with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo but it’s been a long road and something we’ve worked hard for over the past six years,” Ben said.

“It’s easier these days for indie studios to self-publish on console, but back then you were often required to already have a catalogue of titles before you could publish new ones with them. It was somewhat of a catch-22 for many start-up studios.

“Our managing director, David Banner, is a veteran in the games industry with a number of successful titles to his name from his days at Eidos and Pivotal Games. We’ve published 24 titles since the birth of the company and our games label continues to grow with new, innovative games that entertain the world.”

Ben Tester puts a virtual reality game through its paces.

But Ben said they could not become complacent.

“It’s a nice place to be in but we mustn’t get complacent if we are to continue to grow and establish ourselves as one of the leading indie game publishers in the UK.

“To publish on any console, it requires you have access to their specific development kits which are not available to the public.

“Each console has their own individual challenges, but the one that is a constant battle is the optimisation.

“Typically, consoles have different graphical and processing power from each other, so what looks great and runs well on one console may exceed the requirements of another.”

Despite how it may look, it’s not all about playing games all day.

Company co-founder Dai Banner said the digital age of gaming was a big help to the company’s early success.

“It’s been a whirlwind for us since the company was founded in summer 2012.

“I’m from the Rhondda Valley, which was looked upon as a mining community. I loved where I was from, but the fact that I wanted to have my own video games company left me with very few options. Even when I started as a 21-year-old, that was my ambition.

“Rich is from Devon – though I met him through teaching as he was one of my students. I went to art college in Pontypridd, and I got invited back to do a guest lecture, which turned into a series of them, meeting Rich for an animation course. He comes from a programming background, and with mine in art, those are usually the two main components you need to make a video game.

“Being based in Wales works as a big plus for us. Over the last six years the company has been from a local talent pool. We’ve tapped into graduates to make high-quality games for all formats, and we’ve sold over two million games and counting.

“We’ve just had our third boxed game, Time Carnage, release for Playstation VR.

“We’ve gone from almost being a wannabe games developer to a company which others are following. Of the 24 titles we’ve released in six years, 18 were all in-house using our own intellectual properties.

“We’ve brought back the FMV (interactive movie game) genre, with Late Shift done alongside Swiss company CtrlMovie one of our latest. We’re looked upon internationally now as a company which has reinvented the genre.

“We haven’t just followed the other, bigger companies, we are in a position now where people are following us.

Wales Interactive MD David “Dai” Banner.

“We also love our work in VR, with Don’t Knock Twice and Time Carnage both games in that genre. It keeps us fresh, as at one point we’re working on VR, then partnering with movie makers to make games like The Bunker.

“We’ve just finished a hand-drawn RPG (role-playing game) with a Slovakian developer

“We have to be full of energy, as we’ve just put out our tenth PlayStation game (plus two on PSVR), while we also have ten Xbox games out and four on Switch, with another four on the way.

“Digital gaming changed the gatekeepers for us. It gave us a real opportunity to get our games published, and move into the position where we can now publish on our own.

“Though things can seem a lot harder, with a more crowded market and a lot more people making games, we’ve still managed to sell games in amongst the blockbusters from the huge companies.

“Even though we’re a Welsh company, we still sell our games around the world.

“We might not be a household name, but with that logo and the exposure of some of our games, people are starting to recognise us.”

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Category: Video Games

Competitive video games could be as big as Major League Baseball — here’s what it’s like to be an e-sports athlete at the highest level

Posted on April 16, 2018  in Video Games

esports, Overwatch League, dhaK,

E-sports — which is to say, competitive, professional online video gaming — have exploded in popularity in recent years.

In fact, experts have predicted that e-sports viewership is likely to surpass that of traditional sports leagues, including the NBA and MLB, by 2020. Indeed, esports revenue is likely to climb to more than $900 million this year as television channels like ESPN continue to incorporate e-sports into their daily lineups, and streaming services like Amazon’s Twitch become more mainstream.

