Sunday, June 29, 2014

Video games are not bad for you

This has been a very busy week for collapse-related entertainment, what with the The Hunger Games' Mockingjay trailer arriving last week, the premiere of "The Leftovers" tonight,  and both "Defiance" and "Falling Skies" continuing their seasons.  However, it's also been a busy week for me, and all I have time to share with my readers tonight are these two articles about video games from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Gliese 832c) on Daily Kos last night.

First, University of Buffalo reports via Science Daily that 'Bad' video game behavior increases players' moral sensitivity: May lead to pro-social behavior in real world.
New evidence suggests heinous behavior played out in a virtual environment can lead to players' increased sensitivity toward the moral codes they violated. The current study found such guilt can lead players to be more sensitive to the moral issues they violated during game play. Other studies have established that in real life scenarios, guilt evoked by immoral behavior in the "real-world" elicits pro-social behaviors in most people.
"Rather than leading players to become less moral," Grizzard says, "this research suggests that violent video-game play may actually lead to increased moral sensitivity. This may, as it does in real life, provoke players to engage in voluntary behavior that benefits others."
Thus, one of the traditional knocks against video games, that they promote violence, is not true.  In fact, the opposite may be the case.

Next, Colorado State University finds that Gamers know grammar, and aren't afraid to use it.
Gamers use good grammar? Surprising as it might sound, that's one the findings from studies of online gaming chat led by a CSU researcher.

The studies found that millennials – notorious for misused language and sloppy typing – are actually more accomplished communicators than many of us believed.

“Online chat – especially in games – is often thought of as eroding the typing and self-expression skills of younger people, but our study shows that they are very expressive and do pay attention to how they communicate both with text and non-verbally with their avatars,” said Rosa Mikeal Martey, the study’s lead author and a professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Journalism and Technical Communication.
One other finding was how players of different ages explored the capabilities of their avatars in different ways.  Younger players, especially young men, were more likely to jump and emote than older ones.  One of my favorite examples of that are the dance videos from various MMOs out there, such as this one from Star Wars: The Old Republic.  It's the first I've seen from that game.

I'm sure someone young made this video, and a damn good thing, too.

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