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Boston rising: Esports, tournaments and 'Infinite Crisis'

Posted by Timothy Loew February 25, 2014 08:19 AM

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. .

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The great video game moral panic

Posted by Timothy Loew February 6, 2014 09:06 AM

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.

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Mind games: New adventures in learning

Posted by Timothy Loew February 3, 2014 10:37 AM

By Jason Haas, game designer and research assistant, The Education Arcade and the MIT Media Lab

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?”

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MassDiGI 8-24 287w872.jpgThe State of Play, organized by MassDiGI, features stories by digital and video game developers and business insiders. Follow along @mass_digi.

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