Indies, Collectives, and an Underdog Manifesto

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There is an interesting article in Gamasutra yesterday by Tanya X Short on “Indies, Collectives, and an Underdog Manifesto” http://ubm.io/NhNnxQ

Gamer communities are an important piece to evolution of this ecosystem, empowerment of creative people, and innovation in the experience economy. To the extent this claim is true, there are interesting connections between this article by Tanya and Mike Rose’s article on Feb 10 about videogames and violence:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/210322/video_games_and_gun_violence_a_.php

One of the many quotes from Mike Rose’s article that are instructive for this continuing public discussion is “It’s now about moving past that, into studying it on a much more phenomenological basis — more of a motivational basis,” he tells me. “What is it about video games that attracts people? Why do they play them? What do they get out of it? How is the user a much more important part of that process?” (quoting Ferguson).

Instead of focusing on violence, our TED conversation is addressing questions like Ferguson’s by exploring the community context for gamers within which relationships and interpersonal behavior are visible and have meaning, why gamers play online games. This is a context for open innovation with gamers and game developers. Citizen game developers?

SPARX, The Video Game That Treats Depression

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SPARX, The Video Game That Treats Depression is a finalist in the Scattergood Innovation Awards. See http://scattergoodfoundation.org/innovideas/linkedwellness-llc#.UwjVYFO6Au0

Perhaps interesting extensions await for game-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in groups building on the foundation of clinical research outside of games combined with a better understanding of online game communities.

Arch, J. J., Ayers, C. R., Baker, A., Almklov, E., Dean, D. J., & Craske, M. G. (2013). Randomized clinical trial of adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction versus group cognitive behavioral therapy for heterogeneous anxiety disorders. Behaviour research and therapy, 51(4), 185-196.

Barrera, T. L., Mott, J. M., Hofstein, R. F., & Teng, E. J. (2013). A meta-analytic review of exposure in group cognitive behavioral therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Clinical psychology review, 33(1), 24-32.

Watkins, K. E., Hunter, S. B., Hepner, K. A., Paddock, S. M., de la Cruz, E., Zhou, A. J., & Gilmore, J. (2011). An effectiveness trial of group cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with persistent depressive symptoms in substance abuse treatment. Archives of general psychiatry, 68(6), 577-584.

New Questions and Enduring Issues about Videogames and Violence

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Extracted 21FEB2014 from http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/210322/video_games_and_gun_violence_a_.php

Thanks to Mike and Heads up about a relevant TED Conversation running from Feb 13 to March 13, 2014

Thank you to Mike Rose for such cogent reporting and some thought-provoking investigative journalism! He shows us that this conversation, that shouldn’t slip into the shadows, is about more than the seeds of violence or about videogames in particular. It is about an honest look at the new places in which people are congregating, why, and what happens in them. The problems (and opportunities) we find there are likely to be as old as recorded history and, if so, they will be much more interesting and varied than the occasional witch hunts.

One of the many quotes that are instructive for this continuing public discussion is “It’s now about moving past that, into studying it on a much more phenomenological basis — more of a motivational basis,” he tells me. “What is it about video games that attracts people? Why do they play them? What do they get out of it? How is the user a much more important part of that process?” (quoting Ferguson).

I also think a key is to become less dependent on additional “funding” for research and to find other ways to influence research programs that are likely to be funded even without additional funding and, more generally to leverage a wider body of research in the human sciences. Citizen journalism (participatory journalism) can be an instrument for doing this, and it can be particularly effective in addressing Ferguson’s important questions. A different kind of blogging can help us here.

See e.g., http://www.ted.com/conversations/22958/community_organization_and_imp.html

This is a TED Conversation I started on Feb 13th to address issues such as those raised in the quote from Ferguson above. Instead of focusing on violence in this conversation, I wanted to understand the community context for gamers within which relationships and interpersonal behavior are visible and have meaning, why gamers play online games. I suspect that understanding the reality and potential of such online communities can be part of the solution to identifying and helping people who are troubled and potentially violent for reasons that have nothing to do with the games they play.

See also other science bloggers (e.g., Paige Brown) who seem to be creating new forms of citizen science:

http://www.scilogs.com/from_the_lab_bench/al-jazeeras-lesson-for-networked-science-journalism/
http://www.scilogs.com/from_the_lab_bench/spreading-science-far-wide-takes-time-design-and-reader-empowerment/

https://medium.com/@URBN_SCIENCE
http://urbusinessnetwork.com/category/science-in-the-wild-radio-show-and-podcast-with-host-gary-riccio/
http://griccio2103b.wordpress.com/             

The Benefits of Playing Video Games

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Extracted 28JAN2014 from http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0034857

by Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C. M. E. Engels (Radboud University Nijmegen)

January 2014 ● American Psychologist © 2013 American Psychological Association

“we argue that a more balanced perspective is needed, one that considers not only the possible negative effects but also the benefits of playing these games. Considering these potential benefits is important, in part, because the nature of these games has changed dramatically in the last decade, becoming increasingly complex, diverse, realistic, and social in nature. A small but significant body of research has begun to emerge, mostly in the last five years, documenting these benefits. In this article, we summarize the research on the positive effects of playing video games, focusing on four main domains: cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social. By integrating insights from developmental, positive, and social psychology, as well as media psychology, we propose some candidate mechanisms by which playing video games may foster real-world psychosocial benefits. Our aim is to provide strong enough evidence and a theoretical rationale to inspire new programs of research on the largely unexplored mental health benefits of gaming.”

See also http://www.thedivisionigr.com/3-cs.html

UR Business Network

This unique approach to content marketing is on its way to defining “new media”.  A melding of content and media sources is underway and the UR Business Network is creating a very special recipe… Founded in late August, 2012 UR Business Network launched their internet radio stream in mid-November the same year… UR Business Network has evolved into an educational resource for budding entrepreneurs.

http://newsle.com/article/0/101558500/

A game that’s better than therapy for treating depression

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Extracted 24JAN2014 from http://newsle.com/article/0/83543294/

Sparx ticks all boxes, as do other forms of e-therapy. The game is also an effective way to reach the 8 million young Americans who suffer from depression or anxiety but don’t have access to therapists because of location, expense, or stigma… As well as investing considerable business resources into the company, LinkedWellness has enlisted Dr David Brendel, a Harvard Medical School professor and author of “Healing Psychiatry,” as its chief medical officer. “There’s a lot of concern that computer games are not good for the brain longterm,” Brendel says. “We think SPARX actually stands that assumption on its head.”

See also http://www.thedivisionigr.com/3-cs.html and http://griccio2103b.wordpress.com/tag/prosocial/

Aside

Senate Votes to Study Videogame Violence

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Extracted 01AUG2013 from http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/314429-senate-panel-votes-to-study-video-game-violence

“Rockefeller’s bill, the Violent Content Research Act, would require the National Academy of Sciences to examine whether violent video games and programming cause children to act aggressively or otherwise hurt their well-being.”

Benefits and harm of violent video games

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Extracted 04AUG2013 from http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/355808#ixzz2b29KcXfP

Craig Anderson, Director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State University speculated in a press release any type of action video game that requires a rapid response could have the same effect…

In three new unpublished studies scheduled for presentation at the American Psychological Association (APA) annual meeting in Honolulu, Anderson and his colleagues found violent video games boost cognition, but they also lead to loss of cognitive control and boost anger aggression and hostility.

The studies are the first to link both the benefits and harm of playing violent video games. “What such fast-paced media fail to train is inhibiting the almost automatic first response,” Anderson says…
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