Tired of specious and unsupported media claims that computer games are ruinous to the minds of children? Well, here’s the exact opposite – a number of studies discussed at the American Psychological Association convention demonstrate that computer games can actually develop problem-solving skills in younger players. [image by PhuSon]
Of course, that’s not really news to anyone from a generation that actually plays video games, rather than feeling intimidated by them. However, it does highlight the potential of games to be developed more deliberately as learning tools… but hey, let’s keep Orson Scott Card off the advisory committee, shall we?
[Tip of the horned battle helm to Guy Humphries via Darren “Orbit” Turpin]
Online video game magazine The Escapist, home to the hilariously funny animated review column Zero Punctuation, has the theme of space for its 136th issue. They talk about why the starfighter genre appears to have died down since the heyday of X-Wing vs Tie Fighter and Wing Commander and about how science fiction is, although often set in the future, a commentary about now.
Although the space combat genre is in a lull right now, space strategy and so called ‘4X’ civilisation games are enjoying some underground success thanks to the efforts of indie games publisher Stardock, which produced the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilisations II last year. Its latest release, Sins of a Solar Empire, came out this month and combines Real Time Strategy elements of controlling fleets of spacecraft as well as exploration and colonisation. Currently holding a very respectable 87% average on Metacritic and impressing this writer enough to squeeze it into my schedule, games like this and Will Wright’s forthcoming evolutionary Spore are showing that maybe there’s a future for space in video games after all.
[Sins Of A Solar Empire screenshot via IGN]