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Comment no wonder they need to break it (Score 1) 511

Why is EA desperate to require online play that will later make the game artificially obsolete? The answer is that a well-realized city simulation has to be a vastly unprofitable game for EA. I can't even calculate all of the new games I failed to buy while I was hooked on earlier versions of SimCity. I spent so many hours with that thing my per-hour price for playing SimCity has got to be almost zero. For me, SimCity has proven to be the cheapest form of commercial entertainment possible. No wonder they need to break it.


Submission + - Teach About Internet Freedom, Get Fired

nifty-c writes: Singapore has invested heavily in higher education partnerships with the US and launched an ambitious program of high-tech research with Western countries, but recent events have opened these links to convroversy. Prof. Cherian George at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, is a communication and information school professor and an outspoken critic of his government's censorship of the Internet. NTU recently fired him, sparking an outcry from critics who claim political interference. This week a group of faculty and affiliates at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society has 'strongly caution[ed]...colleagues working in the area of Internet and society in any dealings with Singaporean universities.' And it has led to calls by American students and academics to reconsider links with Singapore. Meanwhile, a student petition in Singapore nears 1,000 signatures and Singaporean colleagues write that they 'cannot fathom how Dr. George's output does not meet international standards.'

Comment A crazy suggestion... (Score 1) 172

The link I'd bet on is this: Heavy video game users might be more likely to be lower academic achievers than others simply because being a heavy user of anything takes time. If some of the video game playing time takes away from studying time (some of us have a bit of personal experience here...) you have a plausible and easily understood link between video games and achievement -- displacement.

Your proposal (not an experiment, BTW, because ther is no random assignment to groups) instead investigates whether people that are *good at* one thing (video games) are also good at another thing (school). Clearly the game you pick matters a LOT: the more the two things are alike, the better correlation you'll find between them. So, let's say you pick a game that requires the same sorts of skills that school requires. You then find that performance at this game positively predicts academic performance. What have you shown? Two similar things are similar. Alternately, you could pick a game that has nothing to do with school and show that two different things are different.

Here's a crazy suggestion: go to the library. All kinds of research has already been done on video games, with experiments and correlations galore. You might get an idea for a really interesting project by reading about the stuff that have already been done instead of approaching this like the first time someone thought of the question was January 27th at 6:04 am (your post date).

I typed "video game*" into the PsycInfo psychology journal index (courtesy my university library) and I found 157 results, including: "The effect of video games on spatial skills", "The effect of video games on aggression", "Gender differences in video game performance", "A review of research on video games", "Video game playing and delinquency", and yes, "Video game playing and academic performance."

This kind of ask slashdot question makes me grumpy!

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"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." -- Mark Twain