Posts filed under ‘Links’

This Month in Academic Research Jul 2013 (it’s about video game research)

I follow video game research via
Here are a few interesting papers I came across this month.

FPS games, what are they good for? Apparently they cure amblyopia aka lazy eye and the researchers in question have created a positive preschool friendly FPS game in order to help deal with it. So yes in a preschool somewhere… Children are being taught FPS mechanics before they can probably even read. Future exports champions beware, Lazy Eye Shooter is getting kids hooked on the genre before most kids even own a game system. Not sure if this pay to access article has screenshots though.

In the seemingly never ending war of video games bad, video games good, this article finds that violent video don’t have a negative effect on social skills at odds with previous research.

There are simply so many articles criticizing and complaining about video games, and a few praising that this over view of the “effects of video games on young people” will help summarize both the negatives (college course work takes a dive) and positives (the usual spatial skills argument). If you’re not familiar with research into the effects of video games on players, this little short, and free paper will help get you up to speed on the concepts.
Battlefield 3, it made war look like really cool CNN footage, in this thesis the author takes apart the way BF3 presents scenes in order to justify or vilify violence. If any of those BF3 moments disturbed you with their pro-Iraq overtones, this paper will at least give you some insight into how the game managed to get you so pumped up for an unpopular war.
Autistic kids they score higher than us, but they have no friends. They also are way more likely to be into video games. Now researchers are trying to give them robot friends to play with, which means they will officially be significantly cooler than you ever will be.

I can’t even access this article from my iPad, but I had no idea there was a theory of comedy much less that a serious ludology had been developed to analysis of it in games. Would love to read this and I think it’s free to access, but can’t take a look in Chrome.
This is a weird one, apparently gamers in the military are less likely to have nightmares than non-gamers. The paper then replicated this experiment on college students to only find that male high end gamers seem to be immune to nightmares. However female gamers are more likely to have nightmares after playing games. Then again just imagine playing a game and identifying with the damsel in distress. Unfortunately you have to pay for the full journal, but the abstract does get you thinking…
Games used to help deaf children in Trinidad communicate and also to chronicle their culture. Results were increased scores in numerous subjects and better social inclusion of deaf students! Way to go games!

In this excerpt from a book The Development and Meaning of Psychological Distance the author summarizes a surprisingly good wealth of information about games and how they develop our sense of space and by extension distance. I found the author’s summaries really rousing and quite fun, I also like the idea of a bunch of researchers sitting around an arcade in the 1980s asking Star Wars fans to take a spatial reasoning test after playing a vector based 3D game. Especially because it was this Star Wars game:

Brain machine interfaces are becoming more common and in this paper a few game designers at a University in the Netherlands ponder what games could be made using these interfaces. Cool idea and one that hopefully will be down out of Academia soon.
The march of A.I. Continues in this paper for arxiv researchers outlay a plan to take a.i. From robots and use it towards games. A.i. Continues to be a field that games don’t excel at…. Except Creatures and the new game by the guy who made Creatures.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, video game players showed up having faster intuitive solutions to moral dilemmas and strangely preferring non-violent solutions. “the contrary, those who played single player games displayed a clear intuition to save people, regardless of the violent means necessary. Regarding multi-player gaming, those who were exposed to such games showed a shared intuition to accept a dilemma involving mid-distanced violence, in the face of saving many lives. Gamers in general, regardless of what games they play most, were found to be more accepting of a non-violent, utilitarian dilemma when compared with the control.”

The Science of Gaming is new open source Brazilian journal of games research. Worth a look especially because the papers are free. The abstracts are in English,but the papers might be in Portuguese.
Computer vision syndrome is when excessive computer use causes headaches, blurred vision, and other eye related problems. This paper covers a few easy remedies for computer vision.
In this rather accessible review of literate on serious games, the author describes several serious games used in military training and the place and problems serious games present to the classroom. Worth a read just for the overview.
Research from India suggests video games harm children’s eye sight decreasing their ability to learn in the classroom. In other words all those kids playing lazy eye shooter might also being getting refractive errors in their sight, a condition curable by wearing glasses, but optometry is not as widely available or affordable in India as it is in the first world.
Many educational games are little more than flash cards and drills in disguise, in this paper several prominent serious games researchers take on the psychological terms flow and motivation and proceed to outline games for the classroom you might want to actually play!

