I’m always torn in these battles. On the one hand I’m very sympathetic to the idea we need more women in computing. Also I have great contempt for the harassing / sexism / misogyny that is pervasive in video gaming (also unfortunate is that the current trend in computer science degrees =FEWER women each year, so this probably will get worse before it gets better )
This excellent PBS post from an MIT researcher debunks some of the mythology about gaming and youth, though to me he seemed a bit too quick to discount the growing body of research making connections between game violence and real world violence. That said, few understand how there is NOT a large body of evidence to suggest gaming is “bad”. More appropriate is the mantra “All Things in Moderation”. I’d urge parents to simply keep in touch with the games your children play, and engage them about the content
As Grand Theft Auto smashes onto the scene, breaking records for one day sales (close to 200,000,000), it’s becoming clear that gaming is a key force in the online and offline world. Parents would be well advised to learn a lot more about this so you can better understand forces that are driving your kids behavior and spending patterns as well as shaping popular culture and economics. Gaming will soon surpass motion pictures as an entertainment revenue category.
Confused about Game Consoles and Platforms? Read my son’s Video Games Guide
More: Bloghaus is now open and John Furrier looks like he’ll do a great job blogging CES. Of course it would be nice would be to get some clues about what Furrier and Scoble are up to with the new non-Podtech startup thing they’ll announce after CES, but I don’t blame them for keeping it a secret during the CES news maelstrom which started … today.
One of the contrasts I’m already noting between this conference and the pure internet conferences is that here it seems many people are only “just starting” to understand the importance and significance of online social media where at the internet conferences this is a given, and in fact many Silicon Valley businesses fail because they don’t realize how most regular folks could care less about many aspects of the social media revolution – they’ll wait for mass adoption rather than become early adopters.
In the gaming session discussing Massively Multiplayer Online games the most interesting observations were about the nexus of socializing and games, though how this would play out did not seem clear to any of the panelists. I’ll try to write more on that session later, but key points were the potential growth of simple free games like Maplestory & Runescape and how those games were monetizing using “micropayments”, where users buy small game items with real money. Also interesting was the discussion of the “secondary markets” where game features are bought and sold for real money. Based on the enthusiasm of the panelists, I think this is a really interesting market to watch.