On the latest episode of BBC Weekend, psychologist and Stanford University professor Phillip Zimbardo, discusses his new book, Man (Dis)connected. In his book (co-authored with Nikita D. Coulombe), Zimbardo posits that the excessive use of videogames, online porn, and a lifestyle of isolation are contributing to a "crisis of masculinity." This in turn contributes to erectile dysfunction, boredom at school, little or no interest in human contact, or in participating in society, he claims.
New research from Texas Tech University published this month in the journal Communication Research suggests that cooperative gaming can lead to pro-social behavior after the game is over.
The research comes from two studies spearheaded by John Velez, an assistant professor of journalism and electronic media in the College of Media & Communication (with contributions from Tobias Greitemeyer of University of Innsbruck, Jodi Whitaker of University of Arizona, and David Ewoldsen and Brad Bushman from Ohio State University).
While it should come as no great shock to anyone, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is funding pro-copyright protection research through its global research grant program. The program is part of the trade group's "Academic Outreach program." The program gives out $20,000 grants to academics doing research on various topics related to copyright infringement and piracy.
Video games retailer GameStop has announced an employee scholarship program that aims to give back a little for those improving their lives through higher education. The scholarship program is in partnership with Scholarship America and is an expansion of the Gamer Fund employee relief program. The program, officially called "Power to the Scholars," will award 40 scholarships of $2,500 to employees during the 2015/2016 school year.
The South Australian State Government has launched a special program that lets students help create national park upgrades by designing and creating elements in Minecraft, according to The Lead - South Australia.
An excellent and exclusive interview with Mark DeLoura, former Senior Advisor for Digital Media at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, reveals that the Obama Administration has turned the corner on the debate about the negative effects of video games.
A new University of Missouri study may be the beginning of disproving the idea that people with autism spectrum disorders who play violent video games are more likely to commit acts of real-world violence. This assertion gained some traction in the media after the December 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. In the aftermath of the December 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the national media focused on shooter Adam Lanza's emotional issues related to suffering from Autism and his exposure to violent video games.
Tweed Couch Games (an indie studio made up of three student developers - Jessica Rose Marcotte, Allison Cole, and Zach Miller) has developed a game called In Tune that teaches men and women about the importance of gaining consent when it comes to intimate physical contact.
Video game research initiative Yale play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab has signed a two-year partnership with Yogome to develop educational mobile games for elementary school children. Researchers in the p2P Lab will work with Yogome to develop math, science, computer programming, and sustainability games. Games developed through the collaboration will be based on the Common Core framework and adhere strictly to child privacy standards.
The BBC will give away one million micro computing devices to children in the UK as part of its "Make It Digital" initiative. Through this initiative, the BBC will distribute a wearable coding device called a "Micro Bit" to every year 7 student (ages 11 to 13) in the country, totalling one million devices.
Legendary game developer Brenda Romero and outspoken writer Leigh Alexander will host this year's #1ReasonToBe session at the Game Developers Conference next month in San Francisco. Alexander is the Editor at Large at Gamasutra, while Romero is Program Director/Game Developer at UC Santa Cruz and co-founder of Romero Games.
An interesting Game Developers Conference panel discussion will explore the moral and ethical dilemmas real soldiers face during combat and if these elements can (or should be) properly simulated in video games. The discussion is titled, "Gaming the Laws of War: Can Real Consequences Mean Real Fun?"
Organizers of the Game Developers Conference today revealed details on this year's Game Career Seminar, a one-day GDC-related event that helps those new to the industry get some solid advice and best practices from industry leaders.
The one-day program takes place Friday, March 6th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, promises to give attendees the chance to learn about the industry, network with leading video game industry professionals and HR representatives from leading companies.
Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian will receive the Harvard Humanist of the Year 2014 Award on Sunday, February 8 at the Harvard University Science Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The annual award is handed out by the Humanist Community at Harvard University. The Humanist Community at Harvard (or HCH as it likes to be called) is "dedicated to building, educating, and nurturing a diverse community of Humanists, atheists, agnostics, and the nonreligious at Harvard and beyond."
