Nice piece on immersion in the Guardian – the Science of Immersion.
We have to be very careful with terms, because a game that’s very immersive is Tetris, but there’s no sense that you’re IN the experience.
Aside from illustrating how varied and elusive definitions of immersion can be, the article highlights the role of the personality of the user. This is a significant issue for education in virtual worlds. If we base benefits on some notion of how immersive the environment is, then what does this mean for students whose personalities limit their sense of immersion in digital 3D worlds?
(This post somewhat painfully prepared on a mobile phone)
(via TappedIn Playing to Learn discussion, posted by BJB)…
In his spare time Dr. Kourosh Dini composes digital music and performs in Second Life via his avatar Kourosh Eusebio. In his day-job, he is a psychiatrist with a keen interest in computer games and computer gamers. His new book Video Game Play and Addiction reviews the effects of video game play. It has balanced coverage – with a lot of detail on the potential benefits of game play, and a correspondingly detailed review of problem gaming:
“Games have lots of benefits, which unfortunately, parents aren’t always aware of when the only games they’re exposed to are the controversial violent ones targeted to more mature players,” says Dr. Dini. “Age appropriate multi-player video games can allow children to learn how other people think – a key aspect of empathy. Games can also help a child become more comfortable with new and ever progressing technology.”
…… Nonetheless, ‘problematic’ game play is covered here in great detail as Dr. Dini provides a comprehensive review of the warning signs, causes and consequences of such behavior. “To be sure, there are those who play problematically. Learning how to tell the difference can be critical toward promoting healthy development.”
You play World of Warcraft? You’re hired! is a pretty famous piece explaining how having WoW on the CV helped one applicant land the job of his dreams. I’ve quoted this in some of my own presentations in the past – but always with a pinch of salt, noting that the article does point out that the applicant had other reasons for landing the plum role.
Now reports just in (from f13.net forums, via Raph Koster’s blog) of recruiters being told to AVOID applicants that mention WoW on their CV’s:
…employers specifically instruct him not to send them World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc. … He has been specifically asked to avoid WoW players.
Over on the Huffington Post, Rachel Mosteller is wondering if some parents are now raising mini-addicts – a worry raised by seeing a computer (and collection of games) being given on a fourth birthday. This leads to some reflection on an evident lack of moderation and parental guidance in the use of technology. For her own children, Rachel wants them to “learn to use these items in moderation while still enjoying the non-technical side of life.”
Sensible enough, and hardly controversial.
What got me though was the story related in one of the story’s comments:
I’m having that problem with my nephew. He’s 6 years old and tops the charts in Call Of Duty 4. His little hand is stretching across the keyboard to precisely pull off moves. The problem is that’s all the thinks about now. He hasn’t been going to sleep lately.
I don’t know where to begin.
Should have blogged this last week…
Skewed coverage of academic report in the Dire Mail (sorry, Daily Mail) : Computer game addicts warned they could start behaving like autism sufferers. Of course the report warns no such thing, as discussed here at Spong: Daily Mail muddles cause and effect .
According to Spong, the original paper basically imagines a line ranging from ‘autistic’ to ‘not autistic’, and notes that game players (along with the likes of engineers!) are found closer to the autistic end of the line than non-gamers.
The Byron Review was published a couple of days ago. I would have blogged it at the time, but I’m busy…
You can get the report here: Safer Children in a Digital World: the report of the Byron Review
The report has been fairly well received by the media and the industry overall – if not welcomed in its entirety. What I found most interesting though was that the review comes not just in two the usual summary and full report versions, but a third version for children to read themselves is also available.
Some recent posts from Lisa Galarneau and discussion in Terranova, here and in this one which considers childrens’ MMOs. I’ve been thinking about this a little since my daughter got her Tamagotchi – and started visiting the (non-multiplayer) online ‘Tamagotchi Town’. She’s had the thing for a month and already seems to have forgotten what life was like before then.
I also finally got round to logging in to WoW – which I’ve avoided before as I know I don’t have the time to play it and because I know that I sometimes have difficulty controlling my own use of games once I get started – RPGs in particular, let alone MMO ones. One weekend later, and I’ve successfully proven to myself that I daren’t subscribe. I don’t want to turn into Cartman in that episode of Southpark.
‘Gaming Addiction’ has been raised a few times recently in some Second Life discussions I’ve participated in. When he visited the Teen Grid, James Paul Gee was asked about gaming addiction, and primarily focussed on the potential benefits of gaming in his answer. Then there was a question on the SLED mailing list asking whether getting students to work in Second Life was putting them at risk. This last raised some debate about gaming addiction, my contribution was this (some editing):