Roger Ebert wrote a blog post about it, this dude wrote an entire book. Are video games art? From legal definitions to more esoteric aspects of aesthetics, Marc Ryan… Has a surprisingly short sample on google books. But regardless, if you need a long arguement for the artistic merit of video games, this book has you covered in more than just title.

July 30, 2013 at 7:51 am Leave a comment

Qoutes Pynchon, Arendt, and others

The new Pynchon has the usual oblique commentary in the form of prose poem i.e. epigrams. Here are a few from the first 100 or so pages. I might add Against the Day has hooked me much more quickly than Mason & Dixon, but it addresses concerns much more practical and down to earth than Gravity’s Rainbow.

“As the ordeal went on, it became clear to certain of these balloonists, observing from above and poised ever upon a cusp of mortal danger, how much the modern State depended for its survival on maintaining a condition of permanent siege-through the systematic encirclement of populations, the starvation of bodies and spirits, the relentless degradation of civility until citizen was turned against citizen, even to the point of committing atrocities like those of the infamous petroleurs of Paris.” – Against The Day, T. Pynchon

“Many people believe that there is a mathematical correlation between sin, penance, and redemption. More sin, more penance, and so forth. Our own point has always been that there is no connection. All the variables are independent. You do penance not because you have sinned but because it is your destiny. You are redeemed not through doing penance but because it happens. Or doesn’t happen.” – Against The Day

There’s a website for discussing the book with line by line breakdowns here:


I’ve also been reading a lot of Hannah Arendt these days, mostly because I find her thinking pretty fascinating. It’s refreshing to read someone with a value set unlike mine, but with whom I occasionally intersect in different ways. Regardless, she has more stuff that surprised me than Pynchon, so a few more quotes from her.

“And though one may argue that all notions of man creating himself have in common a rebellion against the very factuality of the human condition-nothing is more obvious than that man, whether as member of the species or as an individual, does not owe his existence to himself- and that therefore what Sartre, Marx, and Hegel have in common is more relevant than the particular activities through which this non-fact should presumably have come about, ” – Hannah Arendt, On Violence

One of the things I like abut Arendt is that I don’t understand her perspective sometimes. This phrase which obviously goes against the existentialist idea of man creating himself, I don’t disagree with, but what does Arendt think make up people (genetics? cultural construction? environment?) is not specified.

“Fanon’s worst rhetorical excesses, such as, ‘hunger with dignity is preferable to bread eaten in slavery.’ No history and no theory is needed to refute this statement… Reading these irresponsible grandiose statements-and those I quoted are fairly representative…one is tempted to deny their significance.” – Hannah Arendt, On Violence

I’m an idealist and find Arendt’s ordering or values here interesting. That she feels it’s better to live as a slave than say die for your ideals is well when I think about it probably the more likely path most people will take, and for that matter what the slaver prefers.

“To think, finally, that there is such a thing as a ‘Unity of the Third Word,’ to which one could address the new slogan in era of decolonization ‘Natives of all underdeveloped countries unite!'(Sartre) is to repeat Marx’s worst illusions on a greatly enlarged scale and with considerably less justification. The Third World is not a reality but an ideology.” – Arendt, On Violence


“If we look on history in terms of a continuous chronological process, whose progress, moreover is inevitable, violence in the shape of war and revolution may appear to constitute the only possible interruption.” – Arendt, On Violence

“Power corresponds to the human ability not just to act but to act in concert. Power is never the property of an individual; it belongs to a group and remains in existence only so long as the group keeps together… It is in the nature of a group and its power to turn against independence, the property of individual strength” – Arendt


“Sze’s work offers arrangements of unexplained significance which mimic confused reality and to a degree reconcile one to it.” – Peter Campbell on Sarah Sze

October 29, 2007 at 4:37 am Leave a comment

3 year anniversary qoutes

Was just checking my links and noticed I’ve been blogging here for 3 years now… and yet the links continue to pile in about 2 a year actually. Anyway, some qoutes I’ve been building up.

