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Comment Not a good example (Score 1) 361

"copyrights hinder innovation by game designers seeking to build upon such games, and shortening copyright would breathe new life into games who have long since passed into obsolescence."

It's a good argument, but a crappy example. Nintendo's not a great company to point to here, because they tend to release and re-release anything popular they've made. Mario Bros, I know, is available on the Wii and Wii U at least via the Wii shop (maybe also on the Wii U's virtual console). It's also been re-released in several incarnations before that. It's still pretty popular for a game of its age.

Why not point to the forgotten gems? I just heard that there was to be a remake of Day of the Tentacle, that was canned. I wasn't even aware such a thing was in the works until it was gone. :-(

Comment Elitism and Reading (Score 4, Interesting) 149

I have to say, I do get a little fed up with pedestal upon which we place books. Don't get me wrong: it's a worthwhile pastime, but people develop such elitists attitudes towards reading. People judge others, and judge themselves, by the quality and quantity of their reading material. They lament how people are reading less, and how this will destroy intelligence in the average person. If you don't read, or worse, don't enjoy reading, then it means that there's something wrong. Your imagination is underdeveloped or malformed; a product of all the worst bits of society.

The fact is, while reading is indeed an intellectual activity, it's an intellectual activity that appeals to people to varying degrees. Some people simply do not find intellectual nourishment from books. Now, perhaps it's because they are stunted in their intellect or imagination, but often, there are other ways they stimulate their brain. Indeed, social situations can be very mentally stimulating, requiring complex thought processes to navigate successfully. I myself have found that mathematics holds far greater mental stimulation than reading (and I used to read all the time). Juggling apparently is a very good way to improve your brain, and caters for the more kinaesthetic learners.

I'm glad you enjoy books Neil, but please don't make the mistake of thinking they're for everyone.

Comment I'm sorry, but... (Score 1) 62

... did anyone else just nerdgasm? I mean, I know, given the way we interface with any electronics these days, it's going to be difficult to find applications for this stuff, at least initially. But, with technology like this, I doubt it will us long to find some use for it so that, in 20 years, we'll wonder how we did without it.

Kudos to the university of Bristol for developing such an exciting and original idea.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 4, Insightful) 352

Wrong on both counts there. For one, that's not an argument trotted out by anyone. It's a blatant strawman. I know of the argument you're referring to, and it's more complicated than that.

For two, even if it were an argument, this doesn't even refute it. You've had a suspicious event and a possible explanation that fits your worldview handed to you. The entire "refutation" comes from confirmation bias.

Not that I should have to say this, but please note I'm not saying the government is trustworthy. Power in the hands of humanity is inherently untrustworthy, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find people who disagree there. I'm also not saying that the government isn't doing something shady here, or the explanation you've leapt to is wrong. But, for the sake human rationality, please think before leaping to conclusions.

Comment Re: Exactly! (Score 1) 671

Right. Heaven forbid people be accountable for the choices they make and the lifestyle that they live.

... such as all those people with hereditary conditions, victims of accidents or other people's negligence, people who didn't understand the consequences of their lifestyle, and people who did, but were simply too poor to make any significant changes to their lifestyle?

Comment Re:Some people... (Score 4, Insightful) 621

It's worth remembering here that the objection is not that children do not possess the ability to recognise the difference between fantasy and reality, rather it's that they're "impressionable". Their behavioural patterns are still being established, via a system of negative and positive rewards for their behaviour.

Normally, when a child commits a needlessly aggressive act, they are negatively rewarded by their parents telling them off, or possibly by the parents hitting them in (hopefully) extreme circumstances. When a child plays a violent video game, the game purposefully rewards violent behaviour with things like progress, a sense of achievement, unlockables/collectables, etc.

Being children, they unconsciously associate the endorphin rush with aggressive acts, or at least, the aggressive acts they commit to video game characters. The obvious question, of course, is whether that positive association with simulated violence corresponds to a positive association with actual violence, or even just aggression. That's something for the behavioural psychologists to decide. Until they do, I think it would be wise to exercise caution.

Comment Re:Season 5 versus Series 5. (Score 1) 215

Let's not also forget that Season 6 will no doubt cost something similar, from iTunes. Apple has essentially given him the full two seasons, plus extra flexibility. So what if it doesn't cost Apple anything except opportunity costs? Apple's just delivering more than what the guy originally wanted.

Submission + - Thinking about science causes moral behaviour

TheVelvetFlamebait writes: Can thinking about science causes moral behaviour? According to the Scientific American website,

Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara set out to test this possibility. They hypothesized that there is a deep-seated perception of science as a moral pursuit — its emphasis on truth-seeking, impartiality and rationality privileges collective well-being above all else. Their new study ... argues that the association between science and morality is so ingrained that merely thinking about it can trigger more moral behavior.

Comment Lol, Slashdot. (Score 1) 113

From TFA:


We failed to find evidence that playing video games affects prosocial behavior. Research on the effects of video game play is of significant public interest. It is therefore important that speculation be rigorously tested and findings replicated. Here we fail to substantiate conjecture that playing contemporary violent video games will lead to diminished prosocial behavior.

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