Posts Tagged ‘videogames’

Today’s short guest-post comes from Tim McMann, a video-game blogger on t’Internet. For another great article on video game culture, Tim recommends visiting www.fearlessgamer.com. Enjoy! 

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Video games and the gamers that play them often have a bad rap when it comes to the educational value, or lack thereof, that video games are thought to offer. There are actually many compelling reasons though that contradict the negative aspects of video gaming and actually show how video games can make you smarter, increase your cognitive abilities and help your overall problem solving abilities. Check out the list below of the seven ways that video games can make you smarter in order to arm yourself the next time that mom tells you it is time to turn off the console and hit your homework!

1. Video Games Force You to Problem Solve

One of video games’ primary tasks typically involves using your intellect in order to solve a problem that is placed in front of you. Whether that means you need to take out an entire army’s enemy brigade with your one well-armed solider or you need to score a touchdown on the vaunted Carolina Panthers’ defense, video games force you to think and come up with creative solutions to master the game.

2. Video Games Teach History

When you play a video game, you are often drawn back into a period of time that you may have known next to nothing about prior to picking up the controller. Sometimes a video game will have you playing alongside knights in The Crusades and other times they can place you in the trenches of World War II. Even the staunchest history buff cannot argue that there is some educational value from participating in an interactive history lesson!

3. Video Games Teach Teamwork

Ever since we are little, we have been taught the importance of teamwork and video games can reinforce this concept almost as well as sports. When you and your three closest friends are online taking on a level of your favorite game, there is strategy involved and roles are often assigned to ensure that all flanks are covered. If one team member does not pull their weight, the value of teamwork is quickly discovered and a valuable lesson is learned.

4. Video Games Are Great for Hand-Eye Coordination

Think fast and hit that 95 mile per hour fastball! Fast-paced and action-packed games enhance peoples’ ability to act without even looking at their hands. This is important in many real life situations.

5. Video Games Force Quick Action

Need to make a decision in a hurry and you are not sure how to act? If so, you are most likely dead in your game since you have to think on your feet. Video games are a great help for improvisation skills.

6. Video Games Require Communication

With the advent of online, multi-player action, gamers must interact with each other much more than was previously required. This increase in communication makes you more conversant and is a clear educational benefit.

7. Video Games Keep You Focused

When you play video games, you are able to focus your thoughts and actions onto a single task. This skill can carry over to educational activities that require this focused energy and singular attention to specific details to master a skill or concept.

Remember that gaming is not only fun, but educational when you stop and think about all that it can teach!

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So now you don’t have to feel guilty about spending hours and hours striving to get 100% completion on all those games you got for Christmas (those Riddler datapacks will be the death of me…)! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and I look forward to writing some new (and sometimes exciting) blog posts as we hit 2014!

Tom

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Sadly, the poet Dante was never this bad-ass.

If you’ve been paying attention to the latest goings-on in Hollywood, you’ll see that things are really ‘hotting up’ (see what I did there?) for the proposed adaptation of Dante’s Inferno. If not, then I just told you.

Dante’s Inferno was a video game released in 2010 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PSP, based on the epic poem by Dante Alighieri. It follows the story of the Templar knight, Dante, making his way through the nine circles of Hell to reclaim the soul of his beloved Beatrice from the clutches of evil Lucifer (the Devil, for those people who don’t read). I loved this game when it came out – the vision of each circle of Hell (Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and, Treachery) was unique and visceral. Sadly, whilst the artwork of the game was fantastic, the game itself turned into just another button-bashing fiasco.

Now, it transpires that Universal (who bought the game rights seven years ago) are wanting to turn this game into a film, to be helmed by Fede Alvarez (the chap behind the brilliant remake of the equally brilliant Evil Dead) and the script is to be penned by Jay Basu (who has written Monsters: Dark Continent – due to be released in 2014).

Remember when you stole a chip off someone’s plate? Well this is what awaits you in Hell…

This is not the first film adaptation of Dante’s Inferno, however. EA released Dante’s Inferno: The Animated Epic to tie-in with the game back in 2010. The film was split into several parts, with each being animated and designed by a different director. Commercially, it was not that much of a hit – but in terms of quality of film and accuracy when compared to the game, it scores very highly.

Personally, I am very excited for this film – if they do it right, then the movie will be a grotesque vision of Hell, much like the game offered. Oh, and hopefully it won’t be in 3D.

There’s no release date as of yet, but if it follows in the footsteps of all the other video game movies, we can expect it to be released…never.

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So what do you think? If you’ve played the game, how do you feel about a potential film adaptation? If you haven’t played the game, then what are you waiting for? GO GO GO!

Tom

In a similar vein to my previous post ‘Paranormal Activity 5: What They Should Do Next’, I have decided to write about how I think the Batman franchise should be rebooted. A reboot is inevitable: The Dark Knight Rises became the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time, raking in over $1.08 billion. This plus the fact that Man of Steel is a Superman reboot means that we can be pretty sure that DC are going to something Batman-y in the next few years. Just recently, Warner Bros. announced that Henry Cavill will be reprising the role of Superman in a Justice League movie, with principal photography beginning in 2014. But this post isn’t focussing on the Justice League, it’s focussing on Batman.

I think I can safely say that I have enjoyed every Batman film that Hollywood has produced (yes, even that one), and the different style that each film brings to the table. With Tim Burton’s films you get the emotional pain Bruce Wayne feels at the loss of his parents; with Joel Schumacher’s contributions you get crazy villains and nipples on the Batsuit; and, with Christopher Nolan’s version you get a more realistic tone to the story and, arguably, one of the worst deaths ever recorded on film.

But here’s the thing: I don’t want realism. 

Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing him in Justice League

Batman, for me, is all about the villains. I mean really, really fucked-up villains. Everyone’s familiar with the classic bad-guys like Joker, Riddler, Two-Face etc. but there are so many forgotten ones: Mad Hatter, Clayface, Calendar Man and even The Calculator (I think at this point they’d probably ran out of ideas). Now some of these bad guys are seriously messed up in the head – Riddler was abused as a child by his father, as was Two-Face (by his own father though, not Riddler’s…) , and poor ol’ Penguin got into a bar fight and someone shoved a bottle into his eye. 

So what I’m suggesting is that for the next big reboot of Batman they should make it all about the villains. I would absolutely love to see origin stories for all the major Batman villains – and how they interact with one another.

See, the thing is, I don’t care about Bruce Wayne. Now that sounds pretty heartless, but I don’t care. I’ve seen his origin story too many times now, and if Hollywood tries to milk anymore out of it then I’m going to scream. 

Kinda like this, but more awesome.

So why not make a new series of films focussing on each villain, whilst having Batman as a secondary character? That way you’d get to see what made them become the villain that we all know and love. Villains are so much more interesting that good guys, especially when it comes to some of the weird and crazy characters of Batman. And, seeing as Hollywood is going through an ‘Avengers/Justice League’ phase, if they really wanted to they could tie all the films together with one Arkham Asylum-esque film at the end of the franchise. 

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Anyway, there are my two cents on what I would love to see in the next Batman adaptation. It probably won’t ever happen but hey – we can dream, right?

If you’ve got any thoughts/ideas on what you’d like out of a new Batman reboot, then feel free to leave a comment.

Tom