Thursday, June 29, 2006

Video Game News. June 28 2006

Final Papers from COMM 3344: Games for the Web (Interactive multimedia)

Game Designers Try to Help Save the World
Reuters 6/28/06
"Parents may worry that violent video games are bad for their children, but the technology can help save the world by raising awareness of the world's downtrodden, a group of socially conscious game designers say."

The Escapist Issue #51: It Came From The Escapist
is now available at Read abstracts at

Welcome to the Bran and Flaxseed World of Video Games
by Ben Grabow, Scripps Howard News Service 6/28/06
"Nintendo is looking to teach an old generation some new games."

'Ethical' Computer Games Take on Shoot-'em-up Classics
By Jack Fairweather, 6/29/06
"Help is at hand for parents worried about the violent computer games their children play. "Ethical" computer games are finding a toe-hold in a market dominated by shooting and fighting."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Video Game News, June 23 2006

Playing with Purpose: Video games are tackling serious issues like never before
by Redmond Carolipio, San Bernardino Sun 06/22/06
"Some may scoff at the notion, but while gaming news in recent weeks has been bombarded with talk of legislation or hearings on violence against the GTAs of the world, there's a genre of games that has its sights set on things like global hunger, cancer awareness and social activism."

Child Gets Paid to Play Video Games
by Adam Balkin, New York 1 6/21/2006
"Little Victor De Leon ... is so quick with a controller, he already plays Halo in big, professional gaming tournaments. And "Lil' Poison," as he's called within the gaming world, rarely gets beat."

Video Game News, June 22, 2006

The Escapist Issue #50: Girl Power 2 now available online at; read abstracts at

Playa Rater: The 10 Most Influential Video Gamers Of All Time
by Stephen Tolito, MTV News, 6/21/06
"Our expert rates the 10 gamers whose skills have influenced the culture, creation or business of video games."

The Bard Breaks Into Video Games in City Professor's Literacy Project
by Thana Dharmarajah, The Grand River Life 6/21/06
"A University of Guelph professor has used William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to create a futuristic storyline in a computer game to interest young minds and improve literacy skills."

Violent Games Law Shot Down in Louisiana
Out-Law News 6/21/06
"Louisiana could become the latest US state to stage a climb-down over video game laws. The state passed the law just last week but a court has already granted a temporary restraining order preventing its coming into force."

It’s Not All Fun and Video Games: 1st detox center open for addicts
by Fia Curley, Fort 6/20/06
"AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – An addiction center is opening Europe’s first detox clinic for video-game addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can’t leave their joysticks alone."

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Game On

Next month will be a year for Game On. (according to the archives!). How have libraries moved in the gaming world since then? Any major trends or improvements?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Second Life in the News

PODCAST: Second Life Primer (19 minutes, 40 seconds long)
by CC Chapman, Managing the Gray 6/11/06
"You can go into Second Life and stand still... forever. not move and you can still have a good experience. All right, not a very rich and engaging experience, but you could... and thus, it's a not a game... well, yeah, there's sex going in on Second Life, but have you seen how much sex is going on on ithe web in general? C'mon, people..."

The Irresistible Rise of Cybersex
by Celeste Biever, New Scientist. 6/15/06
"Now some gamers are using these programming tools to give their avatars genitalia and erotic outfits, and to have them engage in animated cybersex."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Video Game News, June 17, 2006

Is it time for video games to take on current events?
Inside Bay Area 6/16/06
"GAMES usually only make the news when they're about something a certain segment of the nongame-playing public can feel righteously indignant about."

Video-Game Ratings Board Admits Not Playing the Games: Watchdogs say inappropriate content is slipping past reviewers.
Focus on the Family Citizen Link 6/15/06
"Bob Hoose, who reviews video games for Plugged In magazine, told Family News in Focus that while it would be helpful to families if the ESRB did a better job, the ultimate responsibility falls to parents."