In a world where competitive video games have the potential to be as lucrative an industry as professional sports, the title “pro gamer” has evolved massively since the ’90s, where a relatively small group of die-hard gamers played in relatively unnoticed tournaments for community notoriety and occasional prize money.

In the modern world of e-sports, pro gamers are salaried employees with medical benefits and 401-ks, and who have personal nutritionists and fitness trainers. They are celebrities and role models for the fans who purchase jerseys and other merchandise in their honor. They also happen to play the same video game for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Business Insider got to interview professional gamers who play in the Overwatch League, competing at the highest levels of Blizzard’s acclaimed and best-selling competitive first-person shooter “Overwatch.”

We got an inside look at the ups and downs of their everyday lives and, the journeys that they’ve taken to get to the highest level for their game of choice.

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Category: Video Games

Video: Joelle King wins second gold to cap gruelling Comm Games campaign

Posted on April 16, 2018  in Video Games

Joelle King wins second gold to cap gruelling Comm Games campaign | 1 NEWS NOW | TVNZ

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TVNZ | Commonwealth Games

The women’s squash singles gold medal winner added more silverware to her haul after winning the women’s doubles with Amanda Landers-Murphy.
Source: TVNZ | Commonwealth Games

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Category: Video Games

Tired of his son ‘playing video games all day,’ he grabbed a samurai sword, Texas cops say

Posted on April 15, 2018  in Video Games

Having an adult son or daughter who doesn’t seem to have direction in life can be frustrating.

But what police say a San Antonio father did out of his exasperation landed him in jail this week.

Antonio Juan Alvarado, 57, was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after his son said Alvarado resorted to swinging a 3-foot Katana sword at him, eventually cutting the back of his head.

An arrest warrant affidavit cited by the San Antonio Express News said that Alvarado had gotten upset with his 20-year-old son for not having a job and “playing video games all day long.”

His bail was set at $75,000, but Alvarado was released Wednesday, according to jail records.

The incident happened on Feb. 23, according to the newspaper, but when the son reported the alleged assault to police, Alvarado fled.

What started as a verbal lashing turned violent after the son tried to push Alvarado away from him, according to KABB.

The station reported that Alvarado, fuming, went into another room, grabbed the sword, and swung it at his son.

The son was treated at a local hospital, where doctors used staples to close the head wound.

A jealous girlfriend in Camas, Washington, also allegedly used a samurai sword in an attack recently on someone close to her: her boyfriend, according to the Sacramento Bee.

I just stabbed my boyfriend,” Emily Javier said on a 911 call in early March, which was obtained by the Oregonaian.

“I think he’s dead. You need to hurry,” Javier can be heard saying on the harrowing 911 call audio. “I can’t go in there. There’s too much blood.”

Katana swords are a type of longer samurai sword, characterized by a curved blade, traditionally worn from the 1600s through the late 19th century with the edge facing upward in the sash.

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Category: Video Games

Convicted murderer played violent video games while in Dunedin Hospital

Posted on April 15, 2018  in Video Games

David Jackson Mahia being sentenced in the High Court at Invercargill for the murder and sexual violation of Nicola Jean ...


David Jackson Mahia being sentenced in the High Court at Invercargill for the murder and sexual violation of Nicola Jean Fleming.

A convicted murderer played violent video games while receiving cancer treatment in hospital, it has been revealed.

The prisoner, who Stuff understands is David Jackson Mahia, is serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of mother-of-two Nicola Fleming.

The 38-year-old woman was found dead inside a room at an Invercargill hostel in 2013. She had been severely beaten, suffering a fractured face, pelvis, sternum and ribs. Not one part of her face was left without a mark.

Mahia, an inmate of Otago Corrections Facility, was taken to Dunedin Hospital where he received cancer treatment for about a month.

READ MORE: Victim’s family sob as murderer sentenced

While in hospital Mahia gained access to a Playstation console and played a violent and expletive-laden game, a source said.

When asked by a guard to turn the game down, Mahia allegedly threatened him, making references to his own ill-health and the fact he was serving life.

