Social Studies

Social Studies

"'The thing that carries over between the physical world and the virtual world is not particularly behavior because the spaces are so radically different,' Thomas says. 'What carries over is a notion of dispositions, and dispositions are more or less attitudes towards the real world. If you're generous in real life, you're probably generous in virtual worlds. And if you're racist in real life, you're probably racist in virtual worlds, too.'"

Melody Lutz speaks to the creators of Second Life's Diplomacy Island.

Social Studies

"The term 'serious' isn't a grammatical modifier related to a serious game's content. For instance, 'Catch the Sperm,' created for the Swiss AIDS Federation, is a public service advergame. This game, which takes place inside a vagina and features gameplay where you shoot condoms at oncoming viruses and sperm, is definitely funny, but the message is serious. Silly game, serious purpose."

Ben Sawyer, the co-founder of the Serious Games Initiative, debunks ten myths about serious games.

Social Studies

"In the Games Lab, the latest thing meets the oldest: videogames and art. A lot of debate goes on about whether or not games are art, but it's rarely acknowledged in such engagements that both games and art present rather fast-moving targets."

Darshana Jayemanne tours the exhibits of Melbourne's Games Lab, a museum gallery of computer and videogames.

Social Studies

"In Japan, a dating sim isn't just a dating game, it's a dating simulation. Functioning in Japanese society relies largely on understanding and acting appropriately to one's social status. While this can be said of most cultures, in Japan the rules are more complex, and the consequences of breaking them are severe."

Charles Wheeler spends a night on the town with Brooktown High.

Social Studies

"'There's folks out there who've stayed as a member of Congress for a very long time, but they haven't really done much,' Lee says. 'In fact, they may not appear in the news a lot, they may not sponsor much legislation; they don't even co-sponsor legislation. On a vote, they vote party line. It's really odd. Folks like that, I think, are under-performers.'"

Joe Blancato talks to Andrew Lee, the creator of Fantasy Congress.