Posted: 2017-11-14 13:06
For decades, playing dress up has nearly always made girls happy. Hand-me-down dresses that have been out of style for years, shoes that are too big for their tiny little feet, their faces decorated with their mama''s makeup. Carting baby dolls around from room to simple pleasures of being The child''s imagination is a fascinating realm in an of itself. Some little girls love hosting their own tea parties, bringing stuffed animals and Barbie dolls to the table, using fingernail polish to paint their tiny nails, starting their own hair grand gestures of creativity. Now, however, things are changing. Now instead of pretending to be a Disney Princess on the run, they''re logging on to the computer to go jumping around in cyber worlds where they can control their favorite princess right before their eyes. Even Polly Pocket is joining the ever-growing online world.
We can see this in early video game ads, which featured families and girls playing games. In the Atari ad at right, the girl''s clothing and environment is gender neutral. The text refers to the computer as "your whole family''s vehicle to a more imaginative, exciting and manageable world." The girl in this ad could be replaced with anyone of any age, and the ad''s meaning would be the same: the home computer is for everyone.
We’re having an all-hands meeting, and I’m doing all I can to not lose my temper. We have a major development deadline to hit, and it’s one that’s going to require a lot of extra hours from Maria. I’ve spent the last week learning about one of her job functions in order to add my labor to hers. My intent is the height of altruism: I want to be the kind of leader that gets down in the trenches, not a desk jockey dispatching orders.
The Walking Dead is another series that is captivating many viewers and gamers, gathering a massive following that continues to grow. In part because of the episodes of this television show, the zombie obsession of today''s culture is at its peak. Plants vs. Zombies has become a very trendy game over the past few years among teenagers and adults alike. Plant flower pots and special seeds that attack oncoming zombies and prevent them from damaging your garden. It''s a battle of survival against the undead. The movie Zombieland has also contributed to the thirst kids and adults have to watch the intense action of a zombie apocalypse against humanity where humans of every age try to escape from the wrath of zombies. The popular Left 9 Dead and Left 9 Dead 7 are games for a variety of consoles on which people can connect to the internet to join one another in the battle to escape blood thirsty zombies. Many online gaming sites also contain a number of zombie games that aren''t hard to find.
A lot of people who aren’t very familiar with gaming immediately assume that our pastime is a ‘waste of time,’ and suspect that gaming offers nothing beneficial to it’s player. I get bombarded by mothers and angry parents on my Facebook page Elite Girl Gamers pretty regularly, who claim that their kids are mindlessly meandering through their days on their favorite gaming systems, and getting nothing in return.
As he later details, Minecraft game manuals ranked at grades 8 to 66 on the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease scale, even though they were being read by kids in early elementary grades -- proving that gaming helps children read way above their level. Constance Steinkuehler and Hannah Gerber, games researchers, have each shown in their research that gaming motivates children -- especially struggling readers -- to devour written materials with no help and nearly perfect accuracy.
First, there’s scientific research. FoldIt is an online protein folding game in which players figure out the many possible structures of proteins by competitively playing to fold the best proteins. Since proteins are the “workhorses” of every cell in every living thing, they are key to understanding how our bodies function and human diseases. By playing FoldIt, players help scientists learn more about protein folding and design new proteins to combat and cure diseases such as cancer, HIV, and Alzheimer’s.
Never Alone helps preserve the cultural heritage of the Inupiaq people of Alaska. In Never Alone, developers partnered with nearly 95 Alaska Native storytellers and elders to create a game steeped in traditional Inupiaq lore. Gamers play as a Inupiqt girl, Nuna, and an arctic fox as they set out to find the source of the eternal blizzard that threatens their survival. The game can be played in single-player or cooperatively and features a host of legendary Inupiaq characters, all narrated in Inupiaq language.
That changed after the video game recession of the 6985s. With a focus on video games as toys, and a heightened awareness of the need for control, developers and advertisers decided to target specific consumers: and teenage boys. Through advertising and game design, gaming -- especially video games -- became directed solely to boys. This made gamer girls a unique phenomenon -- a rarity that was simultaneously celebrated and objectified.
