id files brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA & ESA case

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Earlier in the month we explained why you should consider signing The Gamer Petition, a grassroots campaign to mobilize the gaming community in the run-up to Schwarzenegger v. ESA and EMA. Set for oral argument in November, this landmark United States Supreme Court case will determine whether video games should continue to enjoy protection as free speech like any other respectable art form.

But gamers aren’t the only ones speaking up. Today our friends over at id Software have equipped their own legal BFGs, firing off a “friend of the court” brief for the Supreme Court justices to consider. The brief boils down to an argument for why video games should not be thought of as any different than films, novels or other artistic media.

In the argument, Homer’s “The Iliad” is used as a basis for explaining why video games “have the same claim to constitutional protection as traditional forms of art.” The brief further argues that video games’ distinctive characteristics should not exclude them from First Amendment protection.

Citing scads of legal precedents, it’s a pretty interesting read as a bystander, and hopefully something the Court will consider helpful to its deliberations. But as LeVar would say, you don’t have to take my word for it — read the full brief here. And for more information on the case, head to the Entertainment Software Association’s dedicated page.

DOOM, Oblivion & Fallout make GamesTM’s 100 Greatest

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The Cacodemon’s perfectly pixel-crafted face graces one of the many covers of this month’s GamesTM. The magazine is celebrating its 100th issue by counting down the 100 greatest games of all time, with DOOM, Oblivion and Fallout 3 all making the list.

Impressively, all 100 games got their own cover for the month, so click below for a look at the Oblivion and Fallout spreads:
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Brink pre-order bonuses announced

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Moar Brink news! We’ve also just announced Brink’s digital pre-order bonuses for North American retailers. Extend your customization options even further with the exclusive DOOM, Fallout, Psycho and Spec Ops packs. Each contains unique apparel, tattoos, weapons and weapon attachments for your in-game character. These pre-order bonuses will be offered exclusively through participating North American retailers and will be made available in Europe and Australia in the coming weeks.

Full details after the jump…

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Modding Interview: Classic DOOM for DOOM 3

Following last week’s interview with Zombie Slayer’s Bryan Henderson, we continue our look into id Tech mods today with Classic DOOM for DOOM 3.

We have a lot of love for the original DOOM, and so does Gareth Ward. After getting his start modding on Team Fortress Classic — the Half-Life version of the original Quake mod — Ward made his name in modding by leading the Classic DOOM team, which sought to recreate the shareware levels of DOOM in the DOOM 3 engine. The result was a mod that not only nailed the look of the first DOOM, but also its distinct flavor.

In our interview, Gareth recalled the experience of crafting Classic DOOM, which involved the efforts of around a dozen modders:

Under the hood there are a lot of modifications going it that most people would probably take for granted. From the most obvious things like the new levels, the weapon models, item models and sound effects, through to simple things like how much damage each monster has, how fast they move and the amount of bullets that can be fired by each weapon at any given time.

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DOOM Level Demakes BioShock’s Arcadia

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BioShock and BioShock 2 developer J.P. LeBreton is a big DOOM fan. So big, in fact, that he celebrated the recent release of BioShock 2 by remaking BioShock’s lush “Arcadia” level in DOOM II. Says he:

Typically when you ship a big game you get some time off to relax, take a step back and enjoy life. Of course, I had to do something very silly with some of this time. So I did a remake of a BioShock level for… wait for it… Doom 2.

You can read more about the interesting level, and download it, on LeBreton’s blog. Also worth reading is LeBreton’s enlightening post on some of DOOM’s less obvious qualities.

Around the web: New Vegas details, and the DOOM II RPG revue

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Outside of an excellent Brink interview over at Game Informer, this week’s roundup covers a diverse range of news pertaining to Sin City and Hell.

id Software’s DOOM II RPG hit the iPhone last week, and IGN Wireless and Touch Arcade both gave the portable dungeon romp great reviews. Head over to iTunes to pick it up. It’s only $3.99, after all; less than the price of your average fast food hamburger, and likely less hellish in the end.

On the id side of things, be sure to check out page 28 of the new Texas-specific Edge e-zine, which features a short-but-sweet interview with Todd Hollenshead.

You can almost see the high-water mark where the latest wave of Fallout: New Vegas details broke and rolled back. The news continues to percolate, with the PC Gamer podcast crew chatting up the game on their latest episode. PC Gamer also lists the game as one of the top 10 of 2010, along with GameZone.

Finally, in the realm of decade-long accolades, good old RPGamer named Fallout 3 its fifth favorite RPG from a list of hundreds.

That about rounds out the roundup. As always, let us know in the comments if you spot any other interesting stuff.

DOOM II RPG released on iTunes

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This week on iTunes, you can download the latest iPhone/iPod touch game from id Software – DOOM II RPG. Following up 2005′s DOOM RPG (as well as Wolfenstein RPG), this sequel features nine maps spanning the galaxy and beyond, three playable characters, and a number of weapons and baddies familiar to fans of the DOOM series. In addition, with your purchase of the game ($3.99), you’ll also receive a bonus digital comic.

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For more details on the game, head to Touch Arcade to see the game in action and head to iTunes for a full description on the game.

Now hiring: id Software

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Since we get plenty of emails asking about job availability, I thought I’d let you know there’s a number of job opportunities at id Software. Within the current listing, they have several programming positions open, as well as positions in Animation, Art, Design, IT, and Management.

id Software is located in Mesquite, TX — located in north central Texas and just east of Dallas. If you’re wondering what folks there might be ramping up for, the ad above might give you an idea.