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.
The University of Southern California (USC) Pullias Center for Higher Education has developed a new Facebook game called Mission: Admission, which aims to encourage low-income students to attend college by teaching high school students the importance of meeting deadlines and learning the application process of the college.
A new study by Stetson University Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology (and researcher) Christopher Ferguson shows that there's no correlation between buying and consuming violent media and real-world violence. The research comes from a two part study that compares violent video game and movie consumption with statistics on homicide.
The University of New Hampshire's Prevention Innovations, a research and training unit that creates programs to "reduce sexual violence on college campuses," is creating a game to support "bystander intervention strategies." The project aims to create an interactive simulation video game (or ISVG) for web-based and mobile platforms. It is being funded by a two-year, $579,301 grant from the National Institute of Justice.
This week the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) doled out $90,000 in scholarships to 30 students who are pursuing game development-related degrees in the United States. The scholarships were handed out through the ESA's charity arm, The ESA Foundation.
All of this year's recipients are either women and/or minorities enrolled at an accredited four-year U.S. academic institution. Each recipient will receive $3,000 through the scholarship program.
New research coming out of Australia suggest that playing active video games or banning traditional games outright does not help children who live sedentary lifestyles. Traditional and active play games make little difference to how physically active children are throughout the day, says Professor Leon Straker from Curtin University's School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science.
Robin Hunicke, the game designer and producer responsible for creating Journey at thatgamecompany, has been hired by the University of California Santa Cruz as Associate Professor of Art & Game Design. Hunicke will officially join the faculty in January 2015 and be in charge of leading the new undergraduate program in Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz.
The American University School of Communication is using a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation for a new program to train journalists in game design, Gamasutra reports.The grant money will be used to fund a "Journalism Leadership Transformation" pilot program with six fellowship positions: three for working journalists, and three for journalism students.