By Benjamin Cavallari, founder, ARC
What do sold out arenas, tens of millions of viewers and P-1 travel visas have to do with video games? Esports, of course. Video game competitions have been a part of gaming culture for years. But recently, a dramatic rise in the popularity of amateur and professional esports tournaments has attracted a huge new generation of players and teams. .FULL ENTRY
By Christopher Ferguson, Ph.D., associate professor and department chair, Stetson University
For years, some scholars argued there are problems with arguments linking violent video games and other media to acts of violence in society. The concern is that attempts to blame societal violence on video games is a moral panic; an emotional distraction akin to a witch hunt. From comic books to rock music, media have often been the target of such moral panics. In the recent, tragic case of Adam Lanza, we had the opportunity to watch a moral panic unfold in real time.FULL ENTRY
While running my undead rogue across the plains of Mulgore in the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft, I noticed something remarkable. As I ran by, a mountain lion pounced on a passing rabbit, killing it. I had to stop my avatar’s sinister jog in awe – clearly, the game’s developers were sweating the small stuff.
The game’s world is filled with creatures great and small, all wandering computationally pre-determined paths, most waiting to jump off those paths to murder incautious players that wander too close. Here though, the developers had made an effort to implement the merest hint of actual ecosystem behavior.
Working as I do in a laboratory dedicated to building compelling learning games, I couldn’t help but think, “What could we do with a virtual world in which ecosystems actually work?”FULL ENTRY