“Gazing across the river at this metallisation of a dream, one has to take one’s hat off to Gehry and the civic leaders of Bilbao. I’m impressed by Tate Modern and its vast Turbine Hall, with its echoes of Albert Speer and the Zeppelin field rallies, and its immense popularity proves that it satisfies a need that should have been met by the disastrous Millennium Dome, a wish for an uplifting social space more enduring than the local Tesco or Ikea.”
J.G Ballard from,,2183734,00.html

Ten to one Tesco will have a series of markets designed by Gehry or a similar architect by 2030. Carre Four has already embraced design by numbers organic organization in their new markets.

“When Phillis Wheatley’s book of poems had to be verified by upstanding white men in the community and they put their stamp of approval on the authenticity of these words as though it were an impossibility that a black woman could think of anything on her own. Now it’s debatable, you know, how artistically worthy what she thought of on her own was, but that’s really not the point. I like the idea of suddenly finding myself in the desirable echelons of the art world and presenting myself in this manner. <b> So I am incredibly grateful for the approval of white society who understands that I am an anomaly. It should raise questions I think, maybe more than it does.</b> ”
Kara Walker from
As white people we consistently fail to see the intelligence in the other, that we often can’t see it in African-Americans is even more a shame, because as it stands they’re difference from us is not as pronounced as say Asians and other cultures. That it is this view, this racism, that has led to an under-investment in Africans as a whole should make us rethink the nature of our perceptions and the way our eyes lie.

“All of us are familiar with these strategies – whether consciously or not – but can similar ideas ever be employed in a way which benefits the consumer, or society in general, without actual deception or underhandedness? For example, can artificially limiting supply to increase demand ever be helpful? Certainly artificially limiting supply to decrease demand can be helpful to consumers might sometimes be helpful – if you knew you could get a healthy snack in 5 minutes, but an unhealthy one took an hour to arrive, you might be more inclined to go for the healthy one; if the number of parking spaces wide enough to take a large 4 x 4 in a city centre were artificially restricted, it might discourage someone from choosing to drive into the city in such a vehicle.

But is it helpful – or ‘right’ – to use these types of strategy to further an aim which, perhaps, deceives the consumer, for the ‘greater good’ (and indeed the consumer’s own benefit, ultimately)? Should energy-saving devices be marketed aggressively to children, so that they pressure their parents to get one?”

via Persuasion & control round-up

To see the world from the perspective of a psychologist, is to witness amorality on a scale almost unbelievably high. But the question here of creating artificial scenarios that promote socially conscious products, ideas, or services is well worth investigating. After all, the means here might impeach on the ability of people to make rational choices for the ends of selling a product, but hijacking the means for a better ends, well that’s a different conundrum.

“I don’t see nobody reaching out to us, like we reached out to them. I told them guys when they went over to Europe and shit they think they going to Europe and they thought they was gonna come back superstars anybody with some sense know what’s gonna come back. Ain’t gonna be us.
You see? Because They aint nobody reaching back and doing shit for us for our kids. It’s up to us to do and make them high-tech. We got whole neighborhoods nobody got internet nobody got cable… They don’t even know why they’re supposed to have it. Ain’t nobody reaching out them.” -Mad Mike

October 24, 2007 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

More Links Jan 17th

Delicious isn’t posting ‘m

  1. ISCID – Stuart Kauffman Live Chat

    if i didn’t post before, very interesting interview about the origons of life.

