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Ask Not ...

"To most of us, this is not rocket science. We've all probably used the 'before games, it was X' line to defend ourselves - our career, our pastime, our creative output - at social and family functions where we've come under attack for our 'connection' to games. I sometimes joke that this has been going on since prehistoric man, with cavepeople shielding their young from horrible attacking saber tooth tiger cave paintings."

Jason Della Rocca asks just what it is we're protecting the children from.

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"'I definitely think that there's a very European, maybe even Scandinavian thing about Seed and the way it was about being part of a society, rather than just looking out for number one. Obviously, the strong focus and cooperation and belonging to a society was also designed to make people want to roleplay.' He cited the politics as another nudge for roleplayers, saying, 'As soon as people have something to vote about, they also have something to argue politically about. I definitely think that the fact that Seed was made by a Danish team meant a lot in terms of how the game was designed. I also think the fact that our main story writer was a woman played a role.'"

Shannon Drake speaks with Runestone about their now defunct, non-combat MMOG, Seed.

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"Shania Twain's songs don't make me cry maple leaves anymore than songs by American country singer Faith Hill. But knowing that someone came from a background similar to yours has an effect on you. These laws aren't about content. They're about national pride and developing a country where children feel they can grow up to be whatever they want.
"Because of these stars, Canadians know they can grow up to be comedians and singers. They know they have a chance. The same cannot be said for videogames."

Dana Massey explores the border between American companies and "Canadian Content."

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"Social history and culture would tell us that it's perfectly healthy for a man to have an interest in sex, and probably for him to be interested in violence, too. 'Boys will be boys.' But women? One can hardly suggest in proper political correctness that a woman might be interested in a little violence. And God forbid a woman should want to play something to do with sex - someone call Nathaniel Hawthorne, stat. The whitewashed political world would have us believe that any woman who has an interest in such subjects - and it isn't a far leap to include games as a whole as well - must be some kind of deviant."

Erin Hoffman explains why sometimes it's hard to be a woman (in games).

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"Many people still see virtual reality as a parody of itself; the goofy headsets and trippy virtual environments have inspired fads like the Virtual Boy and B-movies like The Lawnmower Man. But as a therapy tool, virtual reality has proven exceptionally potent. 'We found that people do get better using virtual reality therapy,' says Rothbaum. 'That it translates into real life.'

"Rothbaum points out another benefit of virtual reality: 'If you think about who the Iraq war veterans are, it's a very video-savvy, electronic generation,' she says. 'For people who don't want traditional therapy, the idea of virtual reality might be attractive. They might get curious and try it.'"

Lara Crigger speaks to researchers who are treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with video games.