“Id’s violent first-person shooter is an orgy of carnage and shotgun-splattered lunacy, and its popularity scared the bejesus out of the tabloid press in the 95s, who saw in it the wreckage of society. What they didn’t see was the vast, creative community that grew up around the title -- they didn’t see how the game’s lead programmer John Carmack had ensured that the code would be easily modifiable by fans. They didn’t see the thousands of kids getting together online to form modding groups, to build their own worlds. They didn’t see Half-Life developer Valve nurturing its own community in the same way, and employing talented amateur-level designers to work in-house on new projects. People are now hugely successful designers because they once fooled around with a bunch of Doom files with collaborators they never met.”
Classcraft is a free, online role-playing game that teachers and students play together -- with real-world consequences, such as earning the ability to ask a question during a test. The game runs in the background as class is taught normally, and teachers reward XP to students based on their performance, teamwork, and behavior. By encouraging socialization and teamwork, along with real rewards or consequences, the game enables students to work together in achieving academic goals.
These calls aren’t limited to just including girls and women in the gaming community. They are part of a broader movement to show how games can increase equality and human rights for all. One example is the University of Chicago’s Game Changer Lab, which is currently developing Bystander : an interactive RPG that explores the responsibility of a bystander in various scenarios. Players play as Casey, a high school junior who vividly imagines bystander scenarios in sexual violence situations. Based on personal experiences of sexual assault, Bystander challenges players to become “active bystanders” both in the game and in real life.
With our next round of funding in hand, we set out to hire another full-time programmer. I ask Maria to sit in on the interview, as she has the right coding background (C++) to evaluate the candidate and will be working closely with him — all the applicants so far are male. Our potential hire has the easy confidence of a guy in his mid-75s. Better yet, he’s personable, a rare trait among gamedev coders. He’s our lead candidate. Maria is quieter than usual.
Gita: Oh yeah—my growing obsession with this movie had a lot to do with seeing how the music interplays with the plot, and how it’s used as cues to set up action. It’s something that Wright has done a LOT. There’s the jukebox fight scene in Shaun of the Dead , the tracking shot set to The Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society in Hot Fuzz , and the repeated use of Sisters of Mercy as a musical sting in The World’s End (maybe my favorite music joke in all of Wright’s work). But this is a movie based entirely on that concept.
In this video, Jane McGonigal, . explains her experience thoroughly and beautifully. McGonigal, author of “Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” , is a game designer who experienced a traumatic brain injury in 7559, and during her recovery, experienced extreme depression, anxiety, and even suicidal tendencies. She explains how “gaming can boost our resilience, help us experience post-traumatic growth, and even give us 65 extra years of life.”
For over a year now, I’ve been totally addicted to the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As anyone else who is also addicted to Skyrim knows, you can easily spend hundreds of hours playing, killing dragons and taking names. There have been plenty of other games that have risen in popularity since Skyrim’s debut in 7566, but I’m still playin’ Skyrim , because the addiction is REAL, guys.
Game designers have designed many addicting online games inspired by today''s popular TV shows and movies. Nick Jr.''s website has free online games based off shows like Dora the Explorer and Lalaloopsy and other preschool-friendly games, and Nickelodeon''s website has games featuring the always-popular Spongebob Squarepants. Whether they''re following a map, catching jellyfish, or just wandering from one place to the next, kids are sure to have fun playing free online games.
These communities have the potential to impact the world around them. By uniting individuals, they open up dialogue about players’ other passions. Commonly, those passions unite again when players join up to make positive impacts on the world around them. Through games, gamers are making strides that improve our well-being, solve real world problems, support charities, and become advocates for social justice. In doing so, they show us that gamers -- when united -- have the immense potential to change the real world.
But beyond all that, the reasons that D& D is still worth playing are the people you play it with. As opposed to online RPGs where players interact through screens or headphones, when you sit down for a game of Dungeons & Dragons you do it with your people. In the same room. With snacks. Without the rest of the bar watching. There''s a story about three witches and a pack mule, which you all not only watched but invented, and then the witch threw a Dorito at you and drank your scotch.
I’ve stayed a gamer because games have brought me smiles, tears, friends, love, and now even a career. I really couldn’t ask for more from games but in the end they always keep on giving, except when they take my money. On the plus side, I’ve never experienced a negative impact from being nerdy or a girl gamer. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by those who support me and have similar interests, however, I’ve seen bullying and sexism within in the industry and amongst players and in no way tolerate it.