Slave to the Game

Filling you in on the oddball gaming news

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Soooooooooo scary. With all that Manhunt 2 controversy, it's nice to see Rockstar focus on the important things — like giving away a Wii covered in blood splattered stickers. (That's not all, the company is also giving away a 50 inch plasma TV.) The toned down and M-rated reworked Manhunt 2 is out in the U.S. on Halloween. Click below to enter Rockstar's contest.

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Nintendo's Wii remote is getting soft.

The wandlike, motion-sensing joystick, which Wii owners use for fishing, golfing, tennis and other video games, will get a custom cushion that the Japanese company hopes will prevent accidents and soften possible blows.

Nintendo is shipping for free rubbery silicone covers for the handheld devices - just in case overly excited players lose control and have the Wii remote fly out of their hands.

The notice about the free Wii jackets has been sent as a message to owners who have their Wii machines connected to the Internet, and a notice is also posted on the company's Web page, company spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said.

Wii remotes going on sale after about Oct. 15 will come with the covers, Nintendo said.

The company has already strengthened the straps for the remotes that go around the wrist to help keep them fixed in players' hands.

It recalled the remotes to exchange the straps in December after people complained they were coming loose, even crashing into TV sets. Officials said the company has not received any reports of bodily injuries from the remote.

Since the Wii went on sale late last year, Nintendo has shipped 9.3 million of the consoles worldwide.


An Ulster Xbox fan who quit his job and sold his belongings to play in a major TV tournament has won a $30,000 contract and become one of the UK's first full-time professional gamers.

Jason Holmes, from Seaforde, Co Down, took the dramatic step in order to " make his dream come true" and travel to the Championship Gaming Series in Birmingham.

For 10 days, the 23-year-old was one of hundreds of gamers from across the UK involved in an intense gaming interview.

Players showed off their skills in tournaments featuring a number of games including Project Gotham Racing 3 - in which Jason is regarded as a specialist.

After a nerve-wracking final in London, Jason - who is known by the alias Neo Jake - was selected as one of the top 20 gamers and asked to join the Birmingham Salvo team.

He has now won a $30,000 contract to play professionally around the world.

"It is a dream come true," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I have played constantly for four years and I still can't believe it.

" I had to sell what I had to hand, which happened to be 130 DVDs, five Xbox controllers, eight Xbox 360 games and I had to sell my mountain bike, that I bought for £1,000, for £100 because it was all the pawn shop would pay.

"In the end, I managed to scrape together just enough to travel.

"The risk was worth it, the whole experience was really intense, I didn't get much sleep but I am really excited about the future."

The players were whittled down from a few hundred to only 40 in Birmingham. They then travelled to London where Sky television filmed a series of shows featuring the hopefuls.

In November, Jason will travel to Los Angeles to compete at the World Final.

"I am going there to win. I am really looking forward to competing against other world-class gamers," he said.