Computer News

1. Serious games (the games that are used in education, simulations, training, etc) become more and more important and a lot of money is invested in this direction. Statistics say that the finances invested in this industry will surely triple until 2015.

A recent study has showed that math games are much more efficient tools when compared to solving identical math problems on paper. This was considered an important message sent to colleges, universities and schools worldwide. Math games seem more motivating and manage to engage children in a more successful way.

The US army is already using games in order to attract recruits and also teach them different skills. Also, in many organizations computer games are used in order to train the staff. There are more serious games used in education and it has been proved that kids may learn a lot while playing educational games.

2. The new generation of video games seems to boost the physical activity in kids; this is the latest news provided by the researchers in the field. It appears that the electronic games do have this positive impact indeed, and this is surely a change for the good, knowing the fact that in developed countries, a kid spends about two hours a day in front of a computer / tablet screen.

The old video games were making kids sedentary, but it looks like the new generation is going to change this for good. The differences in kids’ behavior are still small and may seem to be lacking importance, at least for now, but it is a well known fact that every minute which is taken from watching TV and added to doing any kind of physical activity is important.

3. People like to create avatars that represent them, but it looks like this may influence the actual perceptions of the real person. A research that demonstrates this was presented at the 2013 annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Students were asked to evaluate some hills. The ones that were allowed to customize their avatars with a backpack changed their perception on the virtual environment. One of the conclusions was that, for example, people with disabilities feel better if they are given the opportunity to customize their avatars.

Soldiers that have the ability to create their own avatars have the opportunity to show other how they perceive their real conditions. Basically, the study has discovered that when you customize your avatar, you identify with the avatar, and thus you transmit a lot of useful information about yourself.

4. For many people that are fighting with obesity, there are several barriers that come in their way to success. For some of them, even a simple face to face talk can be a problem; for others it is losing anonymity and the list can go on. The Journal of Nutrition, Education and Behavior has published a recent study, during which scientists wanted to explore alternative weight management methods. The goal was to eliminate the barriers that many of the patients may have.

One of the explored directions was virtual reality. It turns out that after six months, virtual reality has proved to be successful in maintaining a healthy weight. The program used a web based virtual reality game named Second Life.

5. How long has passed since you have played Tetris? A new research has demonstrated the positive impact of playing Tetris on lazy adults’ eyes. Lazy eye is the common name for amblyopia. The game manages to make both eyes work together, cooperating, and this increases the plasticity in the brain. The results of the study have been published in a recent number of Current Biology. Ambyopia is affecting 3 percent of the population, and it is caused by poor brain processing speed.

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