Government Committee Holds Hearing on Video Games: Violent and explicit games are once again a topic of discussion in Washington.
by Li C. Kuo, GameSpy June 14, 2006
"Today, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection began a hearing titled "Violent and Explicit Video Games: Informing Parents and Protecting Children.""

Video Games As Simulatorsby Mike, TechDirt 6/15/06
With politicians again freaking out about the impact of video games on kids, there are two interesting stories today about how video games may be helping kids. The first is a middle school where an English teacher is using video games to keep kids interested, while teaching them about concepts like setting, plot and story line."

Louisiana Guv Signs Jack Thompson Video Game Bill Into Law - Industry Lawsuit Expected
Game Politics 6/16/06
"As of today, there is a violent video game law in effect in Louisiana."

Video Games Seen as Way to Train, Learn
by Christine Simmons, The Washington Times 6/15/06
"Video games may not belong in the home anymore: Students and employees in the future should be able to use them to learn and train. "

Midlands Students Studying Video Games
by Chantelle Janelle, WIS TV10 6/15/06
"The teens are learning about the technology used in designing games. They find out how math and science are used to make the games come to life."

Grant Funds Video Games for the Mind: OU’s K20 Center receives grant, places students at helm of game design
by Heather Caliendo, OU Daily 6/13/06
"“We have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education specifically to develop a computer game for Oklahoma students in the eighth and ninth grade to augment their curriculum,” said Martin Cole, computer engineering junior. “The rest of the game development is up to us.”"

Teen Drives Into Career With Video Games
AP 6/14/06
"For Brad Coleman, all those hours locked away in his bedroom helped turn his hopes into reality...two weeks after graduating from high school, Coleman debuted in NASCAR's Busch Series."

First Conference on Sex in Video Games Titillates Fans and Developers
by David Silverberg, Digital Journal 6/14/06
"...the two-day symposium explored issues surrounding digital erotic entertainment, including the psychology behind foreplay in online worlds and the future of sex in cellphone games."

Company wants to harness brain waves to play video games
by Dean Takahashi, Knight Ridder Newspapers 6/14/06
"At least two start-ups have developed technology that monitors a player's brain waves and uses the signals to control the action in games.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Using video games in Humanities

Morrowind used in middle school classroom. Teacher had students write a choose your own adventure story about the characters in it. Started with Setting, then finished with the story. She used Choose your own adventure, because it is much like Roleplay.

Anarchy Online used in a Technical writing classroom to teach the "fuzzy" stuff. Students roleplay within the game. Game is the situated context for learning.

Teens and Technology

As I sit in my sessions and my statement that teens are producers sinks in I realize that if we want kids to learn how to use databases, and online catalogs, they need to make guides on how to use it.

You truly learn how to use something when you have to make a guide for it. We as librarians would also be able to use the best guides to have in the library for student reference.

If we did it in the first week of school with the new class entering the school would we be able to really minimize plagiarism and allow teens to really enjoy the creation?

If anyone wants to take my idea and do something with it go ahead. I look forward to seeing what people make of it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Love this Wiki

Open Content Wiki

One of the Workshops I went to we spent the time working on this Wiki. It is a collaboration of different researchers, gathering information about games in one place.

There are some interesting pages related to educational games teachers have used, and different academic resources available. This looks like a great start for bibliographies.

History Education and Games

When the webcasts of the conference are posted this is another session librarians should listen to. Jeremy McCall is a history teacher that has used games to explore the accuracy. His model would be a very interesting way to present information literacy.

Another think I was impressed with was the true strength of history games. This is one of the most developed educational genres. Some of the games mentioned "Rome:Total War" and "Making History" are two games that have more educational capabilities than Civilization.

This is a topic I hope many academic and school libraries explore.

