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Submission + - Children becoming addicted to video game fantasy worlds, teachers warn ( 2

silentbrad writes: From The Guardian: "A growing number of young children are acting out violent scenes from adult computer games in the playground, teachers have warned. Pupils as young as four and five are simulating car crashes and graphic injuries as a result of playing games unsupervised in their bedrooms, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference was told. Primary school teachers said the games were making their pupils far more aggressive and addicted to "fantasy worlds that separate them from reality". Doctors found children who continually play computer games may be more likely to develop tendinitis – an inflammation between the muscles and bones – and suffer from seizures, teachers said. Psychologists have expressed concerns that playing some games make children more aggressive. Alison Sherratt, a teacher at Riddlesden St Mary's Church of England primary school in Keighley, West Yorkshire, said her four- and five-year-old pupils spend their breaks pretending to "throw themselves out of the window of the play car in slow motion" and act out blood "spurting from their bodies". "We all expect to see rough and tumble, but I have seen little ones acting out quite graphic scenes in the playground and there is a lot more hitting, hurting and thumping in the classroom for no particular reason." She said her pupils believed the violence depicted in computer games was real and tried to recreate it in play. "Obesity, social exclusion, loneliness, physical fitness, sedentary solitary lives – these are all descriptions of children who are already hooked to games Sadly there is a notable correlation between the children who admit to playing games and those who come to school really tired," she said.

Submission + - Ralph Baer, the Father of Video Games, Turns 90 ( 1

silentbrad writes: IGN published an article today celebrating the birthday of the man credited with creating video games. "Reactions at Sanders were mixed when Baer presented his creation, but he knew he had something special when he took the machine to the patent office and the normally impossible-to-impress inspectors fell in love with it. "Within half an hour, [the inspector] is playing games," Baer recalled. "He has half the corridor come in. People up and down the corridor come in and play games."

Submission + - Video Games: Goods or Services? (

silentbrad writes: From IGN: "The current understanding of games as a service is quite a complicated issue, and something of a legal grey-area. So to understand it better I contacted Jas Purewal, a games lawyer at the UK law firm Osborne-Clarke, and the writer of Initially, Jas explained the nuances of how videogames have come to be considered a service:

'The legal position is unclear whether games are legally classified as "goods" or "services". If we're talking about boxed-product games, there's a good argument the physical boxed product is a "good", but we don't know definitively if the software on it, or more generally software which is digitally distributed, is a good or a service. In the absence of a definitive legal answer, software and games companies have generally treated software itself as a service – which means treating games like World of Warcraft as well as platforms like Steam or Xbox LIVE as a service.'"

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It isn't easy being the parent of a six-year-old. However, it's a pretty small price to pay for having somebody around the house who understands computers.