Corrections acting southern regional commissioner Chris O’Brien-Smith confirmed a prisoner was facing “an internal misconduct charge for allegedly threatening a staff member”.

That prisoner recently returned to prison after receiving cancer treatment in hospital, she said.

Justice advocate Roger Brooking told Stuff the incident raises questions on how Corrections’ monitor prisoners outside of prison.

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He understood guards would be with a prisoner “24/7”, and the incident should not have occurred.

O’Brien-Smith said any time a prisoner is required to be escorted outside of a prison, “our focus is on safety, security and minimising risk to the public, our staff and prisoners”.

Any prisoner required to attend a hospital appointment is accompanied by experienced corrections officers, with the number of staff being dependent on a thorough risk assessment and the prisoner’s security classification, she said.

She confirmed Corrections did not supply gaming consoles or games to prisoners.

However it came to the attention of the security manager that a prisoner had access to the item, and “steps were immediately taken to remove the prisoner’s access to the console”.

Public safety was a top priority for the department and we “have a duty of care to meet prisoners’ health needs where medical, surgical, or dental assessment or treatment is not available inside prison”.

A prisoner who resorted to violence would be held to account, O’Brien-Smith said.

The Southern DHB declined to comment on whether complaints over the incident were received, and noted Mahia was not a current patient at Dunedin Hospital.

Jenny Hanson, Director of Nursing (Medicine), said adult patients were not supplied with video games.

“There are no specific policies regarding the media patients may consume, but all patients are expected to uphold a respectable standard of behaviour, and when there are concerns about this or we become aware of patients disrupting others, staff will address this with those involved.”

 – Sunday Star Times

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Category: Video Games

Sports | VIDEO: Toronto’s Kadri Suspended 3 Games for Hit on the Bruins’ Wingels

Posted on April 15, 2018  in Video Games

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Kadri’s hit on Wingels

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Name Kadri has been suspended three games by the NHL for his hit to the head of Boston’s Tommy Wingels in the third period of the Bruins 5-1 win in game one at the TD Garden.

“Players are never permitted to retaliate in an illegal fashion. This is a forceful and illegal hit delivered on a defenseless opponent for the purpose of retribution and message-sending. Such plays will not be tolerated,” said the NHL’s Vice President of Department of Player Safety Damian Echevarietta in the suspension video.

See The Video Above

The Hit

With the Bruins leading 4-1 in the third period, Wingels went down while making a play along the boards in the Bruins zone.

As he went down, Kadri went in and delivered a hit to Wingels’ head.

Wingels left the game and did not return.

Following the hit, Kadri was given a five-minute major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.

It is unclear if Wingels will play in game two.

About Kadri

Kadri, 27,  is a 30 goal scorer and was the Leafs second- line center and a big weapon on the Leafs’ power play.

However, this is not the first time he has been in trouble with the league.

In his nine-year career, Kadri has now been suspended four times, costing him nearly $400,000.

Game Two

Game two of the series is set for Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston.

Opening face-off is set for 8 p.m.


Bryan Berard 

Berard played his high school hockey at Mount Saint Charles Academy before going to the Ontario Hockey League.

In 1995, he was selected number one overall in the NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators, but was eventually traded to the New York Islanders. He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year following the 1996-97 season.

Following a brutal eye injury that cost him a full season, Berard came back for the 2001-02 season, signing with the New York Rangers as a free agent. Berard played in all 82 games for New York, scoring 2 goals and recording 21 assists.

He would go on to play another 6 seasons with the Bruins, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets before finishing his career with the Islanders in 2007-08.

In 2004, Berard won the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player that best shows sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey. 

Berard currently works at Providence-based WhaleRock Point Partners as a financial consultant. 


Bill Belisle 

Belisle is the legendary head coach of Mount Saint Charles Academy.

At Mount, Belisle’s teams recorded over 1,000 wins, won 26 straight RI state titles, 32 overall and ten straight consecutive national titles.

