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An Update on Games and Science

January 21, 2013

A couple of article that I found of interest related to games and science…

Violent Games – The Evidence…

The Guardian had a good article getting into the evidence for around games and violence and the actual evidence is often surprising and patchy:

This may come as a surprise if you read much of the popular press, which is often obsessed with technological scare stories. Scientific evidence has been less media-friendly but considerably more convincing. We now have numerous studies on how playing action computer games, as opposed to puzzle or strategy titles such as The Sims or Tetris, leads to an improvement in how well we pay attention, how quickly we react, how sensitive we are to images and how accurately we sort information. Crucially, these studies are not just focused on people who already play a lot of video games, but are testing whether action video game training genuinely leads to improvements.

Games and Age

The BBC has an interesting report on how older gamers’s numbers are on the rise. This is not surprising really as the games industry offers an ever broader range of titles. As the generations who grew up with gaming gets older (like me!) this will only grow…

It is predicted that by the end of this year, female gamers will outnumber men for the first time. However computer games are also increasingly being seen as a way for older people to keep mentally active.

The Scientist

The Scientist has a very long (and interesting) article looking at the many growing linkages between games and science…

Alborg, Denmark, plays an online video game in which he arranges colored discs into two-dimensional chain-link shapes. It’s addictive, and he plays for hours on end. But EteRNA is not your typical Internet time suck: the discs represent nucleotides, and the patterns they form are blueprints for RNA molecules. Every 2 weeks, the best designs—voted for by the players themselves—are synthesized in the lab by the Stanford University scientists who helped to create the game, and observations about how the resulting molecules behave are relayed to the players. That feedback informs the development of new playing strategies, which in turn help the scientists to better understand the rules of RNA folding and function. Although there’s no PhD after his name, Fisker, one of the best of the game’s 40,000 registered players, is helping to unravel a fundamental aspect of biochemistry that has long eluded the world’s brightest scientists—and even helping to design novel RNAs that encode proteins to fix carbon or fight disease.

HIVe (Wellcome ExPlay Game Jam 2012 entry)

HIVe from Wellcome/ExPlay Games Jam

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 23, 2013 10:11 am

    Hi there, I just wanted to bring to your attention a video I produced for GameSpot.com which deals with this very question and includes interviews with active researchers.

    It may be a good addition to your list!

    Cheers
    Cam

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