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EA and Nettwerk are forming 'Artwerk' Wednesday, 28.03.2007
Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts did with EA Recordings already a step in the right direction, but this was primary only for distributing songs from video games. Now EA entered into a joint venture with Nettwerk One Music to form the new full-service music company, Artwerk.

he Artwerk label will sign and develop both new and established artists for publishing, master recording and sync deals, as well as digital and physical distribution. The Los Angeles-based label will be actively pursuing talent in all parts of the world.

They already signed producer artist Junkie XL whose tracks recently appeared in the games Need for Speed Carbon and Madden NFL 07.

"For the past five years, EA has been instrumental in breaking new artists, but we have been limited in our ability to grow them. With Artwerk, we can now directly sign, develop and launch artists for publishing, master recordings, sync deals and beyond," aid Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing at EA. "With Nettwerk, we are once again partnered with the most visionary team in the industry. And with Junkie XL as our premiere signing, we are enormously excited about the future."

To submit music to Artwerk for consideration, please visit EA Trax:

» EA Trax
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NFS C: Study on Virtual Driving and Risk Taking Friday, 23.03.2007
XAPNot only the so-called "Killergames" are a hot topic in Germany - also racing games are sometimes blamed for accidents - just like this case in California about a year ago.
Three social psychologists (Peter Fischer, Stephanie Guter, Dieter Frei) from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich - Germany and Jörg Kubitzki from the Allianz Center for Technology followed the question about Virtual Driving and Risk Taking: "Do Racing Games Increase Risk-Taking Cognitions, Affect, and Behaviors?".

They referred to the tragic accident (as mentioned above) and a preliminary study with 657 participants by Kubitzki (2005, 2006). He found out that 77% of the 13-17 year-old boys played racing games regularly; "there was a significant positive association between game-playing intensity and underage driving".
A different preliminary research conducted for the German Highway Safety Research Institute reported that racing games are not directly connected to real-life driving and they only discovered short-term effects of driving games on road safety.

In their current study about "Virtual Driving and Risk Taking" they ran several tests involving computer games, and also tested if playing the games Need for Speed, Burnout and Midnight Racer will result in taking higher risks in real-life driving, than playing "neutral" games:

Research has consistently shown that aggressive video console and PC games elicit aggressive cognitions, affect, and behaviors. Despite the increasing popularity of racing (driving) games, nothing is known about the psychological impact of this genre. This study investigated whether playing racing games affects cognitions, affect, and behaviors that can promote risk taking in actual road traffic situations. In Study 1, the authors found that the frequency of playing racing games was ositively associated with competitive driving, obtrusive driving, and car accidents; a negative association with cautious driving was observed. To determine cause and effect, in Study 2, the authors manipulated whether participants played 1 of 3 racing games or 1 of 3 neutral games. Participants who played a racing game subsequently reported a higher accessibility of cognitions and affect positively associated with risk taking than did participants who played a neutral game. Finally, on a more behavioral level, in Study 3, the authors found that men who played a racing game subsequently took higher risks in computersimulated critical road traffic situations than did men who played a neutral game.

Well, this study doesn't proof very much, and it couldn't be decided, whether games are the cause of risky driving, or if drivers - who are willing to take higher risks - just like playing racing games. The psychologists come to the conclusion, that it is possible that racing games have an effect on road safety. They warn of teenagers and young men, who can be influenced by racing games - especially children are vulnerable, because if they learn the risky driving too early, they might keep this trained driving style even when they are older and sit in a real car...

» Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Vol. 13, No.1
» Study: Virtual Driving and Risk Taking (PDF, 83 KB)
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NFS 11: More rumours Thursday, 15.03.2007
NFS 11The czech website NFSGame.net sets out some new rumours about Need for Speed 11 and claims to received the following message from EA:

I just want to tell you that the game is now in ALPHA stage and it almost surely should be presented this summer at Los Angeles. I know, that we did not reveal much about the game at January as we were supposed to, but I did warn you that things in EA often change. I think that you very well know yourself from waiting for the demo of Carbon as a PC user for ages. Sorry about that. Its a issue you have to espouse. All the images that will probably pop-up on the internet the next few months and will be claiming that they are from NFS11 should be ignored, because they will be on 99% a hoax. Until we release any or rather until the game will be shown, please take those „screenshots" with a step back.I hope the long waiting for the next NFS will be for you worth it. EA is this time working really hard, trust me.You will be happy when you see all the new key features of the new title this summer. As always, be patient…

If this text is really from EA could not be confirmed and you can decide yourself whether to believe the writing above or not. We will know for sure at least when the E3 starts, which takes place from 11th to13th July in Los Angeles...

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NFS C: bobyx in the Community Spotlight Thursday, 08.03.2007
NFS CarbonElectronic Arts presents selected community members in their new Community Spotlight. Last time they presented jsskppnn, and this time it is Bojan Puschner aka bobyx, the webmaster of our affiliate NFSUnlimited - inventor of the showroom competitions and carbon shadow leaderboards - who can talk about himself.
If you want to know more about Bojan and his experiences with NFS and his website, click on the following link:

» Community Spotlight @ Needforspeed.com
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NFS C: Clanbase opens 1on1 Circuit Ladder Sunday, 04.03.2007
ClanbaseThe league-portal Clanbase just opened its first NFS:Carbon Circuit 1on1 International Ladder and players around the whole world are welcome!

While setting up the ladder we kept a keen eye on the maplist. Finally, we came up with a list that consists of the full maplist of one of the biggest European LAN events (SEC has Qualifiers in 40 countries), almost all of The Fast and the Furious Cup tracks and three other popular circuits. Collision detection and disabling nitro are ways in which we can avoid cheating and make it as huge as possible. All of the cars of the standard version are allowed.

Further information and the ladder itself can be found here:

» NFS Carbon 1on1 Ladder @ Clanbase
» Clanbase
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EA Trax: Get Soundtracks of all EA Games Friday, 02.03.2007
EA TraxElectronic Arts announced today that starting today the chart-busting music from its best-selling games will be available for purchase from the iTunes Store via ea.com. You can find the soundtracks from Need for Speed over Madden NFL to Burnout - every song you can hear in the game can be purchased at www.ea.com/eatrax.
As a small bonus there are exclusive mixes, non-album cuts and previously unavailable international tracks included. Additionally, you can get a version of The Doors' Riders on the Storm that Snoop Dogg remixed exclusively for Need for Speed Underground.

The songs are live in North America today and will be available soon throughout Europe.

"As our culture goes increasingly mobile, music fans have demanded to take our game music with them. They have been looking for a singular destination that houses all of EA's music - and this is it," says Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing at EA. "Our game soundtracks have now officially transcended their consoles. All songs, all mixes and all exclusives from all nations: if it's in the game, it's now available for fans to own. We consider this to be the next major step in evolving the music discovery experience."

Since 2001, EA(TM) Trax has set the industry standard for music in games and has helped define the sound of current and upcoming pop culture. EA had helped break emerging bands on a worldwide level and has brought established superstars to new international audiences. Its track record speaks for itself. EA games are have helped launch the careers of such artists as Good Charlotte, Jet, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Arctic Monkeys and Fabolous just to name a few.

Need for Speed Carbon redefines the sound of street racing with an international soundtrack of 30 diverse cuts that reflect the game's three distinct car classes - Tuner, Muscle and Exotic. The much-anticipated game's soundtrack includes the riff-heavy power of such bands as Kyuss, Eagles Of Death Metal, UK's Metro Riots and Australia's Wolfmother, 'Electro' acts Ladytron and Goldfrapp, Australia's The Presets, Canada's Tiga, and urban 'Grime' featuring Pharrell, UK's Lady Sovereign, Roots Manuva and Sway, Japan's melody, and Philadelphia's Spank Rock.

» EA Trax
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