Friday, February 23, 2007

Job opportunities for Second Life

"Educators that are Los Angeles based (and remote learning teachers as well) can send resumes in this direction! We are especially looking for educators who are capable of growing and sustaining communities in SL. is best for Second Life-related projects. They are hiring a handful of part-time and full-time educators in 2007 along with many design creatives and SL professionals."

Global Kids:
"Global Kids is NOT looking to hire anyone... today. But they expect they will, as 2007 progresses. If you are a NYC-based educator who uses Second Life, please feel free to send Barry Joseph ( your resume so you can be kept in mind as positions develop. See blog for their projects."

ESRB to start hiring full time video game raters

"The ESRB is looking for adults with flexible hours that would be available to come to NY on a freelance basis (1- 4 times a month) during normal (9-5) business hours to rate video games"

Family Safety Bus Tour

"Microsoft's educational campaign includes a 20-city bus tour that is taking to the streets to provide hands-on training and education on video games."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

ALSC Announces Notable Software List

"CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2007 list of Notable Computer Software and Online Subscription Services for children..."

Check out the press release and list at:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Online Magazines and Casual Games

by Jason Dobson, Gamasutra, 2/19/07
"Online casual and advergaming developer Arkadium has announced a multi-year agreement with magazine publisher Hearst Corporation to develop web-based games for some of the publisher's most popular properties, beginning with Seventeen, CosmoGIRL! and Teen."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Surgeons Who Play Video Games More Skilled

by Reuters, 2/19/07
"Playing video games appears to help surgeons with skills that truly count: how well they operate using a precise technique, a study said Monday.
There was a strong correlation between video game skills and a surgeon's capabilities performing laparoscopic surgery in the study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Super Mario Multimedia World

by the Ubiquitous Librarian, 1/20/07
"This is a concept that our student assistants developed, designed, and implemented. We have a small and cozy multimedia studio (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, iMovie, Final Cut, Dreamweaver, Flash, Maya, etc) and over the winter break they turned it into a 3d environment based on the Super Mario's World game."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Worlds Collide

The Isle of Myst has been recreated in Second Life to promote Uru Live, a MMOG based on Myst.

Wagner James Au covers it best, at New World Notes:

MacArthur Games and Learning Panel Draws Crowds

by Connie Yowell, MacArthur Foundation, 2/12/07
"An overflow crowd gathered in Chicago’s Newberry Library to hear three experts discuss the use of video games for learning. The panel was the first in a series. "

Today's Homework: Make Good Games

by Chris Kohler, Wired, 2/13/07
"MIT professor Henry Jenkins is the accidental hero of video gamers. So when Jenkins speaks, the game industry listens. And right now, he thinks the business could use a dose of creativity. "

Friday, February 16, 2007

Learning in Immersive Worlds: a review of game based learning

"The Learning in Immersive Worlds: a review of game based learning report, authored by Sara de Freitas, scopes out the current use of games for learning in UK HE and post-16 education and has been produced to inform practitioners who are considering using games and simulations in their practice."

The 73 page report discussion cognition and games, emerging forms of gaming, such as mobile and alternative reality gaming, that may be used in education.

Interestingly enough, lack of access to technology and tools was cited as the largest barrier to game incorporation in the curriculum.

The key finding seems to be we need more research done in this area!

Read the report at

Monday, February 12, 2007

I have a Wii!

And, a Mii! A smirky one, even.

I got it Sunday night as an early birthday/Valentine's day gift. I stunk at tennis, and very nearly hurled my numchuck at the new TV at one point as I attempted a forehand; thank gods for the wrist strap, else I would have found an early demise. I question the physics of the bowling, as I bowled a 202, and had several double strikes. I have a lot of trouble keeping the ball going straight in RL, as I tend to curve left.

I spent Sunday playing Call of Duty 3, (Activision/TreyArch) an M-rated first person shooter, and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Eidos/Lucas Arts), an E-rated action-adventure. I found Call of Duty challenging. I played in a player vs. player mode with my much more adept husband, who kept sneaking up behind me and shooting me in the head while I was still trying to line up my target or just plain FIND his Allied troops character. The World War II setting means no representation of women or minorities, and this particular mode of play did not show my damage or my target, making for an uncluttered screen, but a feeling of cluelessness. There is a lack of blood - the screen has a red wash when you are fatally wounded but no blown away body parts or anything. After he had 24 kills than my one, and was in hysterics (you call yourself a gamer?!) I called it quits. The camera control was hair trigger sensitive. I kept getting stuck in the trench because I forgot to pan down to see where my feet where. Ocassionally, vector lines were visible in the stone walls - a small design flaw.

I am finding Lego Star Wars II to be unputdownable. The story playthrough is so compelling, because you just want to see what they did with the cut scenes, and blowing Lego characters into their component bits is hellaciously funny. The building is a lot of fun, too; the pieces even make a satisfying "snick snick snick" sound. Music, but not dialogue, from the trilogy is featured.
I found I didn't need the manual; the game prompted me when I needed a command. It's great to find something with such a low learning curve. In two player mode, the characters can only go a certain number of pixels apart, so actions had to be team-coordinated. Jumping was sometimes clumsy and out-of-control, but the game allows a second player to jump in or out at any point in the game. I am really looking forward to going back to play in story mode, where you can choose to be any character, instead of pre-set choices.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Study says video games are good for eyes

by Reuters Life! 2/7/07
"Video game addicts, rejoice: U.S. researchers have found that playing is actually good for your eyes, and despite all those dire warnings from your parents, it won't make you blind." Thanks Matt.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

West Virginia Schools Use DDR

by Reuters, 2/1/07
"West Virginia, which has the worst childhood obesity problem in the United States, is stepping up plans to use Konami Corp.'s "Dance Dance Revolution" to battle the bulge in its schools."