  2. Reza Ghadiri – Google Scholar

    chemist working with self-organizing structures and the origins of life.

    to chemistry life evolution … 3 days ago
  3. From
    the Cover: The origin of intermediary metabolism — Morowitz et al. 97
    (14): 7704 — Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Harold Morowitz on the origons of life.

    to science biology life … 3 days ago

    Stuart Kaufman’s theory of evolution.

    to evolution science … 3 days ago
  5. Boing Boing: Physics problem: Poof and Foop

    some pretty cool problems from physics

  6. With One Photo, Brisbane Dominates Photo World, NIghtmares – Gridskipper

    clown sex….

    to sex australia clowns … 6 days ago
  7. The Blog | Nick Seaver: Sign Up for Al Gore’s Climate Project | The Huffington Post

    sounds like Al Gore’s thing is fun.

  8. YouTube – Wes Anderson American Express Ad

    it’s pretty funny.

  9. James D. Miller: Helping Orphans

    it’s funny.

    to orphans humor economics … on jan 09
  10. Amazon Online Reader : Patternmaster

    this one sounds interesting. Octavia Butler.

    to fiction octavia_butler … on jan 09

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January 16, 2007 at 6:24 pm 2 comments

Links Jan 17

  1. Abu Aardvark: Howayda Taha

    Al Jaeezera correspondent arrested and film seized in Egypt.

    to egypt media free_press … 2 days ago

  2. List of unrecognized countries: Information from

    to politics countries … 2 days ago

  3. ISCID – International Society for Complexity Information and Design

    source for complexity theory news.

    to complexitysaved by 30 other people … 2 days ago

  4. The Beer Can Theory of Creativity

    it’s the full text paper. she’s all about cultural evolution etc.

    to creativity cognition culturesaved by 2 other people … 2 days ago

  5. Cogprints – The Beer Can Theory of Creativity

    it comes to creativity, how your ‘beer cans’ are connected together is
    as important as how many of them there are. This chapter explores the
    cognitive mechanisms underlying the emergence and evolution of cultural

    to creativity beer congition … 2 days ago

  6. Liane Gabora – Google Scholar

    researcher in complexity theory and language + some rather interesting articles on creativity.

    to science creativity cognition … 2 days ago

  7. Peter Schuster – Google Scholar

    biophyscists who studies evolution and theoritcal biology deals with wether it’s continous or not.

    to evolution biology … 2 days ago

  8. Uncommon Descent

    it’s the discovery institute’s blog. it’s interesting and worth reading.

    to evolution biologysaved by 44 other people … 3 days ago

  9. Dembski, William A. – ARN Authors Page

    part of the discovery institute

    to biology evolution … 3 days ago

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January 16, 2007 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

Ideas: Parallel Molecular Computer

Quantum Computers can do multiple calculations simaltenously becuase of entanglement,

“Suppose we have a black box that evaluates a
function f. The arguments of f (inputs) are either 0
or 1. The values (outputs) of f (which are also 0 or 1) are
either the same for both arguments (in which case f is
constant), or different for the two arguments (in which case
f is said to be ‘balanced’). We are interested in
determining whether f is constant or balanced. Now,
classically, the only way to do this is to run the black box twice,
for both arguments 0 and 1, and to pass the values (outputs of
f) to a circuit that determines whether they are the same
(for ‘constant’) or different (for
‘balanced’). Deutsch showed that if we use quantum states
and quantum gates to store and process information, then we can
determine whether f is constant or balanced in one evaluation
of the function f. The trick is to design the circuit (the
sequence of gates) to produce the answer to a global question
about the function (’constant’ or ‘balanced’)
in an output qubit register that can then be read out or measured.”

Hence is it possible for a biological system to behave similarly where action on one part of an entity effects another correalated entity? I suppose there are problems with this, after all quantum systems have the peculair properties of only having one measurable variable at a time, but it seems like the basic principle of two correalated bits calculating many answers to a question at once would be possible.

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November 4, 2006 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

Missing links

Flock has been messing up when logging into del.icious so here are my links from the past few days.

