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The New Reality of Gaming 122 122

Hugh Pickens writes "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses, writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes, but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff and devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.' Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but 'now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women,' says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win, an online gaming company. The tipping point in the US came in 2008 when women outnumbered men on the Internet. Combined with millions of parents and grandparents who're new to the Internet, the traditional face of the gamer is changing from that of a 25-year-old male to a band stretching from 16 to 40 years comprising men and women in almost equal numbers, says Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, who predicts that someone is going to create a social game very shortly that pulls in a billion dollars a year. Gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. 'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."

Comment Do calculators make us worse at math? (Score 3, Interesting) 636 636

This sounds so much like old teachers fretting over the use of calculators in math class.

In some ways, the scale of it is different, and it will be interesting to see how a kid born in 1995 thinks differently at 30 than one born in 1975, but still.

The net gives us all of the knowledge of humanity at our fingertips. It frees us from thinking about facts and gives us more time for abstract thinking and problem solving. At least for those of us who remember a time before google. Maybe a child born today really will be made dumb by google.

Apple Sued Over 'Lacking' Macbook Display 680 680

qu1j0t3 writes "Business 2.0 reports that two MacBook owners have filed a class action lawsuit charging Apple with deceptive advertising, as well as misrepresentation and unfair competition over the use of the phrase 'millions of colors' to describe the capability of the LCD displays in MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. The article likens the complaint to an an angry forum thread, and is more than a little bit skeptical of the plaintiff's motives. Perhaps it's their uncanny attention to detail. From the filing: 'The reality is that notwithstanding Apple's misrepresentations and suggestions that its MacBook and MacBook Pro display millions of colors, the displays are only capable of displaying the illusion of millions of colors through the use of a software technique referred to as dithering, which causes nearby pixels on the display to use slightly varying shades of colors that trick the human eye into perceiving the desired color even though it is not truly that color.'

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss