Summary of “Can Video Games Replace the Outdoors?”

As long as there have been video games, critics have bemoaned their social and psychological consequences.
Over the years, researchers have churned out studies showing that violent games can lead younger players to be more hostile and less empathetic.
As Rockstar Games cofounder Dan Houser told New York magazine last year, the result is an experience “In which the world unfolds around you, dependent on what you do.” Red Dead Redemption 2 was released on October 26, 2018, and brought in $725 million during its first weekend, beating the strongest film opening of 2018, Avengers: Infinity War, by almost $100 million.
Gaming had completely replaced the outdoors.
“Video games can act as a form of environmental enrichment in humans,” they said in a paper that appeared in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.
Gregory D. Clemenson, one of the authors, cautions that this does not mean video games are as nourishing to the mind as a walk in the park, but they may do more good than people think.
Michael “Qwerkus” Gerchufsky, a 50-year-old medical editor from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, describes the appeal as we hike around the towering National Memorial Arch: “I was like, wait, there’s a video game that gets me outdoors?”.
“Augmented reality is bleeding out from games into physical fitness,” he says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lauren Gunderson profile: America’s most popular playwright is ready for Broadway. But is New York ready for her?”

“I think in New York they think, Danger danger, this is getting into cheesy love story mode.” – Lauren Gunderson.
In 2009, Lauren Gunderson left New York for the West Coast, and since then, she’s made a career in America’s regional and repertory theaters, writing brisk comedies about plucky women, classical literature, romance, and the history of science.
At one point in her career, Gunderson was on the path to being a New York playwright.
The inspiration for the show was a long drive Gunderson and Melcon took together in which they posed the question, “What sort of show did the American theater most need so that people could add it to the season planning processes?” Gunderson told the New Yorker that by the end of the trip, they had the show outlined on Starbucks napkins.
The lesson of Gunderson’s career is that New York doesn’t have to matter, but the way Gunderson talks about her New York experience-and her upcoming premiere-makes it clear that New York still matters to her.
David Cote, who was for many years the head critic at Time Out New York, noted that “New York’s theaters at this moment are interested in dealing with identity politics and messy intersectional issues.” Maybe Gunderson, he speculated, “Is simply not an edgy enough feminist?” Minadakis, the Marin Theatre AD, hears New York theater people dismiss Gunderson’s plays as “Not serious” because of their inveterate optimism.
To McNulty, the issue keeping Gunderson out of New York is not taste but sexism.
“I could be a total snob,” he said, “And say New Yorkers are far too intelligent to have this middlebrow stuff flatter them. But tons of middlebrow stuff gets produced in New York.” Cote compared Gunderson with a writer whose once-edgy work now seems much less provocative: “She’s a much better playwright than Neil LaBute, and for a while everything he wrote was being produced.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “My land of make believe: life after The Sims”

The game’s creator, EA Games, has slowly expanded the series, from The Sims to The Sims II to The Sims 4 Deluxe Party Edition.
You are rewarded with points when your Sims thrive; the healthier and wealthier your Sims become, the more enjoyable the game.
Your Sims might reach the top of their career ladders, retire with a healthy pension, and die, but the game goes on.
In 2017, the video games journalist Andy Kelly pulled together a list of “PC’s most relaxing games” for PC Gamer.
Kelly’s article, and its focus on how much games can help us, reminded me of an episode of the tech-focused Reply All podcast called Autumn, in which a teenage girl who is experiencing difficulties in her life turns to The Sims to create a character of her recently deceased grandmother so she could visit her, build a beautiful garden for her, and interact with her.
“Video games place you at the centre of the story – you are an active participant, instead of a passive observer. They offer us a safe place to interrogate and test the emotional consequences of our actions. Far from being a meaningless waste of time games help us explore what it means to be human, to explore notions of love and loss, and to allow us to travel to far-off incredible places, to become incredible people – all from the comfort of our own home.”
The game information on its website is as tantalising as the blurb on the back of an appealing holiday read: “The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from your messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched atop a mountain, it’s your job to find smoke and keep the wilderness safe.” What you’re saying is I have to walk around a beautiful forest on my own and “Keep the wilderness safe”? Sign me up.
I’m excited about the future and about starting a new relationship with gaming; loosening my grip on The Sims 2 and experimenting with something new.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When “easy mode” isn’t enough: An analysis of unclear lessons in video games”

This week, a gaming and pop-culture critique channel on YouTube looked at the existential question of “Video game access” from a wholly different perspective: a year-long analysis of an adult trying video games for the first time in her life.
Instead of calling the video “I made my wife suffer through video games for her first time ever,” Razbuten opted for a title that speaks to the inherent learning curve for anyone new to the hobby.
“What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn’t Play Games” came as a result of a full year of the host’s wife testing nine video games she’d never played before: Super Mario Bros., Celeste, Shovel Knight, Portal, Doom, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Last of Us, Uncharted 2, and Dark Souls.
While we’ve seen essays and thinkpieces about the obfuscating “Language” of video games and how that can be a barrier for those who didn’t grow up with the hobby, Razbuten’s video shines because it collects and presents clear video proof of his concerns.
The tester unsurprisingly got lost in 3D games for various reasons, most commonly due to information overload and unclear onscreen markers.
Still, the video does an interesting job of selling the tester’s familiarity with computers, phones, and technology but not necessarily with the dense, underlying language of how traditional video games work.
What’s an “L3” button? Do all games have “Run” or “Sprint” options built in? If something in the game world looks destructible, why can’t it be destroyed?
The resulting perspective is an interesting mix of rigid and wide open, and it speaks to how even seemingly “Accessible” games can stand to make a little more room for brand-new eyes, especially as services like Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, and Microsoft Project xCloud loom as gaming entry points for people who have otherwise never owned a console.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Two Sides of Diego Maradona”

One man sprinted toward him with a giant umbrella that had Maradona’s face on it, seemingly wanting nothing more-from the moment, possibly from life-than to stand near Maradona and hold the Maradona’s-head umbrella over Maradona’s head. Watching the pitch invaders, listening to the roar of the singing, Maradona finally seemed to thaw.
“What the people have to understand is that Maradona is not a machine for making them happy.” -Diego Maradona, to Guillermo Blanco His name, the father’s, was also Diego Maradona.
The lifelong story of Diego Maradona is that the more broken, ugly, and unsalvageable something is when it enters his sphere of influence, the more beautiful and joyous that thing tends to become.
It is the lifelong story of Diego Maradona that the more joyous and beautiful something is when it enters his sphere of influence, the more broken, ugly, and unsalvageable that thing tends to become.
Today’s topic is: An old standby-how many children does Diego Maradona really have? Today’s time frame is: Two days since the weeping and the fireballs and the chain saws at his Gimnasia unveiling.
So: On September 10, 2019, a handsome, heavy-browed 18-year-old named Santiago Lara went on Argentine TV to announce that Diego Maradona was his padre biológico.
Photographs glide across the backdrop depicting a time when Lara put on a shaggy Maradona wig to prove that he looked like Maradona.
INTERVIEWER: Will more Diego Maradona children surface?

The orginal article.

Summary of “NBA’s six most intriguing players”

8:24 AM ET. It’s time for our first fall tradition: picking the six most intriguing players of the season.
“My mind is blown. Eating is almost not enjoyable anymore.” Isaac says he has eaten five or six “Real meals” every day to add heft to his string-bean frame – without compromising the quickness and switchability that hold All-Defense promise.
Against some teams, the Magic toggled assignments so Aaron Gordon would defend behemoth power forwards – leaving Isaac to trail wings.
Jeff Van Gundy often had Isaac defend wings during practices with the USA Select team; during that camp, Isaac says he texted Pat Delany, an Orlando assistant, requesting Delany prepare film of players who were good at scampering around with wings.
Isaac shot 38 percent from deep after the All-Star break last season, and carrying that over is one of Orlando’s most important swing factors.
Isaac averaged just 0.54 points per possession on post-ups, second worst among 166 players who logged at least 25 such plays last season, per Second Spectrum.
Most players return home after doing local media the day after being drafted.
Detroit hides Kennard on the least threatening opposing players.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Digital Athletes of the Future: Earning $1.6 Million Behind a Keyboard”

