Tag Archives | Video Games
Jeremy Hsu writes on LiveScience:
Playing video games before bedtime may give people an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, LiveScience has learned.
That ability to shape the alternate reality of dream worlds might not match mind-bending Hollywood films such as The Matrix, but it could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma.
Dreams and video games both represent alternate realities, according to Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. But she pointed out that dreams arise biologically from the human mind, while video games are technologically driven by computers and gaming consoles.
“If you’re spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it’s practice,” said Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. “Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.”
Read More: LiveScience
Science author Kyle Munkittrick notes that science fiction “is no more limiting than period dramas” like Mad Men and Rome, “which also require extensive costumes, elaborate sets, and an extra level of commitment from the actors.” And then he asks: why haven’t HBO, Showtime, or AMC made a serious science fiction show? “All SF does is move the timeline forward instead of backward.”
He ultimately suggests three dark candidates – Deus Ex Machina, Transmetropolitan, and Mass Effect – noting there’s “Three great SF shows, three awesome cable channels that pull off excellent cinematic TV, and a wide open market in which to execute them… You want to bring HBO down a peg or two? Get the nerds on board.”
From the Guardian:
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Five years, ago film critic Roger Ebert wrote that video games were inherently inferior to film and literature. When questioned on this stance by one of the readers of his Chicago Sun-Times column he responded:
“To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers. That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic.”
His argument provoked a furious response from games writers, pundits and players, many of whom mistakingly understood his position to be generally anti-games – and therefore evil. Perhaps because of vociferous barrage his comments gave rise to, he has refused to clarify his position.
Bearing in mind that disinformation® readers are often into both activism and videogames, do you think this site stands a chance? (As reported in Variety):
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A group of Hollywood-based entrepreneurs is embarking on an effort to take social activism to the next level: Gaming. A website, called Armchair Revolutionary (armrev.org), launches today, combining online gaming and crowdsourcing with social activism.
Users register on the site and are faced with a number of tasks, quizzes, votes and other activities, all tied to certain “projects” or causes.
Armchair Revolutionary launches with three projects, including Make Waves, in which users help create a game promoting the protection of the oceans, with each player getting a plot of water to care for; End of Darkness, which includes a quiz and a way to finance a company that will sell affordable solar kits to the poor and Hack Your Body, in which users take a quiz about genetic research and can donate to a documentary about genomics revolution.
The military is using video game design theory for some training programs, not just “the fancy, realistic, virtual world experiences, but also the built-in use of frustration and reward.” (And similar training packages were adopted by Unilever, the giant corporation which owns Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.)
“I know I’d feel better about job training if it felt more like killing zombies,” adds the interviewer of this game-engine CEO, who says research actually supports games as a teaching tool. Electronic Arts sponsored some large experiments in schools about teaching kids with Sim City and The Sims, and “The conclusion was that they taught them really well… You’re not actually reading the rules of the game; you’re kind of feeling them and internalizing them.”
Some companies now conduct team-building exercises using “Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter,” and game design is even being used to build tax software. “It has to be the most boring field, but I mean that’s the point.… Read the rest
A video games programmer has rather boldly taken Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and remastered it as a Nintendo Entertainment System extravanganza, with surprisingly plausible results.
From the Examiner:
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Today, March 6, 2010, a student from Plant High School found himself on the unseasonably cold streets of South Tampa begging for money. It was at the corner of Howard and Swann that young Alec paced back and forth panhandling, along with his unnamed friend, who seemed to be present more for moral support than for panhandle assistance. Within the first hour Alec’s pan, or rather, small cloth basket was filled with nearly $20. Put into terms of a career, at 40 hours a week, that’s $41,600 before taxes. Of course, that’s luck, and those numbers wouldn’t always be that successful, even in the affluent area of South Tampa, and especially not for a homeless person.
So what for has forced the two South Tampa teens onto the streets? World of Warcraft has them there.
Each time the light turns red, Alec treads down the sidewalk in front of Panera Bread toward Armenia holding his donation box, “World of Warcraft $$$$” and looks into the faces of the drivers.