Tiltfactor | Games in the News
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Games in the News

From Serious Game Source: researchers have found that action-oriented video games can improve players' eyesight. Hope for game-related vision treatment? "The findings, reported in the March 29 issue of Nature, indicate that action games offer players the chance to improve their contrast perception by as much as...

More from therawfeed.com: “US Marines have shared their personal videos, photos and diaries with the Japanese game giant Konami to help that company make its Six Days In Fallujah game more realistic. But some Iraq War veterans in the UK oppose the game, saying it's "crass"...

armyexperiencecenter Check out local news footage here. Seven people were arrested at a war protest in Northeast Philadelphia this early May at a $12 million military gaming center at a mall which uses simulators (a-la America's Army) to lure in potential soldiers at age 13 and up. So far the center has recruited twice as efficiently as rival, non-digital centers. “War is not a game!” "You can't simulate the heat. You can't you know the cries of people who are getting killed. You can't simulate the noise when things are exploding around you," said Jesse Hamilton, an Iraq War Veteran who served in the Army. The Army Experience Center presents the teenagers with video games in hopes that they might learn about life in the military. At least the Army believes games to be be educational!
via: The Jerusalem Post War games By SAM SER Kassam rockets are coming in way too fast, raining terror across the western Negev. IAF fighter-bombers are responding with ferocious bombardments of Gaza City, and tanks are rolling in behind them. The whole chilling scene unfolds on the computer screen... until I hit the "escape" button. As if the constant stream of television coverage of Operation Cast Lead weren't enough, several video games depicting the fighting have been posted to popular on-line gaming sites in the past two weeks. So now the fate of Israelis and Palestinians are in the hands of computer geeks from Nebraska to New Zealand. Look closely at the kongregate.com or newgrounds.com Web sites, for example, and you'll find current events reflected in the list of free games. In Gaza Defender, a Hamas gunman must fire his AK-47 into the sky, shooting at IAF jets as they drop bombs that tear away at the Gaza skyline. Save Israel is a race against the clock as rockets bombard the South; the goal is to click on the cities being targeted (to sound the Color Red alarm) and then click on the incoming rockets to destroy them before they hit. Two take-offs on the popular "tower defense" game are used to highlight the disparate forces involved in this (real) war. In Raid Gaza, Israel's high-powered military faces off against woefully inaccurate homemade rockets, in a clear mismatch that leads to an inordinate number of casualties on the Palestinian side. Likewise, Gaza Defense Force pits a handful of rock throwers against tanks and planes in an utterly hopeless battle. These games were put together quickly, using simple Flash programming and a lack of any real plot development. This is old-school electronic warfare, the kind that is controlled with arrow keys, the space bar and a few well-timed left-clicks on the mouse. At the same time, though, these games are becoming a new front in the Israeli-Arab conflict - a battle for hearts and minds that is anything but fun and games.

A couple weeks ago, Dr. Flanagan was interviewed for a feature in Salon.com’s Broadsheet section, which deals with “Women, politics, culture.” The interview’s focus was on feminist game design and making games for girls, and while I don’t think the article reflected the full scope of Mary’s ideas on technology or the full range of Tiltfactor’s activities, I think the author did a fine job highlighting some of the gender issues that are preventing the game industry from reaching its full potential. From the readers’ comments, however, you’d think Mary had declared an infantada against the male sex and was determined to destroy any game that doesn’t feature castration as the core mechanic.

UPDATE: Joe DeLappe of Dead in Iraq fame has produced a website for America's Diplomat, the America's Army replacement. Check it out here: America's Diplomat

Yesterday, thousands of New Yorkers received a morning jolt before even having their first sip of coffee. Volunteers around the city handed out free copies of a Special Edition New York Times that announced the Iraq War was over, a maximum wage law was passed, new federal spending would spread bike lanes across the nation, and dozens of other liberal fantasies. And, for the moral gamers out there, one headline read, "Popular “America’s Army” Video Game, Recruiting Tool Cancelled." There's even a fake NYT website to accompany the paper. You can go here and read the article, or in case the site's owners receive a cease and desist order, we'll reprint the article in full.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense announced yesterday the cancellation of its highly successful and popular “America’s Army” online game and recruitment tool. The program has already been converted into a new game, operated by the State Department, entitled “America’s Diplomat.” State Department spokesperson Donald Demsfold called this “a pretty good step towards nurturing a generation committed to the principles of diplomacy and peaceful negotiation.”

via: chronicle.com How Video Games Can Help in the Classroom, and in the World By DAVID DEBOLT Ms. Flanagan, a professor of film and media studies, was recently named the first holder of the digital-humanities chair at Dartmouth College. She is part of a research group, the Games...

Originally posted on: Grand Text Auto by Dr. Mary Flanagan Perhaps you have heard reports of the new study funded by Pew and MacArthur on video games. The survey, Teens, Video Games and Civics, was conducted with 1102 young people aged 12-17. Some are saying the results...

I'm sure readers here are pretty familiar with what America's Army is so I'll skip most of the article, but there are some salient details that were new to me.

via: Truthout


What the game's "realism" is attempting to do is to mask the violent reality of combat, and military experience in general, for very specific purposes. At a minimum, the Army hopes "America's Army" will act as "strategic communication" to expose "kids who are college bound and technologically savvy" to positive messaging about the Army. Phase one of the propaganda effort is to expose children to "Army values" and make service look as attractive as possible. The next phase is direct recruiting. According to Colonel Wardynski, who originally thought up selling the Army to children through video games, "a well executed game would put the Army within the immediate decision-making environment of young Americans. It would thereby increase the likelihood that these Americans would include Soldiering in their set of career alternatives." To make the connection between the game and recruitment explicit, the "America's Army" web site links directly to the Army's recruitment page. And gamers can explore a virtual recruitment center through the "America's Army Real Heroes" program. Local recruiters also use the game to draw in high school children for recruitment opportunities. Recruiters stage area tournaments with free pizza and sodas; winners receive Xbox game consoles, free copies of "America's Army" and iPods. Game centers are also set up at state fairs and public festivals with replica Humvees and .50 caliber machine guns, where children as young as 13 can test out the life-sized equipment.