Revelations: Guns, Empathy, and Shallowness

Jordan Ekeroth is all like “hey here are some things.”

Written by Jordan Ekeroth / Published on February 4, 2013

Earlier this week, Luke Larsen clearly demonstrated his superiority over me in emulating Biblical-apocalypto-speak, so I’m not even going to try for that. Instead, I’m just going to dish you up seven great links to seven juicy tidbits of game-related morsels!

1. Video Game Violence: The Full Story

For years and years there has been a vibrant and opinionated discussion about the effects of videogame violence. If only there was a way to see all of the currently available data in one place! Well now there is, thanks to the good folks at Kotaku. Go check out their massive analysis of 25 years of videogame violence research.

2. The Wonderful World of E-sports

Go watch this fun and enlightening little video, put together by PBS about the current state of E-sports.

3. How Video Games Fund Arms Manufacturers

There’s a lot to be said on both sides of the gun-control debate. Unfortunately, in the face of real-world violence, much conversation gets reduced to blame shifting. Gun lovers blame game lovers. Game lovers blame gun lovers. But this thoroughly-researched article by Simon Parkin for Eurogamer, the two sides may be more complicit than we think.

4. How Games Teach Kids Empathy

For some good news, how about some new research that shows that playing social and competitive games can teach children empathy by challenging them to understand the people they are playing with and against?

5. In Defense of the Slow Start

I know I’m not the only one who sometimes gets frustrated by a slow start. It can be a huge buzzkill to unwrap/download an exciting new game, only to spend a large chunk of time watching lengthy opening cinematics or being slowly guided through tutorial sections. But Gus Mastrapa, in talking about what puts a game off to “A Good Start,” does a wonderful job explaining how in certain games, the slow start (while often being distinctly “un-gamey”) can be essential towards our appreciation of the rest of the game. (Bonus points for sharing about his hands-on experiences with Bioshock Infinite!)

“Games have the luxury of time. While it is admirable that many find clever ways to get out of the way and facilitate play I can’t help but admire those with the gall to lay foundation.”

6. What Does Far Cry 3 Mean?

Who knows? Does it matter? It was really fun! If you were wondering what to make of Far Cry 3’s mixed signals, you weren’t alone. The game gave Leigh Alexander and Quintin Smith something to chew on in the form of a lovely series of exchanged letters that you may read at Polygon. The whole thing is quite inspired, beginning with:

Dear Quintin:
We need to talk.
I don’t know what’s become of you. This thing you’ve been doing, it’s gotten out of control. I don’t even know you anymore.

7. Games Exposing Our Shallowness

Psychology Today published an article entitled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” prompting a response, in the form of a game, from UCLA student Aliah Magdalena Darke. Her card game, Objectif, was created to facilitate discussion about our perceptions of attractiveness by asking players to “rate” the attractiveness of a series of hand-drawn faces.

Thanks for dropping by! As always: if you see something you want on here, let me know, via comment or on Twitter. Your wish is my command! (Sort of not really though.)

About the Author:

Jordan Ekeroth has the crippling inability to say anything more than what he thinks he means. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanEkeroth