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Computer Games and Traditional CS Courses 173

drroman22 writes "Schools are working to put real-world relevance into computer science education by integrating video game development into traditional CS courses. Quoting: 'Many CS educators recognized and took advantage of younger generations' familiarity and interests for computer video games and integrate related contents into their introductory programming courses. Because these are the first courses students encounter, they build excitement and enthusiasm for our discipline. ... Much of this work reported resounding successes with drastically increased enrollments and student successes. Based on these results, it is well recognized that integrating computer gaming into CS1 and CS2 (CS1/2) courses, the first programming courses students encounter, is a promising strategy for recruiting and retaining potential students." While a focus on games may help stir interest, it seems as though game development studios are as yet unimpressed by most game-related college courses. To those who have taken such courses or considered hiring those who have: what has your experience been?
The Almighty Buck

The Nickel & Dime Generation 358

Phaethon360 sends in a piece that looks at how quickly game costs can add up these days, now that DLC, microtransactions and standalone expansions are commonplace, writing, "If you were trying to the think of the most expensive games to play, Rock Band or a monthly-fee MMORPG would come to mind. But Halo 3 is right up there, too." It's reminiscent of a recent post at IncGamers where the author tallied up how much he'd spent on World of Warcraft over the past several years, and was astonished to realize it numbered in the thousands of dollars.
Role Playing (Games)

Ultima Online Expansion Sept. 8, WAR Expansion In Near Future 40

IndustryGamers recently spoke with Mythic Entertainment execs about the futures of Ultima Online and Warhammer Online. UO's newest expansion, Stygian Abyss, was recently given a September 8th release date. As for WAR, they say, "... we just finished up a major patch for Warhammer Online and there's a lot of stuff we're thinking about for improving and enhancing the gameplay experience and guaranteeing that the product lives up to the legacy of the Warhammer franchise. You should expect an expansion in the near future." The Overly Positive blog suggests that recent developer interviews have undergone a change in tone, demonstrating a greater willingness to acknowledge the game's flaws and work out ways to correct them.

The Road to Big Brother 212

brothke writes "In The Road to Big Brother: One Man's Struggle Against the Surveillance Society, Ross Clark journals his struggles to avoid the myriad CCTV cameras in his native England. That's difficult given the millions of cameras in public locations there. Before going forward, the use of the term 'Big Brother' in both the title and throughout the book is erroneous. Big Brother has its roots in George Orwell's novel 1984 and refers to an omnipresent, seemingly benevolent figure representing the oppressive control over individual lives exerted by an authoritarian government. The term has been misappropriated to describe everything from legitimate crime-fighting, to surveillance cameras, to corporate e-mail and network usage monitoring. Localities that deploy CCTV cameras in public thoroughfares in the hope of combating crime are in no way indicative of the oppressive control of Orwell's Big Brother. Should we be concerned that such a scenario play itself out in Ross Clark's UK or in the US? Likely no, as US government agencies are widely decentralized and isolated. Just getting the networks within a single federal agency unified is a daunting task; getting all of the agencies to have a single unified data sharing mechanism is a pipe-dream. Look at it this way: the US Department of Defense has more networks than some countries have computers." Read below for the rest of Ben's review.

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