He has seen more than 20 of his former players get drafted in the NHL including fellow Hall of Fame inductees Bryan Berard and Keith Carney.

Belisle was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.


Ron Wilson

Wilson grew up in Riverside, R.I., and played four years at Providence College (1973-77).

He was an All-America selection twice and a four-time All-ECAC selection. Wilson still holds the school records (and NCAA records for defensemen) in career points (250), assists (172), most points in a single season (87) and single-season assists (61). 

He spent 18 seasons as a head coach in the NHL with stops in Toronto (2008-12), San Jose (2002-08), Washington (1997-02) and Anaheim (1993-97).

He has coached 1,401 NHL games and has 648 wins to his credit.

Internationally, Wilson has been Team USA’s head coach for some of its biggest moments, including leading Team USA to the silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and to the championship in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996.


Lou Lamoriello

Lamoriello played and coached hockey at Providence College.

He ranks 33rd on the Friars’ all-time scoring list with 58 goals and 60 assists for 118 points in 64 career games.

After graduating, he served as assistant coach to Zellio Toppazzini.

In his 15 seasons as head coach, he racked up 248 wins and saw 11 of his 15 teams qualify for post-season play, including the NCAA Tournament in 1978, 1981, and 1983. Lamoriello’s final team, the 1982-83 squad, went 33-10-0 and finished third in the NCAA’s.

Lamoriello was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 9, 2009 in Toronto and also was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 15, 2012.

Currently, he serves as the General Manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Richard Rondeau

Rondeau is a former Hope Street High School and Mount St. Charles All-stater.

In college, he set eight scoring records including most goals (12) and most assists (11) in a single game at Dartmouth College in the mid-1940’s.

In 1952, Rondeau became coach of the Providence College Friars and helped revive the program after a 26-year absence.

In his third season, the Friars produced their first winning season with an 8-7-0 mark. Rondeau stepped down following the 1955-56 season after four years behind the Friars’ bench.

In 1985, he became the first Rhode Islander to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Photo: US Hockey Hall of Fame


 Sara DeCosta-Hayes

Sarah DeCosta-Hayes was the first girl to play in the RI’s high school hockey Championship division when she did so for Toll Gate High School.

At Providence College, she was a two-time All-American and a two-time USA Hockey Player of the Year. She finished her career with a .929 save percentage, a 2.15 goals against average and 2,324 total saves.

DeCosta went on to represent the United States at the Olympics in 1998 and 2002, helping the USA to gold in ’98 and silver in ’02.

In 2009, she was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a member of the 1998 gold medal squad.


Cammi Granato

Cammi Granato is considered by many experts as the greatest women’s hockey player of all-time.

At Providence College, Granato was a four-time ECAC All-Star and a three-time ECAC Player of the Year at Providence College. In 1996 she was also named USA Hockey Player of the Year.

She is atop the leaderboards in points (256) and goals (139) at Providence College as well as points (343) with USA Hockey.

She captained the gold medal team in the 1998 Olympics and the silver medal team in 2002.

In 2010, Granato became the first woman ever inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame.


Chris Terreri 

Terreri is a two-time all-stater at Pilgrim High School before going to Providence College.

At PC, Terreri was a Hockey East Player of the Year, two-time All-American, Academic All-American, and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Terreri led the Friars to the first-ever Hockey East Championship in 1985 and set NCAA records while leading the team to the NCAA Frozen Four Championship game.

Terreri played 14 seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils and participated with Team USA in three World Championships, including the 1988 Calgary Olympics.


Zellio Toppazzini

Toppazzini was inducted into he AHL Hall of Fame in 2012 and is considered one of the greatest RI Reds of all time.

He played in parts of five NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks and 12 seasons in the AHL with the Reds, where he was the team’s leader in all statistical scoring categories.

Toppazzini was head coach of Providence College from 1964-68, where he led Providence to the ECAC playoffs in his first season.


Matthieu Schneider

Schneider helped Mount St. Charles to three state championships and two national championships before playing 21 seasons in the NHL.

