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Videogame guesses your age based on your reaction times

It’s commonly thought that one of the biggest contributors to skill is practice. So, it should follow that plenty of the best competitive videogame champions are older, having had more time to hone their skills. But this isn’t the case at all. Joe Hanson investigates this curiosity in a recent episode of the PBS Digital Studios series It’s Okay To Be Smart, asking “are older gamers at some disadvantage? Are their brains already over the hill?” shortest lag between moving to a different section of a map and action is found at age 24 Hanson explains that in StarCraft 2…

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How scientists are using MMOs to study sexism in videogames

For the past few years, one of the more common debates to be found on social media has been over whether women are discriminated against within videogames. This can relate to a number of factors, including skill, female presence in the community, and how women are represented within games, but conversations in these topics are often noticeably hostile and difficult to conduct. However, recent scientific studies on the topic have provided new insight into if and how discrimination presents a problem for women in and around videogames, as well as what difficulties sexism in games poses for women in tech in…

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The Lion’s Song aims to depict the loneliness of history’s greatest minds

Originally created as a short title for a 2014 Ludum Dare game jam, old-timey narrative adventure game The Lion’s Song is now getting a full release. According to a new trailer for the game, four episodes are planned in total, expanding it beyond the “finely honed short story” of the original and into an extended interrogation of academic life in fin-de-siecle Austria. The game stars three different turn-of-the-century artists and scientists as they struggle to find inspiration and learn how to cope with the pressures of success, as well as those of their time period. “To succeed in a world of…

BridgesJungle
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Exploring the mind-bending science of 4D in Miegakure

Videogames have always existed as multidimensional. Whether we were bouncing a ball from side-to-side in the perpetually flat, 2D Pong (1972), or playing as fully-realized 3D people, queueing up to learn how to shoot one another. It has always been us: 3D humans, observing multi-dimensional projections from a 2D screen. In a recent development update from Marc ten Bosch’s highly-anticipated puzzle game Miegakure, Bosch speaks of the science behind his foray into the unknown dimension of 4D. In Miegakure, the player bends reality in order to solve puzzles. In the developer’s scientific-based vlog update on the game, Bosch said, “What you…

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Fighting game will pit Darwin against Tesla in brutal fisticuffs

Science Kombat, an upcoming newsgame created by Fred Di Giacomo Rocha and Otavio Cohen from Brazil’s Superinteressante science and culture magazine, aims to teach players about some of history’s greatest minds not by handing them a dry quiz, but by having a select group of notable scientists beat the crap out of each other in one-on-one fights. It’s education by way of the WWE, hearkening to playground debates of who-would-win versus battles more than classroom lectures, and the result is a game that aims to be both educational and yet also features Albert Einstein shooting people with lasers. In the style of…

Y02SumMovieJ - For FriMag - THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE - David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their roles from the legendary television series as, respectively, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Photo credit: Diyah Pera/© 2008 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Maximum width 80.91 picas at 200 dpi. 4/28/08
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The glorious return of The X-Files, TV’s greatest science show

There was one point in my life where I thought about becoming a member of the FBI. In the months prior to my graduation from college, I had decided that I could put the 200+ hours that I had invested into The X-Files to good use. Of course, after I learned of the trials and tribulations one had to go through to get there (like a fitness test, and the ability to overcome the fear of being near a gun), my weak noodle arms and I dropped the idea. I also played with the idea of becoming a Ufologist for a…

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This real-life injury simulator is fascinating if a little gross

Researchers from the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology at the University of California, Los Angeles used detailed CT scans of human legs to create lifelike simulations of leg injuries to train medics. “Our goal in this specific project is to train medics to be able to deal with these sorts of injuries quickly and efficiently,” said one of the researchers, Jeff D. Eldredge, in an article for Motherboard. “When they train they have to feel the anxiety of seeing a real injury, and that’s the important aspect that’s hard to recreate.” The injury simulations, featured in the video…

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Lonely dwarf planet Pluto finally finds love as Noby Noby Girl arrives

It’s been a rough ride for Pluto ever since it was demoted in 2006 by the no-good scientists who deemed it unworthy of the proper “planet” classification. It lost its confidence, became altogether uninterested in life, and has been revolving in its own sorrow ever since. After the demotion, all of Pluto’s accomplishments were diminished by the “dwarf” planet prefix. No matter what it did—whether completing an orbit around the sun or being visited by a spacecraft—big brother Neptune and his ilk would always outshine him (you know, since they’re closer to the sun). Fear no more the heat of the…

STAR TREK (US TV SERIES)
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A Star-Trek-style medical scanner could be here in the near future

A team of Stanford University electrical engineers have taken large steps towards creating a portable scanning device to detect hidden objects, with possible applications in the medical field as a detector of tumors in the brain. The team says the device could be ready for practical use within the next fifteen years, despite the technology sounding like something out of science fiction—specifically, the medical tricorder tool from the world of Star Trek. In the Star Trek universe, a tricorder is a handheld multifunctional tool used for data collection, sensor-scanning, and status analysis. Medical tricorders are used by doctors to scan…