May 29, 2009
Scholars discuss the value of games for education
At the Games for Change festival (G4C), education scholar James Paul Gee from Arizona State University and the co-director of the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT Henry Jenkins discussed the potential social benefits of games and gaming cultures. Their discussion extolled video games for their ability to promote cultures of creativity and engagement. Promoting these types "participatory cultures" are what school "ought to be doing" states Gee.
Read a full article on the discussion @ http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=23820
Also take a look @ James Paul Gee's book What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy
May 21, 2009
Gamers Help Solve Real Science Puzzles
Scientists developed a game, Foldit, that asks gamers to help reveal the shortcuts nature uses to weave a tangle of amino acids into a protein. Players are asked to follow laws of physics and biochemistry to come up with the most efficient way to create a protein out of its given amino acids.Many of the solutions offered by Foldit players were entered into a protein prediction contest, CASP. Foldit players did surprisingly well; even winning one of the protein puzzles. Meaning that in one category gamers had beat scientists in projecting protein structures.These proteins could actually have therapeutic value in the real world, outside the game.
Read about Foldit and the 13 year old protein folding prodigy, Aristides Poehlman in the Wired Article: http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/magazine/17-05/ff_protein?currentPage=all
May 12, 2009
Meet Local Game Development Company on Promotional Tour
Fans of THQ’s Red Faction franchise no longer need to wait until the June 2nd release date to experience life as a Mars colonist in the upcoming video game Red Faction Guerrilla—they can simply visit the RFG tour truck when it makes its stop in downtown Champaign on May 18th.
Red Faction Guerrilla, developed at Volition, Inc. in Champaign, is the third installment in the Red Faction series. The game places the player on Mars in the year 2120, as miner Alec Mason, who joins the rebel Faction in an attempt to avenge his brother’s death. Red Faction Guerrilla is a third-person shooter game featuring innovative open-world destruction capabilities, giving the player the option to move freely about the virtual world with realistic physics.
Outside the Red Faction Guerrilla tour truck, fans of the series will be able to play the upcoming game at one of five available kiosks. Members from the RFG development team will be available to meet fans and answer questions, and freebies will be handed out, including t-shirts, key chains and astronaut ice cream.
The truck has been touring nationwide since March alongside the “Music as a Weapon” tour, making stops in cities such as Phoenix and Minneapolis, and will be making a final stop in Champaign to visit Volition headquarters, where the Red Faction franchise was developed. It will be parked in front of the One Main Building (1 E. Main St., Champaign) on Monday, May 18th and visitors will be welcome from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. that evening.
For any additional information, contact Volition at (217) 355-0320. Red Faction Guerrilla will be released in the US for PlayStation3 and Xbox360 consoles on June 2nd .
Volition, Inc. is a video game developer located in Champaign, Illinois. They have been owned by THQ since 2000 and have developed several popular titles, including The Punisher as well as the Summoner, Red Faction and Saints Row series.
May 10, 2009
Interesting Stats on Gamer Demographics
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is a U.S. organization dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of video game companies. A part of this service includes taking the most indepth and targeted surveys of gamers in the US. They report those statistics annually here are some of the most interesting figures from 2008:
The average gamer is 35 years old and has been playing for 13 years.
Twenty-six percent of game players are over the age of 50.
Women over 18 years of age represent 33% of the game playing population; which is nearly double the population share of males 17 and under (18%).
Check out these statistics and more @ Industry Facts section of http://www.theesa.com