  1. Campaigns Wikia – Central Campaign Wikia

    it’s getting more interactive per day

    to politicssaved by 190 other people … on july 7

  2. How “American” Is Globalization?: Books: William H. Marling

    it’s all politics

    to politics … on july 7

  3. Commuter Cars

    another electric car

    to greensaved by 82 other people … on july 6

  4. my Kiva loan is out

    glasses business in cambodia.

    to finance … on july 6

  5. StarSight | a new kind of utility – Home

    another power utility.

    to greensaved by 8 other people … on july 6

  6. WorldChanging:
    Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: WC Retro:
    Eco-Literacy and American’s ‘Nature-Deficit Disorder’

    this olde worldchanging post is quite humbling. who cares about obesity, when environmental education is so lacking?

    to politics green … on july 5

  7. STM Power

    power company.

    to greensaved by 7 other people … on july 5

  8. Summer of Green :: Orlando

    to la_town_de_O … on july 5

  9. Welcome to Tesla Motors

    yup, that’ll do it. GM goes down, a new one is born.

    to carssaved by 20 other people … on july 5

  10. YouTube – Santo Gold

    i got no sound, but it looks funny.

  11. JAMA — Abstract: Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000, March 10, 2004, Mokdad et al. 291 (10): 1238

    when I actually clicked on the link for the research it turns out that
    some of the causes of death they list aren’t the leading ones.

    to politics … on july 5

  12. The Six Most Feared but Least Likely Causes of Death

    I’m number #1 in the most likely category.

    saved by 119 other people … on july 5

  13. Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War: Books: Jeffrey Rogers Hummel

    genuinely very interesting.

    to politics south … on july 5

  14. J Music Podcast & Free Download Site – FG Forums

    to music … on july 4

  15. The War Tapes

    soliders get cameras and do stuff.

    to iraqsaved by 73 other people … on july 4

  16. Kiva

    finally used my kiva credit today on this guy. anyway, hopefully he won’t default =)

    to kiva … on july 4

  17. YouTube – 実写版 コメットさん OP

    more mixtures of animation and live action.

    to japan … on july 2

  18. zords

    there’s a heavy emphaisis on zords which is good.

    to japan … on july 2

  19. YouTube – バンパイヤ OP

    I don’t know either.

    to japan … on july 2

  20. Fidelisharium

    damn… ok so he’s got brazilian airline music and … damn…

  21. yoto-kaimasu! – Pierre Henry & Michel Colombier – Messe Pour Le Temps Présent

    the whole thing on rapid share.

    to music … on july 1

  22. :: Daniel W. Drezner :: Your summer books for 2006!!

    focused on Drezner’s research/professional concerns, but it’s
    interesting none the less. why does Daniel repeat his name twice in the
    title of the page?

    to mediasaved by 1 other person … on july 1

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July 8, 2006 at 5:19 pm

Henry Paulson links

Was made nominated (I keep forgetting these government things take time and hearings) Treasury Secretary yesterday. Links: The Economist, Jane Galt, USA Today interview from 2004, NPR speech and bio, Political Donations, a PAC he contributes too, source watch for TomPac(very little to report), Greg Mankiw's brief note, conservative blogger Daniel Drezner who predicted that Bush couldn't find an A-List Wall Street job for the type announces the news, and a news article from FT on it.

Basically, Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs currently the most profitable and riskiest investment company in the world. Subject of a recent economist front page story on the culture of risk. He's pretty straight line republican, did give money to the Idaho democracts, Bill Bradley (along with Woody Allen too apparently) and a few scatter shot democrats, but primarily republicans… but what do you expect? Paulson also worked for Nixon's administration, graduted with a B.A. in English, and shows all the signs of a goodly liberterian leaning republican. Jane Galt remarks he doubts he will get the time to make much of an influence unless a major event occurs soon, but seems like a good pick. He also marks the second Goldman Sachs CEO to venture into politics, the last one is now in the Senate. Henry's tenure might be influential after all, if he can be confirmed

p.s. wikpedia on what the treasury secetary guy actually does. He has no direct powers except when it comes to issueing money, in other words he advises the president and is dependent on the president to introduce his legislation and endorse it.

Paulson is also a conservationist and pro-Kyoto.  

May 30, 2006 at 7:08 pm


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