If you’ve never watched a game of Dota 2 before, you might be overwhelmed at first.
In 2017, the premier competition, The International, hosted by the game’s creator, Valve, had over 92 million online viewers, the majority based in China.
While collectively over 509 million hours of play were watched, 465 million hours came from viewers there.
Earning a Living As a Professional GamerIvanov, who is based in Estonia, is better known in the professional gaming world as Puppey, captain of Team Secret.
While most professional athletes had trainers to help them gain the skills to go pro, most gamers who have reached the professional level did so without coaches or trainers.
While there are varying paths to success as a professional gamer, as Ivanov puts it bluntly, you just have to be really good.
“It’s similar for Dota, which has a very small window for success. There are 10 million players, and about 50 are kind of earning a good living right now. The others are in the middle.”
What’s changing is the acceptance of the career path and the profile of the professional gamer.

The orginal article.

Summary of “You’re never alone in video games anymore.”

You weren’t playing for the story because games then really only had loose premises.
There’s also a newer, largely unarticulated trend: the end of being alone in video games.
Although there are scattered earlier examples of companion characters-like 1998’s Half-Life 2 and 2001’s Ico-their crossing over from albatrosses to something more meaningful is a recent development, kicking off with 2012’s The Walking Dead and 2013’s BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us. I am not warming up for a long, curmudgeonly rant about how video games used to be better in my day.
The supposed explanation for video games’ silent heroes was that voiceless avatars smoothed the way for the player to imagine themselves in the role.
As time has gone on and technology has advanced and budgets have ballooned, many video games have essentially become 20-hour-long movies now able to circle back and dabble with the sort of creative exploration that a secondary character brings.
One approaching future for video games, it seems, is to join the always-on, always-connected present we all experience in our daily lives, by having A.I. wingmen “Pinging” us with dialogue as the larger shared quest progresses.
All I know is, for now, I am virtually never alone in newer video games.
These first steps aren’t perfect or seamless-there are still hiccups and bad habits from how video games have always been made.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 50 best video games of the 21st century”

Few games have been played as widely as Wii Sports, from grannies bowling to toddlers enthusiastically playing tennis.
One of the few modern games that is still best enjoyed shoulder-to-shoulder with friends, family or friendly strangers.
Launched as a forgettable co-op zombie shooter in 2017, developer Epic Games saw the success of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and decided to create its own battle royale mode, inviting 100 players to land on an island, then fight it out until only one survived.
One of the most successful and influential games ever made, The Sims is an outlet for megalomania, mad materialism or compassion – depending on the player.
Video games aren’t short of alien invasion stories but Half-Life 2 is so good it makes the whole concept seem fresh and frightening.
One of the greatest narrative video games ever made.
Despite two more Dark Souls games and a raft of imitators, there is still nothing like it.
Game makers truly believe that video games have the power – just like literature, cinema and art – to change lives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why We Keep Playing the Lottery”

For the 2012 fiscal year, U.S. lottery sales totaled about $78 billion, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.
She responded in a flash to my comment about the logical futility of playing the lottery.
From her first days in the lottery business, Hargrove learned to make the lottery fantasy tangible by making sure that winning, on a smaller scale, is something people experience.
While Hargrove’s feel-good marketing goes a long way toward explaining why we keep playing the lottery, scientists are increasingly making it clear how lottery marketing taps into our brains and impacts our communities.
In the same way, he adds, when there is little we can do to raise a probability, we are just as likely to play the lucky number 7 or insist on buying our lottery ticket at a certain time of day to raise our chance of winning.
One of the things the experiment shows is that lottery players are often “Thinking myopically,” says Romel Mostafa, who co-authored the 2008 study with Loewenstein, and is now an Assistant Professor of Business, Economics, and Public Policy at Ivey Business School, Western University.
It’s not just the way we frame the odds in the lottery that can affect how likely we are to play the game.
In a 2003 study, researchers in the Departments of Economic and Social Psychology, and Marketing at Tilbrug University in the Netherlands, noted fear of regret played a significantly larger role in the Postcode Lottery than in a regular lottery.

The orginal article.