Schneider won the Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens before helping Team USA beat Canada in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996.

He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

Schneider is the Rhode Island leader in almost all NHL statistical categories.


Brian Lawton 

Lawton is the first American-born player ever picked first in the NHL Entry Draft.

At Mount Saint Charles, Lawton won the scoring title two times and was named an all-star three times.

In the NHL, he recorded 266 points over a ten-year NHL career, while he represented Team USA in four World Championships.

Lawton currently works as an analyst for the NHL Network.


Louis A.R. Pieri

Pieri was the general manager of the Providence Reds and the owner of the RI Auditorium.

His teams won three Canadian-American League Fontaine Cups and four AHL Calder Cup championships.

Pieri was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2009.


Curt Bennett

Bennett is a former Cranston East All-Stater and a Brown University All-American and Hall of Famer.

In 1970, Bennett became the first RI-developed player to skate in the National Hockey League (NHL) and the first American-developed player to record a 30-goal season in the NHL.


Harvey Bennett Sr.

Bennett Sr. played goal for the Rhode Island Reds three Calder Cup championship teams in over a 12-year AHL career.

He saw five sons play in the pros including fellow inductee Curt, and sons Harvey Jr. and Bill, who reached the NHL.


Keith Carney

Carney was part of four state championship teams at Mount Saint Charles before playing college hockey at Maine.

In the NHL, Carney played in 1,018 games, which is the most ever by a Rhode Island native. His +164 is the eighth best +/- of any American-born defensemen.

Carney is also an Olympian, playing for Team USA during the 1998 Winter Olympics.


Joe Cavanagh

Cavanagh is regarded as one of the greatest high school hockey players in New England history.

Cavanagh, out of Cranston East, was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994 and is a three-time all-stater and RI state scoring champion.

At Harvard, he was a three-time All-American and team scoring leader.

He is the all-time scoring leader of Boston’s Beanpole Tournament.

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Category: Video Games

Video: Tall Ferns clinch Comm Games bronze medal with classy win over Canada

Posted on April 15, 2018  in Video Games

The Tall Ferns have coasted to a 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medal with their 74-58 defeat of Canada.

The New Zealand women’s basketball team were all class in their 74-58 victory on the Gold Coast.
Source: TVNZ | Commonwealth Games

Hours after their male Tall Blacks counterparts were upset by the Canadians in their semi-final, the Ferns made no such mistake.

They raced out to an early 16-12 first-quarter lead, with Micaela Cocks dictating proceedings, and stretched their lead to eight by half-time.

Their third quarter was even more dominant, as Cocks made space for Natalie Taylor to drain several three-pointers and help her side to a 57-39 advantage.

From that point, victory – and Games bronze – was a mere formality, despite a late Canadian surge to come within 10 points of New Zealand.

The 35-year-old Taylor notched 18 points by the match’s end, all of which from behind the three-point line, while Cocks earned 16.

Charlisse Leger-Walker also chipped in with 18 points late on.

Kalani Purcell dominated the boards for seven defensive rebounds, getting her side out of jail against Canada’s tall centres, particularly Ruth Hamblin.

The Kiwis made 28 defensive rebounds in total.

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Category: Video Games

In death, Leonard Cohen’s voice popping up in hit TV shows, video games

Posted on April 15, 2018  in Video Games

MONTREAL—When it comes to getting permission to use Leonard Cohen’s music, Ubisoft’s bloody Assassin’s Creed Origins trailer gets an enthusiastic green light, while ads, pornography and even the Montreal Symphony Orchestra don’t fare as well.

Since his death in 2016, the late Canadian singer’s gravelly baritone has been popping up everywhere from highbrow Montreal art exhibits to the end credits of the hit American TV shows Billions and The Americans.

None raised more eyebrows than Ubisoft, which chose to feature the title track to Cohen’s final album, You Want it Darker, on the trailer for its latest version of its violent game franchise, whose target audience was born decades after the singer wrote many of his greatest hits.

