2011: A Place Odyssey

Why, oh why aren't we industry analysts instead of underpaid website editors? According to our companion siteNextGen, the brilliant minds over at Boston's gifted think tank Yankee Group have predicted that the PlayStation 3 will hoist the victory flag in this generation's console war, edging the Xbox 360 and soundly trouncing third-place Wii - by 2011.

Granted, the prediction itself isn't even a little brilliant -itreads suspiciously like exactly what happened this generation. And the follow-up predictions - that in-game ads and "digital distribution" (read: downloadable games and goodies) will be more common - are alarmingly obvious. No, the brilliant part is that these gentlepeeps haveconvinced someone to pay them big mountains of money to make judgement calls that cannot be proven correct for five entire years.By which time they could be living on an island somewhere, being fed grapes by the sexual object of their choice. And that's not just brilliant, it's mega-genius.

Horrible events available for download

Think missing the busand thenfinding Starbucks out of your favorite java is a rough morning?Point your pansy-ass browserover to the downloadable PCdemofor upcoming third-person satire adventure Bad Day L.A. and see what itlooks like when things reallyhit the fan. The game'smerciless brand of dark humor isbest for those folks whothink Grand Theft Auto and South Park pull too many punches, but it's definintely going to be right for gamers who appreciate a little social satire with their cartoon-drawn plane crashes, zombie attacks, and meteor strikes.

Yakuza strikes back at machinima

In a move that we refuse to let inspire any sort of convergence, cross-marketing, or any other tired "games are like movies" buzz-talk,Sega Europehas posteda live-actionprequelfor upcoming PS2 adventure Yakuza. At least, part one of it - there are apparently at least four chapters in all.

So, what we have is a world in whichreal, living actors are getting paid to act like video game characters at the same time that tons of people, like theRed vs Bluedudes, areusing video gamecharacters instead of actorsto make movies.

Whatever. At least, it looks better than theDead or Alivemovie. We're guessingthey're going to need some serious nudity to save this train wreck.

Sex? Not in our state, buddy

Speaking of skin, has informed us that Louisiana's governor has signed into validation alawthat makes it illegal to enable kids to get hold of sexually explicit video games.

Not thatanylegitsoftware publisher in the US has ever released one - but just in caseone does,don'texpect to getyour perverse paws on it anywhere in Louisiana.

Dead Rising buried

Here in the US, the 360's M-rated zombie kill-a-thon Dead Rising is tearing into sales and rental charts like a reanimated flesh-eatergnawing on a baby's arm marrow. However, the undead shopping spree is finding itself denied shelf space in certain overseas markets.

As explained, rumors are swirling that the game's blood-festic violence might be throttled back for the Japanese release. And Germany already did an end-around by refusing to rate the game - actually a cowardly way to ban it, because games without ratings can't come out.

The UK is fine withthe blood and violence and drinking- but games there are rated by the film industry, so that's still kind of screwy. No word on Australia, but the smart money says they'll run from it as if it makesrabid, knife-wielding badgers on fire erupt from your personal orificestheentire time it's in play.

Maxim are bastards

At least, whoever stole our idea for an article about thebest toilets in a video gameis gunning for a swirly sosevere that it verges upon a drowning.

True, we hadn't actually written it yet, but it was on our short list, honest to Charmin. And if it's true that great minds think alike, those Maximboyswill be avoiding real-world public bathrooms, as well asdark alleys and circus tents for quite some time, because they know we'll be waiting in ambush.

Stay out of our heads, you apparently psychic jackholes. We mean it.