Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday afternoon tidbits

Nothing worth mentioning about the upcoming weekend. Plenty to mention about the past week.

-Where are my manners? Earlier this week, I posted about a Village Voice Media story without mentioning their newish blog, Joystick Division. It's jam-packed with high-concept pieces, the best of which may be Nate Patrin's attempt to play 24 games in 24 hours. Consecutively. There's even a video.

-The latest New Yorker has a story about an experimental treatment for Iraq war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome: a modified version of Full Spectrum Warrior. This is heartening to hear, and it sounds like preliminary results are encouraging. But it makes me wonder: If it could be scientifically proven that games could affect someone's psychological makeup in a positive way, wouldn't it logically tell you that they could also be psychologically damaging? The difference, of course, is that someone suffering from PTSD is already damaged. Perhaps that makes him more susceptible to this sort of conditioning.

-Gene Koo alerted me to the existence of Valuable Games, a joint venture between Harvard and MIT that aims to, as he put it, instill some "pro-social" values into gamers. Besides their blog, they also meet monthly for discussions. Next Wednesday, they'll be discussing Grand Theft Auto IV. Now that I seem to be off the hook for reviewing anything next week, I just may go. If I do, I'll be sure to report back here.

-If it's not murder simulators teaching kids how to kill cops, it's WiiFit telling them how fat they are. The BMI is a useless tool for measuring fitness, but it's also quick and easy, and that's probably why Nintendo chose to use it. Whoops. I doubt this will turn into a bona fide controversy, but considering how people seem to be going apeshit for this "lifestyle product," who knows.

-Matthew Gallant ponders the upcoming BioShock movie. Count me as cautiously optimistic about this one. I actually think that there's plenty of latitude for the filmmakers to change what's there, while still keeping true to the spirit of it. I'd like it if they went with practical effects for the Big Daddies, but they'll probably be CG. Easy prediction: Dr. Tennenbaum's role will be expanded significantly.


Matthew Gallant said...

Many thanks for the link!

I'm really curious how this Wii Fit BMI "scandal" is going to play out in the mainstream media when the game arrives in America.

The Renaissance Man said...

Personally, as a soldier, I think people woud be amazed how much people in theatre change with a video game to distract them. I'd like to see the results of the study.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Gore Verbinski is going to direct the Bioshock movie. I have faith in Gore Verbinski I have a feeling he is going to make a remarkable movie and blow us all away. Did you hear they are making a movie out of City Of Ember too! The preview reminded me of Bio-Shock, in fact I thought that was the trailer. But The movie looks like it’s going to be awesome. The set designer for Titanic and Nightmare Before Christmas is doing the sets for the movie, and from what I can from the trailer it looks so creepy/awesome!
My name is Blair Landon and I am an official ambassador for City of Ember. I have access to first-look pics of the movie not seen in the trailer (located on MySpace), and i'd love you to take a peak at them! I could also really use your help in spreading the word about COE and get lots of buzz going!
Don't forget to check out the widget we have too. It's pretty interactive and shows you where all the other City of Ember fans are around the world!
Again, I hope I'm not over-stepping and bounds by posting on your blog.
Best,Blair Landon
Official COE Ambassador

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