Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Odds And Ends From Around The Game Space

Between feeling a bit under the weather and working late last night, I don't really have a post today. Some significant WoW-related news hit with Blizzard's Chris Metzen announcing his retirement from the gaming industry after 23 years at the company. As one WoW figure leaves the scene, another one returns. Rob Pardo, the former lead designer of World of Warcraft, has formed a new studio, Bonfire Studios. Pardo's new studio has already received $25 million USD in funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and from Riot Games, the makers of League of Legends.

On the learning front, apparently playing video games can benefit children. Now, before going out and buying GTA 5 for the kids, read the research. First, a researcher in Spain found that one hour of gaming per week led to stronger motor skills and higher achievement scores. Two hours didn't lead to further improvement and nine hours led to conduct problems, peer conflicts, and reduced social abilities.

The other item is that a Yale researcher has developed a set of computer games that improved the academic performance of inner-city students even more than if the students received one-on-one tutoring. The training, conducted three times a week for four months, led to students improving in more than just playing video games.
"'The program increases focus, self-control, and memory — cognitive skills essential for learning,' said Dr. Bruce Wexler, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Yale and lead author of the study. 'And these are the exactly the cognitive skills affected by poverty, so we believe brain training programs like Activate can help reduce the achievement gaps related to poverty that are seen in schools across the country.'"
Finally, no post is complete without a bit of EVE news. Patch YC118.8 (cool name by the way) goes live today. Besides the mining changes, CCP has introduced a new live event, the Purity of the Throne. Since I can't link directly to the entry on the updates page, I'll copy and paste the description below:
"As the coronation of Empress Catiz I draws closer, there are those who consider her ascension to the Golden Throne of Holy Amarr both unjust and improper, based on archaic views that call the purity of her Udorian heritage into question.

"With the might of the Imperial Armed Forces at her heel, and both the Ministry of Internal Order and Theology Council ratifying the views of the Purity of the Throne movement as heretical, bounties have been placed on the heads of their members.

"The Empire is encouraging capsuleers across the cluster to strip the heretics of their colors, and wear them in support of the ascension of Catiz I to her rightful place as the leader of the Amarr Empire."
The lore behind the Amarr is fascinating. Hopefully I'll have time to explore the stories in a lot more depth than by just reading The Empyrean Age.

That's a quick spin around the gaming world. Hopefully I can dig into the patch tonight and give some impressions of the new artwork and live event on Tranquility tomorrow.

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