Workers of the World Unite! It’s time for another edition of Power Up!

Six Days in FallujahIn Power Up 4! on April 8th, I wrote about Konami Digital Entertainment working with Atomic Games in North Carolina to produce Six Days in Fallujah, a Playstation 3 title that recreated this well known battle in Iraq. Now it appears that Konami is ‘bugging out’ of the project according to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper. The company received many negative comments and e-mails from the United Kingdom and the United States that were highly critical of the company’s plan to publish this game. Game Politics also reports that the president of Atomic Games made comments at a recent Konami sponsored event that seemed to imply Iraqi insurgents were consulted during its development.

Sonic XThe Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that a six year old named Christer applied to King Harald of Norway to change his name to ‘Sonic X’, after his favourite Sega video game character. Apparently the King must give his approval for all name change requests. Christer’s parents were not exactly thrilled with the idea, but they let their son send his letter to King Harald. The youngster was turned down because he needed to be 18 years old. You can read the English version of this story at the Gamezine website.

This story deserves the title Nintendo’s DS Really Rocks! A mother in Lake Wales, Florida, bought her son a Nintendo DS for his 16th birthday. When he opened the sealed box, they saw it contained – you guessed it – rocks, and a Chinese newspaper. She went to the local Wal Mart to ask for a refund and found out that the box was previously returned. At first the store refused to give her a refund. Nintendo of America also denied any responsibility. After contacting Wal-Mart’s national representatives, her money was refunded.

The Sony Playstation is 15 years old! It seems like only yesterday that I was playing Battle Arena Toshinden and Motortoon Grand Prix like a mad man! Edge Online has an excellent feature article on the history of the Playstation, including Nintendo and Sony’s ill fated partnership in video game development. Both the PS1 and the Playstation 2 continue to be popular game consoles worldwide since their respective releases in 1994 and 2000.

Jeopardy!If you’re a fan of the famous TV quiz show ‘Jeopardy’, then prepare to be amazed…or afraid, very afraid. The New York Times reports that IBM is in the final stages of developing a new artificial intelligence program that is designed to compete against human beings in the ultimate match of wits – Jeopardy. The system is known as ‘Watson’. Unlike the famous ‘Deep Blue‘ program that took on former world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, this software is designed to understand human questions and respond to them correctly. The study of artificial intelligence has continued for just over 40 years. A computer that can actually understand and respond to human language would have enormous implications. But what I want to know is  – how much will it bet in Final Jeopardy? Not only that, could it go head to head with the immortal Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings?

Doctor ArkanoidDoctor Arkanoid