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Not quite true, Marcus. Research in game
play theory and practice indicates that
computer games do affect children – and
adults, as well – helping them to learn,
socialize, surmount cultural differences,
conduct business and, believe it or
not, make the world a better place.
This is not news to researchers
and professors at Calit2 and UC Irvine,
where studies of computer games and
their vast potential have been underway
for several years. In fact, UCI’s Game
Culture and Technology Lab, established
in 2000 in the Claire Trevor School of
the Arts and affiliated with Calit2 since
2002, was the first in the University
of California system. With nearly 20
affiliated researchers spanning fields
from anthropology to education, and
from studio art to history, it has become
a UC hub for computer game research.
Since their debut nearly 60 years
ago, video games and their progeny
– computer, console and web
versions, and online virtual worlds
– have made contributions to
society in surprising ways.
While millions of consumers spend
billions of hours just playing –
Microsoft Xbox Live has more than 6
million members worldwide –
millions more are turning to games
for more than entertainment.
Take the U.S. military. As many
as 100 video games currently are used
in military training programs, and
in 2006, the Department of Defense
reportedly allocated $120 million for the
by Anna Lynn Spitzer
omputer games don’t affect kids. I mean if Pac Man affected us
as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching
pills and listening to repetitive music.
– Marcus Brigstocke, British satirist and comedian
A New Medium Emerges
Ray Tube Amusement
Device receives U.S.
Tennis for Two – First video
game introduced to the
public. Creator William Hig-
inbotham previously worked
on Manhattan Project at Los
Alamos National Lab.