As part of my on-going interest in video games, here is another round up. Besides some top picks, this one covers social issues, game design, academic research, some funny stuff, games and more games, learning and education through gaming, and a surprise mix-up ending.
I know, I know, this is way too long, but I guess this might be my own obsessive ritual. But if you really do want more, you can check out my last video game round-up, which had a brain/psychology flavor and linked to my own stuff here on the Neuroanth blog.
Top of the List
Brain Crecente, Three Developers Explain LittleBigPlanet Level Design to a 7-Year-Old
If you want the basic basic about how to make a great game, this is the place to start. Plus, how cool for this kid!
Designers have more insight into human nature than most anthropologists and neuroscientists (after all, they rely on people to get what they are doing…). And when trying to explain that to a kid, they get like your favorite uncle after a few beers crossed with Yoda. Some wisdom here… and a few exploding barrels.
Andy Chalk, LittleBigPlanet Delayed over Religious Controversy
The highly anticipated Sony game is delayed because a featured song contains Arabic words taken from the Qur’an. Some Muslims consider it sacrilegious to mix popular music and holy text; the initial discussion started on Arabic gaming sites.
For more on the song “Tapha Niang” by Toumani Diabaté, a Grammy-award winning musician from Mali, see this article. You can also listen to the song here.
Toumani Diabate defends the use of the Qur’an in his music, calling it both normal and a way to inspire people towards Islam. Even more reactions here by players, Sony and others interested parties. Finally, the American Islam Forum for Democracy objects to the censorship.
Jeremy Adam Smith, Playing the Blame Game: Video Games Pros and Cons
A balanced piece on how video games affect adolescents based on the research of Cheryl Olson and Lawrence Kutner
Michael Abbott, Games to Help
Several examples of games that aim to make a difference – money to cancer, social awareness, and more
Jay Alabaster, Japan’s Online Social Scene Isn’t So Social
“Welcome to Japan’s online social scene, where you’re unlikely to meet anyone you don’t know already.”
Kate Schneider, Video Games Social, Not Violent, Study Finds
Teenagers socialize through video games – not just sitting in a basement blowing things up alone
Newser, Online Gamers Leaner Than Your Average Couch Potato
Watching TV is the big potato; gamers just have more mental health problems. At least among EverQuest players. For more on this study, see here and here.