Media Literacy

Tonight all presentations will be podcast, but for now some highlights:

Media Literacy
Based on the idea people are dupes
It makes you look at technology in a way that you won’t be duped
Studies today show that young people don’t believe anything
The only person that is truly duped is the media literacy specialist

Young people no longer want to be consumers, but want to be producers.
Modern technologies allow young people to produce at a high level, a Hollywood level
This productive level is one of the crucial skills that a economy might need in the future.

Games are a great site, when you put them in the right environment, you can think like producer.
Already this medium makes you think like a designer to play it.
IN chivy robo, you get to be a four inch robot.
Take any area that is design, and realize there is a grammar.
There is a structure to any design (architecture,
When you are four inches tall you think about the design space completely different
You have to get people to think about things in a different way.

Another thing that is happening. Media literacy is being separated from traditional literacy
Media literacy issues are as important as traditional literacy, scientific literacy…
All [literacies] are married to each other.
Pick Science by tool
We are in a world where the divide between technology art and science don’t exsist anymore

Worlds we put people in pours right into games

The single variable is not learning phonics. The most important is the childs ability to handle complex language (biology, technology)

Kids and their video games face more complicated languages than they see in the classroom.
Look at the Yu-Gi-oh website, and listen to the arguments of 7 year olds about rules.


In school and after school programs with historical games

Why work with games?
There are at least 3 characteristic take into account
Today’s media environment is about production not consumption

Simulation- literate with simulation is a key part of consumption
Get kids the opportunities to think about historical events.
Makes interesting introductions

Games Provides opportunities to get teachers to talk to their students about history


Science is not a bunch of facts, its a way of reasoning about the worlds.

Pulled thread about Druid’s class points off of WOW forums
Had over 300,000 views
Looking at Scientific views.

Model based reasoning.

MMOs are about grasping a complex system.

When you start to look at classrooms
1 in 5 have basic scientific literacy, despite the fact that we mandatory science education
The kind of science we teach in school, and the course of instruction
It engenders the opposite of science.
Science is not about facts, its about structure.

In Lineage, some players were collecting data and creating excel sheet to determine the best way to beat a boss.
They didn’t know they were doing science, they thought they just were cheating the game.

April issue of Wired Will Wright. Mastering the game system means doing some basic scientific reasoning.


We have a problem in this country.
Our economy is going to be in trouble between of the gap of people we need to run our advanced computer systems and the number of people educated.

Young people are just as bad as most people about finding information. Learning about information technology at school is not enough.

Gaming is a key experience for getting people interested in further education.

Games Learning Society Opening Session

Constance Steinkuehler

Last year they focused on starting to get academic focus on games. This year they want to have a conversation.


Constance Steinkuehler
Focus research questions
Studying a new phenomenon
Studying something on its own terms mean getting innovative

Questions of genuine depth lead themselves to a variety interesting research

Last year's webcasts

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Games Learning and Society 2006

Wow its past 7am, and I'm going to finish up homework then begin my road trip to Madison for The Games Learning and Society Conference.

For all of those who are un able to make it, I will post a review of the day, if not a summary of the sessions.

for now check out the Flickr group

I will do my best to NOT appear in the photos, so don't look for me :).

Hope you enjoy my rambled notetaking, I will try to do the honored speakers justice

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Video Game Offered for College Credit

University of North Carolina-Greensboro is "developing a video game for college credit that takes online instruction into new frontiers. Called ECON 201, the game teaches the principles of microeconomics by following an alien species that must learn how to survive after crash-landing on a futuristic, post-apocalyptic earth." Thanks Jesse!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Video Game News, FROM REAL LIBRARY PUBLICATIONS!!! June 12, 2006

"Gaming: The Next Hot Technology for Libraries?"
by Donald T. Hawkins & Barbara Bryno, Information Today, June 2006
"Although still in its infancy in the library world, this technology once used only for entertainment is now being adapted for a host of uses, especially social networking."

How Gaming Could Improve Information Literacy
by Ameet Doshi, Computers in Libraries May 2006
"By including a gaming element in library skills teaching, I believe the potential exists to excite this millennial generation about information literacy and infuse them with lifelong library skills."

Monopoly: Nintendo Collector's Edition Coming Soon

by Press the Buttons, 6/9/06
"USAopoly has been granted the license from Hasbro and Nintendo to create a Nintendo-centric Monopoly board game." Thanks Matt.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Get in the Game-Summer Reading

The Cincinnati Public Library appears to have a very savvy game related summer reading program for teens called 'Get in the Game @ Your Library'. Check it out! Add yours here too!


Big Games: Large-Scale, Multi-Player, Real-World Games
Podcast by Kevin Slavin
"A Big Game might involve transforming a city into a giant board game, hundreds of players roaming the streets looking for invisible treasure, or a TV show built on real-time audience interactions."

Serious Games
Podcast by Steven Berlin Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for You
"Johnson argues that judgment of video games should consider the intellectual and problem solving skills they require."

Friday, June 09, 2006

E3 2006 Nintendo Conference Wii Video 1

I was looking for different videos on YouTube when i found this. If you look closely you can see how the controller will work.

It will be a long time before the Wii comes out, but I think it will be great. Odd, but great.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Video Game News, June 6, 2006

The Escapist, issue #48: Snowy Day now available at; abstracts of articles at

Video Games in Congress' Crosshairs
by Anne Broache, CNET 6/2/06
"A U.S. House of Representatives committee on consumer protection says it will hold a hearing on the topic later this month, with a focus on "informing parents and protecting children" from the alleged dangers of those types of games."

Muslims Craft Their Own Video Games
by Rhonda Roumani, The Christian Science Monitor 6/5/06
"Set to be released in September, "Al-Quraysh" is a strategy game that tells the story of the first 100 years of Islam's history from the viewpoint of four different nations - Bedouins, Arabs, Persians, and Romans."

Police Search Murder Suspect for Video Games
by Nick Farrell, the Enquirer 6/4/06
"The police were apparently acting on the suggestion of Jack Thompson..."

Video Games seized From Teen’s Home

by James Minton, the LA Advocate, 6/5/06
"Jack Thompson of Coral Gables, Fla., said Friday he suggested that West Feliciana Parish sheriff’s detectives look at the violent video game angle as a possible motive because published reports of Gore’s injuries “raised a red flag” in his, Thompson’s, mind."

Will Teenagers Play Religion-Themed Video Games?
by Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times 6/5/06
"As the video game industry gathers at the Los Angeles Convention Center this week for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, a devout group of publishers is praying for a direct strike on their elusive target: the eternal souls of game players."

Friday, June 02, 2006

Character Card Games

NCTE has created many materials for teachers to use that allow students to create different products that resemble popular entertainment. I was looking at their site, when I found this:

A character Trading Card Creator

This software seems perfect to use for middle school students who might enjoy the option to translate one of the characters from a book they read into a playing card.

Have fun with the site.

The possibilities are limited with the software, but the teens could have fun creating it on their own as well.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Game Review Online for Families

"But other than that this game is perfectly harmless and can be enjoyed by people of all ages." Said Dove about Need for Speed Underground 2

"THE DOVE FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization established to encourage and promote the creation, production and distribution of wholesome family entertainment."

I was very glad to find this today.
I had know about Common Sense Media, which is best for younger children, and Game Rankings, which complies industry reviews.

The Dove is traditionally a Christian Symbol so it is nice to see games be recognized by a conservative representative

It does have its downsides. Fable was created by a Christian game developer, to show the effects of our choices, and how far people can back slide. It is a Roleplaying game, but it is an amazing game. Dove does not approve this game as Family-friendly because: " First of all there is excessive violence in this game including beheading, blood, and various forms of violence. Also, there is a magic element where you conjure spells hurting others." This is just like my mother who wouldn't let me see the lion the witch and the wardroom because it had a witch in it.

I think this will be another great source for evidence on including it in libraries though.