- Number of people who have ever registered for Twitter: 75m (but only 17%, or a bit less than 13m, sent a tweet in December) 
- Number of Wii consoles that have ever been sold: 67m 
- Number of iPhones sold to date: over 30m 
- Number of active Farmville users this month: 74,806,786 
- Number of tickets sold to see Avatar: 76,421,400 
- Number of tickets sold to see Gone With the Wind: 202,044,600 
Got an email today from Jason Rohrer, asking if I was going. Alas no — not only did my son have surgery yesterday, but I have jury duty on Monday. 🙁 But the event looks very cool:
The Art History of Games is a three-day public symposium in which members of the fields of game studies, art history and related areas of cultural studies gather to investigate games as an art form.
Also featured in the conference is the premiere of commissioned art games by Jason Rohrer, Tale of Tales and Nathalie Pozzi and Eric Zimmerman. The three commissioned games will be on display at Kai Lin Art (800 Peachtree St. N.E.) from Thursday, February 4 through Tuesday, March 2. The opening reception will take place Friday, February 5 from 8:00 pm until 10:00 pm.
Read on for more details:
The symposium will be held Feb. 4-6 in the High Museum of Art’s Rich Auditorium on the campus of the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., in midtown Atlanta.
For more information, please contact [email protected].
Brenda Brathwaite’s game Train will be on display as well, and Eric & Nathalie’s game is non-digital, so this looks to cover both the videogame and boardgame side of things.
There’s an afterparty too:
You still have 2 days, 2 hours and 8 minutes to register for the Global Game Jam™ and join game developers from around the world in a 48-hour marathon game-developing weekend. From 5 o’clock Friday, January 29 until 5 o’clock Sunday, January 31, anyone who has ever wanted to create their own video game will have the chance to join others at 138 locations in 39 countries around the world.
You still have time to sign up!
DriveThruRPG.com is doing a clever charity drive for Doctors Without Borders and Haiti — give a $20 donation, and they will give a coupon for $1481.31 worth of digitally downloaded RPGs and materials. You can also give $5 or $10, and they will match the donation
Donate $20 and get a coupon for over a thousand dollars in RPG titles. After you make the donation, you will receive the coupon code in your email. It will also be available in your order history.
They are apparently already overwhelmed with the response, so are asking people to wait a few days to grab their downloads.
There’s an article on CNet about measuring the size of a few areas of the brain, and comparing them to your success at different aspects of playing a specific game. This was a study done at UI by a host of research groups.
Researchers found that players with a larger caudate nucleus and putamen did best on the variable priority training, while players who had a larger nucleus accumbens did better than their counterparts in the early stages of the training period, regardless of their training group. This was unsurprising, since the nucleus accumbens is part of the brain’s reward center, and a person’s motivation for excelling at a video game includes the pleasure that results from achieving a specific goal.
This sense of achievement is likely highest in the earliest stages of learning, Erickson said: “This study tells us a lot about how the brain works when it is trying to learn a complex task. We can use information about the brain to predict who is going to learn certain tasks at a more rapid rate.”
The science keeps validating large chunks of A Theory of Fun… The article, though, focuses on size and has an emphasis on a sort of genetic predestination:
Research has already shown that expert gamers outperform novices across several measures of attention and perception, while other studies have found that training novices on video games for 20-plus hours rarely results in measurable cognitive benefits–a contradiction that suggests that brain structure itself, not training, could predict gaming abilities, according to the study.
That would be new research I need to track down, if so — the studies I have read repeatedly mention the brain’s plasticity and the measurable effect that training has.