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced the continuation of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) College Game Competition, which provides colleges and universities with video game development programs an opportunity to showcase their game at E3 on an annual basis. Each institution can submit one game, with selected finalists receiving a display space at this year's E3 event in Los Angeles this summer.
World of Tanks maker Wargaming.net has partnered with Full Sail University to launch the new on-campus Full Sail User Experience Lab. The collaborative effort promises to bring "state-of-the-art UX testing to over 5,000 play testers annually, and will include Full Sail students and graduates, as well as external members of the community." The Full Sail User Experience Lab plans to accomplish 100+ research projects per year for companies from multiple industries, as well as provide a project-based teaching environment.
Entertainment Media Council (EMC) has announced a partnership with The Escapist owner Defy Media to add content to what it calls the "the world's first nonprofit media library that will preserve the rich history of video games." Defy Media will provide EMC full-text content from The Escapist under this new partnership. Access to this database will be by subscription only for corporate and academic researchers, the group says. EMC plans to work with other media companies in the future.
Stephen Mitroff, an associate professor and researcher at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, has teamed up with Washington-based game developer Kedlin to improve baggage screeners' ability to spot suspicious and potentially deadly items. This is being done with data collected from play sessions of "Airport Scanner," which uses vision and attention to improve skills on spotting things that are out of place in luggage.
Publisher Ubisoft announced today that applications are now being accepted for the Ubisoft Graduate Program. Those interested in applying have from now until January 31, 2015. The Ubisoft Graduate Program lets applicants intern at a Ubisoft studio for two years to learn about three areas of game development: Project Management (producer), Online Programming, and Gameplay Programming.
This week the NYU Game Center has launched its free online archive of Game Center Lectures with recordings of all talks to date. The NYU Game Center has been hosting lectures from video game industry professionals since 2009. The archives offer past lectures from such notable developers as Tim Schafer, Heather Kelley and Jonathan Blow - just to name a few.
The NYU Game Center announced the launch of the archives today on Twitter:
Dr. Gaurav Khanna, a black hole physicist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has built a supercomputer using 200 connected PlayStation 3 systems to study vibrations in space-time called gravitational waves. His latest bit of research builds on previous research in 2007 when he linked 16 PS3s together to model black hole collisions. No doubt these are older PS3s because they are running Linux through the "Other OS" feature that Sony killed off with an update.
Researchers at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut are using custom made video games to treat criminals that have been identified as "psychopaths," according to this GII report.
Lisa Rosner, a distinguished professor of history at Richard Stockton College in Galloway, NJ, has been awarded grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a game about the early history of smallpox vaccination. The NEH has given professor Rosner $99,837 to create a game called "Pox Hunter," as part of a project called "A 3D Strategy Game for the History of Medicine." She is building the game with the help of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and digital learning game developer Eduweb.
A new adventure book for children promises to teach them how to code using the Ruby programming language.
Published by No Starch Press, Ruby Wizardry is the creation of New Yorker-published poet, professional programmer, and former Codecademy content architect Eric Weinstein. The book (which retails for $29.99) follows the adventures of young heroes Ruben and Scarlet, as they learn programming skills.
The book promises to teach the following (according to No Starch Press):
Researchers at the University of California Riverside and the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research are developing a video game that will aid in treating auditory dysfunction by training the auditory cortex to better process complex sounds. The development team is seeking public support to raise $100,000 needed to fund research and develop a computer game they claim will improve the brain’s ability to process and distinguish sounds.
New research coming out of the University of Sussex in England suggests that girls may be better than boys in designing more complex story-driven games. The study conducted by Dr. Kate Howland and Dr. Judith Good - and recently published in Computers and Education journal - came to the conclusion that girls in the classroom wrote more complex programs in their games and learned more about coding than boys did.