While the process of obtaining song rights is a lengthy and complex legal process, the final approval falls to Robert Kory, Cohen’s longtime manager and the trustee of the late singer’s estate.

The Los Angeles-based lawyer says he considers a variety of factors in making what he calls an “esthetic determination,” including whether the proposed arrangement suits the spirit of the song and whether it will expand the singer’s audience.

“My role is to have more people encounter Leonard Cohen, because if they encounter Leonard Cohen they’re going to find to something deeper and ultimately something that will uplift them,” he said in a phone interview.

Kory said he was impressed by Ubisoft’s “respectful” approach to Cohen’s music and the company’s willingness to collaborate when developing an arrangement.

He also felt the trailer’s structure and violent narrative fit with the song’s dark themes.

“You have the character in Assassin’s Creed faced with overwhelming darkness, which is what the song is warning us,” he said. “It’s a warning to the world: ‘I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim,’ ” he added, quoting one of the song’s lyrics.

Kory said working with Ubisoft also gave the estate the opportunity to present Cohen’s music to a younger audience.

“We’re going to introduce this song to a lot of teenage boys whose parents may have been listening to Leonard Cohen,” he said.

“But maybe they hear the song and they’re moved by it and say, ‘wow, Leonard Cohen. Maybe I should listen to something else.’”

Kory has less praise for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 arrangement of “You Want It Darker,” which he criticizes as too uplifting.

While the orchestra was given permission to perform the song, Kory says the use of harp music was inappropriate for a song which refers to the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac.

As a result, he denied the MSO full “synchronization rights” to produce and sell the arrangement.

“The Lord is telling Abraham: ‘Kill your son,’ and you have harp music, angelic music. Would you approve that?” he asked.

Since the singer’s death at the age of 82, his estate has received daily requests for rights of use, Kory says.

The rate of approval depends on the type of use requested and the complicated back-and-forth with copyright holders.

Permission to perform a straightforward cover is easy enough to get, he said, while arrangements that change the music or make use of Cohen’s vocal performance are more complicated.

Pornographic films, political pieces that don’t reflect Cohen’s beliefs and most major advertisers are shot down.

On the other hand, movie and TV proposals tend to be accepted because they are generally presented by people who understand the music, he said.

While he sees himself as a protector of Cohen’s musical legacy, Kory says he also tries to be open and to avoid reductionism, “or anyone thinking Leonard Cohen’s work is susceptible to one interpretation and that is the correct interpretation.”

Price is a factor too, although Kory insists it’s a secondary one.

“We won’t do something that’s wrong for any amounts of money,” he said.

While Kory sometimes brings in the singer’s son, Adam Cohen, to consult on musical issues, he says he’s developed the confidence to make decisions based on the faith Leonard Cohen always placed in him.

“Leonard kept telling me in the face of my doubts, ‘trust your instincts, Robert. You have a great esthetic appreciation of what I do,’ ” he said.

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Category: Video Games

20-year-old Amusan Makes History As First Nigerian To Win 100m Hurdles At Commonwealth Games (Video)

Posted on April 14, 2018  in Video Games

The moment Oluwatobiloba Amusan

20-year-old Oluwatobiloba Amusan has made history as the first Nigerian to win a sprint hurdles title at the Commonwealth Games.

Amusan achieved the feat on Friday at the Carrara stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

The reigning American Collegiate 100m hurdles queen ran 12.68 seconds to win the race.

She is now Nigeria’s first gold medallist in track and field at the ongoing games.

The 20-year-old is also the third Nigerian woman to make it to the podium after Modupe Oshikoya (bronze) in 1974 and Angela Atiede (bronze) in 2002.

Danielle Williams of Jamaica came second to claim the silver medal in 12.78 seconds.

Yanique Thompson, another Jamaican, won the bronze medal in 12.97 seconds.

Amusan’s triumph is Nigeria’s eighth gold medal of the Commonwealth Games.

Watch the video below:

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